Unabashed Praise


"The two- story building is gorgeous, constructed in 1875 as a brewery, then a saloon and a brothel in what used to be Napa's red light district.

Founders Garret and Kim Murphy play off   their backgrounds in food, wine and design to seek out what they call "creative mavericks" in the wine industry, those small producers or winemakers for larger companies that produce their own handcrafted projects on the side."


"The salon-like Vintner's Collective has rare bottles from 18 tiny wineries, including famed winemaker Philippe Melka's own brand.

Upstairs in the historic 1875 sandstone building, which once housed a brothel, I join Robert and Shannon Cross, two New Jersey-based tech-stock analysts, for a private guided tasting. My pick: the spicy 2005 D-Cubed Brown Vine­ yards Zinfandel. Only 218 cases were made."


"Once in  town, look for the sandstone facade of the  Pfeiffer Building, Napa's oldest commercial building, which start­ ed life as a brewery in 1875. Inside is the Vintner's Collective where a handful of small vineyards - from

D-Cubed to Mi Sueno - offer tastings. The twist: the room feels like an urban cocktail lounge with upbeat music and swank club chairs."


"You'd need a personal invite from the winemakers to try most of the bottles uncorked daily at the Vintner's Collective...the preeminent tasting room in town. It's stocked with small producers who have large followings."


"Ditch the car and chill in downtown Napa at this tasting bar inside a former 20th-century brothel. It represents 20-plus high-end boutique wineries that are too small to have their own tasting rooms. There are around 140 wines to try, and the pricier the tasting, the more sought-after the wine. If there's only one tasting you do downtown, this is the spot."

"Sure, Napa Valley is home to Mondavi and Coppola, dramatic views at Sterling Vine­ yards and historic architecture at Chateau Montelena. But for the more adventurous, it is also home to smaller vintners willing to get to know you on a first- name basis, and offering a one-of-a-kind experience upon your visit.

 Appealing as these stories are, it's not easy to know which switchback roads to brave to taste the rare and the unknown. Enter the Vintner's Collective in downtown Napa, a multi-winery tasting room that shows off some of the       region's best vintners.  A visitor can relax in the breezy room, discover a cult winemaker and gather the necessary infor­mation for a visit."


Wine Clubs Help Sm.all Vintners Find Custom.ers Eager for New Tasi:es Vintner's Collective ships wines from 17 Napa Valley wineries to customers every quarter. Owner Garret Murphy said boutique wineries are beginning to catch up with larger operations through wine clubs like his own."It's a great way for the little California pro­ ducers to get their wine out there consistently," said Murphy, whose members include Judd's Hill and Ancien Wines. "For the consumer, they get boutique wines they can't get."


"If you're queasy from navigating the hills and back roads of Napa Valley in search of boutique wineries, then a new cooperative tasting room -pouring the wines of 10 different producers - may save you some heartache, and a little time, on your next trip to wine country."


"Because anti-growth regulations prohibit wineries from establishing new tasting rooms on county land, entrepreneurs flocked within Napa city limits, and now these tasting rooms are some of the hottest gathering spots in town. My favorite was Vintner's Collective, housed in the city's oldest commercial building, an 187 5-built brewery and later, a saloon and brothel. Here visitors can sample 18 wineries, some of which release wines in remarkably ljmited quanti­ties (as few as 75 cases) ..."


"Wine is Murphy's business. He owns the Vintner's Collective, a tasting room in downtown Napa where visitors can get a sampling of some of the area's boutique wineries. He takes his work home. The cellar under his kitchen floor holds a small but cherished col­lection. Murphy is more likely to drink or give away his wines than sell them, although he said he would consider it. "I have a '62 Inglenook, and if I ever found out it was worth $50,000 a bottle because it was the last one remaining on Earth . . . , " he said, trailing off.


"Tasting the Best Wines from California The Vintner's Collective in Downtown Napa offers a different type of wine tasting expe­rience. Garret, the owner, carefully chooses only the best wines from more than 100 bou­tique wineries. Visitors are treated to per­sona] i zed service-- the tasting room manag­er asks visitors what types of wines they like and then can customize a tasting based on the visitor's preference. In addition to serving excellent local, small production wines, the Vintner's Collective is housed in a historic building. The sandstone exterior from 1875 contrasts with the sleek interior, which used to be a saloon, brewery, and bordello."


"At the elegant Vintner's Collective, '
sample a who s who of coveted wines, from Ancien Wines and Clark-Claudon Vineyards to Melka, Roy Estate and Showket Vineyards."


"No time to trek to the wineries? Head to Vintners Collective, a multi-winery tasting room representing 18 small­production premium wineries, such as Melka, Ancien, Vinoce, and Showket. Tastings run $40 to $110---welcome to Napa-- but these are great wines. The staff is not only knowledgeable, they're fun. No snobs here. If you're feeling flush, drop $110 on the 'private sensory tasting'; it s like a lap dance with wine. Fabulous."


""Long considered the sleepy step­ child of the Valley, downtown Napa awoke this year. The debut of the Copia center and it' s flag­ ship Julia's Kitchen ... The scene should only get hotter in the late Summer with the scheduled open­ ing of the Vintner's Collective Tasting Room, as 1875 building turned showcase for local artists."

French Laundry's Sommelier Keith Fergel Divulges His Favorite Winery Stops

If You Had To Pick Just One:
Vintner's Collective "the greatest addition for people longing to taste the wines from small and unknown wineries is a tasting room on Main Street that houses the new Vintner's Collective. It's housed in a historic stone building and offers a range of outstanding wines. Don't miss the wines from Patz and Hall, Judd's Hill, Melka, and Mason and don't expect any frills or breathtaking valley views. It's all about great wine here."


"Sample wines by some of Napa's smaller producers at Vintner s Collective Napa Valley. The city's original tasting room, housed in a stone heritage building built in 1875 (it was originally a brewery), is one of around 20 places down­town to sniff, swirl, sip and spit ( if you must)."


"You'd need a personal invite from the winemakers to try most of the bottles un­ corked daily at the Vintner's Collective ... the pre-eminent tasting room in town, it's stocked with small producers who have large followings." Downtown's most upscale tasting room, Vinter' s is in a historic stone building that was once a brewery, then a saloon and brothel. It's a collec­tive tasting room for eighteen small, premium winemakers including, Ancien, Richard Perry, Patz & Hall, Melka, and Mi Sueño. Atmosphere: The inside is fashionable, with a small art gallery and a serious, dark tasting bar framed by blond wood. They advertise themselves as no frills, no views, and they clearly are serious about wine, but the room is definitely high-end. Servers, however, are welcoming and unstuffy. Service: Very knowledgeable, very descriptive service, which is expected in a room with a good range of high-end wines. Servers are willing to talk small details about winemakers and wines, but they start as comfortably broad as you need. Despite the expensive air and the quality wines, the servers and the room don't have a sense of self-importance. Intangibles and extras: This is a strong lineup of wines all in one place. Winemakers pour their own on Saturdays. Altogether, it's a satisfying tasting experience for serious wine people."


"Located in the sandstone Pfeiffer Building, dowtown Napa' s oldest commercial building and a former brewery, this tasting room spot­ lights 18 lesser-known boutique wineries. It's a great opportunity for novices to sample expensive, limited-release wines, including an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc from Vinoce Vineyards and several Zinf andels from D-Cubed."


"You might want to check that label before downing a couple of glasses of wine and getting behind the wheel. Some California red wines are now reaching the 15-16% alcohol range. In the past wines stayed around the 12-13% range. The increase is largely due to vintners waiting longer to pick the grapes and thereby allowing the sugar levels and alcohol volume to rise. This effect has caused a controversy within the wine world, with some vint­ners complaining the higher alcohol content damages the image of wine." 


"In one tasting room that was still serving customers, eight people had sidled up to try local wines. The establishment, Vintner's Collective, had been destroyed in an earthquake that rocked the Napa economy three years ago. "Napa will need time to assess the damage ... but we always rise,"says owner Garret Murphy. Some visitors were also pushing ahead despite the smoke. One couple at the Vintner's Collective bar had come from Calgary, Alberta for their honey­moon, a region that suffered its own wildfires this summer. And on Wednesday, they were sipping some Longfellow Wines cabernet. "In good times, people want their wine, and in bad times people want their wine," says Alicia Sylvia, who was serving them in the tasting room. "The show must go on." With that, she went over to another couple and popped the cork out of another bottle. "Okay," she said. "Rose!"


"There are a number of tasting rooms in downtown Napa includ­ ing Vintners' Collective, which represents a number of wineries. The Vintner's Collective tasting room is housed in a renovated his­toric stone building that has served time as a brewery, saloon, brothel, laundry and meat company."


A tasting room in the heart of Napa: no driving around and a warm welcome. "When Garret Murphy set out to establish Vintner's Collective Napa Valley, his goal was to offer a space where the public could sample wines from the region's best boutique vintners in one place as opposed to driving around the valley. The tasting room he opened in 2002 was the first of its kind in the city of Napa. The sandstone building dates back to 1875 and has quite a color­ful history. It served as a saloon and brewery with a bordello on the second level, and was a Chinese laundry business, Italian grocery store as well as a chick hatchery. Its past has even in­spired the wine club names - The Case Club, The Red Light, The Madame, The Gentlemen's Cabernet Club, The Bordello and The Rendezvous."


''Not all of Napa's esteemed wineries offer tasting rooms, but you can still get in on the experience at the Vintner's Collective--- show­casing wines from 20 boutique Napa wineries, from Pinot Gris to Cabernet A rotating tast­ing flight offers a wine roulette of varietals poured from high quality small production wineries, as well as the collectives own pri­vate label The building itself is a sight to be­hold- it's Napa's oldest stone commercial building, and once upon a time it was a broth­el and a saloon in Napa's former red light dis­trict Private tastings on the intimate upstairs level."


"Located at 1245 Main Street in Napa's oldest stone building (187 5), Vintner's Collective is a multi-winery tasting room, housing eighteen of Napa Valley's small yet exquisite producers. Among the vint­ners who make this their tasting room is Philippe Melka (Melka Wines), Ken Ber­nards (Ancien Wines), Rolando Herrera (Mi Sueño) and Duane Dappen (D Cubed). The ambience here is modern and upscale, which compliments the sandstone and vertical fir architectural details of the building, which in it's former life was a saloon and brothel. The release parties for the Vintners here are fabulous."


"Before wine tasting and five-star dining, Napa was infamous for its plethora of bawdy babes and broth­els. Up until the 1930's, Napa was considered to have the biggest red-light district of any town its size in all of California. It wasn't until 1950 that prostitu­tion ceased to exist, or so they say. Old news:r,apers report that 1n 1905, Napa s sexual tolerance was at its highest. Both sides of Clinton Street, as well as surrounding areas, were lined with brothels - amounting to more than 20 "sin palaces" in establish­ment at a time. Sometime after World War II, Napa madam May Howard scaled down her operation and moved to the Sam Kee Laundry (Pfeiffer Building) on Main and Clinton streets. Now home to Vintners Collective, this historically significant building is an example of how a town is transformed over time and how a building can be adapted to new uses while pre­serving its character and architectural integrity."


"California's big reds are coming on strong these days as winemakers pursue riper, fuller-flavored f111it. Big reds, many of which are highly rated by critics, have their champi­ons. "They fill your mouth with flavor; you can chew on them. They linger on your palate when you're drinking them and that's what Napa is known for- its big, chewy cabs," said Doug White, Director of Opera­tions for the Vintner's Collective, a Napa tasting room specializing in boutique wineries."


"Located at 1245 Main Street in Napa's oldest stone building (187 5), Vintner's Collective is a multi-winery tasting room, housing eighteen of Napa Valley's small yet exquisite producers. Among the vint­ners who make this their tasting room is Philippe Melka (Melka Wines), Ken Ber­nards (Ancien Wines), Rolando Herrera (Mi Sueño) and Duane Dappen (D Cubed). The ambience here is modern and upscale, which compliments the sandstone and vertical fir architectural details of the building, which in it's former life was a saloon and brothel. The release parties for the Vintners here are fabulous."