You would be well-advised to change out those Manolo Blahniks and Gucci’s for the Timberlands if you’re trekking to the crest of Howell Mountain and Black Sears Winery on a Zinfandel Trail quest. The mountain experience and profound wines that you will find at Black Sears are more than worth the extra effort to get to here.
When you find yourself up above everything else at nearly 2500 feet above sea level, and immersed in the wild 420 acre property at the end of Summit Lake Drive, you will get a better appreciation of the diverse and wild Howell Mountain environment that Joyce Black and Jerre Sears were drawn to back in 1979. After they settled into their land and started rehabbing an old Zinfandel vineyard and planting additional vines, they built a reputation for providing top Napa Valley wineries with primo Zinfandel and Cabernet grapes. In 1997 Joyce and Jerre began bottling Black Sears small lot wines from their estate vineyard.
Since 2008 the next generation is now protecting the land, nurturing the vines, and preserving the legacy of Black Sears in the persons of daughter Ashley Sears and Chris Jambois along with lauded winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.
The experience here requires an appointment and includes a visit to the old head-trained vineyard itself, a tour of the winery, and a comparative tasting of current Black Sears wines.