Touring Long Meadow Ranch in Napa’s St. Helena

View from the Long Meadow Ranch winery and caves

Long Meadow Ranch Winery does it all in Wine Country: grass-fed beef, heirloom fruits and vegetables, eggs from their chickens, lush olive oils, and, of course, wines. Seeking to grow everything used in their restaurant and winery, they continue to push boundaries, currently exploring a dairy and cheese-making.

Feeley’s first course,  crab & grapefruit salad

I’ve written a few times about Farmstead, their restaurant, helmed by delightful, hilarious Chef Sheamus Feeley, including it in my top new openings of 2010. A return press visit included a jeep ride over dirt lanes on Mayacamas Mountains through vineyards and olive tree groves to tour their winery, caves, and olive oil press.

LMR’s jeep

We finished with a three-course lunch at Logan-Ives House, a restored Gothic revival farmhouse built in 1874 that houses their wine and olive oil tasting room.  Feeley’s heartwarming-yet-gourmet cooking showcases his Southern roots. We tried many LMR wines, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($42) being their most popular, though I preferred a crisp 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($18) and lush E.J. Church Cabernet ($85).

LMR’s winery made from the earth tunneled out of their wine caves

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My favorite Feeley quote of the day was as he spoke of ingredients from their farm, expressing his love for celery as an under-appreciated vegetable. He has plenty of ideas for it, like a celery sorbet with Campari and grapefruit bitters (sign me up!) “But…”, he said,  “we’re not here to talk about celery.”

Though a pricey $150, the experience I had is available to any visitor, along with more affordable tastings and tours. And you can always visit Farmstead for those grass-fed burgers on your next jaunt up to Napa.

LMR’s vines with winter’s radiant mustard flowers

LMR’s Logan-Ives House & Tasting Room

Chris Hall, LMR’s VP and son of family owners, shows us their imported Italian olive press

View of Mayacamas Mountains from Long Meadow Ranch vineyards