So it's no secret that it's a temple to the goodness of rum. But a little known fact: in the midst of procuring hundreds of the world's best rums, owner Martin Cate also found time to blend his own proprietary red wine—The Smuggler's Jug—up in Napa.
Which means your own jug isn't too far behind.
Introducing Judd's Hill Bottle Blending Camp, a half-day blend-your-own-wine session led by Judd's Hill winemaker Judd Finkelstein and his crew, taking appointments now.
With as little as a day's notice (cough, holiday gift), you can head up to the winery right off the Silverado Trail, and in a few hours create your own signature blend.
When you arrive, you'll head to the barrel room where you can taste all four candidate wines for your blend—two cabs, a merlot and cab franc. Next you'll start experimenting with different formulas in beakers and graduated cylinders until you find that magic combination you like to call "Beaujolais Steve."
After you calculate the optimal proportions, you'll fill your bottles and cork them using the winery's old-school hand-corking machine. An official-looking label with your selected wine name is slapped on (hint: it's like naming a boat, but throw in a "Le" somewhere). Finally, you'll dip into wax to seal each cork—you know, so no one messes with the '09 until at least '12.
On second thought, you might want to mix up another batch.