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Caymus Vineyards
Kathy Sullivan

Caymus VineyardsSummary: Four wines are available for tasting at Caymus Vineyards. Be sure to secure reservations in advance for the tasting at Caymus Vineyards. Check the website for the phone number to call for a tasting. Only 10 people can be accommodated in the special tasting room.

We arrived at Caymus Vineyards a few minutes early for our scheduled tasting. Nearby grapevines with thick trunks suggest that these vineyards have been here for many years. A large garden in front of the facility provided a pleasant area to walk. After enjoying an amble through the garden we entered the facility through a large arched doorway.

Caymus VineyardsWe went to the office to confirm our reservation. A few minutes later we were invited into a well-appointed room. A long wood table centered in the room provides space for 10 guests. Photographs depicting the history of Caymus Vineyards decorate the walls. At the end of the room several books referencing Caymus Vineyards are available to browse, if there is time. A window from the tasting room looks into the barrel room, adding ambiance to the wine tasting experience.


Caymus Vineyards was established in 1972 on property that at one time belonged to Mexico. In the 19th century it was a part of a Mexican Land Grant called “Rancho Caymus.” Caymus is believed to be a tribe of Indians living in the area when George Yount acquired it in 1843. Therefore the name of the winery became Caymus Vineyards. Charlie and Lorna Belle Wagner and their son, Chuck, purchased the property for the winery. Today Chuck is the owner and directs the viticulture and winemaking.

Caymus VineyardsIn 2009, Caymus owns 60 acres of vineyards and sources some grapes from other vineyards. Caymus produces four wine styles. In the winery, they are producing 40,000 to 45,000 cases of wine. These include 30,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 10,000 cases of Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon.

The tasting is conducted as a flight. Placemats are printed with four circles and a wine name below each circle. An empty wine glass is placed in each circle. A ceramic spitting cup and water crackers are available at each setting. During the tasting, we could easily compare the wines.

Caymus VineyardsJR conducted the tasting and began with a brief overview of the history at Caymus. He then poured the first wine, talked about the wine and answered questions.

White Wine

The tasting began with the Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2003. This wine offered a tropical fruit aroma. The taste was full-bodied with nuances of citrus, tropical fruit and pineapple. The crisp finish offered a long fruit aftertaste. This Sauvignon Blanc had some barrel and stainless steel tank fermentation.

Red Wines

Caymus VineyardsNapa Valley Zinfandel 2006 was a ruby color. The aroma and taste had nuances of cedar and black fruit. The finish was crisp with tannins. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was a dark purple color with a light purple rim. The aroma was of black fruit. The taste was full-bodied and very fruity. The finish was crisp and fruity with tannins. Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 was a dark purple with a light purple rim. The aroma offered black fruit and floral nuances. The taste was very fruity with notes of black fruit. The wine had bold tannins and was fruity.

It was interesting to note that the other couples attending the tasting were knowledgeable about wine and asked good questions. After the tasting was finished, several of us sat at the table discussing wine. We left when preparations began for the next tasting.

While tasting the four available wines, pay special attention to the various nuances in the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection.

Caymus Vineyards
8700 Conn Creek Road
Rutherford, California 94573

GPS: N38º 28.180’ W122º 23.893’



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