There is a special place in my heart for Prager. Years before I moved to the Napa Valley, Prager Port Works was one of the very first wineries my sister brought me to visit. Barely detectable along Highway 29, Prager is tucked behind the large bushes between the infamous Sutter Home winery and the opulent Harvest Inn. There is a very small sign on the side of the road and the euphemism that Prager is one of Napa’s hidden gems does not fall short here.
While Prager does produce two still (non-sweet) wines, that is not what draws people to their tasting room or their products. The tasting room is nestled among a little garden area. You enter their building through a dark, barrel storage area to a comfy room with walls that are completely bedecked money. Visitors over the years have inscribed their good wishes and the money — both foreign and domestic — has completely plastered every square inch. But don’t get too distracted and keep your eye out for the small window covered with cobwebs and is a very impressive sign of the history of Prager as these things can’t be faked.
Besides the quirkiness of the room, it is the wines which bring the crowds and will always bring me back.
2006 Aria – A white port made from Chardonnay, this offering shows deep, concentrated flavors of roasted pear with a light nutty finish.
2006 Tomas – Showing bright caramelized cherries with a core of orange, this unctuous wine made in the Portuguese style provides hints of caramel and a plummy finish.
Sweet Claire – A favorite of mine, a late-harvest Riesling has a slight mineral entry which complements the rich peach and dried apricot notes with a clean, engaging finish.
2004 Royal Escort – One that I brought home to be opened for a special occasion (or not!), the Royal Escort is one of their richest offerings with dark cherry, heady plums and a hint leather on the finish.
Prager Winery & Port Works
1281 Lewelling Ln.
St Helena, CA 94574