The Obsidian Wine Club hosts many members-only events, like horseback rides through its California vineyard and the surrounding Mayacamas mountain range.

Vineyard virtues

Winery memberships offer a plethora of unparalleled benefits.

Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro.

Harlan Estate - Napa Reserve
Harlan Estate stands at the zenith of winery memberships, offering an exclusive program that requires a personal invitation and a $160,000 entry fee. ©Harlan Estate

When you find yourself in the heart of California’s wine country, it’s hard not to be captivated by the allure of the vineyards. The experience of visiting a winery can be truly enchanting and often leads to a flurry of commitments to winery mailing lists. But imagine having the first pick, the opportunity to savor the fall and spring releases, and even the chance to indulge in library releases of older vintages. For those with a passion for wine and a desire to build their own cellar, a winery membership can be the perfect path to follow, offering an exclusive and privileged experience.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Some wineries go above and beyond, offering exclusive member-only bottlings, VIP tasting visits and partnerships with luxury hotels and resorts. Take Obsidian Ridge, for instance, whose philosophy is rooted in outdoor adventure. They offer horseback rides through their vineyards, nestled in the breathtaking Mayacamas mountain range. Or consider Ashes & Diamonds, which provides a plethora of perks, from concierge services to top-notch restaurants to access to exclusive pools in Napa and Hollywood. They even offer specialty gift boxes during the holiday season and allow a friend to visit as if they were a member. These unique experiences are just a taste of what winery memberships can offer, sparking intrigue and a desire to explore more. 

The pinnacle of winery memberships is undoubtedly the renowned Harlan Estate. The wait to ascend to the top of their mailing list can span two to three years. In 2003 the esteemed founder, Bill Harlan, unveiled the Napa Reserve, a truly unparalleled winery program. Entry is granted only by a personal invitation, accompanied by a one-time fee of $160,000. Yet many would argue that the rewards are more than worth it. Members are intimately involved in every aspect of the wine-making process, and their unique mark graces wines that are savored worldwide. In essence, if you find yourself consistently drawn to the wines of a particular winery, exploring their membership offerings could be a gratifying endeavor, fueling aspirations of being part of an elite wine community. 

Poolhouse in California
Ashes & Diamonds Winery grants its members access to two poolhouses in California, including this one in Hollywood. ©Ashes & Diamonds

Similar Posts