Housley Wines – In The House
Anyone familiar with Napa Valley wine history knows that the Mondavi wine dynasty started in Lodi, California.
And while many Napa and Sonoma wineries source grapes from Lodi–which has more acreage under vine than Napa and Sonoma combined–the connection between the two regions usually isn’t highlighted.
“Our family has deep roots in Napa, and we’re the first winery to admit that Napa and Lodi are married,” says Adam Housley. Housley and his wife Tamera Mowry-Housley decided to celebrate their winemaking heritage in both Napa and Lodi with their Housley Napa Valley tasting room. Visitors to the new downtown Napa tasting room can taste Cabernet Sauvignon and old vine Zinfandel from Lodi alongside Cab from their Oak Knoll District vineyards, first planted in 1976.
When Adam left his reporter and foreign correspondent role with Fox News, the network announced he was going home to run the family’s Century Oak Winery and tasting room in Lodi. He says fans flooded the couple with messages asking where to buy their wine. To meet the demand, they decided to open the Napa tasting room in spring 2019.
Tamera Mowry-Housley and her friend Alexis Fields designed the space with an earthy mix of warm woods, metals, and leather, so it feels inviting. “It’s all about energy, vibe, and comfort,” Mowry-Housley says. “I wanted our tasting room to be an extension of who we are as people and our home environment.”
A feature wall they call the “wall of prayers” hold talismans to bring healing energy to the space. They include an eagle feather smoked off by a Native American tribe and a cross blessed in Jerusalem. Niece Alaina Housley, who died in a mass shooting in November 2018, is their guardian angel. A mosaic heart she made reminds them of her kindness and love. “So when people walk in, they walk out changed for the better,” Mowry-Housley says.
The tasting room team, led by Tamera’s father Tim Mowry, is friendly and eager to answer questions, without any judgment or pretension. “Everyone who comes in is friends or family. Old, young, black, white, gay, straight, left, right, we don’t care who you are or where you’re from,” Adam Housley says. “We have one rule: Be kind.”
But they say it’s the wine, crafted by Heather Pyle, that keeps people coming back. Current releases include a Pinot Grigio, a crisp, unoaked Chardonnay, a dry rosé of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, and a brandy. Each wine is named after a family member. Inez Zinfandel is named after Adam’s grandmother, Judy Cabernet Sauvignon, after his mother, and their A3H Petite Sirah takes its name from the initials of his brother Arik Housley’s family.
The hottest tickets in their lineup are the Red Field Blend and the Cabernet Sauvignons. Priced at $48, the Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon sells out quickly, and the $29 Lodi estate Cab is popular too. “We want to over-perform as your house wine,” says Adam Housley. “We want you to feel you’ve found an amazing wine at an amazing price.”
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Article By: Maria C. Hunt