Visiting Tamber Bey Winery at the Sundance Ranch in Calistoga is a high-end tasting experience in a laid-back environment. Named one of the top winery tours in Napa Valley by USA Today, the tasting room is an original barn clubhouse designed by renowned architect Howard Backen.
Tamber Bey was founded in 1999, when owners Barry and Jennifer Waitte purchased a 60-acre vineyard in the Yountville Appellation and an 11-acre property in the Oakville Appellation. Named after Barry’s first Arabian horses, Tamborina and Beyamo, Tamber Bey combines the Waittes’ love of horses and wine.
“My initial plan was to just be a grape grower,” says Barry Waitte. “But then I couldn’t resist the urge to make a little wine. My first vintage was 2001. I produced 150 cases. That’s six barrels of wine. It turned out pretty good, so I made a little more the next year, and then the next.”
In 2012, Barry and Jennifer purchased Sundance Ranch, a 22 ½ acre equestrian facility in Calistoga. Then in 2013, they opened the winery and tasting room. The ranch is also home to the Waittes’ endurance horses. Both Barry and Jennifer compete in races covering 50 to 100 miles. Jennifer is not only the trainer of these horses, but also the president and general manager of Tamber Bey.
“We now produce 15 different wines totaling just under 10,000 cases,” says Barry. “While that might sound like a lot of wine, we are actually considered a small, boutique winery.”
A visit to the ranch in Calistoga is different from the typical wine experience in Napa Valley. Guests come from around the world to taste wine, interact with horses, and soak in the stunning views of Mount St. Helena and the Palisades.
“When I think about what contributes to my success in the wine business, I think about the three Ps. That’s Philosophy, People, and Place,” says Barry. “My philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard, and that’s where I got my start.”
Tamber Bey’s current releases include award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux-style red blends.