Friday, January 14, 2011

Vino, Vino, Vino!

{the view from atop Jericho Canyon's vineyard}
The real reason you travel to Northern California? The wine! Having 7 nights in Sonoma & Napa allowed us to pace ourselves & taste some really excellent wine. Please dis-regard the order of my photos, the loader was not cooperating with me this morning! Here's where we visited:
Sonoma Proper, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast, & Russian River Valley:
+ Mayo Family Vineyards+
+Sonoma Coutrer+
Fabulous Chardonnay (from a girl who doesn't really like Chardonnay) & Pinot Noir. All around fabulous experience. Call ahead and schedule a tour, it really is worth it!
+Ferrari Carino+
+David Coffaro+
A small little off the beaten path laid back winery in the dry creek region north of Healdsburg with fabulous wine. Don't let the "ambiance" throw you off, the tasting room is a garage filled with barrels! Excellent Zins.
Enjoyed this tasting room right in Sonoma proper. Great Cabs!
Another good one right in Sonoma. Very nice Pinot Noir.
Napa Valley:
+Chateau Montelena+
I hadn't heard of the movie "Bottle Shock" before visiting here, but if you like wine you should definitely check it out! Beautiful winery & surrounding gardens, even in the winter!
+Jessup Vineyards+
Tasting room & art gallery right in Yountville was a favorite of mine. I loved every wine they poured which is rare! (another plus, we went here via segway!)
+Del Dotto+
Over the top (decor wise) winery with caves, but they had great wine & were super friendly and allowed us a barrel tasting, which was very interesting!
I'm going to be honest, I was really excited to go here as I thought they were one of my favorites. Neither one of us was very impressed and thought we had much better wine elsewhere.
Enjoyed their organic wines with a very nice "pairing" tasting plate of cheese & other goodies!
+Judd's Hill+
Off the beaten path and one of our favorites. Very small operation but very nice wine!
+Saint Supery+
I bought a tour & tasting package off of Gilt City and was pleasantly surprised by their wine & the tour. Very informative with a wonderful tour guide!
+Frog's Leap+
By far one of our favorites. Loved the who operation from their Leed Certified tasting room/office to their re-purposed barn turned winery. You need an appointment but the tour & tasting are totally worth it! Plus, their grapes are organically grown!
+Jericho Canyon+
Way off the beaten path near Calistoga. Call & make an appointment, the view is worth it & the wine's were one of Thomas's favorites!
{frog's leap winery}

{i wish my office view was like this!}

{2010 sauvignon blanc chilling in the stainless tanks}

{even during the winter, it's beautiful!}

{del dotto}

{Jessup Cellars tasting ... action shot!}

{chateau montelena}

{"crazy good cabs" that we thought here so-so. beautiful winery though!}

{must break for beer every once in a while! new years day we headed to the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for a little craft brew & football on a rainy day. Interesting beers, some of which had been fermented in old wine barrels!}

{sonoma cutrer. good wine = happy people}

{where the magic happens}

{award winning croquet courts at Sonoma Cutrer. So beautiful!}
We were pleasantly surprised by visiting wine country off season while the grapes are dormant. There were still plenty of people around but we got some VIP treatment that probably wouldn't have happened in the summer or during crush when people visit in droves. We had lots of private behind the scenes trips into the cellars and lots of hands on explanation of the process & what we were tasting. We learned alot & found off season to be the perfect time for us! (Plus, there were plenty of fireplaces that we got to cozy up next to!)
Up next:
the food & other fun!


Heather said...

What fun! We spent a week in Napa this summer and loved it. We went over to Sonoma for one day.

At least I'm skinny said...

I'm glad you had a good time. It looks like a LOT of fun.