Each fall we go thru our higher end red submission with the idea that we would post the winners before Christmas. Well this fall we got to all of the older vintages and most of the 2012’s. We will tackle the 2013 vintage in the early part of the New Year. Below you will find a comprehensive list of the wines that scored between 95 and 92 points. You will also find that there are several types of wines on the list. You will also be pleased to know that some of these wines are below our typical $50 and up price point for this list. So what were our winners?
This year, our top two wines were awarded 95 points. Both are top notch wines, but both cost a pretty penny. That said the 2012 Alpha Omega “ERA” Cabernet Sauvignon for $200 was the top scoring wine and clear winner in our big blind tasting. This beauty is full bodied, nicely balanced, rich, smooth and refined. The panel loved its very tasty black currant flavors with notes of oak and black cherry. We also detected some hints of minerality and blueberry in this complex blend. The panel suggested slowly sipping this gem with a filet mignon while enjoying a very special dinner.
Our second 95 point winner is the 2011 Shafer “Hillside Select” Cabernet Sauvignon for $250. It is an unbelievable wine given the vintage. It was by far the best 2011 California Cabernet that I covered. Bravo! It is medium bodied, balanced, and very smooth with some delicious blueberry and black cherry flavors. I also detected hints of black currant and nicely integrated gentle oak. This is a spectacular wine to try if you can afford it. It is a true masterpiece given the vintage.
This fall we came up with seven 94 point wines. In our system, 94 points is considered Excellent. We open the list with four grapes you might not predict. A Syrah, two Pinots and a Sangiovese. So our first 94 pointer is a Washington State Syrah. The 2012 Gramercy Cellars “The Deuce” for $52 is impressive. It is full bodied, balanced, and rich with delicious blackberry and blueberry flavors with notes of oak and black olive. Everyone that tried this wine a Del Frisco’s loved it.
The next 2 wines are two Excellent Pinot Noirs. We open with the 2012 Foretell “Fort Ross-Seaview” Pinot for $75. It is medium bodied, rich, and savory. I really liked its very tasty and complex plum and ripe black raspberry flavors with notes of nicely integrated gentle oak, minerality, blueberry and black pepper. It is a very food friendly Pinot and will be a huge hit with your friends. Another great Pinot is the 2012 Goldeneye “Gowen Creek” Pinot Noir for $82. It is full bodied, super smooth, and nicely coats your mouth. I loved its delicious gentle cherry-cola flavors with nicely integrated mild vanilla oak and hints of blueberry and spice. I would pair this gem with a filet mignon at an anniversary dinner.
It is not often, that I get to cover great Italian wines, but I did get the chance to cover the 2011 Isole e Olena “Cepparello” this year. It costs $90 per bottle and is worth every penny. I found it to be medium bodied, balanced, lush and fruit forward. It displays delicious ripe black cherry flavors with integrated old oak and minerality. This is a very refined red wine and would be perfect to cuddle up by the fireplace with sharp cheddar cheese this winter.
Our final three 94 pointers are big boys from the Napa Valley. We will start with the 2012 “Annum” Cabernet Sauvignon from Ramey for $100. This excellent Cab was very well received by our mini-group. It is full bodied, balanced and fruit forward. We really liked its complex blend of boysenberry and black raspberry flavors with notes spice, blueberry, black licorice, minerality, mocha and faint oak. It is very food friendly and would pair well with filet mignon.
This very dark ruby Merlot based blend from Blackbird is another Excellent wine. Their 2012 Illustration is made from 64% Merlot and 34% Cab Franc and & 2% Cab. The finished blend is a delicious black cherry and black currant flavored wine with beautifully integrated refined minerality, mild oak and a hint of black raspberry. This offering would be a perfect match with a dry-aged ribeye.
Our last Excellent 94 point wine is the 2012 Robert Mondavi “To Kalon Vineyard Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon” for $155. This gem from Mondavi rocked the panel and finished in second place in our big blind tasting. It is full bodied, very well balanced, and smooth. The panel loved its terrific black cherry and black currant flavors with wonderfully integrated mild minerality, dark chocolate, and oak. It closes with dry and refined tannins that sail away and are very lengthy. The panel suggested pairing this beauty with Emeril’s Steak Diane.
As we get into of 93 and 92 point Very Good plus wines, we also get a chance to offer you some wines under the $50 mark. Our first grouping of these wines is our 93 pointers. We have eight of these very nice wines to suggest. We will give a quick teaser on these wines.
Zuccardi 2012 Bonarda “Emma” (Mendoza, Argentina) $38 (93)
This pitch black Bonarda is terrific. It is full bodied, balanced, rich and silky. I really loved its tasty blueberry and gentle oak blend with notes of mild blackberry. This big and rich wine is very hedonistic. Fan of this style of wine are going to love it. Perfect for the fireplace this winter.
Valentin Bianchi 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Enzo Bianchi” (Mendoza, Argentina) $55 (93)
This full bodied Cabernet from Argentina is impressive. Its flavor profile is a ripe blackberry and juicy blueberry blend with notes of nicely integrated minerality and hints of black plum and faint oak. It finishes with dry tannins and its flavors that stick around for a while. Perfect with a ribeye steak.
Dutton Goldfield 2013 Pinot Noir “Azaya Ranch” (Marin County, CA) $58 (93)
This Pinot Noir from Dutton Goldfield is fabulous. It is nicely balanced and really smooth. I loved its tasty mild red raspberry flavors with notes of plum and strawberry. Its flavors are nicely prolonged. An exceptionally food friendly Pinot. Pair it with pork tenderloin with plum chutney.
Talley 2013 Pinot Noir “Rincon” (Arroyo Grande, CA) $64 (93)
Talley made some terrific Pinot’s in the 2013 vintage! I found the Rincon to be refined and elegant. I loved its tasty mild strawberry flavors with hints of red plum and faint oak. It finishes with dry fine tannins and flavors that drift away nicely. Pair this finesse Pinot with wiener schnitzel.
Pax 2012 Syrah “Castelli-Knight Ranch” (Russian River, CA) $70 (93)
This Syrah from Pax really impressed our mini-tasting group. It definitely improves with a great deal with aeration. It is full bodied and smooth with concentrated blackberry and oak flavors. Also displays hints of dark chocolate, black currant, and espresso. Perfect fireplace wine.
E. Guigal 2011 “Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde” (France) $80 (93)
This Cote Rotie from Guigal is showing very well right now. It is medium bodied, balanced and very fruit forward. It displays ripe black raspberry flavors with a streak of minerality throughout. Some old oak and black plum as well. Pair with a New York strip steak
Caymus 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Selection” (Napa Valley, CA) $160 (93)
This Cabernet Sauvignon finished in 3rd place in our recent big blind tasting of High End Reds. It is full bodied, rich and smooth with concentrated black cherry and black raspberry flavors with notes of dark chocolate and hints of blueberry. Pair with roast duck by the fireplace.
Krupp Brothers 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “M5 Stagecoach Vineyard” (Napa) $165 (93)
Another top Cab from the recent blind tasting. It finished in 4th place. It’s full bodied, well balanced, and fruit forward. The panel loved its delicious cherry and cassis flavors with nicely integrated fine minerality and gentle vanilla oak. Dry moderate dusty tannins build up and linger.
We close with a very respectable list of twenty 92 points winners. Some of our best values are in the first few wines listed below.
Talley Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Arroyo Grande, CA) $36 (92)
A great value Pinot. Balanced and juicy. Tasty mild red plum flavors with notes of cherry-cola, blueberry and gentle vanilla oak. A very food friendly wine. Pair with pork tenderloin.
Robert Foley 2013 US Red “The Griffin” (CA) $38 (92)
A perfect winter fruit bomb. It displays tasty concentrated black cherry and black currant flavors with nicely integrated minerality and oak along with hints of blueberry. Long finish.
John Duval 2013 “Plexus” (Barossa Valley, Australia) $40 (92)
Aussie blend of mostly Shiraz is full bodied, slightly acidic, juicy and fruit forward. It displays a tasty blend of blackberry, boysenberry and gentle oak. It’s a pretty complex wine.
Carol Shelton 2012 Petite Sirah “Rocky Reserve” (Rockpile, CA) $40 (92)
I love Petite Sirah. This is a very good one. Full bodied, balanced, juicy and rich. Tasty blueberry and plum flavors with hints of nicely integrated minerality and oak. Sticky tannins that linger.
Vincent Girardin 2011 Pinot Noir “Les Vieilles Vignes Volnay” (Burgundy, FR) $45 (92)
This Pinot Noir from Burgundy is very good. Nicely balanced, elegant and super smooth. Beautiful tasty mild red raspberry and plum flavors with nicely integrated subtle oak. Yum!
Quinta do Vallado 2010 “Touriga Nacional” (Douro, Portugal) $55 (92)
This Touriga Nacional from Portugal is showing very well now and it would pair perfectly with a filet mignon. Balanced and very smooth with delicious mild plum and mild mineral flavors.
Carol Shelton 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Rockpile Reserve” (Rockpile, CA) $50 (92)
Another gem from Carol Shelton. It is medium bodied and balanced. It is a very food friendly Cab. It improves with a little aeration. Decant it for a bit and serve it with a NY strip steak.
Spring Valley 2012 “Uriah” (Walla Walla, WA) $50 (92)
Mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A Washington State winner every year. Medium bodied, balanced and approachable. Very elegant and food friendly. Pair this wine with a filet mignon.
E. Guigal 2010 Fr Rhone “Chateauneuf du Pape” (Rhone Valley, FR) $59 (92)
This CDP really coats your mouth and its tannins are present up front along with the fruit. This big boy is larger and life. Cellar or decant it for 2 hours and serve with a marbled cowboy ribeye.
Cenyth 2010 US Red “Sonoma County” (CA) $60 (92)
A very nice Merlot based wine. Full bodied, fruit forward and juicy. Displays tasty red plum flavors with mild red raspberry, minerality, old oak, red cherry and strawberry licorice.
Cakebread 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley” (CA) $65 (92)
A very nice Napa Cab that is fairly priced. Full bodied, balanced, smooth and fruit forward. Tasty black raspberry flavors with notes of minerality and oak. Hints of black cherry and blueberry.
Mt. Brave 2012 Merlot “Mt. Veeder” (CA) $75 (92)
This is a big boy Merlot! Full bodied, rich and fruit forward. Shows off very tasty concentrated black cherry and dark chocolate flavors with hints of blueberry, vanilla oak, and coffee.
St. Supery 2012 US Red “Elu” (Napa Valley, CA) $75 (92)
Cabernet cased blend. Full bodied and fruit forward with extracted plum and black raspberry flavors. Nicely integrated minerality along with some oak. Pair with roast duck.
Shafer 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “One Point Five” (Stags Leap, CA) $80 (92)
Another impressive Shafer wine. Its medium bodied, balanced, and smooth. Flavor profile is a tasty mild black cherry with notes of cedar and gentle plum along with a hint of boysenberry.
Shafer 2012 Syrah “Relentless” (Napa Valley, CA) $85 (92)
Shafer’s Syrah based blend. It is full bodied and tamer than previous versions. It is smooth and easy going. Black raspberry and smoked meat flavors with notes of blackberry and oak.
PreVail 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Back Forty” (Alexander Valley, CA) $90 (92)
The panel found this Cab to be full bodied, balanced and smooth. They really like its black currant jam and black cherry flavors with hints of blackberry, chocolate and toasty oak.
Darioush 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Signature” (Napa Valley, CA) $95 (92)
Another winning Cab that the Panel discovered. It’s full bodied and smooth with very tasty blueberry and mild oak flavors. Hints of nicely integrated minerality, black cherry and menthol.
Blackbird Vineyards 2012 “Contrarian” (Napa Valley, CA) $125 (92)
This Cab Franc based blend is very good. It is rich and a little juicy. It displays extracted black cherry flavors with some black licorice, spice, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Rocca 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Tesorina” (Napa Valley, CA) $160 (92)
This complex Cab finished in 5th place in our recent big blind tasting. The panel loved its fruit forward ripe blueberry and black cherry flavors with nicely integrated minerality and vanilla oak.
Ramey 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Pedregal Vineyard” (Oakville, CA) $200 (92)
This Cab from Ramey is medium bodied, balanced, and smooth. Its flavor profile is mild strawberry and cherry blend with notes of mild minerality, chocolate and gentle oak.
We hope you can find one or two of these gems. I am certain you will enjoy these exquisite wines, as much as we did. Each and every one of them is a treat. They would make a perfect Christmas gift. I know I would love them. Merry Christmas to all!
Cheers – Ken
There’s something joyful about uncorking a new bottle of wine and pouring the first glass. The satisfaction of taking a sip and instantly knowing you’ve found a winner can seriously warm your heart, which is rather comforting considering the colder weather that’s been approaching. The good news is that with the cold weather comes the perfect excuse for winter comfort food and the opportunity to create some delicious wine pairings. The wineries we’ve selected below offer a wide selection of fuller bodied wines that are perfect for the holiday season.
Andis Wines | Plymouth, CA
In 2010 Andis Winery opened its doors with the intent to produce delicious and balanced wines with character and complexity. Judging by the numerous awards the winery has received in the last five years it’s safe to say that they have accomplished what they set out to do and only continue to improve as time goes on. It’s not just the award winning wine that keeps guests coming back for more though; the winery takes pride in presenting visitors with modern architecture and an innovative take on sustainability. Guests are always impressed by the contemporary design, gracious staff, and commitment to making superior wines.
Mount Aukum Winery | Somerset, CA
At Mount Aukum Winery, they say it’s all about the mountain, and after a visit to the tasting room, you’ll see why. The winery produces its various blends using grapes exclusively grown from mountain vineyards in order to maintain unique and satisfying flavors. Its high elevation on the mountainside offers guests crisp, clean air and stunning panorama views. In addition to the stellar location, the winery is well known for its small batches that are meticulously crafted to be served exclusively at their tasting room in Somerset, CA.
V. Sattui Winery | Napa, CA
Located on 38 acres of organically farmed vineyards, V. Sattui Winery pays meticulous attention to tradition while providing an exceptional experience to guests. Touted as one of the Napa Valley’s favorite places to picnic, two full acres are dedicated to enjoying food, wine, and friends under majestic oaks bordering the estate vineyards. The winery recently celebrated three distinguished awards: Winery of the Year from the Winemaker Challenge (for the fourth year in a row), Winemaker of the Year from the American Fine Wine Competition, and Wine of the Year from the Monterey Wine Competition for the 2012 V. Sattui Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon.
Las Positas Vineyards | Livermore, CA
Las Positas was founded in the year 2006 when Lisa and Lother Mair purchased their first 20 acres. Right away the Mairs decided that they wanted to create the best product that they possibly could, even if that meant starting from scratch. The old vineyard was torn out and the land was cultivated into the perfect environment for high quality grapes to be grown. Due to its great event space, the winery is a popular destination for weddings and other fun activities, and guests are welcome to enjoy a tasting in their beautiful tasting room.
Trione Vineyards | Geyserville, CA
The year 2015 has gone by all too quickly, but for Trione Vineyards it has been a very successful one. It marks their 10th anniversary as winemakers, their 40th anniversary as farmers and managers of some of Sonoma County’s finest premium vineyards, and the 80th anniversary of the tasting room in their stunning Old Stone Winery building. This wine destination is a hot spot for wine tourists eager to enjoy a taste of Sonoma County history and the wines that have earned the Trione name.
Foley Johnson | Napa, CA
At Foley Johnson each new season brings with it a new selection of wine, and wine lovers with discerning palates make a point to visit the recently remodeled tasting room each time they visit the Napa Valley. The winery uses only the finest selection of grapes from estate vineyards and has a variety of different tasting and touring options to partake in. No matter the tasting experience, guests at Foley Johnson are quick to appreciate the wines’ distinctive terroir, with the balanced fruit and gentle tannins for which the Napa Valley is known.
Maryhill Winery | Goldendale, WA
Maryhill Winery is the answer to an entrepreneurial dream shared by Owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold who saw great potential for a winery in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Since its founding in 2001, family-owned Maryhill Winery has won more than 2,500 awards. Depending on the weather, guests can be found snuggling around crackling fire pits on the terrace, standing at the tasting room’s original Brunswick Bar, or playing bocce on the tournament-quality Bocce courts.
Stags’ Leap Winery | Napa, CA
The majesty of Stag’s Leap Winery astonishes many of its first time visitors with its vast 240 acre presence and legendary reputation for elegant wines that express unique terroir. Winemaker and General Manager Christophe Paubert applies the winemaking philosophy he learned in his native France, (to showcase the fruit and not the winemaker’s hand,) but he also applies a technical understanding of the process. “I believe that wine should express the uniqueness of the land,” Christophe says, “and Stags’ Leap wines have always showcased one of the most distinctive regions in the Napa Valley.”
Artesa Vineyards and Winery | Napa, CA
The legacy began in 1951 when the Raventos family made history by creating the first ever methode champenoise sparkling wine outside of France. Today, the excitement continues in the Napa Valley where Artesa Winery rests on a beautiful hilltop speckled with breathtaking fountains and unique architecture that weaves throughout the hillside. Visitors of the winery will find that the bar is definitely raised at Artesa when it comes to wine tasting. Guests can enjoy their tasting menus at the artistic Main Salon, Barrel Room, courtyard, reflecting pool, or the scenic Vista Terrace.
Tamber Bey Vineyards | Napa, CA
It’s at Tamber Bey that wine country and horse country unite. The ranch is home to champion performance quarter horses and Arabians that graze in the white-fenced paddocks that line the lane. The wine company was founded by former high-tech executive and equestrian Barry Waitte, who named it after his first two Arabian horses, Tamborina and Bayamo. Guests can enjoy a tasting at the sleek tasting bar or wander outside to admire the courtyard surrounded by 16 impeccable horse stalls framed by fabulous views of Mount St. Helena and the Palisades.
The following article was provided by our contributing partner – Touring and Tasting Magazine.
Cheers – Ken
Fall festivities have come to a close which can only mean one thing- the holiday season has arrived! It’s a wonderful time for friends and family to come together and enjoy each other’s company, as well as all of the delicious treats that this season has to offer! There is no better way to embrace the holiday festivities than exploring some excellent new wineries in the company of those closest to you. Listed below are 10 award-winning wine destinations that are sure to impress, whether you’re visiting one of their breathtaking tasting rooms or sharing a toast from the comfort of your home.
Wente Vineyards | Livermore, CA
As the oldest family owned and operated vineyard in the United States, guests can trust they are in good hands at Wente Vineyards. Wente has set and maintained the highest standards of integrity in every aspect of the wine industry for the past 131 years, and their hard work has earned them the international notoriety that they are recognized for today. Guests can taste the elegant blends that have been brought to perfection in over a century’s time at any of the winery’s three tasting rooms, are welcome to participate in hands-on winemaking activities at the newly established Winemakers Studio.
Cache Creek Vineyards | Lake County, CA
It all started back in 1999, when Bill Van Pelt was greeted by a herd of tule elk as he approached the property of his new winery for the first time. His love for these local creatures inspired him to preserve the land by planting various grasses on and creating several ponds for the elk, in addition to the large vineyard that was originally planted. In 2014, Bill’s legacy was entrusted to his son, Don Van Pelt, who decided to open a beautiful tasting room for guests to enjoy his decadent wines. Visitors can indulge in the unique flavors of their many award-winning wines in their elegant tasting room, on their large outdoor patio, or enjoy a full day tour of their gorgeous property.
Wine & Roses | Lodi, CA
The holiday season can often have us feeling in need of a vacation. Wine & Roses is the perfect spot for visitors to leave their worries behind and enjoy a relaxing getaway. With premium guest rooms, an excellent restaurant with locally inspired flavors, and an award winning spa, Wine & Roses will help you forget the holiday stress. Making the choice to visit this relaxing retreat will give you plenty be thankful for this year.
Lava Cap Winery | Placerville, CA
Pristine views, refreshing mountain air, and artisanal crafted wines are just a few of the captivating luxuries that can be found at Lava Cap Winery. In 1981, when David and Jeanne Jones planted the first vines in the Sierra Foothills, they knew that they had started something special. As a family of geologists, it was no accident that they picked a location with prime volcanic soil that’s perfect for growing fine wine grapes. Each day the grapes are draped in a warm blanket of foothill sunshine and cooled in the evening by a peaceful Sierra breeze. With this unique climate and soil it’s not surprising that year after year the hand crafted wines continue to win awards across the nation.
Jamieson Ranch | Napa, CA
When the warm glow of sunshine touches down on the Jamieson Ranch Estate it’s a sight that truly captures the beauty of the Napa Valley. Jamieson Ranch is located in the southern gateway of the Napa Valley and offers visitors jaw dropping vista views that can be enjoyed from their Grand Western Mountain Lodge, featuring lofty ceilings, an inviting fireplace, and a wraparound veranda. The property offers several different food and wine pairing options that can be savored while admiring the majestic property and breathtaking surroundings that Jamieson Ranch has to offer.
Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill | Lake County, CA
When guests arrive at Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill they can expect to be greeted by majestic rolling hills blanketed with grapevines and olive trees. Producing wine and olive oil on the same property has proven to be an incredible talent of Chacewater founders Paul and Kellye Manuel. This up and coming new venture opened its doors less than five years ago, and quickly proved its excellence by earning the title of California State Fair Golden Winery of the Year in 2012. Since then, the notoriety has only continued to flourish with more and more awards piling up. Chacewater offers tastings of both olive oil and wine, making it an excellent choice for any group.
J. Lohr Winery | Paso Robles & San Jose, CA
Four decades ago Jerry Lohr was among the first to realize the vast, untapped potential of the now world-class wine growing region known as the California Central Coast. He and his family made a commitment to upwards of 1,300 acres of estate vineyards set in the cool climate of the Paso Robles region. On the property there are grapes spreading as far as the eye can see, yet the Lohr family manages to provide the same attention to detail as a small boutique winery. This is the perfect location to enjoy a tasting with family and friends, or celebrate a special occasion with a catered evening among the vineyards.
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel | Lake County, CA
If you love great hospitality, extensive wine lists, and trying your luck at the slots, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel is the perfect place for you. Its an excellent destination to celebrate something special or simply take a break from your daily routine. Twin Pine is known for its dedication to top of the line hospitality, which includes an exclusive nightly food and wine pairing menu prepared by the chefs of the hotel’s Manzanita restaurant. In addition, a local winery is chosen each month to be showcased at a “meet and greet” wine tasting and prix fixe wine pairing dinner. As the nation’s only wine-themed casino destination, guests can be sure that their experience at Twin Pine Casino & Hotel will be one of a kind.
Perry Creek Winery | Fair Play, CA
At Perry Creek Winery, every decision is made meticulously with the creation of distinctive flavor in mind. Grapes are sourced directly from the estate vineyard as well as a unique 30-acre vineyard that’s tucked away in the Sierra Foothills. Due to its location with a high elevation averaging at 2401 feet, the grapes are exposed to microclimates that give them exclusive flavors that easily attest to any national standard. In fact, since opening in 1989, the winery has received national recognition including scores exceeding 90 points.
Thorn Hill Vineyards | Lake County & St. Helena, CA
“Bringing people together through wine” has continued to be the philosphy of Amy and Jack Thorn who began producing had crafted artisan wines of exceptional quality many years ago. Thorn Hill Vineyards crafts all of its wines from small production, single vineyards, resulting in 100% single varietal wines. From there, Amy and Jack follow the meticulous practices of small lot, whole cluster pressing, de-stemming, cold soaking, extended maceration, barrel-to-barrel racking and bottling without filtration. This perfected process is noticeably tasted in their delicious portfolio of wines, and has earned them the title of Best in Class at the California State Fair California Commercial Wine Competition.
The following article was provided by our contributing partner – Touring and Tasting Magazine.
Cheers – Ken
Hello local readers. What are you doing after your kids Saturday soccer or lacrosse practice? Well take a break and treat yourself to some very nice wine offerings from Peter Merriam. Ken and Peter will be pouring a nice group of Peter’s recent releases. See the lineup below. We hope you can stop by between 3 pm and 6 pm on Saturday.
Insider scoop has it that Peter may also be bring a few special treats for KWG readers to try. Be sure to ask us for some!
Hope to see you there. Cheers! – Ken
Wine appreciation and Art appreciation have a lot in common. Everytime you explore both, you can usually find something that your really like and enjoy. This Saturday, you will have a chance to try some terrific wines with me and explore Powers Gallery in Acton, MA. I hope you can take some time out of your day to join us. I will be there this Saturday, October 3 from 2-5 PM. The Wine Team from Colonial Spirits and I have put together a fantastic line-up of high scoring wines for you to try. There is also be a plenty of great art for you to look at as well. Grab a friend or two, and stop by! See you all there.
Here’s the Lineup…
Follow the links to my reviews of these Very Good Wines!
2012 Spring Valley Vineyard “Uriah” Red Blend (Walla Walla Valley, WA)
This tasting should be awesome! I hope you can join us.
Cheers – Ken!
As summer comes to a close, it’s time to start preparing for the upcoming change in seasons. What better way to end an amazing summer than to dive into a wine country extravaganza? We’ve handpicked 12 unique wine country regions that we think will make the perfect final getaway to end your summer with a bang! So, grab a glass of vino and cheers to another amazing summer getaway.
Known for its agricultural abundance and Mediterranean climate, it’s no wonder Lodi is California’s largest producer of top quality wines and wine grapes. This developed wine region is home to more than 75,000 acres of vineyards and is a leading producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel! Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a warm welcome and a friendly face as they travel Lodi Wine Country and enjoy a diverse range of wines, delicious foods, and great hospitality.
Calaveras County, CA
From its rustic wine country and pastoral mountainous landscape, to miles of underground caverns and caves, Calaveras County is the perfect setting for almost any activity. A few of the many activity choices include rappelling hundreds of feet at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park, zip lining along the Sierra Nevada, and golfing a calming 18 holes at the beautiful Greenhorn Creek Resort. When the snow falls in the winter, the skiing and snowboarding runs are fun for everyone. After a full day of activities, there are plenty of restaurants and tasting rooms to grab a refreshing glass of wine, including the Creekside Bistro at Bear Valley Mountain. Come check out Calaveras County for a thrill a minute any time of year!
Traverse City, MI
Traverse City, Michigan is a prime destination for the active vacationer. Enjoy sailing, kayaking, and boating along miles of sandy beaches and clear Caribbean colors of the water, or play a round at one of the many top-flight golf courses near the deep lakes and winding hills of Traverse City. Whatever activities you decide to do, be sure to set aside a day to taste the wines in the area, which are becoming increasingly known for their uniquely fresh and intensely fruit-forward wines!
No matter what interests you, you’re likely to find it in Virginia. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, just 25 miles from Washington, DC, Loudoun County is not only a fantastic east coast culinary destination, but it is also a part of a premier wine region. The unique boutique wineries in the area have inviting tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns to architectural marvels. So pick up your palate and head to DC’s Wine Country!
Hand crafted beer is back on the rise. Judy Ashworth, owner of the former Lyons Brewery Depot, had stocked national beer brands in her pub until a customer introduced her to his home-brewed pale ale. When tasting his beer, she said “so this is what beer should taste like!” Since then, Judy, among many other in the Tri-Valley’s beer industry, has been an advocate for local craft beer. With over 100 breweries and brewpubs to choose from, the new Tri-Valley Beer Trail is the perfect way to experience many unique craft beers.
Pismo Beach, CA
Located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway, Pismo Beach is a picturesque vacation spot. It is a place where you can surf alongside locals, have lunch on the boardwalk next to the 1,200-foot pier, and then take a short drive to wine country. Besides the numerous ocean activities, visitors can go horseback riding, golfing, and even sky diving! So if you’re looking for a wine destination where you can experience Classic California, take a trip to Pismo Beach.
Amador County, CA
Located in the heart of Gold Country, Amador County has something to offer for everyone. A few of Amador County’s highlights include its quality wines from about 40 wineries, charming small towns though out, and plenty of outdoor activities such as river rafting and hiking trails. Another standout from this region is Taste Restaurant in Plymouth. It has been recognized as one of the top restaurants in the United States with an award winning wine list. If you are looking for a place to visit that has it all, take a trip to Amador County!
While the state of Kentucky is very well known for its bourbon industry, it has also played an important role in the history of wine in the U.S. Not only is it home to the first commercial vineyard in the country, but it’s wineries also once produced more than 50 percent of the United States’ grape harvest and wine yield! A visit to a Kentucky winery will captivate you with it’s bluegrass countryside and its romantic scenery.
In Leavenworth’s downtown Bavarian Village, there are an impressive 20 wine tasting rooms and many restaurants with inspired wine lists awaiting your discovery. With the surrounding foothills’ abundance of vineyards and wineries, you’ll find everything from hearty reds and refreshing whites to German-style Glühwein. Leavenworth is also an ideal spot for those craving an outdoor adventure. With so much to taste, see, and do, come see what one of the most popular and unique Washington destinations is all about!
SLO County, CA
San Luis Obispo County is the perfect destination for wine lovers and travelers alike. From the charming ocean-side towns to the beautiful inland hills, SLO County has many sights to be seen. Its location, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, provides the perfect temperature and long growing season that defines it as one of the premier wine-growing regions of the world. Easy to get to and hard to leave, stunning San Luis Obispo County is full of coastal, culinary and cultural pleasures for the wine traveler.
The Tri-Cities is located in the heart of Washington wine country. The sun shines on an average of 300 days each year, making it a remarkable destination for all kinds of adventure. With seven beautiful courses and two championship courses to choose from, Washington’s Tri-Cities is a golfer’s paradise. The amazing surrounding rivers of the Columbia, the Snake, and the Yakima create the ideal setting for kayakers, paddle boarders, fishermen, and more!
Yakima Valley in Washington State is home to more than 100 award-winning wineries and the beautiful Washington countryside. Take a tour of a vineyard with a winemaker to have true farm fresh experience. Explore the unique agricultural history of this region and visit the Yakima National Cultural Heritage Center and the Yakima Valley Museum. On your visit, don’t forget to spice things up and grab a bite at a Mexican taqueria or taco trucks, some of the culinary favorites!
The following article was provided by our contributing partner – Touring and Tasting Magazine.
Cheers – Ken
The hot summer months are upon us, and July and August are taking no prisoners this year. It’s easy to get sucked inside where the air conditioner is cranked to arctic temperatures and an ice-cold beverage is only a short walk to the refrigerator, but we think it’s time to get out and get yourself a big lung-full of good ol’ fresh air. Summer is a time for adventure and exploration, and we challenge you to get out of your perfectly chilled office and into the great outdoors! We’ve come up with some wine country spots that we think will leave you feeling relaxed and recharged this summer…and a little buzzed of course!
El Dorado County | Sierra Foothills, CA
If you’re an adventure seeker, history buff, foodie, or wine lover, El Dorado County should be on the top of your list for your next summer vacation! In 1848, gold was discovered in the American River near Coloma, and today with a name like “Gold County,” this rich history remains in the rustic mining towns and historic sites that dot the landscape. Aside from a vibrant history, here are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, over 70 wineries to taste, and a number of culinary treasures to explore, “Gold Country” is a must-see destination this summer!
Sullivan Wine | Napa Valley, CA
It all started as a wedding gift of grape vine cuttings to founder Jim Sullivan and his wife Joanna, and quickly turned into the fuel that fed his passion for producing superior quality wines. Sullivan Vineyards in Rutherford, CA is a gorgeous estate that provides guests with a casual and welcoming atmosphere and beautiful vineyard views. Visitors to the winery are welcome to enjoy their tastings in the outside courtyard while admiring a collection of contemporary artwork and classic cars on display.
Bouchaine Vineyards | Napa Valley, CA
This summer, take a guided vineyards walk or grab your bike and cruise along the rolling hills of Bouchaine Vineyards, dedicated to planting the very best of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The beauty of Bouchaine goes far beyond the stunning landscape, but also in their use of sustainable practices that are used to give back to the land they are blessed with. Make sure to stop by their tasting room to taste their award winning wines, and join their wine club to taste on a private terrace overlooking the vineyards.
Keenan Winery | Napa Valley, CA
If you are looking for an outdoorsy tasting experience in the Napa Valley, look no further than Keenan Winery in the mountains of St. Helena. The 180-acre property boasts the stunning green and dusty brown landscape of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, and will make you feel like you’ve taken a summer getaway deep into the woods while still remaining in the world-famous Napa Valley wine country. Keenan is a well-known name in the Napa region, with 62 wines in the last 12 vintages earning ratings between 90 and 97 points by wine critics. For outdoor relaxation and incredible wines, visit Keenan Winery this summer!
Oak Farm Vineyards | Lodi, CA
Residing on a beautiful and historic 70 acre estate, Oak Farm Vineyards offers their visitors an elevated tasting experience and the opportunity to truly get a feel for Lodi wine country. Their tasting room includes floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking vineyard views, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and a cozy outdoor terrace where you can taste their portfolio of handcrafted, small-lot and single vineyard varietals. You won’t want to miss out on an opportunity to visit Lodi wine country this summer!
Calcareous Vineyard | Paso Robles, CA
Outdoor adventure is a given when you visit a winery like Calcareous Vineyard in Paso Robles, a winery dedicated to their land and the importance of “place.” Father and daughter Lloyd Messer and Dana Brown had a dream of expressing their passion for wine and this love for the craft remains evident in their delicious estate wines produced from their 3 vineyards. Guests are invited to enjoy a flight of their award winning wines at Lloyd’s Lookout, their hilltop tasting room, for a delectable tasting and breathtaking 180-degree views of Paso wine country.
Westerly Wines | Santa Barbara County, CA
The Santa Barbara County wine region is extremely diverse, and this complexity is reflected in the impressive portfolio of Westerly Wines. The Westerly name is a well known one in the Santa Ynez Valley, and their limited-production wines never fall short of the high standard that they have set for themselves. They do not have a public tasting room, but they do offer private tastings on a limited basis for a truly exclusive one-on-one tasting experience. Summer in Santa Barbara is beautiful, and only gets better with a glass of Westerly wine in hand!
Moshin Vineyards | Sonoma County, CA
Whoever said all those hours of sitting in math class would never pay off in the real world obviously never heard the story of Moshin Vineyards. Rick Moshin, a former San Jose University math instructor, put his math skills to the test and designed a four-tier gravity flow winery for small-lot wine production, and this year Moshin Vineyards is celebrating this dream having become reality, with the 10 year anniversary of their tasting room and the family’s 25th anniversary of wine growing! If you are looking for a reason to celebrate this summer, head on over to Sonoma and raise a glass with Moshin Vineyards!
Cathedral Ridge Winery | Columbia River Gorge, OR
Those looking for a unique outdoor experience this summer should make a trip to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. This region is home to Cathedral Ridge Winery, and provides a distinctive microclimate that allows for almost every variety of grape to ripen to perfection, building an extensive portfolio of wines that have received outstanding reviews over the years. The winery in Hood River offers visitors a scenic and serene tasting experience filled with stunning views and delicious wines, or if you are planning a trip to the famous Willamette Valley, be sure to stop by their other tasting room in Dundee!
Ironstone Vineyards | Sierra Foothills, CA
While visiting El Dorado County be sure to stop by the beautiful Ironstone Vineyards in the charming gold rush town of Murphys, CA. This family owned and operated winery is the perfect opportunity for visitors to learn about the history of the Sierra Foothills wine region, while tasting their delicious portfolio of wines. Their massive oak tasting bar was even once a saloon bar in New York! The rest of their property will not disappoint, with 14 acres of stunning gardens waiting to be explored, guests are welcomed to stroll along the grounds and find the perfect place for a picnic from their gourmet deli.
The following article was provided by our contributing partner – Touring and Tasting Magazine.
Cheers – Ken
Dry Rose has become the latest craze in wine! We have been on this bandwagon for the last three summers. It is finally taking off. That said, we have found several terrific dry Rose’s to try this summer as we get into the hot summer months of July and August. One trend we have noticed is that many of the top scoring Roses are being made from Cabernet Franc or Pinot Noir. We hope this trend continues as it has led to some very tasty wines. So as you pack up the picnic basket for the beach or a picnic, pick up one or two of these tasty Rose’s. We hope you enjoy this exciting category as much as we did!
We open with our top scoring Rose which was awarded 92 points. This winner hails from the Walla Walla region of Washington State and is made from 100% Cabernet Franc. The Three Rivers Winery 2014 “Cabernet Franc Rose” for $14 is an absolute steal. I found it to be well balanced and savory and displays tasty mineral infused strawberry flavors with hints of watermelon and faint clementine. This terrific Rose is food friendly and would pair well with many foods. They only made 114 cases, so start your search soon…. Like now!
We have two wines that hit the 91 point mark. The first is the 2014 Tablas Creek “Dianthus” Rose for $27. This is the second year in a row this wine was a top scorer. This year’s blend is made from 46% Mourvedre, 41% Grenache and 13% Counoise. You will find it to be medium bodied, a little acidic and smooth as silk. I really liked its mild mineral infused red cherry flavors with hints of strawberry and faint watermelon. It finishes dry and its flavors linger for quite a while. This keeper will pair perfectly with grilled mahi mahi. Next up is the 2014 Ehlers Estate “Sylviane” Rose from St. Helena. This very good offering is made from 100% Cabernet Franc. On the palate, it balanced, mouthwatering and elegant. I loved its very tasty and gentle mild mineral infused watermelon flavors with notes of strawberry. This food friendly Rose would be perfect with Emeril’s grilled salmon with a pineapple, mango and strawberry salsa. This offering costs $28 per bottle and only 333 cases were made so call now if you want to try it.
We have several 90 pointers to introduce you to. We will start with this classic kitchen sink blend from Tavel that is very good. The 2014 Prieure de Montezargues for $18 is made from Red and White Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette and small percentages of Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, and Bourboulenc. It is medium bodied, pleasantly acidic, mouthwatering and nicely coats your mouth. I really liked its mineral infused tangerine flavors with notes of peach. I also detected hints of watermelon, white pepper, spice drop, and strawberry mixed in as well. It was pretty complex for a Rose. It would be a very nice beach offering served chilled. I also think it would be great with grilled Bavarian Weisswurst! Yum!
Next up is the 2014 Ponzi “Pinot Noir Rose” from the Willamette Valley in Oregon for $20. This tasty Rose is medium bodied, slightly acidic and lively on the palate. I really enjoyed its mineral infused mild tangerine flavors with a hint of peach and touch of pink grapefruit. This winner would pair well with shrimp scampi. Another 90 point winner is a second label from Tablas Creek. Their 2014 “Patelin de Tablas” Rose for $20 is a traditional blend of 80% Grenache, 17% Mourvedre and 3% Counoise. This offering is medium bodied, pleasantly acidic and round in the mouth. Its flavor profile is a tasty tangerine and watermelon blend with notes of gentle minerality. I also detected a hint of lemon in the end. This is a very refreshing dry rose. It will be a crowd pleaser at your summer cookouts. With 1,800 cases made it should be easy to find. Pair it with salmon burgers off the grill.
Our next 90 pointer is the 2014 Merriam “Rose of Pinot Noir” from the Russian River Valley. It is also $20 per bottle. This wine is balanced and very easy to quaff. It displays pleasant watermelon and light red cherry flavors with nicely integrated mild minerality throughout. I also picked up a touch of strawberry towards the end. This Rose is very food friendly and would pair nicely with shrimp scampi. There were only 143 cases made so call the winery soon to try some.
If you seek out organic options, consider this 2014 “Rose of Pinot Noir” by Sokol Blosser. At $20 it is fairly priced and should be accessible with 2,000 cases made. We found it to be light bodied, slightly acidic and lively. It displays mineral infused tangerine flavors with notes of red plum and strawberry. It finishes dry and its flavors and acidity linger for quite a while after the wine is gone. It was very popular with our mini tasting group. They thought it would be a nice offering to consider slightly chilled at the beach with sharp cheddar cheese.
Another 90 point Oregon winner is the 2014 Chehalem “Rose of Pinot Noir” from the Willamette Valley. This one costs a smidge more at $22 per bottle. This wine is medium bodied, balanced, round and a bit juicy. I really liked its tasty mild mineral infused red cherry flavors hints of strawberry. It finishes dry and is one of the more food friendly and versatile Rose options that you will come across. I would pair it with vegetable lasagna.
Our last two 90 pointers are a bit more money, but worth it if you can spend a little more. The first is the 2014 Blackbird “Arriviste” Rose from the Napa Valley for $25. It is made from 38% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. It was well received by our mini-tasting group and did not last long. It is medium bodied, round and mouthwatering. We really enjoyed its mineral infused Maraschino cherry flavors with a faint hint of mild orange. Our group thought this Rose would complement lots of foods. I personally thought it would pair best with a grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich. Our last 90 pointer is the 2014 Gary Farrell “Rose of Pinot Noir” for $28. This Russian River Valley beauty opens with a pleasant red cherry and orange bouquet. On the palate, it is light to medium bodied, a little acidic and mouthwatering. I was enamored with its tasty tangy gentle tangerine flavors with notes of mild minerality and gentle red raspberry. The finish is dry and very refreshing. This Rose was perfect on the boat with Dubliner cheese and various sliced Italian meats.
The Best of the Rest Rose’s
Donelan 2014 “Sonoma County” (CA) $20 (89)
A nice follow-up to last year’s winner. This Rose displays pleasant mild mineral influenced gentle strawberry and red cherry flavors with hints of watermelon. Pair with quiche tart appetizers.
Amavi 2014 Rose “Walla Walla” (WA) $24 (89)
This 100% Cabernet Franc Rose from Washington State is slightly acidic and easy to enjoy. The flavor profile is a blend of mild red cherry and gentle watermelon with notes of strawberry and faint hints of minerality. It is food friendly and would pair well with many foods.
Cypher 2014 Rose “Pistil” (Paso Robles, CA) $24 (89)
This salmon colored wine is medium bodied, acidic and crisp. It displays tasty mild red cherry and strawberry flavors with hints of tangerine. Pair with grilled red snapper and mango with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Cakebread 2014 Rose “Vin de Porche” (Anderson Valley, CA) $25 (89)
This Rose is also medium bodied, acidic and crisp. I enjoyed its tasty mild mineral infused red cherry flavors with hints faint plum. It would be very nice at the beach on a hot summer day. I would also have it at dinner with baked stuffed shrimp.
Sidebar 2014 Rose “Russian River Valley” (CA) $25 (89)
This dark pink colored Rose is made from 100% Syrah. Its flavor profile is a blend of strawberry and watermelon with nicely integrated notes of minerality with a hint of red cherry. I would enjoy this Rose with grilled weisswurst at a picnic on a hot summer day.
Susana Balbo 2014 “Crios Rose of Malbec” (Mendoza, Arg.) $12 (88)
This good value dry Rose made from Malbec is medium bodied, slightly acidic and displays a hint of sweetness. I liked its mild mineral infused strawberry and Maraschino cherry flavors with a hint of red raspberry. It would be a nice beach option slightly chilled and cheddar cheese.
Wittmann 2013 Rose “Trocken” (Rheinhessen, Germany) $13 (88)
This light pink colored wine from Germany is a nice wine. It is medium bodied, a little acidic and mouthwatering with mineral infused strawberry flavors and a hint of tangerine and a touch lime. It is a perfect summer wine to serve chilled with grilled lime and garlic shrimp.
Red Newt 2014 “Kelby James Russell Dry Rose” Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes, NY) $16 (88)
This Rose from the Finger Lakes is medium bodied, slightly acidic and rather dry. It displays minernal infused tangerine and strawberry flavors. It finishes quite dry and its flavors linger for a little while. This nice summer wine would pair well with Ipswich fried clam strips.
Yorkville Cellars 2013 Rose “Vin D’Une Nuit” (Yorkville Highlands, CA ) $22 (88)
Our last recommendation is another organic offering. This one from Yorkville Cellars is medium bodied, slightly acidic and refreshing. I found it to display mild mineral infused strawberry flavors with hints of red cherry. Like the others, this Rose would be a good beach wine served slightly chilled.
I hope you find some these gems and enjoy them. Please also check back to our complete list of recommended Rose’s as we are always adding to the list. If you find a gem that you like. Please provide a comment and share. Cheers! Ken
Take the gloom out of June and start planning your summer getaway! The Fourth is right around the corner, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate America’s birthday than by raising a glass of patriotic pinot to cheers good ole’ Lady Liberty & Uncle Sam! You may immediately think cool cocktails & ice cold beer when you imagine yourself poolside this summer, but we have some wine country recommendations that will make you second guess the longneck & reach for a nice big glass of vino instead. Kick back, relax and follow our lead on where to taste, stay & spend time in wine country for an unforgettable summer getaway—wine style!
Where to taste:
LangeTwins Family Winery | Lodi, CA
At LangeTwins, winemaking is a family affair, and it is a passion passed down through generations since the 1870s. Their state of the art winery has a modern feel that makes guests instantly aware of their quest for perfection and devotion to sustainability. The Press Room provides a welcoming space for visitors to come together and taste their impressive portfolio of wines, and those wishing for a more in depth tour can participate in a wine & cheese pairing experience behind the glass cellar doors.
Castello di Amorosa | Napa Valley, CA
Dreaming of an Italian summer getaway? It might be closer and more accessible than you’d think! Castello di Amorosa provides the perfect slice of medieval Italy, right in the heart of the Napa Valley. The 121,000 square foot fortress is four stories high and has 107 rooms, with additional levels underground. Guests can taste New World wines within the atmosphere of an Old World castle, complete with a drawbridge, moat, dungeon and torture chamber, secret passageways, courtyards, church, 12,000 square-foot barrel room and more! It’s a “must-see destination” for sure, and paired with their delicious wines, your Italian getaway dreams will come to life!
Monticello Vineyards | Napa Valley, CA
Monticello Vineyards pays a tribute to Thomas Jefferson, who once said, “Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” The property boasts a downsized version of the elaborate plantation home that Mr. Jefferson once resided in, where winery guests can enjoy private tastings and dinners. Jay Corley and his three sons have carried out Mr. Jefferson’s love for wine and viticulture through their hands-on, family-oriented approach to winemaking. This dedication and love for the craft is evident as visitors taste award-winning wines in the comfort of the cozy tasting room. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 4th than to raise a glass to one of our founding fathers at Monticello this summer!
C.R. Sandidge Wines | Cascade Valley, WA
Ray Sandidge is one of the top Winemakers in the Pacific Northwest, a humble fact that is backed up by a quarter century of International and National award winning wines. The Sandidge Family believes faith is a prerequisite for success, and their faith in their winery endeavor has led them down a path of success with delicious wines that are cherished around the world. Guests are invited to see what all the buzz is about by joining the Sandidge family at their tasting room in the Village of Manson on the north shore of Lake Chelan for a friendly and knowledgeable tasting experience this summer.
Maryhill Winery | Columbia River Gorge Area, WA
Owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold once had a dream of opening a winery in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and have made this dream come alive over the years by constructing a stunning portfolio of over 50 exceptional and affordable wines at one of Washington’s largest and most visited wineries. Each year their 3,000 square-foot tasting room greets more than 70,000 visitors from around the world, and their welcoming outdoor terrace provides free live music throughout the summer. With delicious wines and an unbelievable location, Maryhill Winery is the perfect package deal for your summer vacation!
Westerly Wines | Santa Barbara County, CA
Winemaker Adam Henkel was originally fascinated by the viticultural diversity of Santa Barbara County. He has made it his mission to express the unique characteristics of the region through exceptional winemaking practices that result in the high quality wines that Westerly is known for. The Westerly name resonates in the Santa Ynez Valley, and each of their impressive varietals exemplifies Santa Barbara County in a bottle. This summer, transport yourself to beautiful Santa Barbara by uncorking a bottle of Westerly Wines.
Where to stay:
Inn at the Tides | Sonoma Coast, CA
Summer is a time to wind down and kiss your worries goodbye with some much-needed relaxation. Alongside the Sonoma coastline is the enclave of 86 guest lodges that make up the Inn at the Tides, your picture perfect sanctuary for summer rejuvenation. Their two restaurants, swimming pool, spa, and central location with easy access to all that Sonoma wine country has to offer make it an ideal place for every kind of traveler to stay this summer!
What to do:
Climb Aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train
Calling all train lovers, foodies, wine-os, history buffs, and adventure seekers, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers a unique way to tour the beautiful Napa Valley that is unlike any other wine country experience. Climb aboard one of their distinctive train cars, each with its own special charm, and soak in the rolling stunning vineyard landscape as you taste exceptional Napa Valley wines paired with incredible culinary bites made with the finest local ingredients. It’s a bucket list experience you won’t want to miss this summer!
Visit Tri-Valley, CA
Just east of the San Francisco Bay Area lies the five cities that make up Tri-Valley: Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon. Each has a unique quality, yet all five are bustling with opportunities for recreation and entertainment while still maintaining the small town charm that is rare to find so close to San Francisco. From incredible cuisine made with bountiful local produce paired with exceptional Livermore wines, to championship golf courses, and beautiful hiking and horseback riding trails, there is truly something for everyone’s perfect summer getaway!
The following article was provided by our contributing partner – Touring and Tasting Magazine.
Cheers – Ken
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