Touring&Tasting D I S COV E R T H E B E ST O F W I N E CO U N T RY
Crush-Worthy Escapes S PARKLING W INE A DVENTURES HARVEST 2019
S HOPPING IN P ARADISE
IT’S SO LEAVENWORTH IT
From the Bavarian-inspired culture, charm, and experiences, to the alpine adventures here in the heart of the Cascades. Don’t just escape the everyday. Leavenworth it. LEAVENWORTH.ORG
CONTENTS | Harvest 2019
Little morsels to whet your whistle & inspire adventure
4 Editor’s Letter
What’s new and next in wine country travel. From sleek bar-tels and in-flight spirits to cider excursions, herbal fêtes, and wine-infused spa treatments, we’re serving up the latest.
17–21 Sip Trips
Perfect wine country weekends, romantic escapes, and culinary experiences
All aboard! Steal away for a Napa Valley railway adventure
Where we go this issue
California Colorado Missouri New York Oregon Vermont Virginia Washington Worldwide
Asia Europe Mexico South America
This page TOP: Courtesy of The Ramble; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Niner Wine Estates; Opposite TOP: Courtesy of Fess Parker Winery; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Joshua Curry Photography
7–16 The Buzz
T he Main Event
Sit back, pour a glass, & read on 2 4 Bubble Magic Champagne and sparkling wines reflect their vineyard origins. Join us as we taste our way along the Westâ€™s sparkling wine trails 3 2 Gourmet Gifts
Weâ€™ve explored California, Washington, and Oregon to bring you the best items to buy for entertaining, holiday, and romantic gift giving (or a treat for yourself )
4 4 Insider Picks
A curated selection of wines to try
S omething Sweet
Enjoy VIP treatment as you drink, explore, and savor wine country with our distinguished partners
4 7 Stay ...in some of the finest luxury hotels wine country has to offer
...at premium wineries, discover new favorites, and indulge in personal tasting experiences 87 More to Explore
...to enrich your wine country adventure
88 Wine Horizons
...where will we take you next? Arizona, New Mexico, and the American Southwest
P R E F E R R E D wine|food|travel|events
*Roll into wine country as a Touring & Tasting Preferred Member and the doors will be opened and the special bottles poured for you. For more information, see page 58 or go to touringandtasting.com/preferred
Discover the Best of Wine Country PUBLISHER
DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING REGIONAL DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA MARKETING MANAGER
EDITOR IN CHIEF
PRODUCTION MANAGER PROOFREADER
Every fall my cells tingle in anticipation of this season
of miraculous transformation. Picking cool clusters by
Harvest time in wine country is electric.
Zach Geballe, Michelle Lau,
headlamp, hauling tractor-loads of grapes, and guiding
fruit through shiny crushers and tanks is an exhilarating
experience. Ever witness the molecular magic show offered by grape juice and yeast? The intimate thrill is pulse-quickening.
REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION MANAGERS
Nothing makes this girl feel more alive.
Certified Folder, Hardt Beck
NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CMG
For visitors, exploring wine country during harvest time is an opportunity to experience a region at its most authentic—
WINE COUNTRY TOURS DIRECTOR
and live it. Pop a grape into your mouth and taste the bright juice and tart, tannic skin before the flavors are transformed.
Take a moment to inhale the tangy ethers of fermentation.
Photograph by Wavebreak Media Ltd
Close your eyes and listen to the hum of honeybees on the SUBSCRIPTION RATES $16 for one year (2 issues). $28 for two years (4 issues). Shipping and handling included in the US. Add $10 per year (US funds) for foreign subscriptions. All subscriptions must be prepaid in US funds by check or credit card (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover accepted). Write or phone the address below to renew or order a new subscription, back issues, or multiple copies; to change your mailing address; or to inquire about your subscription.
crushpad and the gurgle of tanks in the cellar. You may find yourself both pleasantly sticky…and smitten. In this issue we’ve assembled a selection of one-of-a-kind tasting experiences and intriguing, ultra-chic destinations to pique your sense of adventure and make your wine country travels extra memorable. From stylish hotel bars (p. 7) and
secret shopping spots (p. 32), to spa escapes (p. 13), under-
the-radar culinary gems (p. 40), and exquisite sparkling
4550 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite 100 Westlake Village, CA 91362; 800.850.4370
wines to sample (p. 24), we’ve packed this issue with the best of wine country so that you too can fall in love with
Nancy Burgner, 805.895.3622 firstname.lastname@example.org
Touring & Tasting is published biannually by Touring & Tasting, 4550 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite 100, Westlake Village, CA 91362. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written consent from Touring & Tasting. Although all information is believed correct at press time, Touring & Tasting assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies or omissions. Lithography: Trend Offset Printing
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Photo: Jessica Maher Gallup
© 2019 Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, CA. All Rights Reserved. LANDMARK, the Stylized L, OVERLOOK, and the accompanying logos are trademarks of Landmark Vineyards or its affiliates. LV190409-03
W H E N YOU S OU RC E F ROM T H E BE S T CA LI FOR N I A V I N E YA R D S , E V ERY Y E A R IS YOU R BE S T V I N TAGE . Making wines with perfectly balanced taste is our passion. In fact, we have spent over 40 years negotiating with the most acclaimed vineyards for the best grapes to blend award-worthy Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. And while our wines are unique from one vintage to the next, one thing remains a constant—you’re getting the best of California in every bottle, every time.
T H E B U Z Z | D E S T I N AT I O N
Top two: Elliot Clark, bottom: Joshua Perez
When a stellar bar hitches itself to a hotel Here’s a dream scenario. A cocktail den with outrageously delicious and creative drinks opens hotel rooms right upstairs from the bar. Better than farm-to-table, this hybrid could be called bar-to-bed, or booth-to-boudoir. Well, pinch yourself: A version has come to life. New York City speakeasy Death & Co. is shaking at The Ramble in Denver, a three-story factoryinspired-hotel in the River North Art District neighborhood. A boho antique-y vibe is injected into the rooms with antique rugs thrown upon wide-plank hickory floors and large operable factory windows. But besides spot-on design and food, The Ramble uncovered yet another reason why people choose a place to stay: the cocktail list. Because the best answer to the designated-driver conundrum is to fuhgeddaboudit, taste until your hearts content, then ride the elevator to enjoy the sumptuous surroundings after a busy day.
TOP: The Ramble’s sleek lobby bar; MIDDLE: Guest rooms are stylish and comfortable; BOTTOM: The hotel’s industrial aesthetic conveys a chic historic vibe
THE BUZZ | EXPLORE
A Taste for Adventure
It’s your year to learn more about what you’re drinking while experiencing a few thrills along the way.
Into the Wild Halter Ranch offers epic wine excursions. To tour the 2,000-acre, 19th-century Paso Robles ranch, you have two choices: to do it by a 1984 Land Rover Defender 110 or by horse. Both are like a wine safari with true wildlife encounters, Instagrammable moments, and wine.
Cycle Chile About 45 minutes from Santiago presides one of the oldest Chilean wineries, Santa Rita Vineyard, backdropped by the Andes. It’s a village unto itself with a nearly 100-acre park, museum, gardens, chapel, vineyards, and bottle shop as well as a manor turned hotel. The wine-and-bike tour experience pedals you through the Maipo Valley’s cultural heritage. 8
Halter Ranch: Yvonne Goll Photography. Maipo Valley: Sernatur. 1881 Napa: Scott Chebegia. Top: Courtesy Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
HEA LEY ’S COR NIS H CYD ER FAR M
Apples are a star in the fall, particularly in European regions where the heirloom fruit is ready for harvest in the main cider locales of Normandy, France; Asturias, Spain; and United Kingdom’s West Country. At Healey’s in the Cornish village of Penhallow, you’ll ride a tractor around the orchards.
Step into the time machine at Epoch Estate Wines in Templeton on California’s Central Coast. In 1882, it became San Luis Obispo County’s first bonded winery: York Mountain Winery. In the 1900s, it was home to Polish Pianist, Diplomat, and Vintner Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Those legends and lore are dusted off during the winery’s History Tour & Tasting.
Fancy Footwork Although the Grape Stomp sounds like a Jazz-era dance step, it’s actually an annual ritual at the famed Napa winery, Grgich Hills. During harvest (August through October), book a Grape Stomp, then roll up your pants, throw off your shoes, and stomp fruit. You’ll arrive clean but will leave grape–stained.
Paradise Found At the opposite end of the spectrum are those tasting rooms designed to while away the morning, afternoon, and evening. Time is irrelevant when it’s always wine o’clock. At the newish 1881 Napa, the flamboyant French Vintner Jean-Charles Boisset renovated a Victorian home into a museum with a first-floor tasting room. The Benzinger Family Winery hillside in Sonoma County is both bucolic and biodynamic. The insectory and sheep are only a small part of the fun. There’s also the wine cave, an alluring spot to explore during a tour.
Très Chic Bordeaux wines are at their best when aged, which requires years of cellaring. The Vintage Tour at France’s Château Kirwan removes the wait and pours samples from its library. Other fun workshops allow guests to learn about wine while making a custom perfume blend.
Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles is known for its Bordeaux varietals and a heart-shaped stand of oak trees on a LEED-certified property. It’s a little slice of heaven. A playground for wine lovers describes Napa’s Brasswood Bar + Kitchen. Caves, a sensory room, and an art gallery pique your imagination. 9
T H E B U Z Z | E L E V AT E D S P I R I T S
Spirit in the Sky The days of searching for a well-made cocktail in the sky or on a cruise are over—at least if these
The spirits of the islands arrive on the spirited Hawaiian airline, accompanied by tropical flavors like coconut, guava, ginger, and preserved plum.
Wheels up. Famed bartender Dale DeGroff is known as King Cocktail. Now, he’s Captain Cocktail, unveiling 7 boozy wonders to enjoy.
It’s not quite virgin, but close: a new batch of delicious, low-alcohol vermouth-based drinks to sip mid-flight.
three are setting the tone for what’s to come.
Mai Tais, Li Hing Gimlets, and Tropical Landings come pre-mixed with top-shelf Cruzan rums and Larios gin with On The Rocks (OTR) Premium Cocktails.
Degroff partners with Milk & Honey startender Enzo Enrico to offer cutting-edge drinks like Strange Brew, Penicillin, Red Hook, and other craft cocktails
The stars of the NoLo (no- and low-alcohol) menu are Seedlip, the first distilled nonalcohol spirit, and Real Rouge vermouth
A Port of Call
ortugal continues to capture attention of the wine-drinking public, from the lively Vinho Verdes to the full-bodied Touriga Nacional. Particularly alluring in the fall and winter is the UNESCO-listed Douro Valley, a favorite for its rivers, ancient stone-walled vine terraces, and the ultimate fortified accompaniment to dessert, Port. Author J.K. Rowling once taught English in Porto, the launching point for port-hopping and for the unusual architecture at Quinta da Pacheca in Cambres village. The 18th-century estate-turned-hotel opened standalone wine-barrel rooms made of pine and large enough to sleep, shower, and get toasty in.
The Green Party The Herb Somm lets guests experience a new kind of dining.
Opposite bottom: Shutterstock. Top: Heather Tafolla, Middle: Tyler Arneson, Bottom: The Herb Somm
Jamie Evans is tall, blond, and gregarious. She floats around a San Francisco Victorian mansion greeting arrivals with an Orange Blossom and Berry Spritzer. The cocktail is spiked with 1 milligram of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. Evans is exactly the type, on the face of it, that you’d never suspect of inhaling. Yet, here she is, Herb Somm, hosting buzzy get-togethers like “Thursday Infused” and “Feast of the Flower,” a wine-food-cannabis pairing meant to introduce foodies to the flavors of the flower. With 10 states and the District of Columbia passing laws legalizing recreational marijuana use, it’s people like Evans—fresh, articulate—who are needed to change the stoner-reputation of cannabis. A wine industry veteran, Evans created these parties to draw parallels between wine, food, and marijuana, thereby elevating that last component. She calls it “the new era of dining.”
ABOVE: The Herb Somm, Jamie Evans, pairs food, wine, and flower for her elevated dining experiences; LEFT: An almond olive oil cake served at the Herb Somm’s “Thursday Infused” event; BELOW: A hands-on terpene exploration is part of the Herb Somm’s wine and cannabis pairings
Dip into cannabis: 1. In her newsletter, The Herb Somm announces canna-culinary parties that sell out in a blink.
Any advice for people trying cannabis for the first time at a hosted dinner? Jamie: In general, the saying is go low, start slow. 2.5 mg of THC is a good starting level. That will give you some euphoria without being overwhelming. Also know that CBD can enhance or inhibit some prescribed medications. THC can as well but not to the extent of CBD.
2. Pick the right dispensary to learn. Some may be intimidated by dispensaries. Truly, though, everyone is friendly. Evans recommends Solful in Sebastopol (Sonoma County). It is outstanding and educational. 3. Take a tour of the farms. Sonoma Valley’s Happy Travelers Tours introduces participants to the growers. The Weed-andWine diversion includes lunch.
Why dinner parties? J: I think there’s a good synergy between food, wine, and cannabis because they all have terpenes (aromatic plant oils). At these dinners, we use wine as an accent piece. We find that people understand cannabis better when it is compared to wine and food.
4. At the chic Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma County, cannabis education is now an amenity, with interested guests paired with a Solful consultant. Farmhouse also sells CBD-infused bath bombs to use in soaking tubs, offers a CBD massage, and will customize spa treatments.
We keep hearing that pot isn’t the same as it was. Has it really changed over the past 20 years? J: It has. You know what you’re getting in edibles. Cannabis brands are intensely tested. We also are getting to know the people who grow the plants. It’s more transparent. What do you see as the future of cannabis tourism? J: It will get bigger. Cannabis tourism boards are trying to develop licenses to bring visitors to farms. It’s the same concept as visiting a winery. You’ll get to explore the romance, the process. There will be a rise of cannabis restaurants. We’re a couple years from seeing “tasting centers,” but when we do, it’ll happen in Sonoma or Mendocino first. Flow Kana in Mendocino is working on a type of visitor center, the Flow Kana Institute. It used to be an old winery, and it’s not open to the public yet. 11
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T H E B U Z Z | S PA B L I S S
Vinotherapy Ever dreamed of doing the backstroke in Barrolo? Soaking in Syrah? Whereas Calistoga’s mud baths may be the quintessential wine country indulgence, today there’s a wine-infused spa experience for everyone with delicious results: glowing skin and a happiness hangover. Live La Dolce Vita—the fountain scene anyway—during the Brunello Ritual at Tuscany’s Adler Spa Resort THERMAE. The epicurean experience includes a grapeseed oil massage followed by a lavish wine soak, and a private Brunello tasting with Italian cheeses. It’s a feast for the senses. Letting go is as easy as wine, two, three at New York City’s AIRE Ancient Baths New York, where guests can submerge in antioxidant-rich Spanish Ribera de Duero Tempranillo, soak for a glass, and relax afterward with an hedonistic grapeseed oil massage.
Top to bottom: Courtesy AIRE Ancient Baths New York, Meadowood Napa Valley, Adler Spa Resort THERMAE.
If Cabernet splashing and not-so-synchronized swimming is your thing (because…wine), head to Japan’s Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, an over-the-top spa theme park featuring giant pools of red wine that are perfect for floating with friends and snapping Insta pics. Raise a glass and release in a wine cave when you opt for the Uncorked experience at The Meritage Resort & Spa. A grapeseed scrub followed by a wine and rose hip mud wrap promises to regenerate the skin and refresh the spirit. TOP: A tub filled with Tempranillo at AIRE Ancient Baths New York; MIDDLE: The picturesque grounds of Meadowood Napa Valley inspire reflection; BOTTOM: An indulgent grapeseed oil massage at Italy’s Adler Spa Resort THERMAE
The elevated From the Vines experience at Meadowood Napa Valley is our idea of spa nirvana. The three-and-a-half hour treatment package focuses on skincare with a luxurious facial and massage combo using minerals and grape extracts to deeply nourish and protect the skin.
T H E B U Z Z | H E R I TA G E
Winelandia Back to basics in Oregon Portland secured its eco-hip bona fides a decade ago in TV series Portlandia. Next up could be Winelandia. South of Portland, Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon wine countries are hipsterly exploring new winemaking frontiers. A few are exemplifying that winemaking isn’t only about how it lands on the palate but how it lands on the earth. When Left Coast Estate makes wine, it does so with a tiny solar-powered footprint. It preserves endangered oaks and salmon, all the while producing a bright Pinot Gris. The Willamette vineyard also salvaged a 1950s Chevy flatbed that guests can ride in as a tasting experience. The two Percheron draft horses at Illahe Vineyards are the true horsepower behind the 1899 Pinot Noir. The wines are produced without any electricity, harkening back to the days of yesteryear. The limited cases take three days to reach points in Portland where it’s sold. That’s because the 96-mile distance is covered by canoe, mule-drawn stagecoach, and bicycle. Visitors are invited to join in on the expedition. Soon Cowhorn Wine will cultivate Périgord black truffles, seeded in its one planted acre of hazelnut trees about a decade ago. Alongside the Applegate River, the polyculture, biodynamic farm is the first tasting room in the world to be Living Building Challenge-certified, a prestigious eco-designation. Of the 117 acres, 29 are used for plants and produce— asparagus, cherries, hazelnuts—and grapes that go into its outstanding Rhône wines.
TOP: Illahe Vineyards relies on alternative energy to produce and transport its wines; BOTTOM: A stationary bike powers the winery’s pumps
Heritage Grapes The Real American Buzz
The newest buzz is also among the oldest: Wines made from American heritage and hybrid grapes such as Chambourcin, Baco Noir, Lomanto, Wetumka, La Crescent, Marquette, and Jefferson. These aren’t exactly names that roll off the tongue, but they may soon be. Many of these wines are only available where they are made, in the Eastern United States, so you’ll need to pack a bag. There’s no passport necessary to drink in the history. These destinations are ideal for a thirst-quenching Thanksgiving vacation.
1. TerraVox excels at rare grapes from its base in the hamlet of Weston, Missouri along the Missouri River. Hundreds of steamboats plied the river in the 1850s, and Buffalo Bill resided here. Make it a double with a visit to Holladay Distillery for a bourbon tasting. 2. In the fall-leaf paradise of Vermont, six miles south of Burlington, Shelburne Vineyards is shining the light on unfamiliar grape varieties with stellar wines such as Louise Swenson, a rare white blend. Lake Champlain is right in sight. 3. In the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson tried to establish vineyards. They never took off. But time has passed, and today the region combines bucolic charm, history, and excellent winemaking. The wines are made mostly from European varieties, but they’ve got 18th-century roots. Visit Barboursville Vineyards, on the former plantation of James Barbour, governor during the War of 1812 and friend to Thomas Jefferson.
What’s hotter than molten rock? Volcanic wine.
T Winelandia: Bethany Ford (2). Lava: Shutterstock/pio3
he explosive, often destructive influence of a volcanic eruption is rarely associated with anything delicate, let alone nuanced. But around the world, wine growing regions with volcanic soils are producing intriguingly complex wines for a variety of palates. For vines, the struggle is real. Volcanic soils—pumice, ash, basalt, and hardened lava—only account for one percent of the earth’s surface, but they create some remarkably harsh growing environments. The iron-rich soil chemistry and lack of water-absorbent clay in these geological layers cause vines to struggle, which not only produces scrappy vines, it also creates deliciousness. ABOVE: Due to extreme winds, vines are planted in protective craters dug in the volcanic soil on Lanzarote, one of Spain’s Canary Islands
Wines from volcanic soils vary greatly and tend to display higher acidity and minerality, along with saline characteristics, according to Master Sommelier John Szabo, author of Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit, and Power. Roots absorb iron and various soil components in volcanic areas, which contribute to the development of savory flavors, along with a distinct tannic structure.
To experience these qualities, look for wines from Mt. Etna, Sicily; Somló, Hungary; The Azores, Portugal; Canary Islands, Spain; Campania, Italy; Soave, Italy; and Lake County, California. Or, better yet, follow your inner volcanologist and go taste them yourself. 15
T H E B U Z Z | D I S C OV E R
Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe The rutted dirt roads of Baja’s Ruta del Vino can be savage and dusty, but traveling along them is well worth the effort. Today they lead to some of the West’s most vibrant farm-totable restaurants, stylish hotels, and an astonishing array of sophisticated, thirst-quenching wineries.
Stay. Encuentro Guadalupe Campera Hotel Burbuja Adobe Guadalupe La Villa del Valle Finca La Divina
Jesuit missionaries introduced Mexico’s Baja California to wine production in the 17th century with the cultivation of Mission grapes (Listan Prieto) for sacramental wine. Later, in the 1900’s, Russian immigrants fleeing the Revolution brought contemporary European winemaking techniques to the area. Since then, Baja’s wine scene has blossomed, earning widespread acclaim for its renegade blend of innovation, tradition, and unique terroir—a combination that creates exciting, deliciously complex wines.
Eat. Fauna Finca Altozano Laja Deckman’s Corazon de Tierra
Drink. Monte Xanic Decantos Vena Cava Hacienda La Lomita Clos de Tres Cantos
Stargaze and sleep in luxurious bubble rooms at Campera Hotel Burbuja.
Livermore Valley, California Regal Wines and Relaxation Cabernet is often called the king of grapes, and Chardonnay, the queen. As such, Livermore Valley, where the most popular of these clones were developed, might be considered hallowed ground. Within the San Francisco Bay Area, the region of 50-plus wineries is reachable by BART and navigable by bike, trolley, Uber, or car. Now that’s the royal touch.
11 AM Launch your Livermore Valley wine country adventure at Pedego Electric Bike Tours. The e-bike’s throttle and pedal-assist motor is the key to a “no sweat” ride to area wineries. 11:30 AM First stop is smallproducer Las Positas Vineyards set within a Spanish-style hacienda. You won’t want to miss the intriguing Spanish and Italian varietals or the delicious, award-winning 2016 Malbec. 12:30 PM From here, link up to the Arroyo Bike Trail to family-run Cuda Ridge Wines, located in an old olive mill with a gorgeous patio. Winemaker Larry Dino has mastered Bordeaux-style varietals. He also gave us S&M, a gold-medal winner that blends Sangiovese and Malbec. 2:00 PM We could go on about how the marine fog that blankets the vineyards at night is the valley’s secret weapon, or we could introduce you to Lola at The Steven Kent Winery. The multilayered white Bordeaux blend shows off Livermore’s ideal growing conditions. Sit at the barrel tables, enjoy the art, and
ABOVE: CASUAL SIDEWALK CAFES DOWNTOWN; LEFT: CUDA RIDGE WINERY’S CHARMING TASTING ROOM; RIGHT: THE HACIENDA AT LAS POSITAS VINEYARDS
savor the many complex reds. returning the bikes, check-in at Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort and Spa, a luxury log-cabin-style resort with a rose garden and spa. Rest up by the pool before a night out. 5:30 PM On your way downtown, stop in at Wood Family Vineyards, which produces wines exclusively from Livermore grapes, and where winemaker Rhonda Wood often hangs out chatting over vino. Because that’s how Livermore Valley rolls: casual and accessible. 7:00 PM Stroll the idyllic downtown, a mix of shops and restaurants set within tidy buildings and historic architecture. Note the ideal places for enjoying the weather: sidewalk cafes and family-filled squares and parks. 3:15 PM After
The next day 9:00 AM Start
your day with a hot breakfast compliments of Purple Orchid, then play a round at Poppy Ridge, a nearby NCGA golf course. 12:00 PM At lunchtime, Poppy Ridge is a beautiful perch for a meal overlooking the green.
Woodinville, Washington The gateway to Washington Winesâ€Ś and the perfect getaway With more than 900 wineries, Washington produces more wine than any other state except California, and the leafy town of Woodinville pours more of it than anyplace else. Home to nearly 120 wineries and more 90+ point rated vintages than any wine region in the world, the tasting opportunities here are as endless as they are delicious. With so much abundance, the first question for any Woodinville visitor is how best to take it all in.
BEFORE YOU GO
For those new to the area, or anyone looking for a bit of local knowledge and grape guidance, a tour can offer a curated, full-service experience through the bounty of local wineries and tasting rooms. But one size doesn’t fit all, so Barrel Wine Tours offers a full menu of day trips to meet the varied interests and expertise of wine and food lovers. Options range from an introductory tour of the rich diversity of winemaking here, to delicious food-pairing journeys, to boutique winery excursions, to white wine outings and even microbrewery and distillery treks.
If you prefer to chart your own tasting and dining course, head to WoodinvilleWineCountry.com for a digital wine pass. It’s your instant ticket to custom tours and discounted tastings throughout wine country. Available for different wine varietals and winery districts, each pass is good for four tastings and is delivered directly to your phone via text message or email. In seconds, your phone becomes your ticket to tasting, and you’re ready to hit the wine trail. Of course, these suggestions are merely gateways to Woodinville’s wine country and the world of FAR LEFT: WOODINVILLE, WASHINGTON IS HOME TO NEARLY 120 WINERIES; ABOVE: VISITORS WILL FIND AN ABUNDANCE OF EATERIES AND TASTING ROOMS IN THE HOLLYWOOD DISTRICT IN THE SAMMAMISH RIVER VALLEY; LEFT: GUESTS SIP AND SAVOR AMID
Photos: Left: Sung Park; Top and Bottom Right: Richard Duval
THE GARDENS AT WILLOWS LODGE
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A WHOLE ROASTED TROUT FROM THE HERITAGE RESTAURANT | BAR; BELOW LEFT: HERITAGE RESTAURANT | BAR CHEF AND OWNER BREANNA BEIKE PLATES A DISH; BOTTOM: FRIENDS GATHER AT PONDERA WINERY AND HOWARD MANDVILLE ART GALLERY
Washington wines. Once you’re there with glass in hand, your next move is up to you—but you won’t be short of options. With more than 100 winemakers bringing their unique personality and passion to wine and wine tasting, the possibilities go on and on. 10:00 AM Indulge in the wine and chocolate pairing experience at Patterson Cellars, and then walk next door to Pondera Winery, where your eye enjoys a treat as big as your palate, thanks to the rotating gallery of art from national and Northwestern artists.
11:00 AM Taste your way through Woodinville’s growing community of microbreweries, cideries, and distilleries with a diverse selection of craft beverages to wet your whistle.
The menu of farmfresh eateries in this former agricultural valley makes the perfect pairing with all the area’s wineries. The Hollywood District, in the heart of the Sammamish River Valley, abounds with delicious options within a few steps of the Hollywood Schoolhouse roundabout. One of the latest additions is the
With so much to taste and do, the most important thing to pack on a trip to Woodinville wine country is a little extra time for enjoying it all. TOP: AN INDULGENT CHOCOLATE AND WINE PAIRING AT PATTERSON CELLARS; BELOW: VISITORS ENJOY ST. NICK’S OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND
Heritage Restaurant & Bar,
with distinct, down-to-earth lunch, appetizer, and dinner selections to complement the neighboring tasting rooms.
cable fine dining options, whereas boutique wineries like Sparkman and DeLille host intimate tasting experiences. Teatro Zinzanni, a dinner theater with cirque, comedy, and cabaret provides spectacular evening entertainment. With so much to taste and do, the most important thing to pack on a trip to Woodinville wine country is a little extra time for enjoying it all. Still, no matter where you roam, you’ll want to promise yourself another day to come back for more.
Photos: Top Left: William Munoz; Far left: Richard Duval; Near left and all others: Sung Park
3:00 PM A rewarding and relaxing way to make the most of this food and drink playground is to turn a day into a getaway. A night’s stay offers the best of both worlds: touring and exploring on your own. It also expands your evening possibilities. Check in at the Willows Lodge, Woodinville’s gold-rated Condé Nast resort to refresh your spirit.
5:00 PM Nearby, the Barking Frog and The Herb Farm offer impec-
Wine-Powered Rail Adventures The Napa Valley Wine Train
You could do Napa Valley by car. But there’s a better way: Board the 1900s-era Pullman cars of the Napa Valley Wine Train. Drink, roll, and clack along tracks that wind 36 miles through wine country’s picturesque scenery. You can sink into this Gilded-Age treasure of plush velveteen armchairs, surrounded by the finest Honduran mahogany paneling, leather upholstery, brass finishes, and glass-domed roofs. You’re on the West Coast’s own Orient Express rambling through vineyard land, eating and swinging back bubbles. Now, isn’t that better than driving? A warning: The word “wine” in the name is a slight misnomer. There’s plenty of vino, but there are also other beverages served on special journeys, including Palisades beer aboard the Hop Train and hot cocoa on the Santa Train. Fall is supreme—slower, quieter, and the perfect time of year to click and clack through wine country with a glass of Napa red. All aboard! THE WINE TRAIN RUNS FROM NAPA TO ST. HELENA AND BACK.
1 Here are three unique adventures that belong in your memory:
1. MURDER MYSTERY
The train turns into a speakeasy dining experience and mobster crime scene. Quick, Sherlock! You must solve the murder mystery.
2. ROMANCE ON THE RAILS
Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, a night à deux is upgraded with a clickety clack through wine country on a starlit winter night.
Photos: Napa Valley Wine Train, LLC. Top courtesy of The Murder Mystery Company
3. THE LEGACY TOUR
It’s all about “The Family” on this full-day excursion. Between stops at three Italian-family-run wineries, you’ll eat. Mangia!
For info, visit winetrain.com
FAR LEFT: THE WINE TRAIN STOPS AT WINERIES ALONG ITS ROUTE; ABOVE: THE DINING CAR SERVES ELEGANT MEALS AS WELL AS FINE WINES
Sparkling wines are elegant and versatile, the epicurean equivalent of a little black dress
e l Bubb
c a i M g Taste Your Way Along The West’s Sparkling Wine Trails
It’s as if a baby unicorn is born. When the cork pops on a bottle of sparkling wine and a glass is poured, an estimated one million translucent pearls float to the surface. In an instant, the moment turns celebratory. The liquid’s delectable tingle is pure magic.
Beyond their ephemeral beauty, bubbles act as vehicles for much of the scent, taste, sound, and tactile pleasure of sparkling wine. In fact, bubbles have a delightful way of delivering molecular details directly to our senses, while keeping the palate feeling refreshed. Their buoyant delicacy inspires conviviality while making the simplest meal sublime. French fries and Blanc de Blancs, anyone? Many sparkling wines are made from still wines that are fermented twice—once in tank or barrel and again in bottle. As yeasts consume sugar during the wine’s secondary fermentation, they release carbon dioxide, which is trapped within the bottle. Some of the trapped gas escapes when you pop the cork. The rest finds itself in your glass, where it comingles with impurities on the glass wall and ascends to the surface as a mini molecular care package. And that’s what makes bubbles miraculous. These tiny translucent spheres reveal a multitude of secrets when they burst at the surface, helping to convey the story of a wine’s origin. Carbon dioxide bubbles magnify flavors by lifting primary compounds—especially fruity esters—and releasing them at the wine’s surface. In fact, winemakers explain that effervescence amplifies the expression of site in sparkling wines, making it easier to taste the essence of the vineyard. An opportunity to taste terroir at its purest? Now that’s the perfect reason to explore the West’s sparkling wine trails.
n abundance of unique tasting experiences, historic vineyards, and prestigious sparkling wine houses make the Napa Valley perfect for a bubble-centric tasting tour. In fact, opportunities to “taste the stars” appear around every corner. If elegant wines with delicious precision are what you’re looking for, Mumm Napa is an ideal starting point. Taste some of the valley’s finest sparklers while taking in panoramic vineyard views from the Oak Terrace or enjoying the estate’s fine art photography gallery. Just up the road, Schramsberg Vineyards ferments 25% of its wines in oak barrels to produce a richer, more luscious style. Literati love that author Robert Lewis Stevenson tasted here in 1880 on his honeymoon. We love tipping a glass in the 125-year old wine caves. Great sparkling wines are all about the blend, or cuvée, according to Gloria Ferrer Wines. At the sprawling Sonoma estate, guests can sample blends that integrate kaleidoscopic flavors, fine bubbles, and luscious textures in luminous liquid. Did someone say, “private cabana”? Besides producing sparkling wines that dazzle, Domaine Chandon offers the opulence of an intimate fête with your squad in a variety of alfresco tasting experiences, from indulgent brunches to wine pairing picnics. Spoiler alert: It’s bubble heaven. The chateau is iconic—a wine country landmark—but at Domaine Carneros, grace and sophistication define more than the architecture. The wines are exquisite. Plan ahead to savor crisp, complex sparkling wines paired with caviar, artisan cheeses, and charcuterie in the chateau’s elegant salon or on the terrace.
ABOVE: Guests enjoy a glass of sparkling wine on the terrace at Gloria Ferrer Wines; OPPOSITE TOP: The stunning vineyard views from Domaine Chandon; OPPOSITE BOTTOM: Visitors at Mumm Napa can wander the estate’s art gallery
Gloria Ferrer photogrpahy, Mumm Napa
Napa & Sonoma
Sparkling Styles Different grape varieties, regions, and winemaking methods create an array of effervescent choices. French Champagne, made in the méthode traditionelle champenois, begins as a still wine composed of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and/or Pinot Meunier. The addition of dosage, a measured amount of sweetened liquid, begins secondary fermentation in the bottle, which creates the wine’s luxurious sparkle. Many sparkling wines are made according to the traditional French method but are labeled as “Sparkling Wine” or “Cremant” because they are produced outside of France’s Champagne region. Cava’s bubbles are created with the méthode traditionelle champenois, but the base wine is composed of Spanish Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarello grape varieties. Prosecco and most German Sekts get their fizz from tank fermentation and pressurized bottling, also known as the méthode charmat. Pétillant-Naturel wines, or Pét-Nats, are made in the méthode ancestrale by bottling actively fermenting wines and allowing them to finish under cap.
Mendocino & The Anderson Valley
t’s the quintessential California road trip—rugged coastlines, redwood trees, and sundrenched mountains—made blissful by Mendocino’s extraordinary sparkling wines. A single ribbon of highway winds through the Anderson Valley, passing idyllic country towns and hidden-gem wineries along the way. Glamp it up at one of the chic wilderness outposts or get cozy in one of the area’s historic hotels. A walk in Hendy Woods State Park—where the redwoods meet the madrones—is the perfect way to refresh the soul and immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty. As the valley’s morning fog lifts, begin your tasting adventure with Roederer Estate to experience the crisp precision and luxurious, fine-beaded bubbles of the French wine house’s estate-grown sparkling wines. Meticulous organic and biodynamic farming and thoughtful winemaking create sparkling wines that balance delicate acidity, complex flavors, and creamy mouthfeel—and have set the bar quite high. Then, make your way East along Highway 128 to Scharffenberger Cellars, where the layered flavors and luxurious textures of the estate’s two iconic sparkling wines—NV Brut Excellence and NV Brut Rosé Excellence—will leave you breathless. They’re simply that good. Ever dream of waking up in a vineyard? After you sample Lichen Estate’s vibrant wines—known for their vineyard expression and purity—get cozy in the winery’s charming craftsman cottage. Sip at your leisure on the private porch. We hear that bubbles taste best amid the vines.
Lichen: Jacob Hernandez, Niner: Niner Estates
ABOVE: Lichen Estate’s sparkling wines express a sense of place and purity; LEFT: Roederer Estate Winemaker Arnaud Weyrich enjoys a glass of Brut Rosé; BOTTOM: Early morning fog covers the Anderson Valley
Paso Robles & San Luis Obispo
he Central Coast balances rugged roots and refinement. Pickups rumble along country roads playing classical music on the radio. Local cowboys stomp the dust from their boots as they clink glasses of Brut Rosé. And the region’s unique combination of authenticity and elegance extends beyond its culture. The earth seems to exude it in liquid form. Start your sparkling Central Coast adventure at Field Recordings, where Winemaker Andrew Jones, a vineyard nurseryman by day, crafts innovative wines that celebrate special vineyard sites. Don’t miss his dry-hopped Pét-Nat, short for Pétillant-Naturel, or wines that are still undergoing primary fermentation when they’re sealed in the bottle. Field Recordings’ version is made with Chardonnay and Mosaic hops. For many of us, it encapsulates the best of both worlds. Next, take in Niner Estate’s romantic view of Heart Hill—a heart-shaped vineyard area defined by oak trees—with a glass of the winery’s Brut Rosé, made from estate-grown Jespersen Ranch Pinot
Noir. Enjoy the wine’s delectable salinity, floral scent, and fruit characteristics. Then cue the Barry White. Nearby, Opolo Vineyards offers a playful effervescent wine called Opolo Sparkling made from French Colombard grapes using the méthod charmat technique in which secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and bubbly is bottled under pressure. It’s one hundred percent delicious, with zero pretense. Laetitia Vineyard and Winery is known as the crown jewel of the Central Coast’s bubble trail with seven elegant sparkling wines crafted in the méthode traditionelle. Its location near the coast in southern San Luis Obispo County also makes it a spectacular place for alfresco fun. Sip bubbles with ocean views from the idyllic picnic areas, bocce ball courts, or walking trail. TOP: An iconic view of Heart Hill at Niner Estate; ABOVE LEFT: Field Recordings’ sleek Central Coast Tasting Room; ABOVE RIGHT: Guests enjoy a picnic paired with sparkling wine at Laeticia Vineyards and Winery
Washington State’s Sparkling Wine Trail
Located just outside Yakima, Treveri Cellars remains the state’s beacon for bubbly. Founded by the father-and-son duo of Juergen and Christian Grieb, their singular focus on sparkling wine has earned them a host of accolades and a dedicated following. From familiar fizz like their Blanc de Blancs and Sparkling Rosé to experiments like Sparkling Müller-Thurgau and Sparkling Syrah (a sparkling red wine), a visit to the Germanic-inspired tasting room is a chance to explore a broad and ever-growing roster of wines. Sweeping views of the Yakima Valley are a highlight of the large patio, on which you can enjoy a glass or even a bottle of wine in addition to your tasting.
For those who prefer to sip their wine in view of water, Karma Vineyards, on the shores of Lake Chelan, awaits your arrival. There, you can sample an elegant selection of méthode Champenoise wines, like their Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, and Rosé, or duck in to their restaurant, 18 Brix, to sample Chef Alicia Alvarez’s expressions of local ingredients in dishes always designed to pair with the wines. If that view of Lake Chelan doesn’t quite get the blood pumping, then perhaps contemplating the vast and majestic Columbia River from Cave B Estate Winery in Quincy will do the trick. What better to enjoy while staring at one of America’s largest rivers than a bottle of Blanc de Blanc:
the 2017 vintage is currently being poured, with notes of Asian pear and ginger along with a creamy texture. You might even choose to time your visit with a concert at the nearby Gorge Amphitheater, one of Washington’s preeminent music venues: headliners later this year include Beck, Mumford and Sons, Dave Matthews Band, and Bon Iver. Following the ocean-ward path of the Columbia brings you to our final two sparkling wine destinations, which are located in the town of Lyle, just above the Columbia River Gorge. There, you can explore the sparkling Grüner Veltliner from Syncline Winery, aptly named “Scintillation.” This traditional method, zero dosage wine almost tastes like the Columbia River itself: cold, pure, and vividly energetic. Make a reservation in advance and you may even get the directions to their coveted and secret picnic spot a short hike away! To finish off your journey, nearby COR Cellars has their own delightful take on sparkling wine, leaning on the aromatic varieties Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris to craft a floral but focused wine under their AGO label, which you can enjoy on their garden patio while taking in views of Mt. Hood. —Zach Geballe
ABOVE: Cave B Winemaker Freddy Arredondo and his niece enjoy a relaxed tailgate picnic; RIGHT: Guests enjoy COR Cellars’ aromatic AGO sparkling wine on the patio
Top: Carrie Arredondo; Bottom: Patrick Fessler; opposite page top: Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara
Searching for world-class sparkling wine in Washington State is a trickier proposition than finding great still wine. Many of the state’s pioneering wineries and vineyards looked for the warmest growing sites they could find, producing grapes that were well-suited to robust reds but less able when it came to bright bubbly. That said, a combination of newcomers and a few stubborn standbys have created an unexpectedly vibrant sparkling wine scene.
TOP RIGHT: Riverbench Vineyards & Winery’s estate is located in the Santa Maria Valley; BELOW: Visitors enjoy Fesstivity at Fess Parker Winery’s Bubble Shack in Los Olivos; BELOW RIGHT: Dreamcôte’s Desert Flower Pet-Nat pairs beautifully with brunch
Santa Barbara County
ure, the American Riviera is known as a celebrity hideout. Ahem, Oprah lives there. But with sun-soaked vineyard slopes that roll to the Pacific Ocean and a unique mountain range that keeps temperatures cool, Santa Barbara County is also home to a different type of starlet—a myriad of dazzling sparkling wines made from some of the world’s finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Santa Barbara County is a sparkling wine sipper’s dream come true, in part, because there are so many crush-worthy places to taste. Raise a glass in the Santa Ynez Valley’s elegant estates, in quirky tasting rooms along the Funk Zone’s Urban Wine Trail, among the barrels in Lompoc’s industrial wine complex, or simply sip sparkles with your sunglasses on and your feet in the sand. Make your way first to the town of Lompoc, just north of Santa Barbara, to taste some of the region’s finest sparkling wines at Flying Goat Cellars. Inspired by his playful pet goats, Winemaker Norm Yost crafts Goat Bubbles, a lineup of eight exquisite sparkling wines produced in the méthode traditionelle, which are vinted, riddled, disgorged, waxed, and labeled by hand. They are a labor of love. And their layered flavors and delicate froths reflect every ounce of effort.
A stroll through the charming Western town of Los Olivos offers a multitude of opportunities to sip sparkling wines. First on the list is Fess Parker Winery’s Bubble Shack, where Fesstivity sparking wines flow like liquid happiness. Try the Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé, and Blanc de Noirs to experience captivating vineyard expressions from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Just down the street, Stolpman Vineyards and Dreamcôte Wine Co. both offer intriguingly complex sparklers made in the Pétilant-Naturel style. Stolpman Vineyards offers one, made in collaboration with Sommelier Rajat Parr under the Combe label, rumored to be the only sparkler made from Trousseau grapes in the world. Pick your paradise. Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, known for its portfolio of stunning sparklers, has two locations. The picturesque vineyards and estate are situated on Foxen Canyon in the Santa Maria Valley, while the chic tasting room is in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara near the beach. With both locations pouring the luscious Cork Jumper Blanc de Blanc, Brut Rosé, Demi Sec, and Riverbench’s Pinot Meunier Sparkling wine, no matter which you choose, you’re in for a palate-tingling treat. 31
Gourmet Gifts A
trip into the West’s wine country is an excellent opportunity to savor the
grape—that’s a given. But it’s also the perfect chance to find one-of-a-kind gifts with a story and a sense of place. Here’s our indispensable guide to where to shop West Coast wine countries, from Washington and Willamette to Sonoma and Santa Barbara.
Opposite, clockwise from top left: Victor M. Samuel Photography, Jim Fischer, Joanna Salazar. This page: Courtesy Oxbow Public Market
apa may be half the size of neighboring Sonoma, but it packs a lot between the grapevines, including some of wine country’s best shopping and fine dining experiences. This is the land of Thomas Keller, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and the epicenter of wine country cuisine. The coveted varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but the area also produces stellar Sauvignon Blancs and Merlots. Downtown The city of Napa is imminently walkable and architecturally significant with more pre-1906 buildings than anywhere else in the Bay Area—much of it set along the Napa River. Farther, dozens of tasting rooms are scattered throughout the compact downtown alongside murals and sculptures that show-off the city’s nonalcoholic diversion: art, seen throughout the Napa Art Walk, the galleries, and the Railyard Arts District. Leave all that behind. It’s time to shop. Stroll through First Street Napa, a collection of restaurants and ultra-chic boutiques that offer fashion, home decor, and gifts. The General Store fulfills two needs in one stop: a delicious leisurely breakfast of cornmeal pancakes on the patio, and an opportunity to peruse locally made gifts like jewelry and items made from barrel staves. It’s no surprise that the merchandise at the Store at CIA Copia is expertly curated since it is the work of the Culinary Institute of America. Kitchen treasures include locally made pottery and beautiful barware. You can sign on for cooking classes, watch a demo, eat, or view 4,000 kitchen artifacts in the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum. (Williams is the late founder of Williams-Sonoma.) Nearby, the 40,000-squarefoot emporium, Oxbow Public Market, provides fresh bounty that has been expertly prepared by talented chefs. Shop the vendors for Anette’s small-batch brittle and chocolates, exotic spice blends from Whole Spice, or cookbooks from Napa Bookmine. Nothing is done halfway in Napa and that’s evident in its riverfront Welcome Center on Main. Napa Valley Ambassadors dole out magazines, maps, wine-tasting passes, and spot-on advice. It also scores big with its own mercantile. 33
OPPOSITE CLOCKWISE: Beautiful pottery by Amanda Wright Pottery in the Store at CIA Copia; Treasure hunting in Mes Amis, McMinnville, OR; Fresh berries, cheeses, and Village Napa products featured at Vista Collina Cooking Center; ABOVE: Shopping for fresh produce at Napa’s Oxbow Public Market
raditionally, most visitors coming from points south, first stop in downtown Napa. This has changed with the opening of The Village at Vista Collina Resort, a collection of tasting rooms and a brewery that host culinary activities. There are cooking and baking classes, butlerarranged lawn picnics, and sound-healing and other wellness sessions in the 22,000-foot Spa Terra, which is housed in a cave. The Towns of Silverado Trail The hamlets along the Silverado Trail—from south to north: Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga—are filled with wine country treasures. With so many places to taste, tantalize, and shop, they are well worth braking for. Chef Thomas Keller has often been credited with putting Yountville on the map, drawing diners to the acclaimed The French Laundry and, consequently, to the towns nearby. That’s still true, only he’s since added two other restaurants as well as Finesse, The Store, a kitchen-supply shop. The store is filled with worthy gifts for the foodie in your life that Keller practically selected himself. A dozen places collect under one roof at The Shops at The Marketplace. There, you can locate whimsical gifts like Napa Soap Co.’s vinotherapy creams, olive-vine candleholders, and chic cork sunglasses. Whatever enterprise that Jean-Charles Boisset brings to life is always a delightful surprise. One of his recent endeavors, Senses by JCB, doesn’t disappoint. The luxury retail spot and medispa is also home to the highly coveted osmologue machine, which blends custom fragrances. Frenchman Boisset continues to delight with two recent projects in Oakville: the revamped Oakville Grocery and the opening of 1881 Napa, a museum/ tasting room adjacent to the grocery. Both historic properties look out to the Mayacamas mountains. St. Helena One of the more idyllic valley towns, St. Helena, preserves its late 1800s heritage in the brick and wood facades. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the commercial district boasts dozens of shops, many within these old structures. In that sense, shopping is also an education in Napa Valley history. As one of the first dog boutiques, Fideaux is historic in its own right, selling spoils for furry friends for over 20 years. Grapeseed oil is one of the secret weapons within Napa Soap Company’s products, like its luxurious Vinotherapy cream, which are all sold in the quaint Main Street shop. It’s highly recommended that you educate yourself in St. Helena’s English muffin history at The Model Bakery. This spot, open for almost a century, has perfected these breakfast breads and packages them to take home as gifts. An English muffin may not seem like much of a gift, but these are the legendary Model Bakery muffins. Trust us, or if not us, then Oprah—they made her list of favorite things.
TOP: The cooking school at The Village at Vista Collina Resort dishes up a fun, interactive culinary experience; ABOVE: The Oakville Grocery and adjacent 1881 Napa are the perfect spot for lunch
Another delicacy handmade in Napa Valley are the barks, toffees, and chocolates at Woodhouse. A chocolate lover is sure to appreciate one of the succulents made from dark or milk chocolate. They’re pure indulgence. You are nearly guaranteed to find a special gift at Pennyweight, which makes ordinary objects extraordinary. A regular umbrella becomes giftable when it’s studded with blue crystals; pens turn bespoke when they’re from Montegrappa’s Game of Thrones series. This is the perfect place to hunt and gather. Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch isn’t only a place for a fresh lunch beneath a giant blue spruce tree at the café, it’s a place to shop and taste. Order a flight of olive oils, whiskeys, or wines. 34
Opposite page, Top: Joanna Salazar; Bottom: Scott Chebegia. This page, Top: Courtesy Visit Calistoga; Bottom: SandayLavinePhotography.com
Calistoga About 25 miles north of Napa, Calistoga is dubbed “Up Valley,” and has, for the past 200-plus years, promoted wellness via its natural geothermal waters and mineral-rich mud. Do take the mud and waters, perfect for thawing the winter’s chill. This year’s Wine Country on Netflix has shone a celeb-ish light on the small town. We hope it doesn’t go too much to its head, because we like the Western town the way it is: so unaffected that on a late fall or winter weekday you can almost imagine the gun slingers and stagecoaches roaming the roads. Can’t picture that? Then, get yourself to Sharpsteen Museum, where a 30-foot diorama depicts 1860s Calistoga. The museum was built by an Oscar-winning American animator, director, and producer for Disney. You can also dig for this history in the many antique shops
along Lincoln Avenue, including Roam Antiques and Design, Rags to Riches, and The Vintage Treehouse. Brannan Cottage Inn is hardly a newcomer—it opened in 1862—but Sam’s General Store is a 21st-century addition. The upscale mercantile opens this fall. The tasting room at Tank Garage Winery is a great waystation between shopping, since it’s housed in a 1930s filling station. The bonbons at Earth and Sky Chocolates are little chocolate paintings, filled with valley ingredients, including wildflower honeys, fruit jams, and locally produced bourbon-whiskey and beer. ABOVE: Downtown Calistoga is steeped in history and wine country charm; BELOW: Jeff Manfredi works in his studio inside Calistoga Pottery
Diversions for Napa Valley The CIA at Greystone isn’t far from the main hub of St. Helena, but it’s an experience that deserves a couple hours of your time, particularly if you include a tour of the 1888 stone edifice. Within is Spice Islands, which carries 1,700 book titles, cookware, bakeware, and artisan goods from the valley. Also inside, the studio of Jeff and Sally Manfredi is known as Calistoga Pottery. Their wares can be seen in the aforementioned Brannan Cottage Inn and many local wineries. Visitors flock to watch them create. Recycled oak barrels are the raw materials of Wine Barrel Furniture, which is ten minutes from downtown Calistoga. Craftsman Paul Block makes chandeliers and rocking chairs from barrel staves. He also recycles and refashions grapevines into sconces and chandeliers. Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company embodies Old World charm from a St. Helena 1880s barn. Yes, there’s a screen door entrance. The Italian grocery store, founded in 1931, carries 20 different olive oils, which you can buy by the jug.
he Northern California county of Sonoma offers up 60+ grape varieties for good reason: It’s large, with multiple microclimates. As an example, the redwoodstudded Russian River town of Guerneville lays 20 miles east of the foggy Sonoma coast. Within that short distance, temperatures can dip 20 degrees. The predominant grape here, Chardonnay, can taste radically different when grown in Sonoma’s different climate zones. For Pinot Noir fans, know that more is grown in Sonoma County than anywhere else in California. With 17 AVAs and 425 wineries, that’s a lot of touring and tasting. But now for the shopping ... While we do love the coast of Sonoma, it’s more a kayaker’s paradise than a shopper’s. Near the coast, though, is the teeny Victorian village of Duncan Mills. As small as it is, it holds a slew of shops including Cetonia Bath & Body Shop. Bath bombs, soaps, and whipped body butters spiked with natural essential oils are great stocking stuffers. Spend an afternoon shopping, then break for oysters in the redwood dining room of The Blue Heron, built in the 1800s. Sebastopol Hippie-boho Sebastopol is known for its free-spirited residents and its apples. Once an applesauce cannery that processed fruit from the 11,000 acres of orchards nearby, The Barlow is now a shopping and tasting paradise. A favorite retail haunt is California Sister Plant & Flower. Gold decor feathers, botanical-based apothecary, and floral vintage pieces appeal to the modern-flowerwoman. Scout offers a contemporary take on the general store by filling its beautiful space
TOP: The tiny town of Duncan Mills is nestled among redwoods and vineyards; LEFT: Keith Adams and Rob Hunter of William Cofield Cheesemakers; BELOW: Bread and olives from Preston Farm and Winery
Preston Farm and Winery attracts a real turnout on Sundays. That’s the day when jugs are filled from barrels in the cellar. But the property is beautiful any day of the week with its honor farm, freshly baked bread, farm-pressed olive oils, a selection of books, and fantastic wines. Take your goods, sit under the walnut tree, and enjoy the scenery. Step back into your childhood at Guerneville 5&10 in this Russian River town close to the Pacific. Games you’ve forgotten about, pranks you stopped playing, and candy you figured had been outlawed fill the store that’s been here since 1949. The bar and food selections at neighboring El Barrio and Boon Eat + Drink will whisk you back to adulthood in a happy 21st-century way. Sure, there’s a tiny general store within Graton’s Willow Wood Market. Honestly, though, come to shop lightly and eat a lot at this old-fashioned roadside stop north of Sebastopol. Zen diversion: Sonoma overflows with wellness experiences like the Japanese cedar enzyme baths at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. Dunk into cedar and rice bran. It’s like fermenting yourself. The spa is in the town of Freestone, also near Sebastopol. For 100 percent, made-in-Sonoma-county gifts, Made Local in Santa Rosa has you covered. Goods from more than 700 local artists, makers, and producers line the walls. Toys, games, and hobbies rule the shelves and space at Fundemonium Toys in Rohnert Park, south of Santa Rosa. This is the place to pick up children’s gifts and playful treasures.
Preston Farm and Winery: Maggie Preston. Abbot’s Passage: Kelly Owen
Diversions for Sonoma County
with highly coveted brands. It’s easy to find a gift here for trendsetter family members or friends. Golden State Cider moved into The Barlow this past summer to give visitors a taste of the once bountiful star fruit (over the years grapes have pushed out apples). Also of note is William Cofield Cheesemakers, a British-style creamery that also carries cheeses from other nearby farms. The Barlow is about a block or two from downtown Sebastopol. Wander into the standout shops like The Boho Bungalow, Little Four Clothing, Cultivate Home, and high-quality cannabis dispensary Sparc. Ramen fans should insist on stopping at Ramen Gaijin for shoyu ramen or an izakaya dish. A short distance from downtown is a must-stop-and-taste for the Pinot Noir obsessed. Although many of Littorai Wine’s offerings are already fully allocated to an enthusiastic fan base, this cult winery sets aside bottles to pour in its tasting room, by appointment.
reign in this small town. The indie Levin & Company bookshop carries a large selection of book and vinyl titles and houses an upstairs art gallery. Hopscotch offers a selection of American-made gifts and art. Zizi Boutique combines modern women’s clothing lines, like Johnny Was and Three Dots, with jewelry. Break for a glass of chai at local coffee haunt Flying Goat Coffee, or enjoy a glass of wine at friendly Cartograph Wines, where husband-wife owners Alan Baker and Serena Lourie are often on hand. Just behind the 8-acre Sonoma Plaza is the even older Mission San Francisco Solano, founded in 1823. Tucked within all of this centuries-old architecture and history are diversions that will help you while away the afternoon. Housed in an historic red barn, Abbot’s Passage is a place to taste, shop for curiosities and gear, and join in on a maker’s workshop. Sign of the Bear Kitchenwear carries a curated selection of cooking gadgets that will make any cook’s life much easier. Wildeflower excels on the clothing front with an assortment of modern gifts and decor too. This mission town is also the gateway to bucolic hamlets of Glen Ellen and Kenwood to the north and Cornerstone, a more modern shopping and tasting hub to the south. Lose yourself in the spectacular gardens in this wine country mecca. But before you do, browse the delightful shops such as Artefact Design & Salvage and Potter Green.
Two Square Towns Generally speaking, the two main towns of Sonoma County are Sonoma and Healdsburg. The former organizes around an historic plaza, the latter around a tree-filled square. Bordering them are shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms. When planning a trip, it’s good to be aware that they are separated by about 40 miles. Healdsburg—closer to Sebastopol and similarly off of Highway 101—charms with a walkable center off its main plaza, as well as an array of foodie pit stops like Campo Fina, Chalkboard, and Valette. You’ll quickly find that after wine, art and jewelry
ABOVE: Abbot’s Passage offers small-lot wines and adventure-themed goods
ABOVE LEFT: Diners enjoy one of many lively sidewalk cafés in downtown Livermore; Luxurious wine country products line the apothecary shelves at Butter Me Up Organics
BART ride from San Francisco brings visitors to the Livermore Valley, a premier wine-growing area. Within it are the bedroom communities of Dublin, Danville, Pleasanton, and Livermore. The East Bay town of Livermore boasts over 50 wineries, making it a destination for those who like to indulge in a little shopping while tasting exceptional wine. Downtown Livermore is a makeover story. In the past 30 years, through careful planning, a congested multilane highway was diverted in order for the town to reclaim its center. Today, it’s booming. The pedestrian-friendly downtown has plenty of outdoor cafes spilling onto sidewalks, and town squares and theaters bubbling with laughter. My Detox Lounge serves up wellness in the form of ionic detoxing foot baths, infrared saunas, and both essential oil and Himalayan salt chambers. It’s a great place to pick up a gift certificate to treat a loved one to a spa experience or a signature Zen tea blend. Walk right into First Street Wine Company to find many Livermore wine labels under one roof and sample them at this upscale tasting bar. Ranchers have been stepping into Baughman’s Western Outfitters since 1881. That’s a lot of qualification. Boots, Stetsons, Western wear will dress up all the cowboys and cowgirls in your life. Don’t underestimate farmers’ markets as a place to shop for intriguing gifts. For example, at Livermore’s Thursday night market, you’ll find Olivina olive oil; late fall is the time for the special green-hued olio nuovo—straight from the mill to the bottle. Modern apothecary Butter Me Up Organics also sets up a table at Tri-Valley farmers markets.
While at Livermore Farmers’ Market, take in the vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and then pop into the Livermore Heritage Guild in the stunning Old Carnegie Library. There, you can leaf through history books and learn facts about yesterday and also pick up a few gifts for tomorrow. On Second Street, tucked into an old-timey building within a breezeway, is Fortune Emporium, a modern store that carries some of the top natural brands in apothecary as well as artistic geometric jewelry, inspired home goods, and other gifts. The shop also offers community events and workshops that encourage creative expression like The Art of Charcuterie, a DIY cheeseboard assembly class.
Diversions for Livermore Valley Nuubia Chocolate This artisan Pleasanton chocolatier has racked up awards for its tasty confections; plus, it sources ingredients impeccably. The cacao used in their small batches is wildlife friendly. So these sweets make good gifts for chocolate and animal lovers. Two of the oldest wineries in California, Wente and Concannon, have the history and properties that’ll take you on an historic wine-infused journey. They also stock their tasting rooms with souvenirs so you can share the history of California's wine industry with folks back home. Nearby, San Francisco Premium Outlets lets you check everyone off your list at once with 180 brands to browse.
ABOVE: Lodi’s picturesque downtown is filled with retail fun; LEFT: Ice cream meets art at Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery; BELOW: Lodi Lake Park is the perfect place for relaxation
Opposite: Right: Jillian Haddad, This page: bottom: Courtesy of Robert Calzada @still.life.co
ith more than 85 wineries scattered in and around Lodi, it’s no wonder the charming town in the vast and fertile San Joaquin Valley has quietly become a major player in California’s wine industry. Known for its loamy soil, temperate climate, and vines dating to the 1880s, Lodi produces about 800,000 tons, or 20 percent, of California’s wine. While the town has dubbed itself the Zin Capital of the World, Lodi’s hundred or so diverse varieties also include international wonders, like Albariño, Tannat, and Vermentino. With a growing list of wineries, a burst of newcomers with an appreciation for creative experimentation and well-crafted Central Valley wines has lifted Lodi to a whole new level.
Home & Garden, Stella Mitchell, or La Fleurette Garden Decor scattered among more than a dozen laid-back tasting rooms. Bring your picnic basket and head to Cheese Central, where Cheese Monger Cindy Della Monica offers pairing advice and more than 80 tasty reasons to visit. Then, double your fun at Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery, where visitors linger over art while enjoying scoops of Sacramento-based Gunther’s ice cream. Flavors change seasonally, but you can’t go wrong with pumpkin, a fall favorite. For your best bet, take a one-mile walking food tour with Savor Lodi, led by in-the-know locals Juliet and Scott Fyffe.
Downtown Framed by the iconic 40-foot Lodi Arch, built in 1907, the historic downtown is lined with sycamore trees, colorful murals, and a burgeoning restaurant scene, which includes the classic, family-owned Pietro’s Trattoria and the highly anticipated opening of champagne-popping Bubbles & Birds. Wander the fourblock stretch for one-of-a-kind boutiques like French at Heart
Diversions for Lodi Smack dab in the middle of town, serene Lodi Lake Park beckons the last days of warm weather with its rental kayaks, Mokelumne River boat tours, and spectacular birdwatching. Grapes aren’t the only star crop in Lodi. One of many olive oil companies in the region, the family-run Coldani Olive Ranch offers production tours with a history talk, a stroll through the orchards, and a tasting class, where you can sample the ranch’s Calivirgin brand oils and vinegars. Once in the tasting room, try the jalapeño garlic oil or the oregano oil. —Michelle Lau
CENTR AL COAST
San Luis Obispo County Tucked between the coastal range and the Santa Lucia Mountains, the idyllic Edna Valley wine growing region—with its white-fenced horse farms and wind-ruffled grasslands—offers an ideal climate for Burgundian grape varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as a myriad of others. The town of San Luis Obispo is located to the west of the Edna Valley, close to the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101. While the historic brick storefronts and old-timey architecture lend it a quaint vibe, the youthful energy of the town’s college crowd provides a lively atmosphere and fuels an array of fun, ultra-trendy shops. Higuera Street is the epicenter of its thriving retail scene. Meander through the downtown arcades and tree-lined streets. For antiques and quirky gifts, duck into Ambrosia or Junk Girls, where you can find jewelry, art, and collectibles. EcoBambino has natural products and clothing for the little ones on your list, while Humankind Fair Trade offers unique gifts from around the world for grown-ups, like hand-woven baskets from Rwanda, hemp sun hats, and colorful felt crafts from Nepal. Stroll through the Farmer’s Market on Thursday nights, when fruit and vegetable stands, flower vendors, and musicians line six blocks of Higuera Street. For the inside scoop, local tour company, Taste of SLO, offers delicious downtown adventures with expert guides introducing visitors to Santa Maria–style BBQ, freshly baked breads, and an array of craft beers. If you’re still hungry, pop in to We Olive to sample a spectrum of olive oils, vinegars, and tapenades, or for an audio treat, check out the impressive collection of DVDs, CDs, and vinyl albums, at Boo Boo Records. And when you’re ready to refuel, pause for a coffee at a café overlooking the creek or an ice cream cone at the legendary Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, where flavors like Merlot Raspberry Chocolate Truffle combine some of our favorite things.
espite often getting lumped into one region, the “Central Coast,” all it takes is traveling this 125mile stretch of highway to learn how different each mile between Paso Robles and Santa Barbara can be. That’s especially true if you’re interested in wine—Paso Robles itself is now divided into 11 sub-AVAs, each with unique soil, climate, and suitable grapes. So, as you cruise down the 101, get ready to stop, frequently to taste but also to shop. The range of varietals you’ll be able to enjoy, from Albariño to Zinfandel, will be matched by your retail-therapy options. Paso Robles All of those sub-AVAs are a hint that Paso is relatively spread out. From charming Cambria at the coast to the Creston District in the much hotter east with fine wineries like Chateau Margene but little shopping. Most of that is in Paso Robles the city itself, with its Downtown City Park, an old town square and leafy respite on warm summer sipping days. If you think candy is dandy, don’t miss SLO Sweets, replete with confections you didn’t think were manufactured anymore. Perhaps you like baked goods better. Then don’t miss Brown Butter Cookie Company, whose simple name belies their addictive, sea salt-powered delights. Right off the park is General Store Paso Robles, a treasure trove of local pantry and gift finds, including cheeses from nearby Central Coast Creamery. You could leave with anything from beloved Paso Robles Almonds to a Paso-labeled cowbell. Once you’ve had your fill of foodstuffs, check out the mother-daughter owned Firefly to pick up one-of-a-kind jewelry and vintage-inspired fashion. Right around the corner you have two more stops: Score some olive oil to take home at We Olive and Pasolivo (or at least taste their numerous flavored varieties) and then grab something more spiritual at EarthTones, where you can find the perfect crystal to center yourself. If you’d rather leave the center—of town at least—you can nibble cheeses at Vivant Fine Cheese, which specializes in matching up local wines with fromage.
ABOVE: Food vendors, flower growers, artisans, and musicians offer their wares at San Luis Obispo’s lively Farmer’s Market; LEFT: Paso Robles’ General Store provides plenty of inspiration for stylish entertaining
Opposite Left: Courtesy General Store Paso Robles; Opposite Right: Courtesy Visit SLO Cal. This page Left: Linda Chaja; Right: Joshua Curry Photography.
Santa Barbara To get to Santa Barbara itself, choose between driving the 101 along the coast while enjoying the sparkling Pacific, or head over the winding 154 so you descend from the Santa Ynez Mountains into what looks like a postcard. There’s a happy, healthy clump of tasting rooms and shopping sites in what’s called the Presidio District, which is right along the middle of the major thoroughfare, State Street. After tasting at Au Bon Climat or enjoying Grassini Family Vineyards’ hearty Cabernets, stop at C’est Cheese for a selection of cheeses and house-made charcuterie and their gift shop La Maison Rouge. Not far is locals’ favorite Plum Goods, with everything from jewelry to T-shirts with Godzilla threatening the Santa Barbara Mission. If art’s your thing, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art not only has work from the likes of Monet and the only intact mural in the United States by David Alfaro Siqueiros but also an irresistible gift shop. Nearby is Lewis & Clark, chockful of antique and antique-inspired whimsy that’s especially delightful during the holidays. The latest hip neighborhood in town is the Funk Zone, which has lost most of its former “funk” to a sheen of tasting rooms, restaurants, and stores. That might mean you hang in an “adaptive reuse project,” as they refer to The Waterline. It used to be an industrial warehouse but now is home to two beer bars (Topa Topa and Lama Dog), wine tasting (Fox Wines), and a café (The Nook, which boasts two of the best burgers in town) and a series of shops featuring the wide-ranging wares of local artisans selling everything from ceramics to bikinis. Elsewhere in the compact Funk Zone there are the trendy offerings of The Shopkeepers, including designer clothes, a rock and roll vibe, and three stories of mid-century collectibles at The Blue Door. Funk Zone–adjacent and in the same commercial strip are two more essential finds. At Folio Press & Paperie you can letterpress your own designs or buy any of their artful cards. At Chocolate Maya there’s sure to be a truffle to tickle your fancy. Gourmets in the know can even purchase a private tasting. —George Yatchisin
Los Alamos & Los Olivos Continuing south on the 101 gets you to Santa Barbara County. Be sure to jump off the freeway at Los Alamos, a two-block town filled with culinary superstars. Allow time to enjoy breakfast or lunch at Bob’s Well Bread, which even offers culinary gifts like local honey. But what you will most remember is the food, from sticky, flaky morning buns to avocado toast. Next, get lost in the warrenlike Los Alamos Depot Mall across Bell Street, an antiquers’ dream. If you prefer something less overwhelming, Sisters Gifts & Home may be more your speed. A mere 15-minute drive and you will arrive in Los Olivos, where more than 30 tasting rooms await. You’ll have to shop, just to pace your drinking. Or you can do both at once at the charming and homey Liquid Farm Tasting Room, which not only offers Burgundian-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also one-of-akind home furnishings. Right across Alamo Pintado you will find R&D Los Olivos, not nearly as technical as it sounds. Instead, find curated jewelry and art, often nature-inspired. If you’d prefer some actual nature, explore J. Woeste Home & Garden Treasures. You practically grow a green thumb just wandering through their restful outdoor displays, but there are still rooms of unique gifts and home accessories inside too. If you prefer something with a bit of je nais sais quois, there’s Avec Moi Décor, with everything from finely milled soaps to hotel silver. Of course, Los Olivos is a dream of an Old West hamlet, right down to its flagpole in the town’s crossroads, so you must mosey into Jedlicka’s Saddlery but be ready to exit in new goatskin boots or a Stetson. Make time to dine at Bear and Star while in Los Olivos—much of the exquisite food (even the Wagyu beef ) comes from the nearby Parker Ranch. On the way out of town, stop in at Global Gardens where owner Theo Stephan will regale you with stories of growing olives as you taste her oils and vinegars.
ABOVE: A chocolate tasting at Santa Barbara’s Chocolate Maya is the perfect culinary adventure for the cocoa-curious; LEFT: Wander through the gardens at J. Woeste Home & Garden Treasures in Los Olivos
lmost all of the state’s grapes—including Oregon’s most famous Pinot Noir—are grown in the idyllic Willamette Valley, south of Portland. But 200-or-so miles away in Southern Oregon, the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys are a wine-lover’s dream, growing a seemingly endless list of varieties.
All the great goods made by regional designers and craftspeople collect under one roof in Eugene at 5th Street Public Market. There, you’ll find Made In Oregon and NEWTW!ST. The bounty of the region is also represented at the eateries in this 1929 building. Oysters? Yes please. An expansion, expected to be complete in a year, will double the market’s size.
Willamette Valley Historic McMinnville, lined with verdant trees and twinkling with lights during holidays, exudes small-town super charm, particularly on Third Street. The area hosts a monthly art and wine walk and weekly farmers markets. Fun retailers like Third Street Books, high-end women’s clothier Mes Amies, and Third Street Oil and Vinegar are interspersed with a dozen tasting rooms. In 2014, the James Beard Foundation named it an “American Classic.”
Southern Oregon Since the Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs most months of the year in Ashland, the Rogue Valley town of 20,000 is forever tied to the Bard and his English heritage. The three-floor emporium Paddington Station is where shoppers go to disappear. Let’s just say the store in an historic building is filled with Oregon-sourced items. Nearby, impeccably curated Prize stocks fancy finds in a general store atmosphere. A worthwhile spot for breakfast, lunch, or wine is Hither, whereas Mäs should make your dinner list. Post prandial libations at Oberon’s are downright Shakespearean, and it’s a spot to drink mead.
TOP: The Willamette Valley provides a festive holiday setting; RIGHT: An apple spice cake à la mode at Hither
This page, Top: Fifth Street Public Market: Melanie Griffin; Bottom: Hither: Judiaann Woo. Opposite: Top Right and Bottom Left: Shutterstock.com; Middle: Sung Park.
he state of Washington is basically split into two sides: the wet side and the dry side. State-wide, 950 or so wineries are producing an array of varietals. Riesling and Chardonnay are the heavyweights on the white side, and Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah on the red.
Seattle & Woodinville Both SODO Urban Works in Seattle and Woodinville’s Warehouse District are where you get the fun of tasting wine, then choosing the great bottles to take away that can become thoughtful gifts. Downtown Seattle’s SODO is the epicenter of the urban winery scene. Within the industrial complex are 10 tasting rooms including Rôtie Cellars, which applies traditional Rhône Valley techniques to Washington fruit. Enjoy a drinking break nearby at the flagship showroom for Filson, featuring exquisitely rustic items such as salvaged wood, ironwork, and local art. Behind-the-scenes tours are offered by appointment. About 15 miles north of Seattle, you can taste wines from many Washington appellations in one spot. Woodinville’s 120-plus tasting rooms also include cideries, distilleries, and breweries.
Diversions for Pacific Northwest The three Cs: cheese, chocolate, and Chardonnay gather in Central Point’s Artisan Corridor. Famed cheesery Rogue Creamery is joined by truffle-maker Lillie Belle Farms and Ledger David Cellars. Foodies worship Jacobsen Salt, made from the cold and pristine waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast since 2011. Visit its charming tasting rooms in Netarts or Portland. The Brigittine Monks have mastered the craft of chocolate, whipping up heavenly, made-in-Oregon fudge and truffles in their monastery in the Willamette town of Amity.
TOP RIGHT: Retail options abound in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood; BELOW: Guests enjoy a tasting at Pomum Cellars; BOTTOM LEFT: Holiday spirit fills Leavenworth, Washington; BOTTOM RIGHT: An artisan works on a hand-blown creation at Glassybaby
Glassybaby is a household name in the votives market. Substantial and often colorful, these handblown creations can be seen in the Seattle hot shop where they will teach you the art of glassblowing. Chukar Cherries are the cream of the crop. Taste them in Prosser at the charming wine country shop. Harvested in the summer, these cherries go chocolate-covered in the winter.
T O U R I N G & TA S T I N G ’ S
We feature hundreds of wines in this issue, so what should you try first?
2015 J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
A luxurious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Malbec from Beck Vineyard in Paso Robles, this wine reveals flavors of black currant, leafy herbs, tobacco, and graphite with remarkable purity of fruit, nice structure, and fine tannins $100
2013 Mumm Napa DVX Rosé
This sparkling wine opens with notes of strawberries, cherries, orange marmalade, toasted bread, and vanilla. It has a delicate mousse and elegant structure. Its creamy mid-palate shows subtle oak spice. The rich finish offers notes of strawberry shortcake. $80
2017 Calcareous Vineyard Trés Violet This Rhône-style blend offers a bouquet of fig, cola, and mocha. Mourvedre and Grenache lead on the palate with bright raspberry, plum, and gamey leather nuances. Syrah contributes earthy tannins and blackberry fruit. $56
2015 Ledson Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, and rich chocolate lead on the palate of this stunning Napa Valley Cabernet. It is intense, with opulent swirls of flavor, framed by tannins and intriguing black olive notes at the finish. $150
2016 Moshin Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosalina Vineyard
This elegant Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with spicy aromas and evolves into a myriad of ripe cherry, iron-laced earth, and black tea nuances. It offers beautifully layered flavors, a refined texture, and well-defined structure. $58
2016 Materra After Midnight
Aromas of currants, espresso, and jasmine lead on this luscious Malbec-based red blend. Complex flavors of ripe plum and apricot, complemented by savory nuances and integrated tannins, lead into a smooth and lingering ﬁnish. $48
2016 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Vineyard Reserve
Fragrant notes of black currants, wilted roses, and dried herbs lead on this opulent wine from the esteemed To Kalon Vineyard. It ﬁlls the palate with juicy black fruit, balanced by ﬁrm tannins, and ends with a long, earthy finish. $300
2014 Castello di Amorosa Il Barone A blend of the Castello’s top Cabernet Sauvignon, Il Barone is an ultra-elegant, well-structured wine. Its textural nuances and flavor profile make it an ideal pairing with grilled red meats, wild game, and flavorful cheeses. $125
ICAN Rosé NV
Fruit for this lively rosé was sourced from Mercer Family Vineyards. Flavors of pomegranate and cranberry are complemented by nuances of white tea and pink lemonade. Crisp, bright acidity balances this vibrant rosé. $75/case
2015 St Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Vineyard
The wine opens with rich aromas of ripe black plum, currant, blackberry, anise, and espresso. A sumptuous profile follows with flavors of cassis and plum, ripe black fruits, espresso, mocha, and molasses. This is a deep, structured wine with fine-grained tannins. $100
2016 Ancient Peaks Oyster Ridge
A bouquet of blackberry and crème de cassis, cedar, and graphite leads on this blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, and Malbec. The wine is dense on the palate with layers of black fruit, fine-grained tannins, and sleek acidity. $60
2015 Bennett Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This lush Napa Valley Cabernet opens with aromas of ﬁg, vanilla, and baking spices. On the palate it offers ﬂavors of bright Bing cherry and plum that lead to a dense and layered ﬁnish. $65
2008 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuvée
This blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is fresh, rich, and complex, with flavors of Asian pear and baked apple that lead into a creamy mouthfeel and a clean finish. It demonstrates superb structure, elegance, and finesse. $80
W I N E C O U NT RY TO U R S
MAKE YOUR FIRST STOP touringandtasting.com/tours Answer a few simple questions on our website and we’ll create your custom wine country experience—including reservations, premium transportation, and accommodations—based entirely on your wishes. We’ll help you discover the best of wine country and take you there VIP-style.
Gilbert Bages, Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara
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Bodega Bay Lodge HOTELS | Harvest 2019
Courtesy Bodega Bay Lodge
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 48 Omni San Francisco Hotel NAPA VALLEY, CA 49 The Westin Verasa Napa
SONOMA COUNTY, CA 50 Bodega Bay Lodge 51 The Inn at the Tides 52 Ledson Hotel LODI, CA 54 Wine & Roses
SSOANNO FMRAA N CC O IUSN C TOY, , CCAALLI IFFOORRNNI IAA
OMNI SAN FRANCISCO HOTEL RESERVATIONS
800.843.6664; 500 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104
The hotel provides an opulent oasis near attractions in the heart of San Francisco
ELEGANT ARCHITECTURE, luxury accommodations, and a convenient downtown location make the Omni San Francisco Hotel the quintessential place to stay in the heart of the “City by the Bay.” Opulence envelops guests as soon as they cross the hotel’s stately threshold. Originally built as a bank, the lobby is adorned with Italian marble, lavish fabrics, and Austrian crystal chandeliers. Each of the hotel’s 362 guestrooms is beautifully appointed and comfortable, with stylish amenities and thoughtful details. The staff’s attentive service and gracious hospitality also reflects this level of sophistication. The Omni San Francisco Hotel’s focus on
creating an exquisite guest experience has earned it great acclaim, including top honors from Forbes Travel, Condé Nast Magazine, Trip Advisor, and JD Power. With its central location, the Omni San Francisco Hotel makes the perfect starting point for a Bay Area adventure or romantic escape. Guests can take a cable car ride; walk to popular spots like Chinatown, North Beach, and the Embarcadero; or ride the subway down vibrant Market Street. At the end of the day, guests can savor exquisite wines or cocktails crafted with ingredients from the hotel’s rooftop honeybees and olive trees, enjoy a meal at Bob’s Steak & Chop House, or watch cable cars go by.
SPECIAL NOTES WORLD-CLASS RESTAURANT, DOWNTOWN, FITNESS CENTER, ROOFTOP HONEY FARMING, WEDDINGS, CORPORATE & SOCIAL EVENTS
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
THE WESTIN VERASA NAPA RESERVATIONS
888.627.7169; 1314 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559
TOP: The hotel features a heated saltwater pool; BOTTOM LEFT: The lobby is an ideal gathering place; BOTTOM RIGHT: One- and two-bedroom suites offer full or partial kitchens
LOCATED JUST MINUTES from downtown, The Westin Verasa Napa is a favorite among those who want location, luxury, and some of the finest cuisine in the Napa Valley. The hotel provides 180 suites and traditional rooms built for comfort and convenience. Besides the Westin Heavenly Bed—Westin’s trademark luxury sleeping experience—each guest room features a spacious Heavenly Bath with separate shower and bathtub, around-the-clock concierge service, in-room dining, and high-speed Internet access. Most rooms also offer a balcony or patio. Guests have access to the business center, the 24-hour Westin Workout Fitness Studio, a year-round heated outdoor saltwater
pool and hot tub, and bocce courts. The Westin Verasa Napa is an ideal venue for conferences and weddings. It offers 12,000 square feet of meeting space including a modern 3,128-square-foot ballroom and three more boardrooms—all more than 500 square feet—opening to an outdoor terrace. The meeting rooms are catered exquisitely by the kitchen of award-winning Chef Ken Frank, who moved his critically acclaimed restaurant, La Toque, into The Westin Verasa Napa in 2008. La Toque is the proud recipient of a Michelin Star and a perennial winner of The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. For light, California fare, guests can also dine at Bank Café and Bar.
SPECIAL NOTES RESTAURANTS, PET FRIENDLY, MEETINGS, WEDDINGS AND RECEPTIONS, CULINARY EVENTS
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
BODEGA BAY LODGE RESERVATIONS 888.875.2250; 103 Coast Hwy 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
bodegabaylodge.com SPECIAL NOTES IN-ROOM FIREPLACES, RESTAURANT, POOL AND SPA, WEDDINGS AND MEETINGS, BEACH ACCESS
TOP: The lobby invites guests to settle in; BOTTOM LEFT: Great adventures await in all directions; BOTTOM RIGHT: A wild stretch of beach is a short walk away
PERCHED ON A PASTORAL BLUFF overlooking the rugged Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay Lodge is the quintessential California coastal retreat. The Lodge offers rustic refinement with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, 83 welcoming guest rooms, a stunning outdoor area, and a guest lobby. Bodega Bay Lodge is nestled on eight beautifully landscaped acres of rolling hills next to Bodega Bay—just 90 minutes north of San Francisco. Guest rooms feature private balconies or patios with ocean views and sumptuous amenities including cozy down comforters, wood-burning fireplaces, spa robes and slippers, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.
Guests enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and picturesque surroundings from the oversized infinity-edge hot tub and heated pool. They can watch the sun set on the patio and savor complimentary wine and cheese in the lobby. Drakes Sonoma Coast, an elegant and romantic showcase for regional California cuisine, is an OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award winner. Next door, the Fireside Lounge offers casual dining with indoor and outdoor seating. The Lodge is both a destination in itself and the perfect starting point for exploring the area’s rugged beaches, seaside villages, and Sonoma wine country.
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
THE INN AT THE TIDES RESERVATIONS 800.541.7788; 800 Coast Hwy 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
TOP: The heated pool offers both indoor and outdoor areas; BOTTOM LEFT: The Deluxe Sonoma Suite is the Inn’s most intimate accommodation; BOTTOM RIGHT: Inside The Bayview Restaurant.
ESCAPE TO THE UNFORGETTABLE views at The Inn at the Tides. Located 68 miles north of San Francisco, the Sonoma Coast getaway boasts 86 luxe guest rooms with stunning, panoramic views, two restaurants, a heated swimming pool, and Finnish sauna, providing an ideal sanctuary. At check-in, settle into a spacious room with a welcoming bottle of wine, a down comforter, and a crackling warm fire. In the morning, a complimentary full breakfast awaits, and the friendly staff is known for providing plenty of day trip inspiration—think horseback riding, kayaking, or fishing—as you explore the surrounding Russian River area. If shopping is more your style, Bodega
Bay has a number of finds, chockful of antiques and coastal treasures. Nearby, scenic Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve invites guests to a hiking wonderland of towering trees and local wildlife. For dinner, slip into the airy dining room at The Tides Wharf & Restaurant with windows overlooking Bodega Bay. The restaurant was used as a set in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1961 classic, The Birds. Today, The Tides Wharf includes a fish market, snack bar, and bayside patio. For intimate dining, The Bay View Restaurant & Lounge is just up the hill, where culinary showstoppers include the filet mignon stuffed with Dungeness crab, enhanced by beautiful ocean views.
SPECIAL NOTES SCENIC VIEW, GIFT SHOP, WINEMAKER DINNERS, CORPORATE EVENTS, WEDDINGS
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
LEDSON HOTEL RESERVATIONS 707.996.9779; 480 First St E, Sonoma, CA 95476
TOP: Spacious guest rooms are individually decorated and named after a Ledson family member; BOTTOM: Elegantly appointed rooms with tubs offer comfort; FAR RIGHT: The boutique hotel is located in the heart of Sonoma Plaza
FIFTH GENERATION farmer, winemaker, and owner of Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Steve Ledson, created the Ledson Hotel with the conviction that wine tasting should revolve around luxury, relaxation, and culinary excellence. The hotel’s downtown location, on the Sonoma Plaza, provides guests with an opulent refuge, as well as an opportunity to explore historic sites, wander through Sonoma’s charming shops, and experience some of wine country’s finest restaurants, all within walking distance. With its prestigious location and stately exterior, Ledson Hotel’s address is one of California’s most distinguished.
The boutique property features six individually decorated guest rooms on the building’s upper floor. The rooms are designed with the utmost attention to detail, with wood-carved ceilings, unique furnishings, and plush Oriental rugs. Measuring 400 square feet, each room has a private balcony, whirlpool tub, and romantic fireplace. Wrought iron balconies offer sweeping views of the historic plaza, perfect for people watching and soaking in wine country’s sun-dappled scenery. Each room has its own aesthetic personality, inspired by one of Steve Ledson’s family members. Stay in the impeccably appointed Noble, a loving tribute to Steve’s father that features open-beam ceilings, elegant,
SPECIAL NOTES UNIQUE DÉCOR AND FURNISHINGS, WINE TASTING LOUNGE
earth-toned fabrics, and a wide balcony overlooking the Sonoma Plaza. Or choose the European-inspired Edna, a sophisticated accommodation named after Steve’s grandmother, with its ornately carved furniture, graceful charm, and luxurious soaking tub built for two. The design details and grandeur effectively transport guests back in time to a more elegant era. Downstairs, there’s the welcoming Zina Lounge where meticulously handcrafted and award-winning wines from Zina Hyde Cunningham, Ledson, and Mountain Terraces Wineries are poured. The sophisticated interior and convivial bar area make it the perfect place to unwind. After a day of wine country
exploration, guests are invited to sit back and enjoy these great artisanal wines while watching the sunset from the sidewalk seating or relaxing in the lounge by the fireplace. Ledson Hotel prides itself in providing the finest personal service and prompt attention to detail, giving guests all they need to indulge, relax, and savor their time in Sonoma wine country. Whether it’s personal assistance in planning an excursion, a special amenity request, or a glass of wine delivered to your room, the staff is pleased to accommodate each and every guest need. Warm hospitality, impeccable service, and guest comfort are the Ledson Hotel’s highest priorities.
LO D I , C A L I F O R N I A
W I N E & RO S E S R E S E R V AT I O N S 209.334.6988; 2505 W. Turner Rd, Lodi, CA 95242
TOP: The spa courtyard offers a peaceful area for reflection; BOTTOM: The Cellar Room is a breath-taking setting for events
is a hotel, restaurant, spa, and event venueâ€”everything guests expect in a wine country retreat. It is owned by lifelong Lodi native Russ Munson and his wife, Kathryn, who wanted to create a true destination for wine enthusiasts eager to discover Lodi and its wonderful wines. This exceptional seven-acre property offers serenity, beauty, and all the comforts of a luxurious home in the heart of Lodi wine country. The hotel features 66 spacious guest rooms and suites located in a variety of settings. The historic inn, built in 1902, offers individually designed guest rooms, each with its own distinct charm. Garden rooms boast rustic luxury, spa
rooms emanate a Zen-like feel, and the Signature Suites are abundant with custom details and amenities. All accommodations provide picturesque views from a balcony or veranda, along with creature comforts such as Italian linens, down pillows, Wi-Fi service, and premium personal care products. Some rooms also feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docking alarm clocks, and plush Wine & Roses bathrobes. In the morning, guests can awaken slowly in the comfort of their suite, or they can get an early start with a workout in the well-appointed fitness center or heated outdoor pool. From a culinary perspective, Wine & Roses has always provided a memorable
WINE & ROSES
SPECIAL NOTES WEDDINGS & RECEPTIONS, CORPORATE EVENTS & MEETINGS, AVEDA-CERTIFIED SALON, CULINARY EVENTS, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUSINESS PRACTICES
dining experience. In the spring of 2017, the celebrated Chef Bradley Ogden became Wine & Roses’ culinary director. As one of the nation’s top chefs and prolific restaurateurs, Chef Bradley is a two-time James Beard Award-winning culinary master. He now oversees all culinary aspects of Wine & Roses including the Towne House Restaurant & Lounge, spa, pool, weddings, meetings, and events, as well as the new Towne Corner Café & Market. The Towne Corner Café connects guests with seasonal and sustainable cuisine with its selection of handpicked, small-batch foods, and unique artisan creations. With the addition of Chef Bradley, Wine
& Roses has heightened its commitment to food and wine and now hosts Wine & Roses Cooking School, offering many new culinary events, cooking demonstrations, and classes. True to its name, the Towne House Restaurant is a charming Craftsman-style house with a porch and two cozy fireplace areas. The menu is seasonal and changes often, yet guests can expect to find creative dishes that pair perfectly with an impeccable wine list highlighting Lodi wines. According to Chef Bradley, “Whatever is fresh, organic, and in season is what you’ll find featured on the menu.” The homey, yet vibrant Towne House
ABOVE: The hotel grounds are landscaped with enchanting outdoor patios and gardens
S O N O ML A O DCI O , U CN AL T IY, F OCRANLIIAF O R N I A
W I N E & RO S E S continued
TOP: The outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi are a newer addition to the resort; BOTTOM: A signature, seasonal Tartine, served at Towne Corner Café & Market
Lounge is an integral part of the restaurant—an inviting gathering place for before and after dinner drinks and conversation. Featuring a grand piano, bar, and living room–style lounge, it provides nightly live musical entertainment. A delightful list of local artists performs regularly, drawing a friendly crowd. The Spa at Wine & Roses offers a tranquil setting with its own quiet outdoor patio under the shade of mighty oaks. Ranked number 27 in Spas of America’s Top 100 Spas of 2012 and number 3 in California, it offers a tempting menu of body treatments, facials, and more. There’s also a salon and an attractive retail boutique featuring therapeutic spa and salon products and unique gifts. When it’s time to explore Lodi wine country, the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center is located on the Wine & Roses grounds, so invaluable information, maps, and advice are only a few steps away.
Ancient Peaks Winery WINERIES | Harvest 2019
SONOMA COUNTY, CA 59 Moshin Vineyards 60 Ledson Winery & Vineyards + Q&A 62 Rodney Strong Vineyards
NAPA VALLEY, CA 63 Bennett Lane 66 Calmére Estate Winery 67 Castello di Amorosa 68 Keenan Winery 69 Materra Family Vineyards 71 Monticello Vineyards 72 Mumm Napa 74 Peju 75 Rocca Family Vineyards 76 Robert Mondavi Winery + Q&A 78 St. Supéry Estate Vineyards + Q&A
CENTRAL COAST, CA 80 Ancient Peaks Winery 81 Calcareous Vineyards 82 J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines + Q&A 84 Bien Nacido Estate WASHINGTON 85 Maryhill Winery 86 Mercer Estates
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S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
MOSHIN VINEYARDS TASTING 10295 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA, 95448; Open daily 11–4
WHAT TO BUY
’18 Rosé of Pinot Noir Strawberry, watermelon and floral nuances $25 ’16 Pinot Noir, Rosalina Vineyard Cherry, baking spice, rose petal $58
TOP: The winery’s charming tasting room; BOTTOM: Enhanced experiences include cellar tours and private, seated tastings
Moshin Potion No. 16 Late Harvest Apricots, honeysuckle, dried pears $38
MOSHIN VINEYARDS has produced 30 vintages of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. This extensive history has provided winemaker and farmer Rick Moshin with a deep connection to the land and insight into the region’s innate aromas and natural flavors. It has also enhanced his ability to guide wines toward optimal terroir expression. The Moshin estate includes four vineyards across 25 acres within the Russian River Valley AVA, an esteemed region known for producing wines with great texture, complex flavors, and characteristic floral, earth, and baking spice aromatics. The four vineyards benefit from the area’s maritime influence and daily 35-degree temperature fluctuations,
which provide ideal conditions for growing premium Pinot Noir. The winery’s four-tier gravity-flow wine design, one of the first of its kind in California, carries delicate Pinot Noir grapes through production. This graceful handling helps the winery capture more of the delicacy and nuance of this varietal. Visitors can book an appointment to tour the cellar and observe the use of gravity to gently move wine between each stage of wine production. Private seated tastings may also be customized to your preferences. Moshin Vineyards is a true family-run farmto-bottle winery with a warm and educational tasting room atmosphere.
SPECIAL NOTES WINE CLUB, WINEMAKER ON SITE, SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES, PICNIC AREA, ENHANCED TASTING EXPERIENCES
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
LEDSON WINERY & VINEYARDS TASTING 7335 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95409; Open daily 10–5
TOP: The Castle sits in the heart of the Sonoma Valley; FAR RIGHT: Elegant interiors set the stage for a memorable tasting
history spans five generations and more than 150 years of farming and winemaking in Sonoma County. About 90 percent of Ledson wine is produced from meticulously farmed estate vineyards, resulting in a superior wine portfolio. Ledson consistently produces small-lot, 90-plus point—and several 95-plus point— scoring wines that are popular with judges and wine critics throughout the world. Guests are offered a complete tasting experience and a variety of options from dropping in for a general tasting at one of three separate tasting bars, to the best-ofthe-best: a tasting in a private suite hosted by one of Steve’s personally trained winemaker
assistants. For an exceptional and very exclusive tasting experience, members of Mountain Terraces, the wine club’s top tier, have the option to visit the Mountain Terraces Estate Vineyard, located some 2,500 feet above the Sonoma Valley floor. Ledson Winery & Vineyards’ broad range of wines includes Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Bordeaux and Rhône blends, and a delicious late harvest, port-style Zinfandel. Steve Ledson’s passion for achieving excellence is a proven success. This life value is embedded in each and everyone at Ledson.
STEVE LEDSON’S FAMILY
“My family’s theory has always been that wine is made in the vineyard.” —STEVE LEDSON
Q&A with Winemaker Steve Ledson Do you have a favorite varietal to work with? Why?
Zinfandel. It is one of the oldest varietals in Sonoma County. Our family has been making wine from Zinfandel grapes since the 1860s. I have learned the nuances that make Zinfandel what it should be. Your family’s winemaking legacy spans five generations. What winemaking wisdom have your predecessors offered you?
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. In other words, if you don’t grow impeccable grapes you can’t make impeccable wine. What’s your most memorable food and wine experience? Why? Drinking a bottle of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired with fresh rainbow trout just caught out of a lake at 8,000 feet in the Trinity Alps. Ledson Winery produces wines from an array of grape varieties. Why offer such a diverse portfolio?
WHAT TO BUY
SPECIAL NOTES MORE THAN 70 DIFFERENT WINES, GOURMET MARKETPLACE, 150 YEARS OF FAMILY WINEMAKING
’15 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Blackberry, cherry, chocolate $150 ’15 Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cassis, raspberry, berry pie $110 ’15 Estate Ancient Vine Zinfandel Reserve Raspberry, blueberry, vanilla $88 61
We pride ourselves on making a wine for every palate and pocketbook. Not often does someone walk out of Ledson without at least a bottle. About 90 percent of Ledson wines are produced from estate-grown grapes. How does this influence the wines?
My family’s theory has always been that wine is made in the vineyard. A great winemaker just knows how to bring out the natural characteristics of the terroir. Food truck or fine dining? Where do you like to eat?
For me, food and wine consumed in the wilderness always tastes better than at home or in any restaurant in the world.
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
RO D N E Y S T RO N G V I N E Y A R D S TASTING 11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, CA 95448; Open daily 10–5
rodneystrong.com WHAT TO BUY
’18 Rosé of Pinot Noir Strawberry, melon, and tropical fruit $25 ’16 Rowen Red Blend High-elevation, mountain fruit, dark cherries, blackberries, toasted oak $55 ’15 Rockaway Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Dark plum and red currant, tobacco, leather $75
TOP: Rodney Strong’s relaxed atmosphere makes it a guest favorite; BOTTOM: Chef Alejandro Garcia’s C&C plates combine charcuterie and delicious cheeses
was the first to craft a single vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the first to produce a Chalk Hill Chardonnay, and among the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, as the 13th winery bonded in Sonoma County. In the years since then, Rodney Strong Vineyards wines have earned significant acclaim. Today, the winery’s impressive repertoire includes world-class reserve wines, a Symmetry blend, several single vineyard releases, and a great lineup of estate and best-in-class Sonoma County wines. This includes wine from the recently planted vineyards at Cooley Ranch in rugged northwestern Sonoma County.
The winery is nestled in the sweeping vineyards of the Russian River Valley, south of Healdsburg. Guests can take a tour or indulge in an exquisite food and wine pairing created on-site by Winery Chef Alejandro Garcia. The inspired food offerings include the Vine to Table Experience, featuring five seasonal bites flawlessly paired with Rodney Strong wines (vegetarian options available) and C&C plates, an array of locally sourced cheeses and charcuterie, plus seasonal mostarda, roasted almonds, and Chef’s outstanding pepper jelly. Guests can indulge alfresco on The Terrace through late October. For reservations, please visit the website or call the tasting room.
RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS
SPECIAL NOTES SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES, WINE CLUB EVENTS, PICNIC GROUNDS, SEATED EXPERIENCES, VINE TO TABLE EXPERIENCE
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
BEN N ET T L A N E TASTING 3340 Hwy 128, Calistoga, CA 94515; Open daily 10–5:30
bennettlane.com WHAT TO BUY
’12 Maximus Dark cherry, blueberries, cassis, mocha $48 ’14 Cabernet Sauvignon Bing cherry, raspberries, baking spices, vanilla $63 ’13 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lynch Family Vineyard Raspberries, cassis, cocoa, allspice, anise $125
TOP: The winery is tucked away at the uppermost part of the Napa Valley; BOTTOM: The tasting room offers a relaxed, welcoming place to enjoy a glass
SPECIAL NOTES TOURS BY APPT, SCENIC VIEW, WINE CLUB DISCOUNTS, PETS WELCOME, FRIENDLY TASTING ROOM
ABOUT TWO MILES NORTH of Calistoga, where the Vaca and Mayacamas mountains meet, Bennett Lane crafts vintage after vintage of superb Cabernet Sauvignon. Founded by Lisa and Randy Lynch 16 years ago, the winery has reached the top-tier of Napa Valley Cabernets and has achieved a reputation for producing outstanding wines that reflect a sense of place. Sixty Bennett Lane wines have earned scores of 90-plus points from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and The Wine Advcate. The 2012 Bennett Lane Maximus Red Feasting Wine, one “must try” in the tasting room, has earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast and is one of the best
values in the Napa Valley. Despite the accolades, this boutique estate winery is relaxed and welcoming. The new private-seated tasting, available yearround for groups of two to six, demonstrates this with a deep dive into Bennett Lane’s more exclusive wines. Guests are led by a personal wine specialist through a tasting of four of the winery’s top-end wines including the Reserve or Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine is explored in depth, and there is plenty of time for questions and discussion. This intimate tasting is a great example of the warm, hospitable style for which Bennett Lane is known—relaxed, informative, and above all, friendly.
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N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
CALMÉRE ESTATE WINERY TASTING 2750 Las Amigas Rd, Napa, CA 94559; Open daily 10—4:30
calmereestate.com WHAT TO BUY
’17 Chardonnay Napa Valley Pear, apricot, lemon curd, baking spice $30 ’18 Rosé of Pinot Noir Watermelon, raspberry sherbet, key lime pie $30 ’16 Pinot Noir Carneros Raspberry, nutmeg, cocoa $45
TOP: Coastal fog cools the valley; BOTTOM LEFT: The estate’s serene gardens; BOTTOM RIGHT: Clonal diversity creates layered flavors
SPECIAL NOTES ESTATE-GROWN CHARDONNAY & PINOT NOIR, FOOD & WINE PAIRING OPTIONS, ELEVATED TASTING EXPERIENCES, DRAMATIC VALLEY VIEWS
NAMED FOR THE FRENCH WORDS for calm (calme) and sea (mer), Calmére Estate Winery offers a peaceful natural environment, panoramic views of San Pablo Bay, and extraordinary wines. Sisters Lisa Peju and Ariana Peju—daughters of Peju Province Winery founders Tony and Herta Peju—represent the next generation of Napa Valley wine country’s industry leaders. They are delighted to showcase the unique terroir of Carneros just 45 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. The sisters identified the estate’s remarkable potential for growing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Cool temperatures, marine influence, and coastal fog makes this
region of Carneros ideal for Charonnay and Pinot Noir. Therefore, Calmére’s 100-acre estate vineyards are planted with nine different Pinot Noir clones. This clonal diversity provides Winemaker Sara Fowler, also of Peju Winery acclaim, with a diverse array of flavors, aromas, and textures to work with. As a result, Calmére Estate produces truly memorable wines that are well-structured, with exceptional grace and deliciousness—a liquid reflection of the region’s terroir. Guests are invited to soak in the splendor with private outdoor seated tastings amid the olive and citrus trees or in the elegantly appointed tasting room.
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
C A S T E L L O D I A M O RO S A TASTING 4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515; Open Mar–Oct: 9:30–6; Nov–Feb: 10–5
WHAT TO BUY
’15 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Cassis, earth, mushroom, spice notes $55 ’17 Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley Baked apple, pear, toasted almond $58
TOP: The winery intrigues guests with brilliant architecture and wines; BOTTOM: The Grand Barrel Room seats up to 300 guests
’18 La Fantasia Black raspberry, pomegranate, and white flowers $30
CASTELLO DI AMOROSA, or “castle of love” in Italian, is an authentically styled, 13thcentury Tuscan castle winery, overlooking 30 acres of estate vineyards. The Castello was built by Dario Sattui, a fourth-generation winemaker and owner of V. Sattui Winery, with 8,000 tons of handsquared stones, over 14 years. Today it spans 136,000 square feet with its eight levels (four above ground and four below), magnificent ramparts, drawbridge, secret passageways, and medieval towers. The vineyards surrounding the Castello produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Primitivo, and Sangiovese grapes for the estate’s internationally acclaimed wine portfolio. The
vineyards are certified Napa Green, a soil-tobottle environmental stewardship program. The winemaking team focuses on balance and terroir expression. As a result, each of Castello di Amorosa’s wines—available only at the winery—is elegant, well-structured, and intensely flavorful, enabling the wines to pair beautifully with a diverse array of food. Castello di Amorosa offers a variety of guided tours—including a cheese and wine pairing tour and an antipasti and wine pairing tour—all of which are accompanied by barrel samples and a private tasting. While guests are invited to visit the Castello anytime for a tasting, guided tours are available only by appointment.
SPECIAL NOTES UNIQUE TOUR AND TASTING OPTIONS, BARREL TASTING, WINE CLUB EVENTS, FOOD AND WINE PAIRING TOURS
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
KEENAN WINERY TASTING 3660 Spring Mountain Rd, St. Helena, CA 94574; Tastings and tours by appt.
WHAT TO BUY
’17 Chardonnay Spring Mountain District Citrus, ripe pear, green apple $38 ’16 Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain District Red currants, cherries, roses $70
TOP: The winery is situated at the top of a beautiful winding road; BOTTOM: Keenan Winery’s vineyards are located in the Spring Mountain District
’16 Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard, Fresh plums, mulberries, earth, spice $75 A WINDING UPHILL DRIVE on a gorgeous mountain road brings visitors to the 180-acre Keenan Winery, known for its beautiful views and terroir-driven wines. The Mayacamas Mountains create a scenic backdrop, while steep hillsides and rocky soil help the vineyard produce intensely flavorful grapes. It’s easy to see how the stunning vineyard and forest views lured a 19th-century vintner and later enticed enterprising winemaker Robert Keenan and now his son, Michael. Visitors are greeted by friendly tasting room staff, along with lively anecdotes of Keenan family winemaking and plenty of time to taste the winery’s standout offerings. You might even have a chance to learn about
Keenan’s practices directly from the winemaker or be greeted by winery dogs, Mira, Bentley, and Hash Brown. As tempting as it may be to linger in the tasting room, the best way to experience Keenan is to grab a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Franc and head to the viewing deck to gaze out over the historic vineyards. From there, guests can drink in the entire Keenan Winery experience—from the rich depth of the wines to the awe-inspiring views. Thanks to the foresight of a viticultural pioneer, the mastery of late Robert Keenan, and now the hard work of Michael, this verdant site in the mountains of St. Helena has become renowned for its fine wines.
SPECIAL NOTES SUSTAINABLY FARMED, 20 PERCENT WINE CLUB DISCOUNTS, PET FRIENDLY, SCENIC VIEWS
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
M AT E R R A FA M I LY V I N E Y A R D S TASTING 4326 Big Ranch Rd, Napa Valley, CA 94558; By appt only 10–4
WHAT TO BUY
’17 Viognier Nectarine, pear, honeysuckle, keffir lime $36 ’14 Right Bank Blueberry, cherry, tea leaf, tobacco $50
TOP: The Cunat family’s Oak Knoll District vineyard is farmed using sustainable practices; BOTTOM: The distinctive wines enhance the flavors of many foods
’16 After Midnight Malbec Mint, chocolate chip, fresh raspberry, currants $48
MATERRA FAMILY VINEYARDS not only produces exceptional wines from a unique subregion of the Napa Valley, but it also captures the essence of the Oak Knoll District perfectly in liquid form. The family-owned and -operated winery is committed to producing the highest quality wines with the smallest impact on natural ecosystems. The estate’s 50-acre vineyard is farmed using environmentally sustainable methods to allow the region’s extraordinary terroir to shine through. From elegant, crisp white wines to opulent Bordeaux blends and exquisite Cabernet Sauvignons, the winery’s stunning portfolio reveals its focus on precision winemaking
with the highest-caliber fruit. Materra also offers one of the Napa Valley’s warmest hospitality experiences. With views of the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges, the tasting room is the perfect place to gain insight into the journey from grape to bottle. Guests can enjoy tastings on the outdoor patio or explore the Grand Tasting Room’s art collection. Visitors curious to learn more can reserve guided wine experiences. Winery tours offer an in-depth glimpse of the winemaking process. Seated reserve and library wine tastings are an extraordinary sensory experience as guests sample limited-release wines accompanied by artisanal cheeses.
SPECIAL NOTES PRIVATE TOURS AND LIBRARY TASTINGS BY APPT, WINEMAKERS AND OWNER ON-SITE, SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES, SCENIC VIEWS
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N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
MONTICELLO VINEYARDS TASTING 4242 Big Ranch Rd, Napa, CA 94558; Open Daily 10–4:30
corleyfamilynapavalley.com WHAT TO BUY
’15 Estate Grown Pinot Noir Ripe berries, vanilla, juicy fruit $48 ’16 Corley Proprietary Red Dark berries, chocolate, vanilla $70 ’16 Corley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rich ripe fruit $90
TOP: The Jefferson House, modeled after Monticello; BOTTOM LEFT: The pleasant tasting room patio; BOTTOM RIGHT: The Corley brothers carry on their family’s legacy
THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID, “Good wine is a necessity of life for me,” and Jay Corley, founder of Monticello Vineyards, wholeheartedly agrees. Jay made his foray into the industry by selling grapes to wineries, eventually making the move from grape grower to winery owner and vintner. Adamant about keeping Monticello Vineyards a family-owned and -operated venture, Jay’s four sons Kevin, Chris, Stephen, and Kent are currently at the helm. It has been nearly 40 years since Monticello Vineyards released its first vintage of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, and the family and critics agree that the wines just keep getting better.
Today’s portfolio offers Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and sparkling wine. The family farms five vineyards in the Napa Valley and produces 15,000 cases annually. Visitors can sample the wines in the intimate, wood-paneled tasting room situated on 80 vineyard acres with a 360-degree view of the valley. Just steps away, the Jefferson House, a west coast interpretation of Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia, is a compelling focal point and venue for private tasting events. The majority of the wine produced by the Corley family is Monticello Vineyards, but they have two additional designations: Corley for their Reserve wines and Montreaux Brut for their sparkling wine.
SPECIAL NOTES WALK-IN TASTINGS, PRIVATE TASTINGS BY APPT, WINE CLUB, PICNIC GROUNDS, SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
MUMM NAPA TASTING 8445 SILVERADO TRAIL, RUTHERFORD, CA 94573; Open Daily 10-6, last seating at 5:30
TOP: The winery’s charming patio; BOTTOM: A perfect place to relax and sip award-winning wines; FAR RIGHT: Guests enjoy a reserve tasting on the Oak Terrace
NATURAL BEAUTY DEFINES Mumm Napa. Just off the Silverado Trail, the estate’s wooden barn and farmhouse blend harmoniously with the surrounding native oak trees and vineyards that stretch out to the Mayacamas mountains. The views are exquisite. And so are the wines. Mumm Napa’s sparkling wines are the perfect combination of French roots and California style. The sparkling wine house was founded in the late 1970s by G.H. Mumm, one of France’s most celebrated champagne houses. From the signature Brut Prestige and Brut Rosé offerings to the premium tête de cuvée DVX line, today each sparkling wine produced reflects the impeccable quality
standards and traditions of the winery’s French heritage. Mumm Napa’s sparkling wines are made using a technique called méthode traditionnelle—a process that the estate’s founder, Guy Devaux, brought to the Napa Valley more than three decades ago. Today, Napa-born Head Winemaker Tami Lotz continues the tradition with care and creativity, working with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes from the 110-acre estate vineyards and grapes sourced from passionate local growers, many of whom have cared for the land for multiple generations. Tami believes that everything in life is better with bubbles, and Mumm Napa
WHAT TO BUY
Brut Reserve Fuji apple, vanilla, plum, honeysuckle $44 Brut Reserve Rosé Red fruit, spice, crisp finish $44 ’11 DVX Crème anglaise, Meyer lemon, spicy finish $70
SPECIAL NOTES ART GALLERY, SCENIC VIEWS, WINERY TOURS, SEATED TASTINGS
invites guests to relax and savor exceptional sparkling wines while taking in the valley’s stunning scenery. Visitors can enjoy a seated reserve wine tasting beneath a 200-year-old tree on the Oak Terrace or indulge in a tasting with table service in the Devaux Lounge. Guests can wander along pathways through the verdant gardens or explore the Ansel Adams photography exhibit in the Art Gallery. Tours of the winery and experiences such as the “Capturing the Sparkle” winemaking demonstration offer an intimate glimpse of the estate’s méthode traditionnelle winemaking process from hand-harvesting to assemblage, tirage, and dosage. It’s not only a captivating educational experience, it’s a
dynamic example of Mumm Napa’s commitment to excellence. Lively conversation, delicious wines, and memorable experiences are hallmarks of Mumm Napa’s warm hospitality and friendly atmosphere. The winery hosts a variety of events year-round, including art exhibits, library tastings, and seasonal dinners. These gatherings are the perfect opportunity to connect, unwind, and indulge. With its relaxed vibe, award-winning wines, and terraces overlooking the vineyards, Mumm Napa is perfectly in harmony with its surroundings–a charming vineyard haven that invites us to lift a glass, soak in the natural splendor, and live in the moment.
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
PEJU TASTING 8466 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573; Open daily 10–6
WHAT TO BUY
’18 Sauvignon Blanc Apricot, tangerine, nectarine $25 ’15 Cabernet Sauvignon Mocha, plum, cocoa $60
TOP: Guests are welcome to wander through the estate’s peaceful gardens; BOTTOM: The winery’s historic tower offers an array of tasting experiences
’16 Cabernet Franc Pomegranate, black cherry, rhubarb cobbler $70 PEJU’S RUTHERFORD ESTATE has been home to Ariana and Lisa Peju since they were children. It was their parents who, in 1983, founded the winery. Today, Peju is still a family-owned and -operated winery with daughters Lisa and Ariana at the helm. Because of the family’s deep connection to the land and their commitment to sustainable farming practices, Peju’s Rutherford estate is one of only 21 certified organic wineries in Napa Valley. The estate’s wine portfolio features several standouts including the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and proprietary blends. Peju is well regarded for
its outstanding wines and has been named Top Artisan Winery of the Year by Wine & Spirits, a Top California Cabernet Producer by Wine Spectator, and Best Winery in North America by Discoverer blog. Peju’s exquisite wines and warm hospitality ensure a pleasant visit. Drop in for a Classic or Reserve Tasting; an Interactive Culinary Experience: craft a meal with the Peju chef in the estate’s wood-fired brick oven; a Wine and Culinary Exploration, seasonal bites paired with current releases; a Rutherford Dust Tasting, an exploration of Cabernet and the effect Rutherford dust has on the vine by a resident sommelier; or an Art Garden Tour, an intro to the property’s statuary and gardens.
SPECIAL NOTES PRIVATE SOMMELIERGUIDED TASTINGS, CERTIFIED ORGANIC, SOLAR POWERED, PET FRIENDLY, GUIDED TOURS, PREMIER PEJU EXPERIENCES, ART, LUSH GARDENS
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
RO C C A FA M I LY V I N E Y A R D S TASTING 129 Devlin Rd, Napa, CA 94558; Open daily by appointment
WHAT TO BUY
’14 Tesorina Blueberry, black raspberry, incense, licorice, graphite $160 ’15 Cabernet Sauvignon Grigsby Vineyard Truffles, plum, Sichuan pepper $85
TOP: The tasting salon exudes warmth and historic charm; BOTTOM: Visitors can choose from a Current Release Tasting and a Library Tasting
’15 Vespera Red Blend Blackberry preserves, licorice, white pepper $50
ROCCA FAMILY VINEYARDS takes the term “hand-crafted” literally. This highly respected small-production winery (under 2,000 cases per year) focuses on quality and authenticity. Rocca Family Vineyards is, in fact, a Napa Valley treasure. The winery’s two estate vineyards, Grigsby and Collinetta, are farmed organically and sustainably. The fruit is harvested selectively by hand in the cool night hours, and the wines are produced with a gentle winemaking touch and extraordinary attention to detail. As a result, each vintage displays remarkable grace and precision. The tasting room offers a unique, oneon-one tasting experience in which guests
are invited to sit down in the historic tasting parlor with a personal guide who leads them through the wine portfolio and shares valuable insights. Visitors can choose from a Current Release Tasting and a Library Tasting of limited-release wines and past vintages and enjoy the intimate tasting room. Year after year, Rocca Family Vineyards wines have garnered top accolades in international competitions and note-worthy scores from wine reviewers, earning the winery a reputation as one of the industry’s finest wine producers. Rocca’s Wine Club offers enthusiasts and collectors exclusive access to first releases of estate wines as well as special library offerings.
SPECIAL NOTES AWARD-WINNING WINES, PRIVATE TASTINGS, WINE CLUB, ORGANIC FARMING
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
RO B E RT M O N D AV I W I N E RY TASTING 7801 St Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA 94562; Open daily 10–5
TOP: Ancient olive trees shade a winery walkway; BOTTOM: The wines pair beautifully with food; FAR RIGHT: With each vintage, the winery continues its founder’s legacy of creating world-class wines
IN 1966, ROBERT MONDAVI founded his winery with the conviction that the Napa Valley could become a center for a gracious lifestyle embracing wine, food, and art. Throughout the 52 years that have since transpired, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the quintessential destination for Napa Valley visitors who are drawn by the winery’s history, legacy of fine winemaking, and the robust menu of tours, tastings, and elevated wine programs. The wines are extraordinary—a brilliant example of traditional French winemaking with California fruit. Mr. Mondavi believed that great wines should reflect their place of origin. Today, Chief Winemaker Geneviève
Janssens and her team continue Mondavi’s legacy by producing elegant wines grown in California’s sunny climate and rich soils. Each wine’s structure and rich fruit characteristics make it deeply pleasurable, while exceptional balance and finesse allow them to complement food beautifully. Sustainability has always been a top priority for Robert Mondavi Winery. The winery was one of the first in the area to adopt natural farming practices with viticultural techniques that go beyond the tenets of organic farming. As a Napa Green Certified Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery has implemented over 100 measures to conserve resources, prevent waste, and enhance operational
WHAT TO BUY
’15 Maestro Dark plum, cassis, nutmeg $50 ’16 I Block Fumé Blanc Guava, Asian pear, lemon curd $90 ’16 The Reserve Sweet black fruit, toasty oak, spice $175
SPECIAL NOTES CORPORATE EVENTS, WINE CLUB DISCOUNTS, WINERY EXCLUSIVE WINES, SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES, CULINARY EVENTS
efficiencies and participates in comprehensive water and energy use audits. The To Kalon Vineyard, planted in 1868, gets its name from the Ancient Greek for “the highest beauty.” The vineyard is recognized as one of the finest first-growth vineyards in the world and, today, it provides fruit for the winery’s world-class Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fumé Blanc Reserve. There’s an array of ways for guests to explore the winery. The Signature Tour and Tasting leads them along the path of the grape, from vineyard to cellar to bottle. The Exclusive Cellar Tasting is a chance to try limited production, Reserve, and library
wines. The Harvest of Joy Tour and Lunch treats guests to a winery tour and threecourse lunch paired with wines. No matter what, visitors should be sure to sample some of the winery’s renowned Reserve wines. The To Kalon Terroir Tasting provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy three remarkable vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve as well as the To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon, paired with fresh seasonal bites. The winery’s main tasting room and adjacent patios overlook the To Kalon Vineyard. This grand gathering place also serves as a cultural center featuring art exhibits, book signings, public events, and concerts.
N A P A V A L L E Y, C A L I F O R N I A
ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS & WINERY TASTING 8440 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573; Open daily 10–5; Reservations preferred
TOP: The main tasting room has an inviting retail space; BOTTOM: Guests arrive at St. Supéry on a tree-lined drive; FAR RIGHT: Reservations are preferred for winery visits
ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS & WINERY is one of a handful of Napa Valley wineries that is 100 percent estate. All of its wine comes from grapes grown on winery-owned land and is produced in a continuous process on the winery’s premises. The estate’s 1,582 acres are certified Napa Green Land, and the winery maintains Napa Green Winery certification— two voluntary, independent programs that are the most stringent, comprehensive industry environmental accreditations. St. Supéry’s two estate vineyards are dramatically diverse. The Rutherford Estate, home to the winery, is in the renowned Rutherford growing region benchland, whereas the Dollarhide Estate Vineyard sits in the wilds of Napa Valley’s
northeastern hills, at elevations ranging from 600 to 1,100 feet. A visit to the winery is well worth making an advance appointment. One of its engaging tasting experiences, Veggies + Vino, includes a vineyard and culinary garden tour followed by a seated tasting of the wines paired with small bites inspired by produce from the garden and Dollarhide Estate Ranch. Other popular experiences include the Five Bordeaux Varietals and Your Five Senses and My Virtú White Wine Blending experiences. St. Supéry fans are invited to join the winery’s #InJoy conversation on social media, celebrating all things that bring us joy including holidays and wine pairing tips.
“Our wine is tightly and solely controlled by us from vineyard through bottling. This is only achievable as a 100 percent estate winery.” —MICHAEL SCHOLZ
Q&A with Winemaker Michael Scholz Around eight percent of all Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is grown at St. Supéry. What are the characteristics of these grapes and their wines? Sauvignon Blanc
grows exceptionally well at the lower elevations of Dollarhide Ranch. We have over 200 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted with Clone 1, our primary clone. Over 18 years ago, I made a field selection of this clone, selecting vines that were particularly expressive. It is now the majority of our Sauvignon Blanc and unique to our property. The wines are powerful, balanced, and emphasize purity of fruit with grapefruit and green lime.
P HOTO S : M E G S M IT H
What have you done in the winery to shift the focus to single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon? We’ve added new equipment
WHAT TO BUY
SPECIAL NOTES CERTIFIED NAPA GREEN, INTERACTIVE WINE EXPERIENCES, 100% ESTATE, PET FRIENDLY, 2019 GREAT WINE CAPITALS AWARD FOR SUSTAINABLE WINE TOURISM
’18 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Grapefruit, lime, kiwi, toasted oak $35 ’15 Dollarhide Elevation Black currants, toasted oak, red plum, mocha $85 ’15 Rutherford Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Black plum, blackberries, cherries, dark mocha $125 79
and now double hand sort our fruit. We use an optical sorter to ensure that every red grape is sorted to the berry level. Last year, we experimented with triple berry sorting for even greater control over quality. Our focus is on small-lot management with open-top fermenters, and we often have over 120 lots of just Cabernet Sauvignon. We micromanage every lot, evaluating agricultural and cellar practices, then fine tune our actions in the vineyard and winery for the next vintage. A few years ago, I worked with one of our coopers on custom barrel toasts to create more depth and complexity and to convey uniqueness in our wines. We are always evaluating new techniques and equipment to improve quality. What does it mean to work exclusively with estate grapes? Our wine is tightly
and solely controlled by us from vineyard through bottling. This is only achievable as a 100 percent estate winery. Agriculture is not just farming, it is science and specific to the location while at the will of Mother Nature. Growing all of our own grapes gives us complete control over farming. The only thing we can’t control is Mother Nature herself.
C E N T R A L C O A S T, C A L I F O R N I A
ANCIENT PEAKS WINERY TASTING 22720 El Camino Real, Santa Margarita, CA 93453; Open Daily 11–5:30
WHAT TO BUY
’17 Pearl Chardonnay White peach, lemon cream, butterscotch, vanilla $32 ’17 Renegade Plum, cherry, vanilla, sage $26
TOP: The tasting room is located in a charming Western town; BOTTOM: The wines reflect a sense of place and pair beautifully with food
’16 Oyster Ridge Vanilla, black cherry, dried plum $60 EXTRAORDINARY WINES and early California ranchero hospitality are at the core of Ancient Peaks Winery. Located along the southernmost border of Paso Robles, the winery is part of a 14,000-acre, historic working cattle ranch. Beneath the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the 800-acre Margarita Vineyard is the sole vineyard within the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA, a sub-appellation of the Paso Robles AVA. The vineyard is meticulously farmed and has earned California’s Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certification. The diverse array of soil types underlying the vineyards produces wines with natural complexity, while the marine influence of the
Pacific Ocean—only 14 miles away—allows for extended hang time and optimal flavor development. The resulting wines express an unmistakable sense of place, vivid structure, varietal authenticity, and flavors that are truly unique to Margarita Vineyard. Guests are welcome to visit the Ancient Peaks Tasting Room, located within the quaint town of Santa Margarita. Visitors are invited to experience the wines in the tasting lounge; relax on the patio; and enjoy light ranch-to-table fare, salads, and sandwiches from the Ancient Peaks Café. In addition, vineyard tours, zipline adventures, private tastings, and group team-building events are available by appointment.
SPECIAL NOTES ESTATE RED & WHITE WINES, SUSTAINABLE FARMING, FOOD & WINE PAIRING OPTIONS, ELEVATED TASTING EXPERIENCES
C E N T R A L C O A S T, C A L I F O R N I A
CALCAREOUS VINEYARDS TASTING 3430 Peachy Canyon Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446; Open daily 10–5
calcareous.com WHAT TO BUY
’17 Syrah Devil’s Canyon Blueberry, rose petal $56 ’17 Trés Violet Rhône blend Blackberry, licorice, smoky pepper $56 ’17 Moose Rhône Blackberries, blueberry, pepper $56
TOP: The tasting room is perched atop the vineyard, providing vista views; BOTTOM: The chalky vineyard terrain inspired the winery’s name
SPECIAL NOTES WINERY TOURS WITH CHEESE & WINE PAIRINGS, LUNCH & WINE PAIRINGS, VIEWS; TERRACE
CALCAREOUS WINES CONSISTENTLY receive accolades and scores that exceed 90 points for two reasons. The first is “place,” or what others call terroir. The soil beneath the three estate vineyards is rare, formed from ancient fossil shells and calcareous rock. These vineyards produce tiny yields, resulting in fruit of profound depth and sense of place. The selection of sites with optimal growing conditions for Rhône, Bordeaux, and Burgundian grape varieties–at an elevation of 2,000 feet where days are long and hot, and nights are brisk–contribute to terroir expression. “Let the soil speak” is the winery’s adage. Head Winemaker Jason Joyce is another
reason why four of the current releases received high scores: Trés Violet (92 points), Devil’s Canyon Syrah (93), Moose Blend (94), and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (90) from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The perfect place to enjoy these wines is from the winery’s glass-walled tasting room, “Lloyd’s Lookout,” atop the mountain in Paso Robles, where you can take in the “place.” The views, the wines, and the bocce keep people happy ... oh, and the food. On Saturdays and Sundays from noon till 3, lunch, prepared by Thomas Hill Organics, is paired with estate wines. Reservations encouraged. For the daily wine and cheese tastings and tours, please reserve in advance.
C E N T R A L C O A S T, C A L I F O R N I A
J. LOHR VINEYARDS & WINES TASTING PASO ROBLES 6169 Airport Rd; Open daily 10–5 | SAN JOSE 1000 Lenzen Ave; Open daily 10–5
TOP: The Paso Robles Wine Center; BOTTOM: Guests relax and enjoy the wines at their own pace; FAR RIGHT: J. Lohr’s Shotwell Vineyard; FAR RIGHT TOP: CEO Steve Lohr
Central Coast winegrowing pioneer who realized the inherent potential of two very different regions, about 75 miles apart. In the early 1970s, Jerry saw ideal conditions for producing Chardonnay in the cool, windy climate of Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district and in the 1980s, he recognized Paso Robles as the next frontier for growing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet is one of the country’s best-known red wines. But the Lohr family never rests on their laurels. In honor of Jerry’s 80th birthday, the winery introduced J. Lohr Signature—a luxury class
Cabernet Sauvignon. The flagship J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is Paso Robles in a glass. The lone Napa Valley entry, the rare Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet, benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation. And a trio of Bordeaux-style blends—Cuvée PAU, Cuvée St. E, and Cuvée POM—are favorites among critics. What’s next? Happily, the second generation: Steve, Cynthia, and Lawrence Lohr grew up in the family business and work daily alongside Jerry. This second generation’s experience and passion ensures that one of California’s historic, best-known labels is in good hands—today and in the future.
JERRY LOHR IS A
“As more vineyards and wineries seek sustainability certification, word spreads and these beneficial practices become the norm.” —STEVE LOHR
Q&A with CEO Steve Lohr J. Lohr is a leader in California’s sustainability certification movement, and you personally volunteer time to this cause. Why is this a priority for you? It’s important
for everyone to know how hard California vineyards and wineries work to advance what we call the “Three Es” of sustainability: Environment, Social Equity, and Economics. Groups such as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (which I chair), the Vineyard Team (SIP), and the Lodi Winegrape Commission (Lodi Rules) share best sustainable business practices that benefit their members and the public. As more vineyards and wineries seek sustainability certification, word spreads and these beneficial practices become the norm. What should it mean to consumers when a vineyard and/or winery is certified sustainable? When a vineyard or winery is
focusing its resources to the point where it can be certified sustainable, chances are that it is also looking at many other details that will lead to higher quality grapes and more flavorful wines.
WHAT TO BUY
DON’T MISS J. LOHR WINE CLUBS FOR FIRST ACCESS TO WINES & EVENTS
’17 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay Lemon cream, brioche, white flowers $25 ’16 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon Black plum, violet, tobacco, cocoa $35 ’17 Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon Black cherry, hazelnut, dark chocolate $17
You travel quite a bit on behalf of the winery. What do you tell people about California’s Central Coast as a winegrowing region and J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines in particular? I say that California’s Central
Coast is quite simply a winegrower’s and consumer’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for Burgundian varieties from Monterey County and San Luis Obispo, Bordeaux and Rhône varieties from Paso Robles, or a mixture of the above from Santa Barbara County, you can find whatever you want on the Central Coast. At J. Lohr, we focus on producing consistently flavorful wines with good value, while providing thought and financial leadership on big picture items such as the establishment of Paso Robles’ subappellations, water issues on the Central Coast, and building world-class wineries and sensory labs at UC Davis and soon to be Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
C E N T R A L C O A S T, C A L I F O R N I A
BIEN NACIDO ESTATE TASTING 2963 Grand Ave, Suite B, Los Olivos, CA 93463; Open Thursday–Monday 11–5
biennacidoestate.com WHAT TO BUY
’14 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir Old Vine Red berries, plums, sweet soil $100 ’14 Bien Nacido “The Captain” Pinot Noir Red fruit, berries, forest floor $100 ’14 Bien Nacido Block X Syrah Plum, chocolate, cassis $100
TOP: The courtyard of the historic adobe; BOTTOM LEFT: Guests experience the terroir of the Santa Maria Valley; BOTTOM RIGHT: The tasting room is in the heart of Los Olivos
SPECIAL NOTES ELEVATED TASTING EXPERIENCES, WINE CLUB, PRIVATE TASTINGS, PET FRIENDLY, EVENTS & MEETINGS, PRVATE ESTATE TOURS
BIEN NACIDO ESTATE’S wines—produced from two iconic estate vineyards—reflect their deep California roots and elegant winemaking style. In 1969, the Miller family, a fifth-generation California farming family, purchased Spanish land grant parcels in the Santa Maria Valley and planted Bien Nacido Vineyards. Since that time, Bien Nacido Vineyards has earned the respect of winemakers, critics, and wine consumers. It is a remarkable place that produces premium fruit. In the late 1990’s, the family planted the nearby Solomon Hills Vineyard, named for Salomon Pico, a bandit who frequented the area and inspired the Lone Ranger series.
Both vineyards are located within the Santa Maria Valley AVA, one of the coolest winegrowing climates in California. With the Pacific coastline only miles away, a constant maritime influence results in wines with precise acidity, vibrant fruit, and an inherent elegance. Their exquisite flavors capture a sense of place. Guests are welcome to visit the estate’s tasting room in the heart of Los Olivos to sample and enjoy a three-tiered tasting experience of small-production wines from different areas of Bien Nacido Vineyards: cool-climate Syrah from Block X, Old Vine Pinot Noir, and Pinot Noir from the vineyard’s highest point, called “The Captain”.
C O L U M B I A G O R G E , S P O K A N E & VA N C O U V E R , WA S H I N G T O N
MARYHILL WINERY TASTING GOLDENDALE 9774 Hwy 14 | SPOKANE 1303 W Summit Pkwy #100 | VANCOUVER 801 Waterfront Way, #105
WHAT TO BUY
TOP: The winery produces award-winning Washington wines; BOTTOM LEFT: The Columbia Gorge tasting room offers panoramic views; BOTTOM RIGHT: The Vancouver tasting room features an inviting outdoor patio
’18 Proprietor’s Reserve Rosé Passion fruit, grapefruit, cranberry $25 ’15 Winemaker’s Red Jam, dried spice, Earl Grey tea $16 ’17 Viognier Melon, apricot, grapefruit, pineapple $19 by Craig and Vicki Leuthold, family-owned Maryhill Winery is one of Washington’s largest wineries, producing 80,000 cases annually. Its three tasting rooms, one in the Columbia River Gorge, one in Vancouver, WA, and one in Kendall Yards in Spokane offer visitors the chance to experience award-winning, affordable wines along with stunning views. It’s premier tasting room in Goldendale, WA, perched on a bluff overlooking the stunning Columbia River, draws more than 75,000 wine enthusiasts from around the globe each year, ranking it among the top-five most visited wineries in the state. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, live music on the vine-covered terrace
every summer weekend from Memorial Day through September, tours and special events, and tournament-quality bocce courts. Maryhill sources more than 30 unique grape varietals from some of the most highly regarded vineyards in Washington and produces more than 50 wines. Maryhill Winery has been honored with over 3,000 awards since 2001, including being named 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest and the 2014 Winery of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Winemaker Richard Batchelor has earned the Winemaker of the Year award at the Indy International Wine Competition in 2013, 2018, and 2019.
OPENED IN 2001
SPECIAL NOTES SCENIC WATERFRONT VIEW, LIVE MUSIC, PICNIC GROUNDS, GIFT SHOP
P R O S S E R & G E O R G E TO W N , WA S H I N G TO N
MERCER ESTATES TASTING PROSSER 3100 Lee Road, Wed–Sun 10-5 | GEORGETOWN 6235 Airport Way S., Suite #2, Wed–Sun 2-8
WHAT TO BUY
’15 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills Blackberry, cassis, cocoa $42 ’18 Georgetown White Blend Grapefruit, lychee, nectarine, spring grasses $18 TOP: Sweeping views of the Horse Heaven Hills; BOTTOM: Guests enjoy a tasting on the patio
’16 Sharp Sisters Red Blend Dark berries, sage, sweet burnt sugar $25 located in Washington state, is a family-owned and -operated vineyard and winery known for its exceptional quality wines and long-held commitment to sustainable agriculture. Since 1886, the Mercer family has farmed the fertile sandy soils of the Horse Heaven Hills, bordered by the Columbia River. Brothers Will and Rob Mercer are fourthgeneration farmers who thoughtfully balance vine cultivation with ecosystem management so both may flourish. The winery’s portfolio offers a diverse range of wines for every palate and occasion. Visitors to Mercer Estates’ two tasting rooms can explore Washington’s terroir and an array
of varietals with tasting flights in casual vineyard and urban settings. At the Prosser tasting room, guests can sip award-winning wines with views of the vineyards and the barrel room, stroll the picnic area and gardens, experience a seated tasting, or take part in winery tours. The inviting Georgetown tasting room provides an urban Seattle wine tasting experience. Built inside a former machine shop, the tasting room garage doors open out to a patio, the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine, play some life-size Jenga, and watch airplanes. Mercer Estates invites guests to enjoy great wines and unique tasting experiences in two beautifully authentic environments.
SPECIAL NOTES SUSTAINABLE FARMING, WINERY TOURS, SCENIC VIEWS, BARREL TASTING, PET FRIENDLY, SEATED TASTINGS, PICNIC AREA, OUTDOOR GAMES, MEETING VENUE
M O R E TO E X P LO R E
FABULOUS BIG, BOLD REDS Located in the Columbia Gorge AVA, Cathedral Ridge Winery and our 13 stunning local vineyards, with distinct microclimates, produce virtually every classic wine varietal. With this beautiful fruit—picked and crushed in under six hours for optimal freshness and flavor— our fourth-generation winemaker Michael Sebastiani uses traditional techniques to create 20+ delicious, unique and marvelously nuanced wines, perfect for pairing with friends and your favorite recipes.
WELCOME TO A NEW TRADITION We’ve farmed our Lodi vineyards since 1907. Today, we offer sustainable, award-winning wines crafted right on our Home Ranch. Visit our Tasting Room, open daily, 11am-5pm.
Cathedral Ridge Winery is located in Hood River with a beautiful tasting room in Dundee.
COLUMBIA GORGE & WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OREGON Hood River 800.516.8710 • Dundee 503.537.9977 cathedralridgewinery.com
9010 E. HARNEY LANE I LODI, CA I 209.365.1900 I HARNEYLANE.COM
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Did you know? Winemaking in Southwestern US can be traced back to the 1600s, when Spanish missionaries began *producing sacramental wines. * New Mexico is considered the oldest winemaking region in the US, dating back to 1629, when Franciscan monk, Fray García de Zúñiga, and his colleague, Antonio de Arteaga, planted grapevines in the Río Grande Valley. Today, New Mexico has more than 50 wineries and over 5,000 grapevine acres. High altitude creates dramatic temperature fluctuations in Arizona’s high deserts where three major grape-growing regions have taken root: Sonoita, Willcox, and Verde Valley. These regions specialize in southern Rhône and Italian varietals.
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WINE HORIZONS | The American Southwest
CREATE PAIRING MAGIC Gloria Ferrer Brings You 3 Tips to Pair Sparkling Wine and Food gloriaferrer.com
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut & Brown Butter Scallop Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Avocado
WHAT GROWS TOGETHER, GOES TOGETHER. California-inspired bites pair perfectly with a wine that offers an expression from the same California terroir. Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma Brut, the signature Sonoma sparkling wine, is a delicious bright, classic Brut with high acidity that pairs easily with local foods.
CHOOSE WINES WITH THE SAME FLAVOR INTENSITY AND SIMILAR TASTING NOTES TO INGREDIENTS IN YOUR DISH. A creamy brie with cranberry compote would offer complementary pairing magic to a wine that has flavors of juicy, bright red fruit. Gloria Ferrer’s Blanc de Noirs, a sophisticated pale sparkling rosé, has a dark and fruity profile that would pair perfectly.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs & Cranberry Compote with Baked Brie
Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvée & Traditional Cheesecake with Berries
PAIR RICH FOODS WITH FULL BODIED WINES, AND DELICATE FOODS WITH LIGHT BODIED WINES. A creamy cheesecake with fresh berries would be a good balance for a creamy wine with subtle berry flavors and fruit notes. Gloria Ferrer’s Anniversary Cuvée is a luscious aged sparkling brut that pairs well with rich textured dishes like this due to the wine’s creamy complexity.