Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc

McKenzie-Mueller Vineyards And Winery

This is an appointment only winery, and it has a quiet, more laid back feel than other places in Napa. The tasting room is really cute, with artwork and photography lining the walls. The wine maker's son, Julius even sells some of his beautiful photos at the winery.

Our server was the wine maker's daughter, Sam, and she was great. We tried several different wines, including a Chardonnay, Malbec, and my personal favorite, the Cab-Franc. Everything was super well done. The Chardonnay was sweet, and not overly buttery, the cab-franc was smooth and the Malbec full of flavor. Sam was even kind enough to let us try one of their Napa Jazz wines. Very good, with a fancifully designed label.

The best part? The wines are moderately priced. Most bottles cost around $30-40.

The scenic rolling hills of grapevines, and large, earthy smelling wine cellars are great for photo opportunities. When we visited, the vineyard was in bloom with wild flowers. Super pretty.

If you're in the Valley looking for great wines and an affordable price and gorgeous vistas without all the crowd, definitely give this place a try.

Steele Wines

From handpicked grapes to gentle processing and in Steele Wine’s bottling facility this winery knows how their grapes are cared for from vineyard to bottle. Jed Steele believes a lighter hand in the winemaking will highlight the aromas and the flavors of the quality fruit sourced.

Amuse Bouche Wine

The wine is really great...but the price point is also really high. Obviously Heidi Barrett, who was the winemaker for Screaming Eagle, has set a uber high standard for herself so perhaps the Amuse warrants the nearly $300 price tag.

Crocker & Starr

If you are going to the grocery store wineries--then this isn't a place for you. Please only go here if you love the complex nature of what wine has to offer. This is a haven for people who really enjoy, appreciate, and want to learn more about what wine has to offer. This isn't a taste and dash. This is savor and reflection.
Not only is the wine great, but so was the tour given by Mark. I was really impressed with this winery and the friendliness of the staff. I would definitely come here again.

The Terraces

This little hidden gem is very easy to miss while whizzing past on Silverado Trail. But don't overlook this one. You won't be disappointed. Some of the best zinfandel and very good cabernet sauvignon. It is a great value wine that will hold its own against some higher priced wines. This is a very small winery with limited production and only offers a few wines. You won't find this in too many stores so you will need to make a trip out there of go on-line. If you call in advance you can get a quick tour around the winery via golf-cart.

Boete Winery

Boëte Winery pronounced bwah-TAY is nestled on the easter edge of Carmel Valley. Saunders Vineyard is a unique boutique winery producing Estate wines under the label Boëte. The vineyard produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Elliston Vineyards

In 1977 Sunol's grape growing tradition was revived by the planting of 55 acres of premium grape varieties on San Francisco Water Company land. In 1984 the Awtreys obtained rights to the Sunol Valley Vineyards and also replanted Elliston's own vineyard at the estate with three acres of Chardonnay. The original carriage house was converted into the winery, and Don Blackburn was hired as Elliston's first winemaker. Trained in Burgundy, Don's wines from 1985 to 1990 were classically Burgundian in style employing French Oak exclusively, barrel fermentation, "sur lie" aging, and malolactic fermentation emphasizing complexity and the unique flavors of the vineyard. Since 1992 the winery and Elliston Estates have been owned and operated by the Awtrey's daughter Donna and her three children Mark, K.J., and David.

Dracaena Wines

Mike and Lori Budd have loved wine for a long time now, and have made wine for several vintages. The couple began with one of those “make wine with us” type places. Mike and Lori didn’t know where the grapes were from, other than Lodi, California. They graduated to a more serious operation with both their fruit and winery in Paso Robles, CA. The couple has had rave reviews from their friends and colleagues that had tried their wines. The winemaking couple have dreamed of retiring to California and have purchased property in Arroyo Grande to fulfill this dream. Now onto the “what are we going to do when we get there” aspect of their lives. So enter Dracaena Wines. Yes, it is a little strange name but there is a story behind it. You can check it out on their winery's website. Dracaena Wines produces some very fine Cabernet Franc wines. At this time you can order wines or make an appointment to tour and taste their wines right in the vineyard. We are pleased to have Mike and Lori participating in California Corks Winery Experience so our members can have the experience of the vineyard and the wines produced from the vines.  

Nelson Estate

David and Holly Nelson got involved in the wine business after purchasing their first 65 acre vineyard from the owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1977. They enjoyed growing Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes for Korbel for many years, and finally got bitten by the "wine bug." Tasting available at Family Wineries, 9200 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, CA

Deerfield Ranch Winery

Deerfield is a winery where you're encouraged to sit and enjoy your wine. You're not crowded around a tasting bar, fighting for space and attention in order to sip your wine. Instead, the tasting takes place in a cave, with tables and chairs everywhere - encouraging everyone to have a seat, enjoy their wine and the sommeliers will be around to pour the wine.


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