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Cabernet Franc

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.

Helena View

Helena View Johnston Vineyards is located on Highway 128 just five minutes north of Calistoga in the eye of Mt. St. Helena in a fertile area noted for producing exceptional red wines. Helena View specializes in bordeaux style reds, namely Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The winery is open for special events and tours by prior arrangement during the week and by appointment Saturday and Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm. Picnic facilities are available and include a covered redwood gazebo and a tree shaded deck overlooking vineyards.

Melka Wines

Napa Valley isn't quite like Hollywood (yet), where the stars get by on a first-name basis. Even so, what serious wine collector doesn't know who Helen and Heidi are? While the name Philippe may not register so quickly, Philippe Melka is definitely a Napa winemaker to watch, a man many believe is poised to become one of the valley's hottest consultants since Helen Turley and Heidi Barrett.

Meredith Family Vineyards

red wine being poured in a glass

Located in Trinity County is Meredith Family Vineyards. The vineyards were planted on the historic Olsen Homestead and the first vines were planted in 1986. The vineyards consist of primarliy with plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sangiovese, with smaller plantings of Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Being on the inland side of the California Coast Range and at an elevation of about 1400 feet, with warm days and cool nights, allows the grapes to develop excellent color and flavor. All of the wines are made with the fruit grown at the vineyard. -

Vin De Tevis

Dos Rios wines are grown on river canyon terraced vineyards at 1200 feet elevation in poor, fast draining soil. Here, cool nights and warm afternoons are accompanied by persistent wind. Hand picked fruit and ferment in 250-gallon open top tanks before barrel aging Vin De Tevis wines upwards of 39 months.

Murrieta's Well Winery

Although the original settler may have been Joaquin Murrieta, the bandit who favored the water at the property’s artesian well, it was a French native whom recognized the land’s potential for amazing wine quality. Louis Mel bought the 92-acre property in 1883 and built a winery into the hillside adjacent to the well. The old stone winery building is a gorgeous example of early California architecture. Local timber and rustic concrete made from gravel gathered from the nearby Arroyo Mocho Creek were used in the construction.

Parsonage Village Vineyard

Parsonage Village Vineyard is planted on a seven-acre south-facing hillside bench 500 feet above the Carmel River and a half mile east of the Carmel Valley Village. The mesoclimate(yes, it's not a microclimate which encompasses a larger area than meso) here is ideal for the all red varietals--Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot that make up the Estate Vineyard.

Hatcher Winery

Hatcher Winery was founded in 2002 by owner/winemaker Matthew Hatcher. His skills as a winemaker have put this winery on the map and the tasting room in Murphys is a very popular stop for wine lovers in the Sierra Foothills. Matthew Hatcher is the owner and winemaker, and his wine making talents have put Hatcher on the don't miss list of Foothill wineries.

Georis Winery

Lovely wine tasting experience. We knew nothing about Georis but had it on our list of possible stops on a recent visit to the Carmel Valley. Sometimes the best experiences are surprises.
We shared a flight of five red wines which were served with a small plate of cheese and freshly baked bread from the Corkscrew Cafe. $20 seemed very reasonable for what was served.

We lingered over our wine for probably 40 minutes or so as we sat in the garden which is in front of the adobe (circa 1930) which serves as the tasting room. The charming garden had a European feel with an eclectic mix of seating areas. Colorful tablecloths and brightly painted metal chairs added to the ambiance.

The place mat and a small printed menu gave brief descriptions of the wine. We could drink at our own pace and didn't miss having a server rushing us on to the next pour.

Georis is a "keeper" on our list of Carmel Valley tasting rooms. We'll be back.

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