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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

Freestone Vineyards

Pondering Freestone's tasting room, we weren't completely sold on the idea of spending $10 on a few sips of wine, but we decided to at least scope it out. It was surprisingly quiet on a Saturday afternoon, and the tasting room staff seemed excited to have a group of 6 appear. They offered us a private tasting room where we could all sit comfortably, and even offered us plates and knives to dig into our Wild Flour spoils while we tasted. Um yeah...we like this place already. With Freestone Vineyards and Wild Flour as next door neighbors, you've got the perfect one-stop-shop for a sampling of Sonoma County's bounty. Make the most of it: get some Fougasse, and trot over to Freestone for the perfect pairing.

Meader Wines

Meander is the personal project of winemaker Amy Aiken, who has been crafting wines in Napa Valley since 1989. Starting in 2000, her exclusive focus has been limited production, ultra-premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Established 2003
Cases/year: 400
Winemaker:
Amy Aiken

Miner Family Vineyards

Location:
A delightful tasting facility perched on the hillside that feels spacious and has a great view.

Service:
Knowledgeable and friendly staff, although this is hit and miss. The first gentleman who poured for us was very helpful, but then a brusque lady came along and stole our spit bucket that we were using and gave it to the couple she was attending.

Wines:
We had a $25 flight of 5 wines that came with the flexibility to pick any combination of the wines they were pouring. Miner does not produce estate wines and their grapes are sourced from third party vineyards.

It was fun to compare the difference between the two styles of Chardonnay, one of which (2008 Chardonnay, "Wild Yeast") received more oak aging & malolactic fermentation % than the other (2010 Chardonnay, "Napa Valley").

A. Nonini Winery

A. Nonini Winery logo

A. Nonini Winery (aka Fresno's best-kept secret) was founded in 1936 by Antonio and Angiolina Nonini, and the business carries on managed by the fourth generation. We were pleased to tour the winery, starting with the 1941 Garolla grape crusher from Italy and ending with the finished product resting in the redwood tanks, which can easily be arranged by calling James Jordan.  They also have facilities for hosting special events. Be sure to try the Nonini Winery's Ruby Cabernet. The winery opens it's tasting room from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.~

Hours:

Mon - Sat - 9:00AM to 4:00PM
Sunday                Closed

Yoakim Bridge

Gorgeous and quaint. The 19th century Farmhouse on this 5 acre vineyard was the original house for what was once a 500 acre farm in northern Sonoma Valley. A true boutique winery, Idyllic scenery and lovely gnarly zin vines.
David and Virginia are passionate and gifted wine makers. The wine offers big bang for buck, and the club is a steal on top of already good prices. Zin, syrah, cab and petite syrah. 3000 cases a year is all they produce.

Sutter Home Winery

Yes, we all know Sutter Home Wine is a basic table wine, great tasting, easy going, affordable, and all that... Ok here's the deal, my first stop was BV Winery, wine tasting for two, two bottles of wine, out the door $92, yes Nine-two bucks.... (not complaining as I really like BV, just comparing) down the street Sutter home, wine tasting for two unlimited, two bottles of wine, four two packs of wine, 2 wine glasses and a sign up for the wine club $32 out the door and to boot, you get free wine tasting at their premium brand Menage a Trois, so we went down there and we had unlimited tastings there as well and 20% off wine so out the door there $27 for two bottles of wine and wine tasting. Sutter Home has one of the most beautiful properties among all of the wineries with a slew of Victorian style buildings. These buildings have become inns perfect for anyone finding a place to stay in wine country!

Capay Valley Vineyards

Capay Valley Vineyards was established in 1998 by Tom Frederick and Pam Welch, long time residents of Capay Valley, CA. This beautiful valley is located in the northwest corner of Yolo County bordering Napa and Lake counties. It is approximately 1½ hours from San Francisco and an hour from Sacramento.

Capay Valley Vineyards produces wines from their own grapes. Varietals were chosen to complement the climate and soils. All vineyard tasks - pruning, shoot thinning, and harvesting are done by hand and tailored to each variety. Harvesting is done at night to ensure that the fruit is cool to start the winemaking process.

Back Road Vines

logo of Back Road Vines winery in California

Back Road Vines is located in beautiful Suisun Valley, California.  Hand picked grapes, trivia night, thirsty Thursday, wine and s'mores on Friday and more... this winery has a very active calendar of events and is well worth looking into for those who love activities surrounded by wine tasting (or vice versa).  They even have a Bocce ball court on the premises!

They pride themselves in following the "old school" art of winemaking and use small vessel fermenting along with stainless and French Oak barrel aging.  These wines have structure and balance.  As of this writing there is a $20 Tasting Fee, which includes a crystal logo BRV Glass and five samplings of their latest release.

They are open daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -

 

Chappell Winery & Vineryard

The Chappell Winery actually arose from the ashes of the 1990 Yosemite wildfire. Doug and Kathy Chappell (both Ventura County teachers) spent 3 summers building their dream home on the family homestead in Foresta (6 miles east of Yosemite Valley). In June they moved into their new house, and it burned in August. Unsure about what to do next, they moved to Mariposa (the closest town) and bought 45 acres of raw land. In 1992 Doug built another house for his family and decided to become a farmer by planting nine acres of the varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Zinfandel. Originally the plan was to focus only on the growing process and all of the grapes were sold to Silver Fox, another Mariposa winery. Of course, Doug couldn't resist trying something new, so he started dabbling in winemaking. After many years of practicing and trying different blends on family and friends, it was time for the Chappell Vineyard to become Chappell Winery. Following an amicable split with Silver Fox, they were bonded in 2004.

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