The imposing redwood and stone barn structure nestles into the cliff side, protected from crashing waves by a flat rock bench eroded over eons. The cellar is filled with French, Hungarian and American oak barrels and specialty equipment suited to handcrafted wine production. The unique location lets magical forces come into play; waves crash into sea caves under the cellar, naturally filtering wine from its sediment. Salt from sea air deposits on barrels accelerating osmosis while creating viscous and dense wines. This is what Sally Ottoson has come to call Pacific Star Winery.
Milano Family Winery specializes in some of the more unknown varietals such as Carignane, Charbono and Valdiguie as well as the more known Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Merlot. Housed in an former hop kiln this quaint tasting room is just off highway 101 just south of Hopland. I was quite impressed with the tasting room staff and the genuine feeling that you get when you first enter the room. The wine itself isn't earth shattering, but it's decent quality enough to keep most visitors interested.
Norman and Gino rented a small farm building in the Carneros region of Sonoma County. They purchased winegrapes, some 50-gallon oak barrels and a redwood vat. Three hundred cases of Pinot Noir and a small amount of White Riesling represented ZD's first commercial vintage in 1969. The grapes were purchased from the Winery Lake Vineyard, which had been planted a few years earlier by René di Rosa. ZD's 1969 Pinot Noir carries the historical significance of being the first wine to have a Carneros designation on the label. It states, "Made in Sonoma from grapes grown in the Carneros region of Napa." The Chardonnay winegrapes from Winery Lake Vineyard were not in production until 1971, which is the first vintage of ZD Chardonnay.
T-Vine was founded in 1992 with a passion for making small lots of big juicy wines – specializing in old vines: Grenache, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Visit by appointment only.
The tasting room is at the end of the main road in Calistoga, you cant miss it. Its a smaller place with three bars for tasting, all in the same room. Their dog would greet you when you walked in which was kind of nice. I really liked this place because it was smaller, they took their time with your and would answer any questions you had. The other wines were very good too but it was our first winery on the trip so we just picked up the one bottle. We spent about 45 minutes there and will definitely stop back in next time in Calistoga.
It started with 20 acres in 1999 and now Tom and Kathleen own 113 acres where they dedicate their energy and resources to providing the best environment for growing premium grapes. The vineyards are operated with sustainable farming practices to ensure that the best fruit possible will still be grown there when their grandchildren operate the farm.
The next phase of the dream began in the Spring of 2008 when they broke ground on a 14,000 winery and 5,000 square foot tasting room. Continuing the dedication to providing the best environment possible, the winery and tasting room were designed in partnership with PG&E through their “Savings By Design” program to design buildings that are energy efficient and environmentally sound.
In August 2012 Pear Valley officially achieved Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Vineyard Certification. Attaining SIP Certification demonstrates dedication to vineyard practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically-viable
Exceeded expectations are the best words to begin this review. The east side of Paso Robles is a place that at times does not receive the credit due or publicity that the west side has basked in for many years. Despite what some public opinion states there are a growing number of incredible attractively priced wines and well run establishments creating unique experiences all over the east and my recent trip to Pear Valley Winery was something that far and beyond exceeded my expectations.
Serving both Rhone and Boudreaux varietals, various blends, and well balanced wines all around they have something for the varying discerning tastes. Throw in some complimentary warm meatballs, a nice cheese spread, various cracker selections, and a friendly staff how could you not enjoy yourself.
The grounds are beautiful and built to resemble a Tuscan villa and I must say that if you close your eyes while you're out on the patio sipping their Cabernet Sauvignon, you feel like you're miles away from civilization. Greg, the owner was extremely nice and told us that the winery is 100% solar powered and only about 2 yrs old, yet the '07 Cab was drinking deliciously and the '06 Port is worth a return trip by itself!
We stopped here for lunch and decided to do a tasting while we were here. The tasting room is very nice, I like the curved counter. The room was very well lit, open and inviting. We were the only ones there and tried most of the wines. The tasting was free since we were going to buy lunch, a nice little bonus.
In 1945 retired Sheriff Deputy Amos Beauregard purchased 157 acres of which 13 acres have been planted with winegrapes. Cabernet Saugivgon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and an old grape know as Charabono were originally planted in 1880. Over the years Jim Beuregard has planted hundreds of acres of vines throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains and still maintains his 68 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Jim and his family live on the estate and Ryan Beauregard is the Winemaker.
Brant was introduced to the Rhone Varitals in the early 1980's and had his first taste of Charbono at the Inglenook Family Winery in Saint Helena. Brant sourced the budding wood from a family that was married into them in 1993, and in 1994 planted the Charbono, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, along with twelve other Rhone Varitals. These are the source to the River Bluff Wines.