Modus Operandi Cellars puts out some truly fantastic wines and Jason is the perfect host for the tasting experience. We found him years ago almost at random, joined the club, and haven't looked back since. Both Jason's whites and reds are something special and still rank among my favorites of all time.
The winery name derives from legend about a queen and her society of amazons on an island in the West Indies recorded in the log of Columbus’ first voyage. The legend was then popularized by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo, a historical novelist, in his book, published in 1503 in which he named the queen “Calafia.” The origin of the word “Calafia” remains a mystery. Explorer Hernando Cortez landed near the tip of Baja in 1513 and was reminded of the rugged terrain described in Montalvo’s book. Believing he was on an island he named it “Calafia’s Land” which became California.
Bell is an incredible winery in Yountville. If you can, book a private tour and tasting where you'll get the full story behind the single clone Cabernets and their winemaker Antony. If you're lucky, Maggie will do your tour. Brace yourself for the Clone 6!
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.
Rosenblum is famous for being all about Zinfandel – Old Vine Zin, High Altitude Zin, Single Vineyard Zin, BIG Attitude Zin. At Rosenblum, they make over 20 different types. Rosenblum Cellars has some of the highest rated, most-awarded Zins from California’s most highly regarded vineyards. Not just Napa and Sonoma, but all over the state. While a founding member of the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers group (ZAP!), Rosenblum does make other amazing wines, including Rhône-style red wines like Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, as well as Rhône-style white wines and dessert wines.
Cornerstone/Stepping Stone didn't disappoint and ended up with a fantastic wine tasting experience from start to finish. Its small, but tasteful wine room makes you feel as if you are being welcomed to the vinter's home. Its cozy tables and bar tables offer some fantastic pours with a plethora of wines whether it is syrah, sauvignon blanc, or syrah. However, it is their cabernet that truly shines. Yet everyone's taste is different and while your experience might be different, I certainly think it is worth the experience.
The staff are knowledgeable and helpful. They aren't pushy, however they explain the nuances between each wine they have crafted and what sets it apart from other wineries in the area. Prices are rather reasonable with a its higher price Cornerstone wines and its "price friendly" Stepping Stone series.
Certainly a great wine room when you are on a tour of Napa!
In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine
staked their claim in the wine grape business by purchasing 24 acres of old-vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. In the early seventies, the De Loaches decided to acquire additional vineyard land.
For several years they watched others make notable wine from their grapes before making the decision to produce wine under the De Loach label in 1975.
Sable Ridge Vineyards released its first wine in 1996 but is clearly on the fast track and becoming something of a cult favorite among its fans. Sable Ridge wines have twice been named Salute to the Arts Peoples' Choice Winery in the annual Sonoma celebration.
One Maple, established in 1998, was originally a mere dream and hobby for Ernie and Kristel Bell, evolving into a full-time family affair with the opening of Trinity County's newest winery and tasting room in July, 2006.
NOTHING but the best to report to about JUSTIN.
The Vineyard and Wine Tasting Room are very nice, almost like being in another country. Peaceful and serene.
The wine tasting room is relatively new, I believe we were told they opened about 6 months ago (from their prior location). The room was modern, tasteful, and chic. JUSTIN offers dinning in a beautiful dinning room that overlooks the vineyard. Of course, plan on making reservations ahead of time.
The wine tasting was a success. We discovered their 2011 Right Angle and their 2011 Reserve Malbec. Both are AMAZING.