Founded more than 125 years ago, Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. Today, the winery maintains its leadership role in California winegrowing under ownership and management by the Fourth and Fifth Generations of the Wente family. Blending traditional and innovative winemaking practices, the winery draws from approximately 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed Estate vineyards to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, fine dining and championship golf.
The brilliant white stucco stands out dramatically against the rugged Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges that flank each side of Napa Valley. Mount Saint Helena makes a lovely distant backdrop. The tour is self guided so it's at your own pace and the gondola ride is unique for the area. It's also one of only wineries that's on a hill in the middle of Napa Valley so the views are to die for.
My only suggestion would be (if you enjoy wine clubs) to join the wine club before you go. You can get on the gondola for free for up to 4 people and the tour is included as well. That pays for one of your months of wine right there.
Then, you get access to the VIP tasting room which is fantastic.
These tasty little wines were introduced nationally in 2008 from California’s Central Coast and represented a finely crafted, fruit-forward, indulgent and eminently approachable style of wine. The inaugural release included Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, Adam has used his experience and relationships around the world to add seven international wines to the lineup. http://underdogwinemerchants.com/
Very impressive Pinot vintages. The ever so delicate grapes are grown right in the St. Lucia highlands where the cool coastal air enters through an inlet in the valley and keeps the berries cool and mild. The result is an amazing explosion of flavors that hints of fruit varietals suitable for any occasions.
The sommelier on attendance was particularly witty and knowledgeable, a fine value of entertainment for $5. The tasting room's ambiance looked affluent but nothing pretentious, we felt welcome and greeted with smiles and laughter...well, a bottle of good Pinot Noir will always produce a smile.
Tour the Cucamonga Valley’s last (at one time there were over 60) remaining Prohibition Era winery still operating at its original location by its founding family. Wine grapes were planted in the Cucamonga valley by European immigrants, and by the 1930′s vineyards stretched from the Santa Ana River to the San Gabriel Mountains, growing lush in the alluvail fan of deep sandy soil deposited by rivers that flowed down mountain canyons and onto the Cucamonga Valley floor. The average age of the vineyards in the Valley is 90 years, producing much sought after “old vine” wine grapes. At Galleano Winery you can enjoy premium Zinfandels,, Rhone Varietals, a glass of Rose, a nice white and a few dessert wines.*
Mon - Sun 9:00am - 5:00pm
Oso Libre Winery & Ranch us a biytuque winery producing acclaimed red blends and single varietal wines.
Westbrook Wine Farm the vineyard and winery are located on a mountainous forty acre site at an elevation of 1440 feet in the central Sierra Nevada range of eastern Madera County, California. Close to the hamlet of O'Neals and not far from Bass Lake, the town of Oakhurst and the Southern entrance to Yosemite National Park.
The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam and Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines.
MacFadden Vineyards sells and ship out of their tasting room affordable, delicious, easy to drink wines from grapes organically grown on their own nearby vineyard in Potter Valley. McFadden Vineyard Tasting Room also sells organic dried herbs and herb blends, and organic beef, from the Potter Valley farm. MaFadden's has a nice tasting room on Main Street in Hopland. Friendly server. We had a good time talking with him.
Decor is fun with an amusing assortment of gargoyle and medieval statuary scattered about the very pleasant grounds. We ate on the lovely patio (Carols) with refreshing breezes and the sounds of wind chimes. It was a spectacularly sparkling day and the patio was just delightful.
The wine tasting was $10 for 6 tastes on weekends ($5 on weekdays), which is cheaper than most wineries in the area. They don't offer you a free logo glass with the wine tasting, but they do offer a $5 Bailybucks to apply towards the purchase of a bottle of wine. The tasting menu stated 1 oz pours, but they were pretty generous with each pour.