Tarrica Wine Cellars is a small, family owned winery started in 2000 in the Paso Robles Wine Country. The focus of Tarrica winery is to produce value priced wines that are a clear expression of viticultural origin and varietal flavor.
As one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi Winery innovated many winery technologies that were later adopted by other wineries in the area. Our tour guide went in depth about the history of the winery and showed us different ways of twirling our classes and trying various wines. For me, I felt as if I attended a informative wine class and tasted several great wines.
Today, Walter Hansel Winery farms 80 acres of grapes and produces roughly 5,000 cases of Pinot Noir; 5,500 cases of Chardonnay; and 1,500 cases of Sauvignon Blanc.
The Steven Kent Winery was started in 1996 with one mission: to make Cabernet in the Livermore Valley that rivals in quality the greatest wines made anywhere in the world. A must stop when you plan to visit Livermore and taste her wines. Be sure to try their Malbec – a beautiful wine.
When we visited they had a vintage car display as well as lots of vendors selling their goods and offering food samples. The tasting room is quite large, and while there were lots of groups there, we did not have to wait too long for the tasting. They also have a separate olive oil and balsamic tasting room.
B.R. Cohn is a large winery with retail distribution and they make wines using grapes not only from their local estate, but mostly from all over wine country.
The winery building referred by the staff as "The Barn" was the original structure at Bander. At "The Barn" Fred Bander personally hosted wine tastings inside on a rustic picnic table. This winery today is located on the estate just yards from the nearest vines. This means grapes can almost be immediately processed ater they are harvest, which has a tremendously beneficial impact on the wines produced. Frederic "Fred" Brander, owner and winemaker, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He moved with his family and settled in Santa Barbara, California. Fred started his career in the wine business by working for a local wine merchant, and later went to work in the wholesale business. While attending college, he started his own wine import company, focusing on wines from France and Argentina. Wishing to make his own wines, and with a fondness for Santa Barbara, Fred and his family established The Brander Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1975. The initial planting was mainly Bordeaux grape varietals and in 1977, the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were taken to a neighboring winery where Fred Brander produced a wine so distinctive it captured Santa Barbara County's first gold medal for a wine at a major wine competition (1978 Los Angeles County Fair).
This is a first class operation! Every employee you see is smiling, friendly, and happy. The tour was fantastic and seeing the inside of the caves they built years ago was memorable. The tasting room was big enough and there was no pressure to purchase any wines or join the clubs. Every wine we tasted was explained in detail and needless to say, superb. We enjoyed seeing the sheep grazing on the hillside and then running back to the barn. This is a don't miss winery and tour in Sonoma County.
Spottswoode is an historic winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The Novak family purchased the property in 1972 and produced its first Estate Cabernet in 1982. Our organically-farmed Estate Vineyard is the source for our Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine for which we are most known. We produce very limited quantities of this wine each year, and we also craft an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc with grapes that are from both our estate and from select growers here in Napa Valley and on Sonoma Mountain.
Hanna Winery was founded in 1985 by Dr. Elias Hanna, a world-renowned cardiac surgeon, who was eager to find a place in the country to continue the farming heritage of his upbringing in Syria. In the 1970s he realized his dream with the purchase of 12 acres in the Russian River Valley. Dr. Hanna's oldest daughter Christine now runs the winery. Great location, excellent views and a really nice and modern tasting room. Hanna makes a wide variety of wines and I was taken by their Elias Pinot Noir.
The tasting room is small, but it focuses on what a tasting room ought to: the wine. If you love flowers, you should stop by just to look at their stunning garden displays outside.) The staff here is great, very knowledgeable not just about their own wines, but about the local history of winemaking.