Balletto Vineyards

Our pourer today was Matt, who was a wealth of knowledge. Many pourers are good at recital of their product, but don't have a lotta depth. Matt is extremely well versed in wine, wine making, viticulture, and local wineries.Starting with a very nice Gewurtztraminer, it had all the great aromatics and was very sharp on the palate. The Dutton Ranch Chardonnay was excellent and a nice balance of classic and new world styles. The Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir was a great classic Russian River Pinot.

Misson Trail Vineyards

Mission Trail Vineyards is dedicated to showcasing the promise that Monterey Wine Country has to offer. Only small lots of hand-crafted wines are produced. The grapes for these wines are selected from choice locations throughout Monterey Count

Milano Family 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.

River Bluff Cellars

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.

Williams Selyem Winery

Williams Seylem is an institution. The original cult pinot negociant in America. For pinotfiles this place is a mecca. Since then it has changed hands (and by that I mean about a decade ago). The juice is still superb, sourced from the best vineyards in the area, and service wonderful. Though you've got to be on the mailing list to visit. Appointment required: yes, and you need to be on the list, or find someone who is.

Gloriosa Vineyards

Rolling hills and beautiful mountains surround Gloriosa Vineyards creating the perfect combination of strong ocean breezes and warm, dry climate. Gloriosa Vineyards sits at 2,620 feet above sea level which blesses us with very nice mild weather with warm, dry summers. Vintners Mert and Gloria Thomas are passionate about crafting a legacy that will pass onto their children and grandchildren. Purely self-sustaining wine is their goal with an emphasis on quality. Power is wind generated with the sun providing a touch of power here and there.


Best place for a very relaxing, tranquil, and private atmosphere. We arrived during low season so that may be a key reason why it was so relaxing and quiet. MUST TRY: Napa Cellars Pinot Noir. Affordable: REALLY reasonably priced for the budget wino. The Menage a Trois bottles range from $7.50 to $12.00 a bottle if you sign up for wine club membership. They carry the newer vintages/types of wines that you wont find at the grocery stores.

Did a tasting and they were all very good for the prices. The Menage a Trois Cabernet is $10.50 and a very good table wine for everyday meals. I am not a fan of Mascato's generally but theirs was not overly sweet and it was more of a undertone verses dominating.

The Terraces

This little hidden gem is very easy to miss while whizzing past on Silverado Trail. But don't overlook this one. You won't be disappointed. Some of the best zinfandel and very good cabernet sauvignon. It is a great value wine that will hold its own against some higher priced wines. This is a very small winery with limited production and only offers a few wines. You won't find this in too many stores so you will need to make a trip out there of go on-line. If you call in advance you can get a quick tour around the winery via golf-cart.


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