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.
August West Wine and Sandler Wines are both produced at the winery located in the industrial area of Bay Shore. Anyone familiar with the area would think what an out of the ordinary place to have a winery, but following the new tradition of the urban winery concept, the location is perfect for their production volume. Ed Kurtzman partner for August West and owner/winemaker for Sandler Wines is a great person and interesting winemaker. He sources his fruit from Gary Francioni, Howard Graham, and Gary Pisoni. His wines are approachable, 3 dimensional with a bright red fruit - raspberry, cherry & strawberry, on the fore-palate with just enough acidity, accompanied by a dense forest-floor, earthy yet a bit of a symphony going on ones palate.
AURIGA WINE CELLARS is located in El Dorado County in Northern California. "Auriga" is the ancient Greek and Roman name of a constellation in the Northern hemisphere and is commonly referred to as the "charioteer." Auriga wines are made from Sierra Foothill vineyards. This is the historic location of California vineyards, which supplied the gold miners (49ers) with wine in the last century. The soils in the foothills are thin and vines have to struggle to survive, resulting in intense concentrated wines.
The Auteur wines have been highly touted in the wine press and are sold by allocations through a mailing list. The owner/winemaker is Kenneth Juhasz who is also the winemaker for The Donum Estate and the Robert Stemmler label, and a consultant for other wineries
The Hope family arrived in Paso Robles in 1978 in search of land and new opportunity. As they’ve planted vineyards, grown grapes and made wine over the past 30 years, Paso Robles has become a viticulture region of significance, capable of producing world-class wines. As one of the pioneering families of this distinctive wine community, the Hope family is dedicated to sustainable farming and making wines that are delicious, accessible and memorable. Still family-owned and operated, Hope Family Wines now makes five individual brands: Liberty School, Treana, Candor, Troublemaker and Austin Hope.
Avanguardia Wines is a small, ultra-boutique winery located in Nevada City. Avanguardia Wines is the the home of non-traditional blended wines, with 100% of their wines being proprietary blends crafted from 2-6 different grape varieties, many of which are Italian, and all of which are pretty much out of the mainstream here in California. The address provided is to their Grass Valley tasting room.
Spend the day at this converted 1940s distillery and explore the nooks and crannies, plazas and courtyards, and wine-tasting rooms that make up this most unusual visitors’ center.
Avensole Winery is especially rich in the history of Southern California wine making. The property was first planted with wine grapes in 1969 by wine making pioneer Vince Cilurzo, who introduced Petite Syrah and Chenin Blanc. Development of the Avensole vineyard was completed in 1986 by Bud Van Roekel, who planted Muscat Canelli, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. It was Bud’s goal to spare no expense to produce the finest grapes in California. We think he succeeded, and that the grapes produced by our vineyard are the finest in Temecula, and some of the very best in all of California. Great fruit – as grapes are called in our industry – is what allows us to produce great wines.
We arrived, prompted by the sign on the street, at 4:15, not knowing they close at 4pm in the winter (5pm in the summer they say). Most wineries would turn us away at this point, however John welcomed us in and invited us for a taste. Aver has a great family feel to it. The tasting room is run out of his beautiful home, and everyone knows each other. Since we arrived on a Sunday after closing, they had 2 wines open and available to taste. One thing I liked about Aver was the pairing they offered 2 types of chocolates in this case with each wine, and a brief description. In my opinion, this really enhances the experience. Their wines are some of the best I've had in the Santa Clara valley. The Syrah grapes are estate grown, and their Syrah and Syrah blends are fragrant on the nose with smooth fruit notes, yet assertive tannins and a nice finish. Prices - while I feel the wine is excellent, I have a hard time swallowing $10 for tasting and $30-$40 a bottle in the Morgan Hill area. Then again, it is becoming a common thing to do at wineries today.
Many times while pouring wine in the Avio Vineyards & Winery tasting room, Stefano and Lisa are asked how they became winemakers, and how it was that they found themselves in the small town of Sutter Creek, California, all the way from the big city of Atlanta, Georgia. Both Stefano and Lisa worked in Atlanta for a number of years, employed in predominantly sales and marketing positions. They traveled extensively in their careers, and spent a majority of their work-week on an airplane. The couple knew that they wanted to settle down one day, get off of the airplanes, and work for themselves in a business that they both loved and enjoyed. They researched several business opportunities, but nothing spoke to their heart. Until Avio Vineyards & Winery.