Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Visit Wine Country

It is always great fun to visit where grapes are grown and where wine is made. You often hear people in the business say "each wine has a story," and many times, that connection to "the story" makes for a more favorable view of the wine. Not a distortion, mind you, more of a better understanding of the elusive sense of place.

If you have any interest in learning more about the process, the climate, the reason for being, a trip to wine country will be enlightening. Just like we always say the most important thing about learning wine is to taste, we also believe understanding where the wine comes from leads to added insightfulness.

On a recent Napa trip we were able to try some new wines and re-taste some old favorites. These kinds of trips contribute greatly to your inner encyclopedia of wine tastes. We highly recommend a wine country visit, to any one, really.

Fisher Vineyards was our first stop. They are located on the Sonoma side of Spring Mountain. The site is amazing. The wines are equally as beguiling. They are a very small production and all family owned and run, established in 1973.


Next up was Failla Wines on the Silverado Trail in St Helena. Ehren Jordan, the wine maker, trained in Europe and has an affinity for Pinot Noir and Syrah, even though he is based in Napa. He sources fruit largely from top sites in Sonoma.


Outpost Winery was another visit. Thomas Rivers Brown is likely one of the most sought-after wine makers currently. He picks and chooses his projects and crafts top quality wines.  Outpost has amazing views on Howell Mountain. Great wines; Cabs, Zins, Petite Syrah and Grenache.


Another memorable stop was Karl Lawrence Winery, located on the bench floor, in St Helena. Mike Trujillo is the winemaker. We have worked with the wines at the store. Mostly Cabs and reserve Cabs. We were able to try some of the reserve wines, which in small production, are fantastic.


Corison Winery was a quick stop also. Kathy Corison crafts what I would call classic wines. They are balanced and show a real purity of fruit. Her style is what could be described as restrained, when compared to some of the real juicy wines that are dominating the market, but we like them a lot. Try to find some older vintages. You will be impressed.


A good resource for Napa Valley is: www.napavalley.org

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