We visited the winery, Gundlach Bundschu, just outside Sonoma, CA today for a tasting and tour. GunPun.com, as they're trying to use as a funny short for their name, was founded in 1858 and has remained a family owned & operated business for the past 152 years.
Salamandre Wine Cellars was started out of a doctors garage 25 years ago in Aptos CA (in Santa Cruz County). Sourcing grapes from all over California, they make a bunch of white & red single varietals and blends.
Pride Mountain Vineyards is one of our favorites, not because its one of the best value 'cult wineries' but because it generally produces great wine for what wine fanatics would say are good prices - though I'm not sure any bottle in the $60 range can ever be considered a good value - these are very good wines. Made my renowned wine maker Bob Foley, Pride consistency produces wines that not only taste well but are well liked by the industry experts.
Duckhorn Wine Company is a pretty big wine producer that has created several 'sister' brands such as Paraduxx, Goldeneye and Decoy. Paraduxx has its own tasting room off the Silverado trail, and its primarily Zinfandel based. Duckhorn on the otherhand is off highway 29 and is more Cabernet based, and has been the flagship brand of the company. This was the first winery we hit up on Friday, it was about 11:30 AM with a little mist in the air and we were one of the first at the winery - in otherwards it was perfect conditions for tastings.
It has been awhile since we spent a weekend in the wine country. We've spent a day here or there tasting since its so close (less than a two hour drive) but we haven't done the full blown, 10+ wineries in a couple days of tasting like we've been known for. So for our 4th anniversary, I decided it was a good excuse to plan a weekend at Duchamp Hotel and dinner at Cyrus, a hot (supposedly French Laundry like) restaurant in Healdsburg. However when I went to make reservations (our anniversary is actually in early October) everything was booked up until early November. Well, to make a long story short, we're finally on the anniversary weekend here in mid November.
We were in the Seattle region a couple weeks back for a wedding and I booked sometime one afternoon to jaunt out to Woodinville (about 20 minutes outside of the city proper) to visit some wineries and enjoy the countryside. Ok, mostly to drink wine.
The SF Chronicle Wine Competitionevent last weekend brought more than a couple hundred California vintners, which for some created a golden opportunity to socialize & drink their way thru a wonderful Saturday afternoon. For me it was an incredible one stop day to taste first hand dozens of varietals from across the state. We tasted dozens of wines from approximately fifteen wineries.