|8 Stops for Your Next Wine Adventure
Slideshow: These wineries aren't just great places to drink, they're scenic adventures you don't want to miss.
Photo courtesy of Patterson Cellars
With a winery in the Woodinville Warehouse District and a tasting room in the Hollywood District, Patterson Cellars makes very approachable wines. Winemaker John Patterson is passionate about his craft, constantly testing and tasting, and eager to discover his next wine by sourcing his grapes from vineyards in Columbia Valley, Red Mountain, and Horse Heaven Hills. His creativity yields a portfolio of more than a dozen wines. Many have earned awards, and have received high acclaim from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate.
Photo courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Inspired to build an authentic medieval castle to honor his Italian heritage and showcase his exceptional wines, Dario Sattui studied architecture for 30 years before he created Castello di Amorosa. The 121,000-squarefoot fortress took 14 years to build, stone by stone. The Castello has 107 rooms, 95 of which are used for winemaking and wine storage. Named a “must-see destination” by The Wall Street Journal, the Castello offers a myriad of ways for guests to enjoy their visit. Regular tastings at the main tasting bar are always fun, but it’s best to take time for a tour. All tours feature a barrel tasting and last a little less than two hours.
Photo courtesy of Boeger Winery
Greg Boeger, grandson of early Napa Valley wine pioneers from the 1880s, brought the family winemaking tradition to El Dorado County by founding Boeger Winery in 1972. Fourth generation Winemaker Justin Boeger now makes the wine. Boeger strives to produce the finest handcrafted wines by drawing upon generations of know-how, world-class terroir, and a love for the craft.
Photo courtesy of Stags' Leap Winery
The majesty of Stags’ Leap Winery astonishes many first-time visitors. Located on the east side of the Napa Valley, the 240-acre estate rests in its own intimate valley, graced with natural beauty, historical buildings, gardens, and a legendary reputation for elegant wines that express their unique terroir. The terroir is so singular, in fact, that it inspired the formation of the Stags Leap viticultural district in 1989, nearly 100 years after the winery was founded. Advanced appointments are necessary for those wishing to visit Stags’ Leap, but those who make them are well rewarded. They will enjoy an enchanting, intimate 90-minute historical tour and tasting.
Photo courtesy of Crooked Vine Winery
Inspired by the vines and nurtured by a family, Crooked Vine Winery deserves to be noticed. The winery is owned by the Corbett family, who first established Del Arroyo Vineyard at the top of Crane Ridge in Livermore Valley in 1995. The 180-acre estate vineyard is one of the region’s top producers, but what’s more important to the Corbetts is that it yields more than 16 varieties— all of exceptional quality, from Malvasia Bianca to Petite Sirah. Happily, the winery’s success has not gone to anyone’s head. The tasting room, located in the heart of Livermore wine country, is a pure expression of simple elegance with a backyard feel.
Photo courtesy of Mettler Family Vineyards
Through eight generations in the grape growing industry, Mettler Family Vineyards has cultivated an unrivaled kinship with the earth. Beginning in Germany in the 1770s and continuing with their arrival in California’s Central Valley region of Lodi in the late 1800s, the Mettler family has a tradition of producing premium winegrapes, both for their own label, as well as for other winemakers and respected wines. Tasting room guests are treated to exclusive, limited-production wines, including the first white wines produced under the Mettler label. They are also free to roam the scenic property and enjoy a picnic with a bottle of their favorite Mettler wine.
Photo courtesy of Harney Lane Winery
For more than one hundred years, the George Mettler family has farmed Harney Lane, a 100-acre parcel of land just east of Lodi. But it wasn’t until 2006 that they decided to venture into winemaking. This attention to detail and determination to make the best product possible has certainly paid off. In five short years, Harney Lane Winery has developed a portfolio of unique, memorable estate varietals including Old Vine Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Primitivo, Petite Sirah, and Albariño— along with classic Chardonnay. The gracious tasting room offers tastes of the winery’s compelling portfolio, as well as an expansive gift shop stocked with creative wine-related gifts.
Photo courtesy of The Pacific Coast Wine Trail
Just west of Paso Robles and north of SLO Wine Country, the natural and rugged California coastline begs to be explored with deserted beaches, enchanting seaside towns, and—best of all—seven distinct boutique wineries. Together, they form The Pacific Coast Wine Trail, an incomparable route leading from the quintessential beach town of Cayucos to historic San Simeon, with stops between in the towns of Harmony and Cambria. Each tasting room is different with its own story to tell. But, as you sample the handcrafted, premium wines of Hearst Ranch Winery, Black Hand Cellars, Moonstone Cellars, Twin Coyotes, Stolo Family Winery, Harmony Cellars, and Cayucos Cellars, you’ll discover what strings them together. You’ll see that, words like “small,” “family owned,” and “history” are commonly used.