Go, Do, Be.


04/18/2008  — 

April in Carneros

April in Carneros is happening this weekend. We stumbled upon a few really nice wines when we went last year. The vineyards along Las Amigas in Los Carneros is turning out to be one of our favorite spots in the whole Napa/Sonoma area.

Our favorites from the last April in Carneros included:

  • Bouchaine (web became members there)
  • Ceja (head there every chance we get)
  • Richardson (the 'garage in the field': barrel tastings of tasty Pinot )
  • McKenzie-Mueller (outrageously tasty Cabernet Franc from their library)

08/05/2007  — 

Carneros loop

We hit a few vineyards to taste and picnic on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Well-preserved ladies wearing lots of gold pour the tastings. Nice single-vineyard pinots and chardonnays. We didn't taste any of the brut stuff, but it looked good. Ended up picking up an interesting Viogner and a Pinot Magnum at (relative) bargain prices. They have a decent picnic area with bocce court and horseshoes. We'll hit that joint again as part of a bike ride through the vineyards.

Totally casual tasting experience. This was one of the most fun stops on the trip. Their wines lack the wow-factor of some of the other stops of the day, but their Syrah stands up pretty well. Most of their grapes are from their property or sourced from very close by. We picked up a Pinot Meuniere which I hadn't tasted before. Also picked up a late-harvest Chardonnay dessert wine that was like golden sunshine in our mouths. Worth a visit with the picnic next time.

Could be called Att-etude for some of the comments of the lady who did our tasting. We had lunch on their patio which was great. They seem to be in transition in their tasting area. We tasted in an area that looked like it was set up as cubicles which was a little weird. They pour their Etude label as well as a label called Fortitude. We tasted both. Fortitude wines were sourced from multi-generational single-family growers in the area: neat idea. We (ok, I) didn't dig the wines too much though. Etude wines are very refined, almost French: super balanced, plenty of mineral notes amongst the fruit. This was the only place we tasted Cabs and they REALLY stood out amongst the rest of the tastings. Especially Etude's St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon: wow, what a great wine. >$100 a bottle at the vineyard was almost worth it too (for a cheapskate like me). We'll go back there once they straighten out their tasting situation.

Lots of fun. This is a Mexican immigrant family-owned vineyard. They're very proud about their story and will tell it to you 3 or 4 times in the course of a tasting. Standouts were: Sauvignon Blanc was great. Pinot Noir was amazing. Really nice Merlot too. The rest was really really good. Good acidity across all their varietals emphasized the bright notes. The grounds were really nice too. Bocce ball court, lots of shaded patio areas to sit and enjoy the day. Worth a visit. Maybe even worth joining the club.

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04/05/2006  — 

Sonoma Bikeride

Spent the morning in Sonoma County on a family bikeride. What a great way to get the weekend started. We had just the right mix of sun & cloud: I needed some rays after our extended-play spring rain -- Amy tends to burn even under a 40 watt bulb. We both got what we needed.

One of the fun things about our Sonoma rides is the wildlife. Even with all its development, Southern Sonoma Co. remains an agricultural area. On a pleasant afternoon like today, the sun, the people, and even the animals were out looking for fun. We saw Cows, horses, sheep, goats, ponies, woodpeckers, peacocks, frogs... And not all roadkill!

Anyhoo... Nice ride, decent pizza at the shack on the square. We even went out to gunbun for a quick whine tasting before heading south. We took a slightly different road home: 80 to 4 which put us on the most picturesque part of the road: tall green rolling hills, cows, peeks & glimpses of the bay & the delta.

Eve napped on the ride home which left the rest of our day in great shape.