Bella Victorian Vineyard
My wife Karen and I were ready to start our first taste of Ventura County wine country. And since wine tasting should not be done on an empty stomach, we were glad our first stop was at Bella Victorian’s Tasting Room & Bistro in Old Town Camarillo.
Traveling with our good friends Mike Ortiz and Carey Babcock, we were greeted by tasting room manager Shanen when we entered the tasting room. The place has a wonderful warm ambience and we immediately felt comfortable.
Bella Victorian was started in 2004 by Jerry and Kimberly Monahan. They source grapes from Santa Barbara County and Napa, but also have an Estate vineyard in Camarillo, planted with Syrah, Grenache, Counoise and Viognier – definitely in my favorite zone: the Rhone Zone!
I’m pretty sure we tasted through their entire lineup. Standouts for me were:
2009 Pinot Noir “Santa Barbara County” [This may be hard for anyone who knows me to believe. I think the 5% Dornfelder is what made this work for me.]
2008 Grenache “Santa Barbara County” [12% Syrah and 2% Counoise made this a well-rounded wine.]
2007 Syrah – The Garage “Camarillo Estate” [Who would have figured grapes from Camarillo would make a wine this good?]
2007 Big Red Trolley [Rhone blend]
What can I say about the food? Lunch was amazing. We shared appetizers of Ahi Tuna Tartare and Beef Carpaccio. [I guess we were in a “raw” mood.] The Tuna was delicious and the Carpaccio was possibly the best I have ever had. Lunch was Goat Cheese Pizza for Carey, Kobe Beef Burger for Mike, Grilled Vegetable Panini for Karen and Roasted Leg of Lamb Sandwich for me. All talking pretty much stopped at that point, as the food was soooo good.
We were too full for dessert, but we know we will be back to try them.
Leaving the Bella Victorian tasting room, any trepidation I had felt about Ventura County wines had long since left me and I was eagerly looking forward to our next stop.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.