Sometimes a memorable winery experience is all we need to become lifelong fans of a winery. I have a few like Stolpman Vineyards, Del Dotto, Phifer Pavitt, Vina Robles, Pure Cru Wines…and figured my pals might have others. Keep in mind that I’m not looking for which winery clubs you joined, or where you spent the most money, unless they happen to be one and the same.
Your Favorite Winery Experience (These answers came from Facebook pals. Feel free to comment on this post if you have a great winery experience that you would like to share.)
Michele T. – During our first trip to Napa, we were touring Cakebread Cellars and Dolores Cakebread came outside and gave us a personal tour of her famous vegetable garden. She told entertaining stories and showed us some behind the scene areas. She also made sure that we tried some asparagus, snapped fresh off the plant. She was so kind and friendly. Cakebread has been one of our favorites ever since.
Claudia S. – I have so many amazing experiences, but one of the most memorable ones was with Zenaida Winery in Paso Robles. We took a group of about 30 people to Paso for a wine tasting trip, years ago. They were just so amazing in how welcoming they were with everybody in the group. At the end, I mentioned an event benefiting a non-profit in SCV and they didn’t hesitate to help me. Since then, they’ve gotten me out of last minute binds with high-volume wine purchases. Not only are their wines delish, but they have a fan for life.
Scott K. – The first time I went to Silver Oak and met Justin Meyer. Or the time I went to Duckhorn Vineyards and met Dan Duckhorn. The man. The myth. The legend. Or the time I went to a wine tasting at the Los Angeles Athletic Club with Allan Littman and we met Michael Mondavi. Allan told Michael that his White Riesling was good, but that the Monterey Jekyl Vineyards Johannisberg Riesling, and I quote, “Blew (his) into the weeds!” Never meet a celebrity near the end of a wine tasting!
Michael P. – Mazzocco Sonoma Winery, Law Estate Wines, Clavo Cellars Winery, Comstock Wines, Limerick Lane Cellars all come to mind, all totally different experiences. Not to mention hanging out with Stillman Brown at undisclosed locations.
Jenny K. – So many, but it’s probably my first winery experience..at Vines on the Marycrest for the wine mixer in 2012 when I met (in person after emailing) Douglas Minnick and Stew and meeting Victor Abascal and Jennifer Craig Abascal and beginning a now 5 year friendship with all of them. It was an overwhelming night with so many good wines!
Kathe R. – We’ve been lucky to have had many fond memories made at wineries, but I think our favorite was the Pig Roast at Bedford Winery last fall. It was a convivial event with great wine, food, and the friendly wine-maker and other guests made it a perfect evening.
Bob F. – Kosta Browne dinner with Kosta and Browne at the winery.
William M. – The “Great Gopher Eradication” story and “Increasing the Brix Content” as told by the senior Beckmen at Beckmen Vineyards. We still enjoy retelling it!
Jerry S. – I have so many it would take up too much space:)
Kelly (Comstock) F. – Comstock Wines!
Michael G. – We love Paso. Our favorites are Ecluse, which we are members, Opolo, and new found joy Sextant. We also love the distillery movement in Paso and Krobar has become our go to for exceptional whiskey.
Cari P. – We have had a few great experiences at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula. Our last great one started with a tasting at their outdoor tasting bar, followed by a meal at their Annata Bistro, and finished with a glass of port for my husband, dad, and I and a cream sherry for my mom while smoking cigars on their smoking patio. Our other great experience was also in Temecula at Weins Family Cellars. We did the cheese paired tasting in the cellar room and it was such a wonderful experience!
Beth G. – Most recently we had a wonderful experience at Chateau Ste Michelle Winery in Washington State. As you know, it is the pioneer winery of Washington State wines. Beautiful wines from the Columbia Valley AVA. Stunning grounds for picnics and offering summer concerts.
Scott H. – Clos 93, El Lloar, Priorat DOQ, Spain. This place is literally dug into the stone underneath a house. It’s smaller than my garage. They make a fabulous Grenache Blanc, and two reds. Total annual production is less than 400 cases. We came on a weekday, and it was closed. The Owner drove down from his house, and opened the tasting room for us (that’s it in the picture). The Grenache-Carignan blend was terrific, but his best wine was 100% Syrah grown in a “micro vineyard” on a hill just outside of town. It was a true Spanish “wine experience” that I’ll never forget.
Kai E. – I have had a lot of great winery visits, Temecula, Portland, the Central Coast including an awesome girl’s weekend several years ago, but I think my favorite would have to be my first which was accidental. We were up in Livermore visiting family over Labor Day weekend 1996 and they have a Wine Fest each year so my first winery experiences included music and food and visiting several different wineries, including Wente Bros., with baby in the stroller.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.