Love The Wine You're With
Each trip to wine country presents its own unique, first world challenges. With over 400 wineries in Napa and Sonoma, it can be difficult to decide which new wineries to visit while making time to visit trusted favorites that have yet to disappoint. During my last trip, we did an excellent job balancing our thirst of the new with our love for the old. I had several people reach out during the trip and ask for recommendations as they were curious about some of our stops. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the new vineyards we visited that have quickly become trusted favorites.
Scribe Winery, located in Sonoma County, is one vineyard that has been on my radar for quite a while. Not only have I had the luxury to enjoy a bottle here and there, but they’ve hosted many events including an Outstanding in the Field dinner that I just missed getting tickets to. Needless to say, Scribe was pushed to the top of the list during this last wine country adventure.
As we drove up the gravel driveway, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with the property. The Spanish hacienda, which was recently restored, was breathtaking.
After having the opportunity to explore the property, we were welcomed to our tasting located in the behind the Hacienda. I’ve been to countless wine tastings but the tasting at Scribe was really quite special. Rather than throw down a wine placemat with the name and general tasting notes, Scribe guided us not only through their vineyard but also through their farm. Each glass of wine was paired with items grown on the property. It was like having our own personal mini farm-to-table dining experience.
Up until this point, I had had limited exposure to the various wines Scribe produced. Let’s face it, Tennessee isn’t on the cutting edge of the wine scene. You can imagine how delighted I was to have the opportunity to experience four different wines produced on property. Even though I am an oenophile that gravitates towards red wines, I really enjoyed their Skin Fermented Chardonnay, but unfortunately, it can only be purchased on property or ordered through their website.
For those of you who are fortunate enough to live in wine country or within reasonable traveling distance, Scribe hosts a variety of dinners and events on property. If you are one of the lucky few able to secure a reservation, I applaud you and I’m quite jealous.
Reservations to visit the winery are required and can be made by calling 707-939-1858. I’d easily say while these three wineries that I am sharing with you, this is by far my favorite.
Long Meadow Ranch was one vineyard that I was somewhat familiar with only because I previously dined at their restaurant, Farmstead. We gathered first at the Long Meadow Ranch general store, where guests can purchase wine and an assortment of artisanal products.
The winery offers a variety of tastings. If you are looking for something more casual, the Anderson Valley tasting room is for you. While reservations aren’t required, they are certainly welcomed. Guests can sample wine and/or olive oil for as little as $10.00/ person.
Of course, we wanted a more comprehensive tour and tasting, therefore we chose to take a tour of the Mayacamas Estate. This tasting includes transportation to the estate, house cured-charcuterie, cheese and olives along with a tour of the wine caves on the property. While it is a bit more in price, $75.00/ person, it was certainly a memorable experience. The wine was incredible, our tour guide was a delight and the property was certainly picturesque. I enjoyed the wine so much so, I joined their wine club. Usually, I try my best to steer clear of wine clubs, but this was one I couldn’t resist. In addition to discounted wines and olive oils, there are certain membership perks that I couldn’t pass up. I received my first shipment in November and couldn’t have been more thrilled. If you have the time, I’d certainly recommend doing the extended tasting.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. There are times where it can be challenging ( i.e. election season) but it’s also a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals who have a similar passion. I stumbled upon a blogger on Instagram who lives in Napa Valley. Her blog highlights various vineyards she visits as well as her favorite wines. Recently, she highlighted her trip to Artesa which I was completely unfamiliar with but so intrigued.
Let me explain why.
In addition to food, wine, and travel, I also have a passion for architecture. There’s nothing better than wandering through a city like Boston or Chicago and seeing the robust combination of both old and new influences throughout. To that point, there is so much variation in the architecture throughout wine country. Some vineyards are quite ostentatious ( Del Dotto and Darioush come to mind) while others are completely under the radar, some barely traceable via GPS.
Artesa falls towards the contemporary/ultra-modern end of the spectrum. As we climbed the staircase, we saw glimpses of the massive sculpture and heard the splashing of the waterfalls. Once we made it to the top, we saw the visitor’s center which was seamlessly merged into the into the hills of Carneros. I was smitten. Artesa was not only brilliantly designed, but it has some of the best views in wine country. They say you can see the San Francisco skyline from the terrace on a sunny day.
Guest have countless options when it comes to tours and tastings, but I’d strongly recommend the tasting on the terrace. We were fortunate to snag a tasting there and it was splendid. We leisurely sipped through a large portion of the wine portfolio while soaking up the sunshine and nibbling on a cheese tray. Life could not have been better and it was quite difficult to leave.
While the Artesa property is rather large and can accommodate many guests, I’d recommend making a reservation so you can secure the tasting you prefer. Otherwise, you might miss out sipping these beautiful wines. Bring your camera and your wallet. These wines are at a reasonable price point but rest assured you will want to take several with you.
Plotting and scheming your next trip to wine country? I know I am!
It’s so easy to fall victim to the familiar, but these three wineries are gems and I would highly recommend visiting/tastings at each of them.
After all, the tasting experience is just about the wine. It’s a combination of hospitality, the passion of the winemaker and the ambiance.
Until Next Time!