Tasted Thursday, March 22, 2012 - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by isaacjamesbaker with 569 views
On my first full day in San Francisco I decided to take advantage of the warm sunny weather and rented a bike from Fisherman's Wharf. It cost me $30 for the day, so I turned most of the day into a self-guided bike tour. I rode down to Fort Point to see if there were any waves, but it was just a bunch of frothy, speeding currents. I biked over the Golden Gate Bridge and cruised down into Sausalito feeling hungry and thirsty. I stopped by Napa Valley Burger Co (ironic name, considering it's in Sausalito). Of course, I wanted to start off the trip with some California wine.
These are a few wines I tasted while I was dawdling around San Francisco on the next day. One day my girlfriend showed me around her alma mater, Berkeley. It was raining, but we still had a good time. We went to Chez Pannise for dinner, which was definitely the culinary highlight of the trip. That place lives up to all the hype. I loved the food, the staff and the atmospher, and their food is very reasonably priced considering the quality.
I was really excited to visit this winery because I've been a fan of theirs for a long time. Most of my experience with Copain has been with their single-vineyard syrahs, and most of those were from older vintages 2003-2007. I was excited to try their new releases, and I'm happy to report that they're even better. Copain's wines have a lively, fresh style, while demonstrating focused fruit, mineral and earth flavors. The staff was really helpful, giving us generous pours. The experience couldn't have been better. My brother and his wife really enjoyed this style of wine and the visit in general. I think I've made a Copain convert. This place is high on my list of top spots for Sonoma wine tourists.
This boutique winery was recommended by the staff at Copain. Just a few miles away, it's a small, no frills kind of winery, with friendly staff and an even friendlier winery dog. Their wines seem to display a rustic, hand-made quality that is unfortunately rare in a lot of California wines. This is another highly recommended visit. Even if you're not a total fan of their wines, you'll still have a really interesting wine experience.
This is a very pretty winery located in a great corner of Sonoma. Cats lay around the vines, the rich smells of mushrooms blow in from the neighboring mushroom farm. The staff is really helpful and I really liked the private tasting we received. Merry Edwards goes for a bolder, more bombastic style of pinot noir, which was quite a shift from Copain and Joseph Swan. Still, these wines show a lot of personality, and they are simply delicious. I'd love to drink any of these, any time. This is another solid recommendation for Sonoma wine fans.
This tasting room is located in a cavernous warehouse off a lazy street in Santa Rosa. The tasting staff was very helpful and the wines were really nice. I liked the no frills approach to tasting, and the fact that you could see all the winery equipment right there in the "tasting room."
My brother and his wife were in the mood for some bubbles, and I suggested Iron Horse. Their vineyards and winery weren't too far away, so we drove over for a tasting. It was a cloudy day with rain on the horizon and consistent winds, but we tasted outside. They had heaters and it was sheltered from the wind, so we tasted through a range of wines. I chose the "Reserve" tasting, and I'm glad I did. These wine's all cost more than $50, so they're not exactly cheap, but they were all solid, and some really exceptional wines. We had a great time hanging out and sipping our generous pours as we walked around a bit. It's definitely a place I'll remember fondly and recommend to anyone, especially lovers of bubbly.
My flight from SFO back to DC was delayed for a long time, but luckily SFO has a Vino Volo, an airport wine bar chain that that I've been to several times. It's overpriced, but they have a decent selection of wine flights and a good by-the-glass selection.