Cakebread Cellars

One of my earliest recollections of Cakebread is one of my fondest memories of this wine. Years ago, back in my novice drinking days, after a long day at work I decided to open up a bottle of wine while I started dinner. It was toward the beginning of the week, a Tuesday at best. When my husband walked in from work, I poured him a glass as well. He took a sip and immediately says, “wow this is really good, what did you open?” My reply, “Not sure, something cake??” I assumed I had opened the other wine brand that has “cake” in their name. When my husband noticed it was Cakebread, all he could do was laugh and from there on out, Tuesday became our day of the week to open up the good stuff. This 2017 Chardonnay is no exception and perfect to jump starting the summer.

I immediately thought of a classic, traditional Chardonnay the moment this wine hit my mouth. Barrel aged for 8 months in 36% new French Oak, it shows off its richness and creamy goodness instantaneously, with pear and minerality rounding out the flavors. Ripe apple, saline, hints of floral and citrus notes flirt with your senses. Take your time with this one, it’s a fun one to sip and swirl. Continue reading “Cakebread Cellars”

Ehlers Estate

If I could go back in time and visit just one winery, I’d take myself back to the late 1800s when Bernard Ehlers’ curiosity of winemaking led him to purchase a small, dying vineyard located in Napa Valley’s much-admired St. Helena appellation. He eventually went on to replant his newly-acquired 10-acre vineyard, including an olive grove that still flourishes today, all the while completing construction of the stone barn, still standing, and enjoyed by many as the current wine tasting room. His wife continued to run the winery long after his death.

A century later, another husband and wife team saw the potential of the landscape. As French entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Jean and Sylviane Leducq began acquiring individual local vineyards as they came up for sale and replanted the most fitting clones and rootstock, with the help of renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot. Over several decades Jean and Sylviane were able to create balanced and structured Bordeaux style wines, which they shared a passion and love for. By the turn of the century they had shaped an adjoining 42-acre estate, including the release of the very first vintage from the Leducqs’ new Ehlers Estate. Continue reading “Ehlers Estate”

Teachworth Winery

It is not often you get out of the hustle and bustle of Napa, while being smack dab in the Napa Valley. When it does happen, you know you’ve found a hidden gem. Teachworth Winery fits that criteria perfectly. A family owned and operated boutique estate winery in the Diamond Mountain District focusing on organically grown 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Secreted on Quail Mountain, an adjacent foothill of Diamond Mountain, Teachworth grows Cabernet Sauvignon from their two picturesque hillside vineyards, just south of Calistoga. Manzanita Hill, the lower vineyard, contains more vines and gets penetrating afternoon sun on its chalky slopes while Rattlesnake Ridge, the terraced upper portion has deeper soils and shifted exposure. Given the uniqueness of the two vineyards, it enhances the complexity of the wines you wouldn’t normally see from a vineyard so small. Continue reading “Teachworth Winery”

Weekend Getaway-Napa and Sonoma

Have I mentioned these wine country trips never get old?? I fell in love with the Napa/Sonoma area 13 years ago when I experienced it for the first time on my honeymoon. I didn’t know much about wine at the time but I knew for certain I was love stricken and would be back. We’ve made the trip at least once a year since then.

Day One started with a stop at Imagery Winery in Glen Ellen. We’ve been members at this winery for quite a few years. They are dedicated to crafting rare wines from uncommon varietals and character-rich vineyards. Imagery is not afraid to spotlight interesting varietals that can often be immersed into big blends. Their Tempranillo and Viognier are a couple of my favorites! Enjoy a visit to their beautiful grounds, while savoring the unique wines and appreciating the art collection within the winery. Continue reading “Weekend Getaway-Napa and Sonoma”

Rainstorm Wines

I love when I am pleasantly surprised by a wine. That recently happened when I tried Rainstorm Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir. I must admit, I drink more California Pinots versus Oregon Pinots. So I was excited to explore this specific Pinot and the characteristics that make it unique.

What makes this wine special is the fact that it is sourced 50% from the Willamette Valley, where milder temperatures produce grapes of great complexity and high acidity, naturally creating an elegant wine and 50% from the Umpqua Valley where temps produce grapes rich, deep and fruity character. A perfect balance! Continue reading “Rainstorm Wines”