Trip report continued…
Tuesday we visited Cakebread, Rutherford Hill, Duckhorn, and Chateau Montelena. Here’s what we thought:
Cakebread – We had an appointment for tasting, and he first gave us a little tour. We then tasted outside by the vineyards. All of the wines were fantastic. We bought 6 bottles of wine (2 of the 2002 Cabernet, 2 of the 2002 Merlot, and 2 of the 2002 Cabernet Benchland Select) and they shipped them for us.
Rutherford Hill – They have a lively atmosphere and we tasted wine. There was another couple from NJ there too and it was fun tasting and talking with them. We bought two bottles of wine (2001 Cabernet, and what a good value for the price point, each bottle was $32), and then had a picnic lunch on their property (we had picked up lunch from Dean and Deluca earlier). They have some really nice views from their picnic areas.
Duckhorn – Their tasting room is elegant and the duck décor is quite nice. They give you tasting cards on each of the wines you are sampling. We also enjoyed being outside on the Verandah looking at the vineyards. However, for the price points, we found much better wines at Frank Family, Raymond, and Cakebread.
Chateau Montelena – We had a tour/tasting appointment. The tour and tasting was $25 pp. You start off by sitting and watching a short film, maybe 10 minutes long that tells you about the winery and its origins. We then went on a tour of the grounds, which are beautiful and we went into the vineyards and tasted some grapes. We then went up to the main building and watched the pressing of grapes and the fermentation process. The owner, who is hands-on, was working and took a few minutes to talk to us about what they were doing. I thought this was great, to see the owner working the vineyards and making the wine. We then went into the tasting room, and tasted five different wines, starting with white and moving to red. I have to say that all of the wines were fantastic. There is quite a history at this vineyard and it was wonderful to learn all about it. We didn’t purchase any wines here, and now I do regret that. Next time…
We ate dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni. We were surprised at how limited the menu was, but we both had wonderful appetizers, dinners, and dessert. For appetizers we shared the Carpaccio (sp?) and Caprese salad. For dinner I had Fettuccine with sausage ragu, and my hubby has olive leaf pasta with a duck ragu.
Wednesday and Thursday to reports to come soon!