I booked the Partners tour and reserve tasting. I was not disappointed. The tour is via a unique electric tram and is limited to 12 visitors to give a more intimate experience. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and includes a tasting of Benziger reserve wines.
The tour begins by going to see the crush pad. Cabernet Sauvignon had just arrived from the field and we were able to experience the entire crushing process. The bins were being emptied into the crusher destemmer so we could see the entire process. It was a very busy time so we stayed far enough away to observe what was going on and not be in the way of their operation.
Once we left the crushpad, we were taken through the vineyard where there biodynamic approach to winemaking was thoroughly explained. Benziger Vineyards is one of the only wineries in the world that practices biodynamics involving plants, birds, and beneficial insects. A very fascinating approach to keeping nature in check using natural techniques.
As we continued through the vineyard, we observed two brown cows and a new born calf who was having breakfast at the time. There were numberous flowers and Agave cactus scattered throughout the vineyard. The purpose being to attract the good insects who play a vital part in the sustainability of the vineyard. In the middle of the tour, we stopped at a small pavilion located in the vineyard where we sampled Sauvignon Blanc before heading down the hill to the wine caves, where we would have a private tasting of Benzigers reserve wines.
Upon entering the caves we were given an education on the barrels and how the caves were made. Once this was complete, we entered a private tasting room located in the cave. We tasted their Cabernet Sauvignon blend called Tribute, a reserve 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Upon completion of this portion of the tour we were escorted to the main tasting room, where we were given three samples of their regular wines.
I highly recommend this tour because it is much more than just a wine tasting. It is a education of the entire winemaking process which you will experience first hand.
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