The 2016 California Wine Country Extravaganza will visit 18 wineries in the four days of the tour. Information about each of the wineries is provided below:
Tuesday July 12, 2016
Petrichor Winery: This winery is owned by a friend of mine – Margaret Bradley-Foley. They grow mostly Granache and Syrah grapes.
Wednesday July 13, 2016
Twomey Cellars: Twomey is part of the Silver Oak Family and has locations in both Napa and Sonoma Valleys. They produce a variety of wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery: Jordan is one of the most picturesque wineries we will visit. Our tasting and tour will include visiting several parts of the chateau. We will finish with a tasting in the Jordan Library. They specialize in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Mauritson Wines: The Mauritson family has been integral to many Sonoma Valley wines for over a century. They first started growing grapes in the Dry Creek Valley in 1868. They have supplied many big name wineries throughout the area – still do. They currently manage 310 acres across Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and Rockpile appellations. They produced under their own label with the 1998 vintage. We will be going up to the vineyards in the Rockpile appellation.
Silver Oak Cellars: Silver Oak makes Cabernet Sauvignon – that’s it. But they do it extremely well. With wines from across Napa and Sonoma, we will experience a selection of their Cabernets.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery: This winery owned by the five time Emmy winning director produces 40 different wines. Some are in wide distribution, but many are available only from the winery. We will enjoy dinner with a selection of the wines.
Thursday July 14, 2016
Mumm Napa: Mumm is one of the producers of Napa Sparkling Wines. Founded in the 1970’s, Mumm Napa is the US arm of the GW Mumm Champagne House from France. The California sparkling wines are produced in the same traditional manner as their French counterparts. They produce some wines in wide distribution and some special and reserve wines available only from the winery.
Amizetta Winery: This is a true family winery. Founded in 1984 by Spencer and Amizetta Clark, their two sons have taken over the day to day operations of the winery. Edward is now the winemaker and Perry is the President of the winery. They make all of their wines from the grapes grown on their estate terrace surrounding the winery. The Clarks have visited Huntsville on several occasions – if you haven’t had the chance to meet them and try their wines, you will certainly enjoy the opportunity!
Lava Vine Winery: This is another small boutique family owned winery. I was introduced to Lava Vine by my sister. They produce small quantities of a variety of different wines. Excellent quality and excellent prices.
Round Pond Estates: Located in the Rutherford area of Napa Valley, Round Pond is surrounded by well know wineries. They produce a range of wines from grapes grown in this prestigious area.
Peju Province Winery: The Peju family founded the winery in 1982. Still family owned and run, they produce a wide variety of wine types. We will have the opportunity to visit the kitchen as well as taste their offerings.
Friday July 15, 2016
Martinelli Winery: Giuseppi and Luisa Martinelli eloped from a small Tuscan village and moved to California. After working for others for a few years, Giuseppi purchased some land in the Russian River Valley and started growing grapes in the 1880’s. The fourth generation of Martinelli’s now farms the family lands. They sell most of their grapes to other winemakers, but do make some wines themselves. Our favorite Sonoma Zinfandels come from the Martinelli’s.
Arista Winery: Started by the McWilliams family in 2002, Arista produces estate wines from the 30 acres of vineyards on Westside Road. They also produce wines from carefully sources grapes from other vineyards. In 2013, Matt Courtney became the Arista Winemaker. While their wines were excellent before Matt, he is taking them to a new level as noted by Wine Spectator in a recent article. The current vintage had quite a number of wines rated above 90 points by wine spectator. Arista was one of our first family winery finds on our second visit to Wine Country and we return every time we are in the area.
Thomas George Estates: Thomas George Estates is another of the small production estate wineries in the Russian River Valley. They produce a variety of wines including excellent Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels.
Saturday July 16, 2016
Storybook Mountain Vineyards: This location in the mountains just outside of Calistoga is another vineyard that was originally planted in the 1800’s. Originally founded as the Grimm Vineyards and Wine Vaults by brothers Adam and Jacob Grimm. The Grimm brothers came from a German wine family that has been producing wines since the 1500’s. Adam dug the first wine caves on the property in the 1880’s. Our tasting will include a tour of the vineyards and the century old wine caves.
Foley-Johnson Wines: With nearly 50 acres in the Rutherford AVA, Foley-Johnson produces Napa Valley estate wines. Founded by Bill Foley in 2012, the winery has quickly garnered acclaim for their wines.
Whitehall Lane: Another small family owned winery in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Whitehall Lane produces elegant wines with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes.
Swanson Vineyards: Farming 100 acres of prime vineyards in Oakville, Swanson Vineyards produces a wide variety of Napa Valley Wines. Recently profiled in Wine Spectator, Swanson was named as a winery to visit in Napa. Swanson will be hosting our Farewell Dinner before returning home from the Wine Country Extravaganza.