Friday, October 2, 2009


Yet another reason I haven't been blogging, winetasting. I spent last weekend with my partner's family in Napa with a vineyard behind us and some really cool rock formations at the end of the road. I don't usually like winetasting in Napa for a couple of reasons. Most wineries charge a ridiculous amount for tastings and I'm often ignored because I'm young and don't look like I have lots of money to spend on cases of wine, which I don't. I've found Sonoma a much friendlier experience.

But I had a really good time, and tasted some great wines, at the first place we went to - the Robinson Family Vineyards. Located off the Silverado Trail, the vineyard has a nice backdrop of the rocky crags at the edge of the Napa valley. But more importantly it is an actual small, family-run vineyard. The woman who gave us the tour is one of three sisters whose grandparents started the vineyard. The grandparents have passed away, but we saw three generations working their that day. The woman's father, son-in-law to the founders, is the winemaker and was also giving a tour to another group. And then the woman's two young children were in a vat stomping on grapes. Very messy and cute. She assured us that that is not how they generally press the grapes, but I have to say they looked like pros.

All of the wines were good, but my favorite was the 2005 Great Legs Syrah. In fact, it was my favorite for the day of all 3 wineries we visited. The $10 tasting fee was affordable, unlike the $25 at the other two wineries, and included a tour and a lot of family history about the place. I believe you need reservations to taste there, but it was well worth it.


  1. I like Sonoma a lot better than Napa, too.

  2. We have our local wine region down here in Temecula. Throw Santa Barbara a couple of hours away, and I must agree that Napa has lost its charm for price reasons. Plenty of less expensive options available that also make great wines.

  3. I thought that overall it was a great weekend. The Robinson Family winery was the best by far. I did like the food at Chimney Rock... and some of the wine. I wish I had brought my camera for the kids crushing the grapes.

  4. Most of the wineries in Calaveras County and that area have free tastings. Woot!