It's every winelovers dream: imagine one large room, with 100 wineries pouring over 500 incredible wines to taste. With a limited window of time, where does one start? And how does one pace themselves?
Throughout the year, we have the privilege and opportunity to attend such wine tasting extravaganzas. Typically, there is an underlying theme: a specific varietal (Pinot Days); a specific region (Taste of Mendocino); or Family Winemakers of California.
We love these events because it gives us the chance to reconnect, catch up with our winery friends, and taste newly released vintages. But most of all, it's a great opportunity to discover new smaller, lesser known brands who are just starting out in the industry. Many of these wines won't be found in your local grocery store or wine shop because they don't yet have representation behind them. Not to worry, though. We've got you covered with a few of our favorites!
- Center of Effort (Arroyo Grande, SLO County, CA)- Located in Central California, the wines are crafted with Edna Valley grapes. Don't miss the refreshing Pinot Noir Rose for long, summer days! #CenterofEffort
- Wren Hop (Windsor, Sonoma County, CA)- We love everything about this newcomer! The wines are excellently crafted with care and Jim's passion shines through as he walked us through the tasting. Bonus points for the creativity behind their labels which are designed as book covers. #WrenHop
- Mattina Fiore (San Luis Obispo, SLO County, CA)- Andrea and her husband Scott got the wine "bug" after crafting 2 barrels of Syrah, and quickly expanded their portfolio to include their popular Albarino and GSM blend. It also helps to have one of California's hottest winemakers, Robert Hensen, at the helm! #MattinaFiore
- Barber Cellars (Petaluma, Sonoma County, CA) - Be on the lookout for Mike and Lorraine's tasting room in Petaluma coming soon, thanks to their cool Kickstarter campaign! Passion packs a punch with their awesome Zins! #BarberCellars
- Flying Goat (Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA)- Kate is a gem and owner of Flying Goat Cellars., along with her husband/winemaker Norm. Their focus is on making vineyard designated pinot noir and sparkling wine. Tasting room in the "Lompoc Wine Ghetto."
- Pech Merle (Geyserville, Sonoma County, CA)- We loved meeting Bruce and hearing about his passion about these small lot wines, like his 2012 Laguna de Santa Rose Pinot Noir.
Download the VAULT29 app to see more of our experiences at the 2015 Family Winemakers of California event. Simply search by location ("Palace Hotel"), hashtag "Taste15", or by winery hastag (ie #WrenHop). If you're interested in attending future events, feel free to reach out to us for more information.