On a recent trip to California, I was lucky enough to visit a number of fantastic wineries. California is the largest wine producing state in the country, and some of the finest wines in the world hail from there.
My trip started in Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, where I was able to sample the fantastic wines from Ramey Wine Cellars. After working for a number of benchmark producers in California and France, David Ramey opened up his own winery in 1996. Since then, he has been crafting some of the finest Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah in California. His wines are rich, but balanced, and distinctive of the terroir from which they come. We currently carry several of his wines, including his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
My next stop brought me to Ridge Vineyards in Lytton Springs. Ridge is undoubtedly one of the finest Zinfandel producers in the country, and they also excel with several other varieties. The winery overlooks the Lytton Estate vineyard, which is planted with primarily Zinfandel and Petit Sirah vines, many of which are over 100 years old. You can find a number of Ridge wines on our shelves, including Geyserville Zinfandel and Lytton Estate Petit Sirah.
From Ridge, I traveled south to Santa Rosa, where Hobo Winery is located. Husband and wife team, Kenny and Lynn, make a number of elegantly styled wines under a variety of different labels. They have recently partnered with local restaurant, Hen of the Wood, to make a signature wine for them. They source high quality fruit from several organic and sustainably farmed vineyards throughout California. We always carry several wines from their Hobo, Camp, and Folk Machine labels.
I was also able to visit Broc Cellars in the city of Berkeley. Broc is an “urban winery” that sources fruit from a handful of vineyards across the state. They too make wines in a restrained, fresh, food friendly style. We currently carry their Carignan from the Alexander Valley and Cabernet Franc from the central coast, and we are waiting on the new vintage of several other wines from them.
Other noteworthy wineries I was able to visit whose wines can be found on our shelves are Duckhorn, Hook & Ladder, Frog’s Leap, and Merry Edwards. Every producer had their own philosophy and vision about winemaking, and the types of wines they strive to produce. These differences are expressed in the final product, each producer making uniquely delicious wines.