California: Wine, Californian Wine Regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & More Profiled

Napa Valley’s Best Boutique Wineries

A Napa Valley boutique winery is always a good time. Finding a unique, family owned, small production winery to visit can honestly set fire to your wine desire. The best boutique wineries in the Napa Valley give you the opportunity to taste the most captivating, passion driven, and rare wines Napa has to offer. A noticeable factor about boutique wineries is that your visit may include a tête-à-tête with the winery owner or vintner themselves (sometimes both!). Boutique wineries are exclusive and are small production which means they produce a fraction of the wine larger more industrialized wineries produce in a year, this is the defining factor in finding a proper “boutiquey winery.” Spending time at one of these quaint boutique Napa Valley wineries will help you to understand how incredible wine truly is (if you didn’t know that already) because boutique wineries respect the art of winemaking and seek to convey their passion and love for what they bottle!

Best Napa Wineries for Sipping by the Fire

Wine tasting in the Napa Valley is an experience that’s more than the exploration of wine, it’s also about ambiance. Good wine can be even better when you’re sipping fireside and nothing sounds cozier than warming up by a fire while tasting delicious Napa Valley vintages.

Napa Valley Wineries With the Best Views - Wine Tasting Recommendations

The Napa Valley’s landscape is renowned for its rolling hillsides and lush valley floor where endless waves of vineyard create glorious stretches of views. The Napa Valley’s terroir gives life to vines that produce famous California wines and this place is where prestigious wineries and estate vineyards make their homes. When you encounter the Napa Valley it is impossible not to be enraptured by the beauty, abundance, and romantic atmosphere this place exudes. Visiting wineries adorned with the best views of Napa’s luscious landscape pairs perfectly with the extraordinary wine produced by them. Napa Valley wineries place an immense value on the sweeping vineyard scenery thus securing it as one of the many Napa Valley luxuries sought out among wine novices and connoisseurs alike.

Top California Pinot Noir: Which California Wine Producers Make the Best Pinot Noir?

California has actually been making outstanding wines from the Pinot Noir grape for a long time.  Sure, not long in the Burgundian sense but going back at least to the middle of the last century there were good bottles of Pinot Noir being produced in California.  Not many to be sure, but there were some.  Starting slowly, in the 1990’s, and then exploding when the movie Sideways came out, there are now more and more offerings of good to excellent Pinot Noir being produced in California.

Best "Kid-Friendly" Sonoma Wineries - 2015 Best of Sonoma

For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma.

To help wine-loving parents involve the whole family in the beauty of Sonoma we surveyed 100 local vintners and asked them their favorite kid-friendly area wineries. The results were the three wineries below that provide an excellent family atmosphere that will keep the kids—and the adults—thoroughly entertained.

 

Best Sonoma Wineries for Those Interested in Historic Sonoma - 2015 Best of Sonoma

 

For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma. 

For wine enthusiasts intrigued by the rich history of the area, we surveyed over a hundred local wine producers for their top historic winery experiences. The results are the below list of Sonoma wineries that offer a historically-infused experience.

Sonoma Wineries with the Most Beautiful Gardens and Landscaping - 2015 Best of Sonoma

 

For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma. 

If your love for peonies is as strong as your appreciation of pinots, then this list of must-see Sonoma wineries is for you. To help determine the top wineries for discerning gardeners to visit we surveyed over a hundred area vintners for their favorite winery garden experiences.

Sonoma's Must Try Pinot Noirs - 2015 Best of Sonoma

 

For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma. 

Sonoma offers a wide range of pinot noir options—but some are simply too outstanding to miss. To help develop a list of the top of the top, we asked over a hundred of the top vintners in Sonoma for their own personal choice for the top Pinot Noir under $100 in the area, and the list is to die for.

Which California Cabernet Sauvignons Deserve "First Growth" Status?

In 1855, the Exposition Universelle was held in Paris to showcase all that was good in France.  Emperor Napoleon III requested the leading Bordeaux merchants to rank the best wines.  The top wines were rated as First Growths.  Over the years, many people in the rest of the world have discussed what wines from their country would be First Growths.  I am often asked what I think the First Growths of California are.  It is an interesting conversation with lots of room for debate.

Top 10 California Syrahs - The Wine List - October 2014

Syrah is a grape that most wine merchants will tell you is a difficult sell.  It seems it’s always going to be the next big thing, but never is.  For consumers, that’s a good thing.  A great Syrah usually will cost far less than a comparable quality Cabernet or Pinot Noir.  For my money, I tend to buy more Syrah than any other grape.  A disclaimer here – I liked it so much, I started to make it. 

In any event, as the temperatures start to drop, fall is great time for a hearty red with dinner or next to a warming fire.  Syrah is a grape that really changes its personality depending on where it is grown.  Cooler climate Syrahs can be quite different from warmer climate ones.  California has plenty of each.  While I love many of the cooler climate Syrahs, most of the ones listed below are warmer climate Syrahs.  In my opinion, that is where the very best of Syrahs from California can be found.

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