Some California Wines Well Worth Trying

Alcatraz, as seen from the Family Winemakers of California Tasting in San Francisco

Alcatraz, as seen from the Family Winemakers of California Tasting in San Francisco

Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to enjoy the San Francisco Tasting of the Family Winemakers of California at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

As expected, we thoroughly enjoyed the offerings from Benovia Winery,  Dutton-Goldfield, Merry Edwards Wine, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Robert Biale Vineyards, and Tablas Creek Vineyard.  If you aren’t already familiar with those wineries, please check them out.

Seriously.  If you ever see any of those wineries at a wine tasting event, you should just automatically stop in your tracks and try whatever wine(s) they are pouring.

However, a key reason to attend events like the San Francisco Tasting is to discover new wines and wineries to remember and recommend to others.  So, let us tell you about the rest of the wineries (and wines) we enjoyed the most that day so you can search them out and try them for yourself.

Favorite Wines from the Family Winemakers of California

2012 Family Winemakers of California TastingAncien Wines (Napa) – 2010 Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010 Oregon Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir

Black Sears Estate (Angwin) – 2009 Howell Mountain Red Wine (50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Cabernet Franc)

Calstar Cellars (Santa Rosa) – 2009 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2009 Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay, 2007 Anderson Valley Londer Estate Pinot Noir

Ceja Vineyards (Napa) – 2009 Ceja Chardonnay

Corté Riva Vineyards (Penngrove) – 2007 Cabernet Franc

Dashe Cellars (Oakland) – 2009 Florence Vineyard Zinfandel, 2011 Les Enfants Terribles Zinfandel

De Tierra Vineyard (Salinas) – 2008 Salacci Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2008 Estate Merlot  (as well as their Monterey County Tuscan Blend Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Dierberg Estate Vineyard/Star Lane Vineyard (Lompoc) – 2009 Dierberg Chardonnay, 2008 Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, 2009 Dierberg Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, 2007 Star Lane Estate (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec)

Elizabeth Spencer WinesElizabeth Spencer Wines (Rutherford) – 2011 Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc

Fenestra Winery (Livermore) – 2011 Verdelho, 2009 Tempranillo

Fritz Underground Winery (Cloverdale) – 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Halter Ranch (Paso Robles) – 2011 Côtes de Paso Blanc (Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier), 2010 Côtes de Paso (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault, Tannat)

Hearst Ranch Winery (San Simeon) – 2008 “Lone Tree” Cabernet Franc

Hitching Post Winery (Buellton) – 2008 St Rita’s Earth Pinot Noir, 2008 Highliner Pinot Noir

La Jota Vineyard Co. (Angwin) – 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Mi Sueño Winery (Napa) – 2009 Russian River Chardonnay, 2009 El Llano (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec)

Mounts Family Winery (Healdsburg) – 2009 Assembly (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec)

Repris (Sonoma) – 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Rosa d’Oro Vineyards (Kelseyville) – 2011 Muscat, 2010 Primitivo, 2010 Sagrantino, 2010 Montepulciano

Saxon Brown Wines (Sonoma) – 2008 Cricket Creek Vineyards Semillon

Smith-Madrone (St. Helena) – 2009 Spring Mountain Chardonnay, 2011 Riesling

Vigilance Winery and Vineyards (Lower Lake) – 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Cimarron (Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon), 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Family Winemakers of California TastingThe Family Winemakers of California association advocates for the rights and interests of its members to fully produce, market, and sell their products, which includes organizing wine tastings throughout the state.  To learn more about the organization and future scheduled wine tastings, please go here.  In 2013, the Southern California Tastings are scheduled for March 10 and 11 at Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Next year’s San Franciso Tasting should be on August 16 and 17 back at Fort Mason Center.


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