When I visit Sonoma and Napa, I usually stay with still red and white wines, as I am just beginning to develop my palate for sparkling wines. However, this trip I decided to educate my palate at Domaine Carneros, a beautiful winery barely in Napa County near the Sonoma County line. The gorgeous estate and grounds are reminiscent of a French chateau. I met a new winemaker there on a perfect-weather Sunday to discuss an upcoming release and we enjoyed a flight of their sparkling wines, the Vintage Brut Cuvée, the Brut Rosé, and the Vérmeil Demi-Sec Sparkling (limited release) outside on the front porch. My favorite of the three was the Brut Rosé, with lovely flavors of peach and strawberry, by far the most floral and fruit-forward of the three. The next time I visit, I plan to include their table service food offerings with my flight.
This was my second visit to Gundlach Bundschu in four months. It was a spontaneous decision to turn in as I was driving by it on my way back to Napa. It was their Gewürztraminer I wanted to taste, perhaps because it’s fun to say, “May I try the Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer” three times fast. At any rate, I was not disappointed. I tasted through the reds that are only available at the winery and my favorite Mountain Cuvée (new bottle design alert!), in addition to the Gewürztraminer. I think what draws me to their reds is that most have some hint of cocoa or chocolate and what girl doesn’t love some chocolate? I also enjoy the laid-back, fun ambiance in the tasting room. I was that close to joining Friends with Benefits, the clever (new?) marketing name for their wine club, but the quantities required for purchase are a bit high for an East Coast, single gal living alone like me. Instead, I will purchase locally and on the road, as well as continue to visit the winery in the future. Oh yes, I purchased a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer, just so I could say it again.
For more pics of my visits to Domaine Carneros and Gundlach Bundschu, visit this public link. If you are interested in visiting either winery, please contact me and I can arrange an experience you will never forget.