Some people have fantasy football. Some people have fantasy tours - in the back of my mind, I am putting together trips to take in wine country that aren't just tasting room hops, but really tell a story. Here's my latest and greatest on what to see and do in the Hopland/Ukiah area if you have only one day.
This will be in my new iPhone app as well so you can actually get the directions, etc. and all the details as well.
See what an old Italian family vineyard and winery is like - it's all still there. The house, the barn, the dry farmed, head pruned vines. And wine! You can enjoy the Black, which just took a gold medal at the Mendocino Wine Competition.
JUG WINE HISTORY MEETS MODERN SUSTAINABILITY
Italians ramped up to industrial strength production - the Gallos of their day - and after Prohibition, this place really took off. Its redwood tanks are a reminder of a bygone era. Today the newly reinvented brand is an early green leader in its price category (under $10) though its wines are not organic. The wetlands tour impresses.
A GREEN WINE LEADER
3. Paul Dolan
Partners in the Parducci facility, and located in the same tasting room, Paul Dolan wines are 100% organic and some are biodynamic. Dolan was involved in starting the Bonterra and Fetzer brands.
SANEL VALLEY SOPHISTICATE, WITH CAVES
John Fetzer has one of Napa's top winemakers David Ramey onboard as consulting winemaker. The results are impressive - sophisticated wines that are served at no less than Gary Danko and French Laundry. The caves, newly built, are fun to tour and there's art in the mix, too. Sheep, olive trees, pomegranates - all those plus the caves and high quality wines make a stop here a must.