June 17, 2014
Travel Bug: Check out These Pacific Vineyards
From the Redwood Forest north of San Francisco to the southern California foothills of Santa Barbara – the Pacific coast not only boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking vistas – it is the home of over 3000 wineries. What better way to escape the daily grind than to take a palette pleasure cruise sipping your way through some of the world’s most renowned vineyards.
Napa Valley, the world famous wine growing region with 500 wineries is a great place to start your wine tasting journey. Here you will find some of California’s most lauded winemakers as well as some of the most captivating scenic views on the west coast. While there are many notable wineries to choose from such as Chandon and Chappellet, one Napa winery offers a most unique wine tasting experience. Failla, the passion of husband and wife team Ehren Jordan and Anne-Marie Failla, welcomes guests to taste highly sought-after single-vineyard Pinots beneath the rich soil in a 15,000 square-foot cave. If that doesn’t excite you – Ehren often sips his favorite blends with his guests in his personal courtyard. No matter where you choose to sip and savor – visiting Failla vineyards will be an unforgettable experience.
Your northern region vineyard tour would not be complete if you only explored Napa Valley and ignored Sonoma. In fact many wine travelers prefer the less hectic feel of the Sonoma Valley vineyard experience. For the ultimate scenic route and to avoid heavy traffic – drive through the Mayacamas Range on the beautiful Oakville Grade to reach your Sonoma destination. In the heart of the Sonoma Valley is Landmark Vineyards, acclaimed producers of rich, handcrafted wines which often garner praise from some of the world’s most discerning sommeliers. Located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, Landmark Vineyards is known for their signature wine, the Overlook Chardonnay which has landed on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list 6 times since 1997. Greg Stach, Landmark’s current winemaker has one mission – “to make great wines and enhance the joy of life”. Obviously, with that as a backdrop to your ultimate vineyard experience, Landmark is a “must taste and see” on your Pacific Coast tour.
After exploring the Napa and Sonoma Valley vineyards make your way south to the Paso Robles appellation of California’s central coast. You are going to want to spend some time navigating the region’s rustic settings, lively restaurant night life and local haunts so consider checking in to the JUST Inn. Located in the heart of JUSTIN Winery and Vineyards – the Inn offers luxury accommodations and exquisite cuisine. After a night of fine dining – prepare to taste some of the world’s best Bordeaux-style blends while you tour JUSTIN Winery founded in 1981 with wines inspired by the great growths of Bordeaux. From the start a vision of combining Old World tradition with New World techniques rings true in every bottle of these world class wines. Whether you wish to understand and evaluate wines like a pro or to experience a private “wine and cheese” tasting at the Chateau – JUSTIN Vineyards has a tour that will titillate your palette and your imagination.
Perhaps there is no better way to end your west coast vineyard tour than to indulge all your senses at the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa. Jim Carter, the owner and proprietor of South Coast located in Temecula, wants all his guests to share the complete wine country experience – including the finest wine pairing with epicurean offerings, private villas nestled in the heart of the vineyard, and the perfect view of one of Southern California’s most dramatic views of Pacific Coast paradise. After sampling the offerings of the day in the Vintner’s Wine Vault Tasting room, take a leisure stroll down the tranquil path to the GrapeSeed Spa and treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a soak in a saltwater Jacuzzi. For the grand finale – enjoy a five-course fine dining experience at the Chef’s Table. The Chef will prepare and serve locally grown produce, the freshest meats and seafood all paired with South Coast’s award-winning wines, while personally answering any questions you may have about cuisine preparation. At the end of the day – you will undoubtedly declare your Pacific Coast Vineyard vacation as one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime.