Taste of Something New
A New Class of Tasting Rooms
By Bob Ecker
time in wine country brings new products to the market, from
wine blends to vintages. The season also delivers new places
to taste what's in the cellar. Here is a new class of tasting
Bookwalter Winery offers customers a relaxed and
hip atmosphere in its newly opened wine tasting lounge. To complete
the lounge feel, there is background jazz music, with live jazz
and blues on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Creative eats
complement the selection of J. Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Chardonnay and Johannesburg Riesling. Open Wed.-Sat. 10a.m.-10 p.m.,
Sun.-Tues. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Bookwalter
Winery, 894 Tulip Ln., 877-667-8300.
Cliff Lede Vineyards (pronounced "lady")
has transformed an original 1913 craftsman-style bungalow on the
property into a state-of-the-art tasting room experience with surrounding
landscaped gardens, contemporary sculptures and views of the Stags
Leap Palisades. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Cliff
Lede Vineyards, 1473 Yountville Cross Rd., 800-428-2259.
Darioush, a premium estate wine producer in Napa
Valley, has created a piece of Persia in the Napa Valley at its
new visitor center and winery, built with materials, castings and
furnishings from distant lands and exotic locations. Taste the complete
line of hand-crafted estate wines: Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon,
Shiraz, Chardonnay, Viognier and Merlot. Open daily from 10:30 a.m.-5
Vineyards, 4240 Silverado Trail, 707-257-2345.
Goldfield Winery has opened a tasting room inside The Stone
Elephant, a new collective tasting room in downtown Sebastopol,
which also houses a restaurant/wine bar and mastodon museum with
a 3-million-year-old fossil of a prehistoric elephant. Customers
may enjoy complimentary samples of featured wines, as well as purchase
the limited-production wines made by Dutton
Goldfield Winery; other local wine producers will also be added
to the newly opened tasting room. Open 11 a.m-5 p.m. daily. The
Stone Elephant, 268 Petaluma Ave., 707-823-3887.
GLEN ELLEN, CA
Vineyards has opened a tasting room for its small-production
winery. Adjacent to the winery's barrel aging area, the new tasting
room is a small but elegant renovation of an old tractor warehouse.
The winery acquired an old wood bar from a saloon in Glen Ellen,
said to be the very one that author Jack London and Hazen Cowan
used to rest their elbows upon. Open by appointment. Little
Vineyards, 505 Madrone Rd., 707-996-2750.
Mountain Vineyards has a new tasting room historic Roswell
in the Great Braxted Manor Ltd., an importer of English antiques
and fine furniture. The new tasting room will share the antique
shop and its picturesque balcony, offering daily wine tastings and
light dining fare. Wines from the Boegner family’s 25-acre
wine-growing estate will be featured. (Wolf
Mountain Vineyards also has a tasting room at their winery located
in Dahlonega.) Open Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8
p.m., Sun. 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. 953 Canton St., 770-643-0555.