A highlight of our recent San Fran trip was a day in wine country. Having spent time in both Napa and Sonoma, which are each unique and beautiful, this jaunt was simply a taste of what the area offers. We were picked up downtown early in the morning by our guide Glenn, who was a character and also extremely knowledgable of the area. As we made our way inland, the marine layer slowly drifted away making room for the California sunshine
Our first stop was the Kieu Hoang Winery. Formerly a Mondavi estate, the vineyard was recently purchased by Vietnamese businessman, Kieu Hoang, who has focused even more on red varieties. We were some of the first in the tasting room and particularly enjoyed the Chardonnay and Cabernet.
Next on the tour was Starmont Winery located on the historic Stanly Ranch in the Carneros region where we were promptly handed a glass of sparking wine- not a bad greeting! The Pinot Noir Coury Cloin was the favorite among the group, and we all enjoyed getting to know each other while basking in the sun.
A quick lunch break at The Shed followed. The family-owned outpost is a bit deceiving from its rustic exterior, but the gourmet food inside was delicious. To end the day we stopped by Homewood Winery, a much smaller operation run by winemaker, David Homewood. Our tasting was more of a tutorial as we learned and practiced the “4 S’s” of tasting: see, swirl, sniff and sip! The full-bodied reds were crowd pleasers and lived up to the winery’s motto, “the redder the better.” Although brief it was a lovely day, and I can’t wait to open a special bottle from our trip to relive the memories.