CALIFORNIA WINES

WINE TASTING IN NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY - BELVEDERE WINERY
WINE TASTING IN EL DORADO COUNTY - SIERRA VISTA WINERY


WINE TASTING IN NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY
BELVEDERE WINERY
Come to Your Senses


When it comes to family-friendly wineries in a relaxing, informal setting, you can't do better than Belvedere Winery, in Northern Sonoma County. Located just outside the charming Victorian town of Healdsburg in the Russian River appellation, Belvedere has several unique features that make it well worth a visit.


First, there's the distinctive quality of wines from the Russian River region. This appellation has a foggy, cool climate in winter, which gives the wines grown here a tangier, less flabby taste. Then there's Belvedere's exceptional commitment to the organic method of farming. Their viticulture program is almost entirely organic, with local natural sources providing all of the water for their vines. No synthetic chemicals of any kind are used here.


Another unusual feature of Belvedere Winery is the "Garden of the Senses", on the grounds adjacent to the tasting room. This one acre, Italian style garden was designed by Gary Ratway, who started the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Foundation. It is planted with hundreds of rare and exotic culinary and medicinal herbs, plants, and fruits intended to evoke the aromas and tastes of the wines grown here.


Finally, there are the exceptional wines produced at the Belvedere Winery. Belvedere makes seven varieties of wine, which include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. These wines are grown in one of the four vineyards owned by Belvedere: Grist and Wine Creek, Trenton-Healdsburg, and the Estate Vineyard. Come and taste these wonderful, flavorful wines while sitting in the garden, and gazing at the picturesque views of the Russian River Valley, with the spectacular sight of Mount St. Helena in the background.

To get here, take Highway 101 north from San Francisco about 75 miles until you see the signs for Healdsburg. Then take the Westside Road exit, and go west, (left) until you see the Belvedere Winery sign at 4035 Westside Road.

For further information about the winery visit their web site at www.belvederewinery.com



WINE TASTING IN EL DORADO COUNTY - SIERRA VISTAS
While touring the Sierra Foothills, en route to Tahoe, Apple Hill or other foothill destinations,may we suggest...

The path less taken often leads to the greatest pleasures in life. That is certainly true of the independent, family-friendly wineries nestled into the Sierra Foothills. This re-emerging Northern California wine-growing region, under the appellation "El Dorado", features hand-crafted wines made in an unpretentious ambiance set off by unspoiled natural beauty.


SIERRA VISTA WINERY

Sierra Vista Winery is one of the first premium wineries to be established in this rediscovered region. In 1972, John and Barbara MacCready purchased land in El Dorado County near Placerville. At an elevation of 2,800 feet, the winery they founded is one of the highest in California. Starting from a production of 1,200 cases in 1977, it has grown to a total output of 8,000 cases today.

The winemaking team at Sierra Vista consists of two people; founder John MacCready, and his daughter Michelle. Michelle trained with her father, and expanded her winemaking skills at renowned vineyards in Napa Valley and Australia.

The Sierra Vista Vineyards are located forty-five miles west of Lake Tahoe in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The thirty-one acres of grapes are grown on mountainous terrain which varies from steeply inclined hillsides to fertile ridge tops at altitudes up to 2,900 feet. Each variation of elevation and terrain create unique micro-climates, enabling the winemakers to craft 18-20 award winning, limited production wines from the 10 varieties grown.

Extensive studies made in the early years showed the climate and terrain of Sierra Vista to be very similar to that of the Northern Rhône valley of France. That was the major factor in deciding to focus on grapes of the Rhône. Due to John MacCready's extensive and widely recognized knowledge of Rhône grapes, he was appointed the founding president of the Rhône Rangers, an association of over 130 Rhône style wineries www.rhonerangers.org.

The vineyards are planted to six Rhône varieties, including Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre,Viognier and Roussanne, with Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay rounding out the menu.

Map/Location of Sierra Vista Winery


Located just south of Placerville 45 miles west of Lake Tahoe. From Highway 50 take highway 49 south at Placerville, turn left at Pleasant Valley Road. Drive 9 miles east on Pleasant Valley Road to Leisure Lance. Turn right and follow the Sierra Vistas signs two miles to the winery.


Open daily 10am to 5pm
4560 Cabernet Way
Placerville
CA 95667
800-946-3916
530-622-7221

www.sierravistawinery.com