What's your favorite winery?

msprettyky(Z6 KY)August 13, 2006

Hello everyone! I just found this forum. I love wine. I am not by any means, an expert. I don't think you have to spend a fortune on a bottle of wine for it to be good. On my budget, I can't afford to think any other way! lol! My friends and I often tour local wineries to sample and purchase our favorite "go juice". We have toured several throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Every year we make our way back to the Lake Erie Islands to visit (sometimes twice!). My all time favorite winery is HeinemanÂs Winery, located on Put-in-bay. Their Sweet Belle, has always been the top of the list for our group. We all take home atleast a case of wine each when we go there. There are several wonderful wineries in this area, and if you get the chance to visit, take it! We are always looking for suggestions for wineries to visit. So....What's your favorite winery and where is it located?

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There are many good wineries in Michigan's Traverse City area.

Me favorite affordable wine is from Leelanau Cellars.

You can also buy some of their wine in various stores in the rest of Michigan.

Here is a link that might be useful: leelanau cellars web site

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 11:42AM
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My favorite is Ledson in Sonoma, CA. Its a big castle that is beautiful! Plenty of picnic areas under huge trees, gift shop, marketplace with yummy food. I love it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 5:51PM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

My group was plannnig another trip to Lake Erie in September. I am going to tell them about Michigan at lunch on Friday. I have maps and info already printed. Thanks for the info! California is a little father away for us. We did speak of doing a tour next fall. What do you think the best time to tour the wine country in Cali?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 7:37AM
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Well, since we live in the wine country of Temecula, CA, my favorite there is Hart. We belong to the wine club at Meeker in Sonoma County.....my all time favorite!!! WONDERFUL full-body reds. I like to support the California wine growers!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:47PM
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mrsmarv(M-H Valley/z 6A)

Our favorite wineries are located in the Finger Lakes region of NY State.

Thirsty Owl ~ Cayuga Lake (2004 Merlot)
Americana Vineyards ~ Cayuga Lake (Revolutionary Red)
Lucas Winery ~ Cayuga Lake (2004 Cabernet Franc)
Miles Wine Cellars ~ Seneca Lake (2002 Cabernet Franc)
Hazlitt Winery ~ Seneca Lake (2002 Cabernet Sauvignon)
Bloomer Creek Vineyards ~ Seneca Lake (2003 Cabernet Franc)
Atwater Estates ~ Seneca Lake (Pinot Noir)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:09AM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

The finger lakes sounds wonderful. Sounds like another trip to add to the list!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 6:19PM
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msprettyky: In my opinion the best time to visit, say Napa or Sonoma, is during harvest.....September, October. The grape-filled wagons are bustling about at all hours of the day and night, and there seems to be quite a bit of excitement in the air. You can catch some of the wineries during fermentation and get a good look at their operations. Also, it's not so crowded after school has started and the vacationers are back at home!!! Oh my, I can smell it now!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 3:48PM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

Thanks for the info! I thought harvest time would probably be best time. Mostly because of the weather! I guess I will have to check with my travel agent and see if my group can get a deal!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:39PM
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leonetti, being a merlot fan

any French Chassange Montrachet

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:39PM
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My favorite local winery is Breax Vineyards in VA. (The little town of Hillsboro is only a quarterof a mile long, and very quaint with its old brick homes.) I have purchased their reds for a number of years. We visited them for the first time 2 yrs ago, beautiful location, looked just like Italy. Absolutely wonderful reds, the cabs and merlots are among the best in VA, and have also done well in competitions in CA. Their whites are also quite good, I love Cher Marie, a refreshing summer white. There are also numerous functions and festivals throughout the year, vertical and barrel tastings with gourmet food pairings, and a Cellar Club.

Also in that vicinity are several other vineyards (Windham and Hillsboro to mention two, ) that definitely merit a stop.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 10:37PM
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mrsmarv(M-H Valley/z 6A)

sandy ~ friends of our came back last month from a trip to Virginia. While they were there, they visited some of the wineries, and Breaux Vineyards was one of them. We all love dry reds, and they came home with a nice selection. We had the pleasure of having their Lafayette and Merlot (the merlot was a bit pricey compared to many other merlots we've had, but worth it). Small world.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 9:59AM
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garbird(zone6 KY)

Have you been to Broad Run Vinyards right here in KY? I am freinds with the owners and we go there several times a year to attend events and wine tastings. They make some wonderful wines, and are the nicest folks you'll ever meet. If you have'nt already been there do a google search and visit their websight.I think they are getting ready to have the annual pig roast/ wine tasting/pot luck event,so check them out. If you can't find them e-mail me and I'll get you the contact info.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 4:41PM
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I have many favorites, but some of them are:
Tobin James - Paso Robles, CA (a fun winery to visit)
Sebastiani - Sonoma, CA (great wine at good prices and a very nice gift shop)
Robert Hall - Paso Robles.
In general, for the California wineries, we've found the Central Coast ones more welcoming and fun than Napa. They are mostly wine maker owned and a lot of the times the wine maker is the one pouring your tastes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 1:58PM
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You are so right, cymraes. Paso Robles and Sonoma are my choices, also. I love the small boutique wineries that are willing to tell you about their harvest, how it was aged, etc., etc. So many of the wineries in Napa are corporate-owned and not very personal. I like to hear about the wine I am tasting and the "big" places usually don't have the educated staff to offer much info.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 12:42PM
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Not to mention the fact that the staff often gives out wrong information and the places to not have spit buckets. At Darioush, they told me that shiraz came from Persia, where there is a city named Shiraz. At Coppola, they didn't have a spit bucket until I asked. At BV they served a corked wine in their reserve room that I had paid $25 to taste. If they pour something vile, I am not going to swallow it. So they provide a bucket or it goes on the floor. That said, there are some really great wineries at Napa that have the same friendly feel as those in the Santa Barbara area.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 6:13PM
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Hi there

I live near this lovely little winery, it is in Australia, just north of Sydney. It has some lovely wines made out of fruit, and I just bought an orange and honeysuckle wine that is delicious.

Further north from me is the famous Hunter Valley, which has many hundreds of wineries, and lavish restaurants etc.

But I think the fruit winery is something special.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fires Creek Winery

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 7:35PM
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I'll second the Finger Lakes region. My husband and I weekend there many years ago. Our favorite winery was Bully Hill Vineyards. Great people that know their stuff. My favorite wine they produce is the very dry Meat Market Red. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:33AM
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I've started visiting small wineries on vacations, and always enjoy seeing what they come up with in their native conditions. I'm not good w/ names, but I go to one in Clinton, CT (my hometown), a number of them in western VA (we make a day trip of it), and Victoria Vineyards in western SC, of all places.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 2:57PM
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Favorite wineries, in no particular order

In Temecula, CA -- South Coast, Ponte, Wiens, Callaway

In the Los Olivos, CA area -- Epiphany, Sunstone, Artiste

In the Napa/Sonoma, CA area -- Trentadue, De Loach, Suncé, Harvest Moon, V. Sattui, Rubicon Estate (formerly Niebaum-Coppola), St. Supéry

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 6:56PM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

We have a trip planned the 2nd week of Feb. to Florida. I know we will be going to a couple of wineries in the Orlando area and I will let everyone know how it went. Thanks for keeping this thread going!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:57AM
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gardener64(zone 5)

Its time to start planning vacations

the best wine tasting event I have been to is the Finger Lakes Wine Festival at Watkins Glen Speedway, NY
mspretty that would be a weekend for you and your friends
probably 100 wineries under 1 roof and taste all the different ones and buy the ones you like 8 of us go every year from New Hampshire

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:18PM
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V.Satuii Napa

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 4:26AM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

Thanks to everyone for all the imput. I have signed up for newsletters from most of the places that have been suggested. Good looking out gardener64 for heads up on the festival. We were plannning on going to the finger lakes this year sometime and I am checking into airfare and hotels as we speak! I would like to start sharing "reviews" or opinions of the wineries I visit, along with pics that I take. I am by no means an expert, but when I find a nice place with good people, I like to pass it on. Thanks again for keeping this thread going.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 11:36AM
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We go to Sonoma 3 or 4 times a year (it's a great vacation). I have too many favorites. Here are a few:

Arista - Beautiful grounds and great Pinot

David Coffaro - Good inexpensive wines. Do some barrel tasting and buy futures

De La Montanya - Great Zins

Ledson - Wonderful wines, but expensive

Passalacqua - Nice wine and a great place to bring a sandwich or cheese and a baguette for lunch (buy a bottle of wine)

Rosenblum - Not a winery, but the tasting room on the square in Healdsburg is really good. It's right next to Oakville Grocery. Pick up lunch and head to Passalacqua.

Wilson - Try their Petite Sirah

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 7:48PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

I really enjoyed Wente Wine and winery in Livermore, CA.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 3:43PM
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A. Raffinelli - Sonoma
Michelle Schlumburger - Sonoma
Quivera - Somoma
Rombauer - Napa...Zin is real jammy with black current notes YUMMMMMMM....The absolute best Zin is there Fiddeltown Zin

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:03PM
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builderbabe  Yes! RombauerÂs Zin is to die for!

bigdaddybondo and lindsey ca mentioned V. Sattui  they make a WONDERFUL madeira. Have you tried it? And I could live on their cheese and dried salami selections for a week, couldnÂt you?

cymraes mentioned some wonderful wineries along CaliforniaÂs Central Coast in Santa Barbara County. WeÂre in San Diego and have made four trips to that wine growing region in the last three summers. We LOVED Paso Robles  there are about 100 wineries in the region. We were there four days and wished weÂd had another week. Paso Robles is inland and considerably hotter, so we stayed right on the coast in Cambria, at a very unassuming motel literally across the street from the Pacific, and headed east each morning to start the day. We travel with our little Bichon Frise, BTW, and heÂs welcomed at 90% of the wineries we've ever visited.

But we keep going back to the Santa Ynez/Santa Rita Hills/Santa Maria Valley area near Solvang. ItÂs a closer drive, for one thing, and we just bliss out on all the fabulous wines. I do agree that these areas are far more "welcoming" than the Napa-Sonoma wineries. ItÂs become so tres chic up north now, and the fee for tastings at some of their wineries has soared, and so has the price of their bottles! We like the laid back atmosphere along the Central Coast with its many small estate vineyards (limited production) and the one-on-one tastings often with the wine growers themselves who are so very passionate about their grapes.

WeÂve had some unforgettable Pinot Noir at Melville near Lompoc, and this year came back with some crisp and wonderful aged-in-steel-tanks Chardonnay. We brought home a super Cuvee from Kenneth Volk. Pinot Noir from Casa Cassara. Everything from Babcock! Oh, and Zaca Mesa! Now we plan it so that Zaca Mesa is the highlight of our Foxen Canyon day of tastings, bringing a picnic lunch to set up under their shady trees. Each time weÂre there we find a different variatal to love. This year it was their Roussanne (surprising us, as weÂve found weÂd steered away from oak-y Chards for a very long time).

We also made a wine tasting trip to Oregon last summer, Northern Willamette Valley. OMG. Some of the best wines weÂve ever had. LemelsonÂs Pinot Noir is a taste of heaven and its rival is Sineann. If I never taste another wine, those two will have been enough.

I could go onÂBut I do hope this thread picks up some bite and that more of you will share what you love.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 7:34PM
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I'll second the Finger lakes. I live there. My personal favorite is Glenora for the Riesling.

There are 58 wineries along the main "Finger lakes" and the whole region features about 90! Each with their own specialties.

I will make note that the region is implementing a point system. Groups of tasters that get a bit, lets say, rowdy can and will be asked to leave. Too rowdy and you can be banned from tours.

Hopefully this means there will be more civilized tour groups.

I suggest anyone looking to check out:




    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 5:47PM
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"V. Sattui  they make a WONDERFUL madeira. Have you tried it?"

Are you kidding? There's three bottles of the V. Sattui Madeira ("sweet nectar of the Gods" as our friend calls it) downstairs as I type.

And guess where we're going next week? :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 2:50AM
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"V. Sattui  they make a WONDERFUL madeira. Have you tried it?"

I have an empty bottle from a trip 5 years ago. I sniff the cork every once in a while. I still makes my mouth water.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 3:24PM
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In Napa, my favorite is St. Supery. My husband and I visited Napa last year and found some of the wineries to be very "stuffy". St. Supery was so much fun and much more approachable. Their wines are wonderful, so much that we joined their wine club and have been enjoying many of their estate wines right here at home in NC. They are by far my favorite!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:00AM
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nwnatural(zone 8 PNW)

I second Wente in CA. Still love the Chateau St. Michelle here in Woodinville, WA.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:35PM
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Anderson Valley California wines - Esterlina Vineyards www.EsterlinaVineyards.com
Why? Love the wine, and at the hard to find winery you get spectacular views and they pour wine from the deck.

Sonoma County Healdsburg California - Everett Ridge

Same family, but you get to taste the wines at their tasting room in Healdsburg, closer to the San Francisco Bay Area. Hunt down Esterlina though, it's worth it when you are driving towards the Mendocino Coast

Here is a link that might be useful: Esterlina Vineyards Website

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 1:52PM
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DH and I have been to Napa and Sonoma in October in two different years--both wonderful trips. We love V. Sattui , Mumm, and Sterling in Napa, and in Sonoma, Benzinger and Kenwood.

But many of our favorite wines are from Chateau Ste Michelle in Washington state, and we haven't been there yet.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:24PM
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fedup321(7 NC)

If your ever in the Carolina's this one is a must for your list to visit..

Here is a link that might be useful: Good winery to visit..

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 2:07AM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

Wow .....this has turned out to be one of the best threads yet. I love all the suggestions you all have given and hope to get to quite a few of the wineries listed. My friends and I try to visit a few during the winter months just to have something to do. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 8:41AM
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aka_raeanne(4a NY)

I agree with Big Eyed Fish - we went to Napa in November and thoroughly enjoyed St. Supery. We bought one of their 6 litre bottles of a 2001 Elu and joined their wine club. I can't wait to get the first shipment. The wine I drink on a pretty regular basis is Rutherford Ranch Cab - I think it is a great bargain for a very good wine.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Seghesio Winery in Healdsburg, CA. Their Old Vine Zin is to die for. http://www.seghesio.com/.

I also enjoy Orfila wines in San Diego. Their Ambassador Reserve Chard is one of the best Chards I've ever had. The reds are also very good.

I'm a wine member of both.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:22PM
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My parents winery of course just outside of Palestine, Tx, Sweet Dreams Winery!! Mostly organic fruit, grape, berry, and local honey wines! Yummy! My personal favorite is Bumblebee Kiss, a honey raspberry wine. Then, our Mustang grape red, you can drink it with anything!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 10:25PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

EOS (Paso Robles) gets my #1 vote. I like their use of Sangiovese.

Edna Valley & Talley get high marks too. When I want Zin, Syrah, or Pinot Noir, I head for the Central Coast!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 4:34PM
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wild_rose_of_texas(z8b TX)

I wanted to respond to Stargazer's post above. Where is your parents' winery? I live north of Houston, and it sounds like that would be a nice weekend trip up to visit your place!

We went on a central Texas wine tour this summer, and I found several wines that I liked. As a native Texan, I was surprised to learn that we are number five in the nation in wine production. It is a fairly new industry here, but apparently growing fast. I love my California wines from Sonoma, Napa, even Santa Barbara area. I also adore French and Italian wines, the occasional Spanish, German, and Greek selections as well. But it's important (and fun) to support the local growers and vintners, so I am going to set out to explore Texas wine country this fall. I hope to gather up some friends for a couple of long weekend excursions.

So far I have found that McPherson's Viognier is fabulous! And the Fredericksberg Winery's Zellebration is pretty good too.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:35PM
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Okanagan Valley of British Columbia Canada.. Totally AWESOME each & every one of them!!

Come discover our hidden little secret...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/2008_fall_wine_guide.php?page=1

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:44PM
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vineyard(9 (No. California))

Napa/St. Helena - V. Sattui
Sonoma - Buena Vista
Livermore - Fenestra

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 3:42AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Temecula, California. This is tough! Many good ones there! BUT, I will say Keyways! They do a great job. Lovely wine mixed with great marketing.

By great marketing I mean they have great events plus, you get a premium glass free with a wine tasting if you are a club member, and wonderful wine sent on a regular basis, AND recipes to serve with the wine. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner tonight with their "Surrender" Petite Syrah. Amazing!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:27PM
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