Tag Archives: Wine

Mettler Family Vineyards

A Generational Legacy

Mettler is One Gorgeous Winery! From the landscaped grounds to the beautiful tasting room to the great views.

Location:  7889 East Harney Lane, Lodi, CA.

Tasting Room Hours:  Open Thursday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mettler is one of Lodi’s Oldest Farming Families – been growing wine grapes since the late 1800s. One of the very first families to introduce French clones to the Lodi region.

The Wines

A Tradition and a Passion for Making Wine – Excellence from Vineyards to Wine Production!

I love that Mettler lets the fruit come forward in their wines to create intense and well balanced wines. I wanted a bottle of each, but settled on taking one home with me.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Like a “Liquid Ruby” in the glass! The nose is aromatic with intense flavors and oh so good on my palate. A great balance of savory, sweet and spice.

Petite Sirah

This is SEXY in a glass with richness and beauty! A dark purple in the glass (hello! wine wipes) with aromas of chocolate, jam and spice. I could taste the blackberries and blueberries and oh so juicy.


The ‘Epicenter’ Old Vine Zinfandel!

A few words to describe this wine:

  • Epic!
  • Bold and Bright and Juicy
  • Complex Yet Balanced
  • Tasty Richness
  • Depth of Flavors
  • Savory and Sweet and Spice

Worth The Stop to Sip and Relax and Unwind!!!


Harney Lane Winery

Family, Love, Laughter

Harney Lane Winery – Check Out Their Website.

Location:  9010 East Harney Lane, Lodi, CA.

Tasting Room Hours:  Open Thursday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tasting Fee:  $5 per person, which is waived with wine purchase.

Wine:Thirty is their Wine Club – love the name!

The Wines

Harney Lane is Hands On! All their fruit is handpicked, hand sorted, fermented in small lots, and then barrel aged.


Beautiful in the glass with a great nose. Citrus, pear and pineapple. Crisp and Refreshing.

Dry Rose

The color of the wine in the glass is like no hue I have seen before in a Rose and in a good way. I thought the nose bloomed as the wine warmed in the glass. Melon and Berry. Dry and Balanced with Fruity Sweetness.


This Chardonnay is a palate changer as well as a palate pleaser! Apple, pineapple, apricot with honeysuckle, butterscotch and caramel. I could really taste the apricot and caramel. Sweet with a little spice and very nice. I wanted to grab a bottle and enjoy the day.


Beautiful in the glass with jammy goodness. Heart the berries and cherries. Rich velvety finish and leaves your palate wanting another sip or two or three. Just leave the bottle.


I was excited to see Tempranillo on the Wine Tasting List. This Tempranillo would balance with Sweet Eats very nicely. It had my palate guessing and wanting more to figure it out. This Tempranillo will get better with age too.

Petite Sirah

Saved the BEST for last in my opinion. Like Dessert in a Bottle with layers of jamminess, cobbler and roasted coffee. Dark and beautiful in the glass with a great nose and pleasing the palate all the way through. This Petite Sirah would pair nicely with a variety of eats.

Here’s to Great Tasting Wines and Living a Life of Love and Laughter – Cheers!!!

Oak Farm Vineyards

A Family Winery

That Is Deeply Rooted

In the Lodi Wine Region

Oak Farm is one of the oldest properties in the Central Valley and founded in 1864! A great gathering place to stay a while to taste the wines and explore the grounds (a total of 70 acres with 10 acres of grounds for guests to explore and enjoy). The winery tasting staff knows their wines and offers great hospitality and customer service! Thank you for a great experience.


Oak Farm is so worth the drive out to the country to experience their wines! I wanted to while away the day with a bottle or two.

Location:  23627 North DeVries Road, Lodi, CA.

Tasting Room Hours:  Open Thursday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed Tue & Wed). There is a $5 Tasting Fee.

Check Out!

  • The Vineyards.
  • The Winery Tasting Room.
  • The Great Lawn and Oak Tree.
  • The Private Lake.
  • The Rose Garden Patio with Arbor. Beautiful Roses!
  • Historical Redwood Barn, originally built in 1864.

The Wines

Passionate About Wine!!!

I loved that there was a nice balance between white wines and red wines.

The Dolce Blanc – Translated means “Sweet White”

Chardonnay – Aged In Stainless Steel

Floral aromas on the nose with pear and apples in the glass. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks blended with neutral oak barrels. Crisp, Refreshing and Smooth on the finish!

Chardonnay – Aged In Oak

LOVED this Chardonnay and it had my nose and my palate guessing as to what was all in there! This would pair well with a variety of foods due to the depth of aromas and flavors in this varietal. A Breathe of Fresh Air and Refreshing too!

Sauvignon Blanc

Great Balance – freshness, acidity, fruity! Aroma of peach, a nose of lemon and a taste of grapefruit and/or citrus.

Verdelho – Silver Medal Winner at the 2013 Consumer Wine Awards


I wanted to lick my wine glass after tasting the deliciousness of this wine! Plum Jam and Dark, Black Cherries. I thought I could smell the baked, brown sugar goodness in this varietal!

Tievoli – An “Italian Style” Red Blend

#1 – Tievoli is the Italian slang word for “You Want This”.

#2 – Tievoli backwards is “I Love It”.

My initial thoughts in tasting this varietal is get me some Pizza, Spicy Sausage or a Hearty, Meaty Red Sauce! Elegance in a glass and medium-bodied. Ripe, Lushness and Soft that Dances On My Palate with a Lingering Finish!


Dolcetto – Means “Little Sweet One”

This varietal comes from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. 

Winery Tasting Room

Private Lake with Oak Trees (Photos by RSheridan)

 Head To The Countryside – Cheers!!!

Lodi Wine and Visitor Center

Great Place to Start

Your Adventure In

the Lodi Wine Region

I have a confession to make I love checking out visitor centers when I travel! The Lodi Wine and Visitor Center is a great place to start if you are new to the Lodi Wine Region.

Lodi Wine – Check It Out!

Location:  2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA. (209) 365-0621.

Hours:  Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

I enjoyed exploring the grounds with its beautiful landscaping of fauna and flora. Also, there is an area devoted to wine grapes and the varietals are marked, so you know what the vines look like for the various varietals.

Wine Map and Information

I like to go to the source and ask the staff of the Visitor Center for recommendations on wineries to check out! I enjoy a wine tasting bar, but love to go  out to the wineries even more.

Lodi Wineries – Check It Out!

Lodi Wine Events – Check It Out! ZinFest. Chocolate and Wine Weekend. Lodi Road Trip Passport. Oh My!!!

Wine Tasting Bar Anyone???

The Visitor Center has a wine tasting bar that features a wide selection of regional wines. Eight wines are served on a daily basis and the wines are rotated weekly. You can purchase bottles of wine too.

Tasting Fee:  $5 for a flight of 4 wines to try and taste.

The Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa

Check out the Wine and Roses hotel, restaurant and spa too! The Visitor Center is located on the grounds of The Wine & Roses.

LoCA – The Wines of Lodi California Wine Club

I checked this out and thought it was pretty SWEET!

Wine Club Members receive 3 to 4 bottles of different Lodi appellation wines 4 times a year. Each shipment also includes a newsletter, tasting notes, and recipes chosen by the winemaker for their specific wine. The average cost per shipment is $70 to $90 plus shipping. Enjoy exclusive hand picked wines for the Lodi appellation!

(Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Exploring & Wine Tasting – Cheers!!!

Sonoma County

Exploring and Adventuring

In Sonoma County

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, California is the county seat of Sonoma County. The largest city in California’s North Coast, Wine Country and the North Bay (the fifth most populated city in the San Francisco Bay area). In 2013, Santa Rosa was ranked as one the “happiest cities” in the United States! Santa Rosa has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, mostly dry summers. The area experiences fog from the Pacific Ocean as well as snow in the nearby mountains.

Sonoma County Wine

Sonoma County is one of California’s largest producers of wine grapes.

Link to Sonoma County.

Appellations of Sonoma County

  • Alexander Valley
  • Bennett Valley
  • Chalk Hill
  • Dry Creek Valley
  • Fort Ross – Seaview
  • Green Valley of the Russian River Valley
  • Knights Valley
  • Los Carneros
  • Northern Sonoma
  • Pine Mountain – Cloverdale Peak
  • Rockpile
  • Russian River Valley
  • Sonoma Coast
  • Sonoma Valley
  • Sonoma Mountain

That is a WHOLE lot of appellations!

Where to Start? Santa Rosa is close to the Russian River Valley, so that is the appellation that I explored during my time in Sonoma County. You have to know which wine appellation you are in or you will become overwhelmed pretty quickly in Sonoma County when it comes to wine. The lady at the Vistor’s Bureau stated that Sonoma County is about the size of Rhode Island!

Interesting Facts:

  • Grapes were planted in Sonoma County at Fort Ross as early as 1812.
  • Padre Jose Altimira planted several thousand grape vines at Mission San Francisco Solano in what is not the city of Sonoma, in souther Sonoma County.
  • In the 1920’s there were 256 wineries in Sonoma County, with more than 22,000 acres in production.
  • During the Prohibition period, commercial winemaking declined. At the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, fewer than 50 wineries in Sonoma County survived.
  • In the 1960’s, only 12,000 acres were vineyards.
  • By 1999 Sonoma County had over 49,000 acres of vineyards owned by more than 750 growers and 180 bonded wineries.
  • In 2007, of the 250 wineries over half are less than 20 years old.
  • About 73% of Sonoma County’s agricultural production is growing wine grapes with 60, 302 acres of vineyards with over 1100 growers.

Popular Wine Varietals in Sonoma County

  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel
  • Merlot

Russian River Valley Wine Country

The Russian River Valley AVA lies adjacent to and west of the City of Santa Rosa and the southern reach of the Russian River, where the river bends westward and cuts through the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean. Cooling Coastal Fog + the Petaluma Wind Gap + the Russian River = Great Producing Vines and Grapes!

Link to Russian River Valley Winegrowers.

Interesting Facts about the Russian River Valley AVA:

  • Granted AVA status in 1983.
  • Accounts for about one-sixth of the total planted vineyard acreage in Sonoma County.
  • More than 15,000 acres planted to wine grapes.
  • 79 wineries.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair

A Celebration of Sonoma County’s finest and best known products! Entrance into the Harvest Fair is FREE. The Harvest Fair is held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

The main reason to visit Sonoma County was for the Harvest Fair. The Harvest Fair offers an all-inclusive wine tasting with 150+ wineries ($). This includes craft beer and cider tasting and food pairings. Taste the best of Sonoma County!

The Harvest Fair includes:

  • Chef Demonstrations (Free)
  • Wine Seminars (Free)
  • The Grape Stomp (Free)
  • Harvest Workshops, like How to Make Wine, Beer, Cheese at Home, Making Ciden, Organic Beekeeping 101, and Backyard Beekeeping (Free)
  • The Wine Country Marketplace – wine, beer and cider sales
  • The Marketplace – local and artisanal products for purchase
  • The Garden of Earthly Delights – sit back and relax and watch the action
  • Port and Chocolate Tasting ($5 per pairing)

Link to the Wine Awards for the Harvest Fair.

Link to the Craft Beers and Ciders for the Harvest Fair.

Link to the Food Awards for the Harvest Fair.

Bear Republic Brewing Company

Bear Republic Brewing Company is located at 345 Healdsburg Avenue in Healdsburg, California.

Cuvee de Bubba

Tasted:  Cuvee de Bubba, a Sour brew. A custom blend of Bear Republic beers that is refermented in oak barrels using only the wild microflora and fauna native to the Alexander Valley. Stone fruits and cherry pie tartness/sourness.

Good Eats:  I had the Crab Sandwich. The Tides Wharf’s fresh Dungeness crab (Bodega Bay) tossed in garlic aioli served on grilled sliced sourdough bread with tomato

Racer 5 IPA

Russian River Brewing Company

Russian River Brewing Company is located at 725 4th Street in Santa Rosa, California.

Tasted:  Framboise for a Cure (proceeds donated to Breast Cancer Awareness), a Sour brew. Their Blonde Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels (the base beer is Temptation). Then 30 pounds of fresh raspberries are added to each barrel! A great tasting and very drinkable sour brew that is beautiful in the glass with pink to red tones. A nice balance between sweet and fruity to tart and sour. 100% of the proceeds of this brew goes to the Sutter Breast Care Center of Santa Rosa.

Good Eats: Had the Mikey Pizza with marinara, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, and carmelized onions.

The Sonoma Coast

(Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Traveling!!!

Oregon’s Willamette Valley


Stopped in Eugene for lunch at Falling Sky Brewing on the way to McMinnville. The eats and brews at Falling Sky’s Pub was out of this world and makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Mr. Craves had the Back Alley Burger and I had the Lamb Kefta Kabob. Mr. Craves had the Kama Sumatra Coffee Porter and I had the Strobilus Berry Wheat Bitter.

Yamhill County Wine Region


Check Out Yamhill Valley’s Wine Region Website!

Hauer of the Dauen

Hauer of the Dauen in Dayton, Oregon in Yamhill County. Welcome to the Family Farm – worth the drive in the countryside for a tasting!

Here is the Tasting Flight for Hauer of the Dauen Wines:

  • 2001 Pinot Noir
  • 2002 Pinot Noir
  • Gamay Noir

Mystic Wine

Mystic Wine in Amity, Oregon. Loved their Farmhouse Tasting Room!

Here is the Tasting Flight for Mystic Wines:

  • 2006 Hillside Vineyard Merlot
  • 2009 Home Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2006 McDuffee Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2008 Hillside Vineyard Zinfandel
  • 2008 Gunkle Vineyard Barbera

Duck Pond Cellars

Duck Pond in Dundee, Oregon. The Family is very much the heart and the labor of love at this vineyard! The family owns and operates over a 1,000 acres of vineyard land. This includes 6 family-owned vineyards in Oregon and 2 family-owned vineyards in Washington.

Here is the Tasting Flight for Duck Pond:

  • Pinot Gris
  • Viognier
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah

Lange Estate Winery and Vineyard

Lange in Dundee, Oregon in the Dundee Hills. Wine and Spirits Magazine declared Lange as the 2012 Winery of the Year! Love their Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris and purchased a Pinot Gris to have with our picnic lunch on Lange’s beautiful patio. You have to check out the patio and see the Beautiful Vistas!!!

Jackson was a Wealth of Information on Lange Wines and we even picked his brain on breweries in the area and in Portland. By the way we loved Gigantic Brewing Company – thanks so much for a great recommendation! We enjoyed tasting wines with you – thanks again.

Here is the Tasting Flight for Lange:

  • Pinot Gris
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noirs

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Winderlea in Dundee, Oregon in the Dundee Hills. We received a recommendation from another wine taster at Duck Pond that we had to check out Winderlea. You will have to excuse me because I was enjoying the wine tasting so much I forgot to take more pictures of this winery and its beautiful vistas – DUH! 3 Words to Describe Winderlea:  #1 Friendly, #2 Tasty Pinots and #3 Natural Beauty; Tasting Room and Vistas.

Here is the Tasting Flight for Winderlea:

  • Winderlea Ana Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winderlea Juliard Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winderlea Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winderlea Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winderlea Dundee Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winderlea Vineyard Pinot Noir

Yamhill Valley Vineyards

YVV in McMinnville, Oregon. YVV is the oldest winery in the McMinnville AVA. YVV is located on a 150 acre estate in the rolling foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains in the Willamette Valley. YVV is dedicated to the character that is distinctively Oregon and distinctively Yamhill Valley.

Here is the Tasting Flight for YVV:

  • 2011 Pinot Gris
  • 2009 Pinot Blanc
  • 2009 Pinot Noir Estate
  • 2008 Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 2012 Riesling
  • Chardonnay varietal coming soon

Misc. Photos


Great Jumping Off Point to Adventure through the Yamhill County Wine Region of Oregon’s Willamette Valley!

Downtown McMinnville is a Great Place to Explore; unique shops, antique stores, restaurants, wine bars, and wine tasting rooms.

(Photos by RSheridan)

Enjoy & Cheers!!!

Living the Big & Beautiful Life – May


What are YOU Craving in Life?

You Name IT! What is Your Heart’s Desire Right NOW?

Wine & Wine Events!

GRAPE Goodness! (Photo by RSheridan)

What Motivates YOU?

To Be the BEST Person YOU Can Be!

The Warmer Weather!

What are YOU Celebrating?

From Teeny Tiny to Somewhere in Between to HUGE! SHARE It & SHOUT It OUT!

Spending Time With the Ones I LOVE!


LOOK from WITHIN & CELEBRATE LIFE!!! Please Jump In and Share Your Successes!

Au Bon Climat Winery

(ABC) for Short

I am so EXCITED! Au Bon Climat Winery now has a Tasting Room in Downtown Santa Barbara – located at 813 Anacapa Street. Their new tasting room is beautiful and gives you the option to taste their wines ($10 pp), since their winery is not open to the public for tastings or tours.

ABC Tasting Room (Photo by RSheridan)

Feel the Love in Their Wines

I love ABC’s Pinot Noir – the color is an amazing shade of plum – the wine dances on your palate with fruitiness. The awesomeness of this wine is that it goes with everything.

I enjoyed tasting a white wine varietal of ABC called the “Hildegard” (55% Pinot Gris, 40% Pinot Blanc & 5% Aligote – White Table Wine, Santa Maria Valley). Another wine varietal that plays with your palate – taste apple, almond and a hint of bakery/pastry – the color is almost golden in the glass – a delicious, but complex wine. The wine server stated that the wine bottle of the “Hildegard” is like a double glass bottle and of dark glass to perserve the quality of the wine and can actually be stored and opened years later.

The “Hildegard” (Photo by RSheridan)

Tried the Vita Nova brand and loved the Acronicus red blend (40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Petit Verdot). The color of this wine in the glass is gorgeous (should have taken a pic of that). The wine server stated that this is a SuperTuscan Blend. This red blend probably will taste better with food – stay tuned on a more comprehensive review.

Vita Nova’s Acronicus (Photo by RSheridan)

Loved this Artwork in ABC’s Tasting Room (Photo by RSheridan)

A True Wine Tasting Experience!!!

Ceago Vinegarden

Interacting With the Land One Grape at a Time

Finally delved into the Lake County Wine Region of California and had a great experience at Ceago!!!

Ceago Vinegarden is located on the North Shore of Clear Lake in Lake County California between the towns of Nice and Lucerne. Tasting Room Hours:  Daily 10 am to 5 pm.

A little history about Ceago. Established in 1993 and owned by Jim Fetzer. This Winery Estate is massive with lodging and conference rooms as well as a wine tasting room. A biodynamic farm with gardens, lavender fields, olive orchards, and sheep. Do not forget to walk out to the pier and check out Clear Lake – beautiful lake.

Ceago (Photo by RSheridan)

Hand Crafted, Fruit Forward Wines

You have 2 options for tasting their great wines, 1) in their beautiful tasting room or 2) sitting outside on their patio.

Ceago’s White Blend (Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay) was crisp, refreshing and downright delicious. Give me a place to put my feet up with a glass (leave the bottle) and I could lazy the day away. A very versatile wine that can be enjoyed any season with a variety of food pairings. Truly packs a fruit punch in your mouth with citrus, melon, peach, and green apple – a fruit forward and well balanced wine.

My Favorite was Ceago’s 2009 Syrah. First the color of the wine in the glass is so rich and dark – saying “Drink Me”! Think dark, soft berry, plumy fruits with a hint of chocolate and spice. I had a happy dance going on my palate when tasting this wine and had a long lasting finish. This wine will certainly improve with food as well as age!

Want to Go Back and Explore Some More!

Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden

The Winery

Take the time to soak in the sculpture garden, the wine during a tasting and the additional art in the tasting room. Sculpterra Winery is located in Paso Robles, California. Tasting Room Hours:  Fri – Sun 10 am to 5 pm. Great picnic area out back of the tasting room.

The Art in Wine

Wine That Gladdens the Heart (this is stated on their wine tasting glasses – love it!)

I need to give KUDOS to our Wine Server Donna – she was welcoming, warm, friendly and funny – Thanks so much!

Their wines are amazing – full-bodied and fruit forward! I love when you can taste the grapes in the wine. My favorite wine varietal was the Pinot Noir with Cabernet Sauvignon in a close second.

The 2009 Pinot Noir looked beautiful in the glass and the aroma had me totally baffled – fruity, woodsy, sweet spice, floral, and herbal – all this together with the grapes works well together – palate pleasing with a great, balanced finish. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was also beautiful in the glass with fruity flavors.

Sculpterra’s Pinot Noir & Cabernet Sauvignon (Photo by RSheridan)

Donna stated that Dr Warren Frankel 1st planted 20 acres of pistachios (offer pistachios during wine tasting – try the garlic pistachios – really good) and then followed with planting 20 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Wine Tasting Bar (Photo by RSheridan)

Wine Tasting Glass, Empty (Photo by RSheridan)

More Beautiful Art Inside the Wine Tasting Room (Photo by RSheridan)

The Sculpture Garden

Donna stated that the sculptures were created by John Jagger. I loved the art outside as well as inside the tasting room – really took the time to add those special touches to their winery.

My Favorite Sculpture – “Golden Morning” (Photo by RSheridan)

“Puma” (Photo by RSheridan)

(Photo by RSheridan)

Another Favorite – “Mammoth” (Photo by RSheridan)

“Yahoo” (Photo by RSheridan)

Wine + Art What More Could You Have Asked For in a Wine Tasting!

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