wine available at winery only
I'm looking to buy some wine for friends that live in various areas of the USA and I would like to take advantage of my proximity to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
I would like to purchase some wine that is available only by visiting the winery.
Does anyone know of a list of such wineries?
I am hoping to avoid having to visit each winery's website.
I can drive to anywhere from Napa to Healdsburg and fortunately, I can accomplish some of my shopping during the week and away from hordes of traffic.
You will not have any trouble getting recent recomendation for a trip up Rt 29. I'll try a contrarian approach.
I understand that Napa & Sonoma have the brand appeal; especially for folks back East. I would consider a (much shorter) drive to Livermore Valley. The wine making history there is rich and the values considerably better.
Thos Coyne and Murrieta's Well are two of my favorie stops. I get a mixed case here of wonderfully delicious surprises (wines your friends have not heard of) for the price of 3 bottles in the Napa Valley
Thomas Coyne Wines
51 Vallecitos Rd, Livermore, CA
I second the rec for Livermore. We belong to several wine clubs out there and always have something new to try. You might consider John Evans/Big White House winery. They make some excellent cabs as well as a really good sparking wine. Fenestra ia also good and known for their blend called True Red. Much more reasonable pricewise than Napa.
Just about every winery has a selection of wines that are not available anywhere else. Just keep in mind that it may mean that they weren't able to get it distributed, so it may not reflect that wineries best offerings.
I don't if any list of winery only wines exists. You may just have to choose your favorite wineries and see. I particularly like Meitz Cellars near Healdsburg. I enjoy their Petite Verdot, which I believe is winery only. This is also interesting because it is unusual to see this varietal bottled alone as opposed to being blended.
If you can go a little farther than Healdsburg, Navarro is a great winery that only sells to restaurants, at the winery and through their mailing list.
I like the idea of checking out Livermore. We popped a bottle of Chouinard "champagne" on election night, and I was reminded how much I liked their wines.
The central coast wineries are up and coming (Monterey County/Paso Robles), Amador and Calaveras County also have some good but unknown wineries, and we had some nice dessert wines and port in Madera County (I think a good dessert wine makes a great gift, because it appeals to a wide range of people, somehow isn't as intimidating as table wine, and is usually a better bang for the buck). You can have a nice day exploring these regions, especially since in the less publicized wine regions, the tasting rooms are less crowded and the tasting fees are lower or even nonexistent.
There are lots of small wineries that, although they technically don't sell only at the winery, have a very limited distribution. Most wine shops can only carry a small fraction of the wineries in California.