We took Highway 46 East, maneuvered through the road work and stopped at Vina Robles for a picnic lunch in the Huerhuero Vineyards with Vice President Marc Laderriere. We had met Marc earlier in the year and finally got the opportunity to take him up on his picnic offer. We grabbed box lunches from the kitchen, climbed into Marc’s car and drove through the vineyards, arriving at our lunch spot, a picnic table under an oak tree in the Huerhuero Vineyard. It was a crisp, blustery fall day and we ate sandwiches and drank excellent wine – Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red4, Petite Sirah and Syré. After lunch we stopped to watch the grenache grapes being harvested and sampled some of the fruit from the vines. There’s really no way to describe the sensation of eating fresh picked grapes in the vineyard. Winemaker Matthis Gubler grew up on the family’s Pinot Noir vineyard in Switzerland and is winning medal after medal for his outstanding wines.
We made a couple of quick stops after lunch. It had been a while since we visited Chumeia Vineyards so we stopped by and said hello to Kristen & Lee Nesbitt. Chumeia is a dog friendly winery and they are very involved in animal fund-raising. I’ve always loved their Zins, and enjoy their Viognier and dessert wines, too.
From there it was a quick shot to Tobin James Cellars and our favorite pourer and good friend Tim Booth. The tasting room is huge, the wine list is extensive and they boast the largest wine club in the world – 20,000+ members. A visit to Tobin James is always memorable, but it’s definitely more enjoyable during the weekdays when it’s not so crowded.
Down Union Road we went as we started making our way into town to meet Neil Roberts from Clavo. We were intrigued by the sign pointing to Falcon Nest, so we drove in.