A Taste of Mendocino was to be a great way for us to get a handle on this somewhat lesser known (for us at least) wine region. Hosted by Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc. and Visit Mendocino County, at the lovely San Francisco's Golden Gate Club in the beautiful Presidio. The first part of the event was exclusive to qualified, credentialed trade and media, and they let us in anyway (thanks)!
It sure was a beautiful day, and tasting wine overlooking San Francisco Bay while the Fly Emirates Team New Zealand AC45 was out sailing was just an added bonus. The Mendocino region as mentioned earlier, is one that was somewhat unfamiliar to us, and this was the ideal event to get us up to speed and find out if an Adventure is in order.
The event seemed well organized with a quick check in, ID badges and a bag of regional information flyers to get you started off inside to get your glass. Once inside there were about 30 wineries pouring their wines and a great small sandwich / panini and crisps plate being served all afternoon. There was also some great fudge tasting as well as a couple of pie samples to be enjoyed as a break from all the wines. This was some of the best food at a tasting in a while. One minor note though, leave out the raw red onions in food from any wine event (messes with the tasting process). We did really enjoy the food!
Wandering around and talking and tasting was relatively easy, and most vendors had someone with intimate knowledge of the wines or vineyards which really is good. There were a lot of very nice wines and most have very good price points well inside the **** range which makes this area one of interest for a future Adventure.
While we try to figure out when an Adventure may happen, the following wineries are just one's that either had wines that were of a price / taste balance that caught our attention, and or we had a nice time chatting and learning about them and the area. If you make it up there before we do, maybe let us know if you stop by any of these, or for that matter any in the area. The first one we spent some time at was Albertina Wine Cellars, where we enjoyed talking with Fred for quite a while. The next one that comes to mind (and some notes) that we enjoyed was Brutocao Cellars, where we had some laughs with Aaron.
Baxter was another of the memorable stops where we talked interesting wine stuff with Phil and talked about their property. We also spent a fair amount of time chatting with Paul with Parducci, while tasting his wine. Last but certainly not least was the guy with the best spot in the place. Gary with Kimmel Vineyards, was positioned right between the Fudge and the pie vendors. The wine was good as well!
The event has definitely put the area on the map for us, and there were many other worthy wines tasted there, so rest assured there will be an Adventure in the works as soon as we can get our s___ (censor edit) together.
Happy Tasting Adventures,
Kiwi & Koala