Hello again everyone! So my coat of blubber is continuing to plague me and I am trying to actually exercise and go on a diet. Ah, who am I kidding? The fat is here to stay seeing as I can’t forgo wine. Skinniness or wine? If you chose the former, I am sorry but you are just lying to yourself ;).
For this alcohol-calorie-burning episode, I chose to visit Bouchaine in the Los Carneros district (the most southerly portion) of the Napa Valley. Bouchaine is only about 15 minutes from my house but is truly in the countryside. Beautiful vines blanket the gently rolling hills and homes scattered far apart from each other made for a more bucolic scene than one would think is so close to the city (I even saw sheep in some of the vineyards on my way in!). Los Carneros is known for growing killer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and Bouchaine certainly keeps in line with that reputation. Their grounds are absolutely gorgeous (as you’ll see in the photos) in addition to being dog and family-friendly. The tasting room is very well put together with a walk up bar for standing tastings but if you’re not in a hurry, there’s stunning outside seating for both tastings and picnics that makes full use of the California sunshine.
Upon entering the tasting room I was warmly welcomed by Tara, one of the tasting room personnel and she walked me through a great tasting. It was a set of five wines: a rose of Pinot Noir, two Chardonnays (that differed greatly in style), two Pinot Noirs and a Cabernet Sauvignon from south-eastern Napa (an area known as Coombsville). I’m not normally a Chardonnay guy but the first one-their Estate Chene d’Argent Chardonnay-was quite lovely. I really enjoyed this green apple-y, more fruity Chard and enjoyed the Estate Swan Pinot Noir as well. Tara was a great wine educator, making sure I understood what makes each wine unique without droning on super long about winemaking details (as many tasting room staff can often do XD).
Tl;dr: The service and demeanor of the tasting room were fantastic. All the staff were truly welcoming and made me feel at home. Definitely an easy and short jaunt from Sacramento and San Francisco as well. There’s a few other wineries in the area so you can make a day of looking at just Los Carneros. In sum, there’s exploring to be had here in Napa and Bouchaine should absolutely be on your list of places to visit.