Hi everyone! I’m fresh back from the dead and I’ve been busy doing a whole lot of nothing XD. Seriously though, not a fun few weeks (though I did travel to Quebec City-I’ll post on that as well :D). However, I think you will love what I have in store for you this entry. On my wine travels, I have found some great small wine regions making some great juice – and Lake County (northeast of Napa County) is no slouch. A couple weeks ago, I acted upon some curiosity and went up to Kelseyville, a very small town that had four tasting rooms and I went back the next week too. In short, I found some fantastic wines and discovered that Lake County is perhaps one of the next big wine regions in the USA.
I took a scenic drive through Cobb Mountain (part of the Valley Fire burn site) and marveled at the huge towering trees and curvy backcountry roads travelling past quaint homes that had been spared from the fire’s wrath or had been recently rebuilt. After about an hour and a half I came upon the very small downtown area of Kelseyville and tasted through their tasting rooms – but one stuck out to me the most. Fore Family Vineyards (https://www.forewines.com) had a quaint, open tasting room with modern art and comfy chairs. Fore Family did something truly awesome in that the family actually manned the tasting room (something rare in Napa and Sonoma counties). I was served by Eric Fore, one of the children of the family. Not only was he very gracious and excited to talk about his craft, but he dished up some very nice wines from both Lake and Napa Counties. I was a particular fan of their GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre) and their Albariño. The Grenache was excellent as well. At the end of my trip I visited Kelsey Creek Brewing (https://www.kelseycreekbrewing.com) right across the street, a small brewery, I tried a couple of great beers (it’s a great place to go for the beer lover in your party :D).
All in all, Kelseyville and Lake County are very interesting places to go. When you’re driving out on these backcountry roads, you get a real feeling of remoteness even though you’re only a couple of hours outside of San Francisco. If you live in SF or Sacramento it is definitely worth the day trip (or stay the night as I would recommend). Napa and Sonoma may be closer, but the high quality of many of their wines and low tasting fees (like $5-$10 if at all) make Lake County a spot to visit (and be sure to look for Lake County wines at Bevmo or Total Wine, you might find a good bargain).
(Edited by Emily Phillips-Thank you!)