After dinner, Gaye will provide an introduction to the week and an overview of Lake County as a wine making region. The wines of Lake County were well known prior to Prohibition, outnumbering those of Napa. During Prohibition the abundant and fruitful vineyards were replaced with pear and walnut orchards. Learn how Lake County, with its unique climate, soils and elevation, combined with the spirit of passionate growers and winemakers, is re-emerging as a major wine growing region. One hundred acres of vineyards in 1965 have blossomed to 8,800 today, now boasting over 30 commercial wineries.
Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Dinner
Although just geographically north of famous Napa, Lake County is a dramatic step back in time. Here you find the pristine natural beauty of mountainous terrain dotted with vineyards, the cleanest air in California, and the beauty of the largest lake within California state boundaries. Here you are captivated by the spirit of the vineyard owners and winemakers who delight to share their passion, their stories and their insights with you on a personal basis.
Focus today on wine appreciation and tasting and food pairing. Led by Pietro Buttitta, a Rosa d'Oro winemaker, learn how to taste and talk about wine. Unravel the mysteries of wine labels.
Lake County Wineries website: www.lakecountywineries.org/
Lunch: At the hotelAfternoon: Put into practice your learning experiences today as we travel to Brassfield Estate, which will soon have the largest wine cave in the United States. All their wines are crafted entirely from grapes grown on the winery's high elevation estate above the lake where they are produced and bottled on the premises to create the finest of wines.
Head back to Upper Lake to visit the Lake County Wine Studio, conveniently located across the street from the hotel. This charming studio features wines from area wineries that do not have their own wine tasting room. Discuss and sample!
Brassfield Estate website: www.brassfieldestate.com/
Lake County Wine Studio website: lakecountywinestudio.com/
Dinner: Buffet dinner at the hotelEvening: Get to know your fellow enthusiasts relaxing over dinner. Then you can select your choice of two options to round out your evening. Option 1: Blue Wing Monday Night Blues band in the Blue Wing Restaurant. Option 2: History buffs may attend the monthly meeting of the local "Civil War Roundtable" in Riffe's. Roundtable topic is what happened in the Civil War 150 years ago this month.Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Head out then to Steele Winery where their winemaker will introduce us to their process and the individuality of their wines. Get your own hands right into it, as we process grapes using a punch press. Sample their wines and view the intricate bottling process.
Steele Wines website: www.steelewines.com/Lunch: Box lunch at beautiful Steele WineryAfternoon: Depart for the nearby town of Kelseyville, which features the tasting rooms for local wines from Wildhurst Vineyards and Rosa D'Oro. Stop by the artisan glass-blowing shop of Jay Buechier or Blue Flame Glass.
Following the Kelseyville visit, travel a short distance to Chacewater Wine and Olive Company for a taste of their wines and the wide variety of olive oils pressed on site.
p> Rosa D'Oro Wines website: www.rosadorowine.com
Wildhurst Wines website: www.wildhurst.com
Chacewater Wines and Olive Mill website: chacewaterwine.com
Dinner: On the veranda of the Blue Wing Saloon and Café next door to our hotel.Evening: Later this evening, Bernie Butcher will give an overview of the history of this scenic area. As owner of the charming and historic Tallman Hotel, built in the 1890’s, he will discuss the restoration of this gem amongst country hotels.Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Travel next to Six Sigma Ranch and Vineyards, a 5,000 acre ranch, located in the picturesque rolling hills dotted with oak trees in the remote southern end of Lake County. Our study leader, and Six Sigma winemaker, will discuss how to blend wines. Get right into the action as you individually practice blending wine. Stop a minute though to savor their award-winning Spanish-style wine, Tempranillo.
Six Sigma website: www.sixsigmaranch.com/Lunch: Box lunch at beautiful Six Sigma Ranch and Vineyards.Afternoon: Then end your visit at the stunning Boatique Winery where we will see the two passions of owners Robert and Madi Mount combine, high quality wine and beautifully restored antique boats. We will learn about their decade long love for Lake County and how that translates into the wine they produce.
Boatique Wines website: www.boatiquewines.com/Dinner: Enjoy a gourmet 3-course dinner as we round out the program tonight at the hotel.Evening: Share highlights of your adventure in this evening’s wrap up session.Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner