Moon Mountain Vineyard, Tasting RoomAcres of vines, during Harvest all of the fruit is handpicked.Fields of Gold, Mustard SeasonInside their tank room, designed in a circle.Last week I finally had the opportunity to go on a trip that has been a dream for as long as I can remember, well for as long as I have been old enough to drink wine I suppose. Husband and I flew out to San Francisco and spent 4 days in between Sonoma and Napa Valley and ended the trip in Seattle. It was absolutely amazing and everything I imagined it would be. I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite places. We decided after being out there and seeing at least 3 if not 4 wineries a day that we could visit every year for the next 10 years and not visit all of the wineries out there. It is just amazing, and a really good excuse to plan a wine country trip every spring!
Our first full day in California included a morning appointment at Moon Mountain Vineyard, a total hidden gem!!
As we drove along the winding, steep, narrow, roads, we couldn't believe the climb to get to the top of the long driveway that led us up to Moon Mountain. It was the most beautiful sunny, warm, day and the mustard was in full yellow bloom. Absolutely gorgeous this time of year.
Moon Mountain Vineyard
If not recommended to us by a good friend we would probably never have stumbled upon Moon Mountain Vineyard, it is definitely off the beaten path but well worth the trip! One of our favorite stops on the trip for sure. We had our own private tour and tasting (if you plan to visit make sure you call ahead, it is by appointment only) with artisan cheeses, crackers and chocolate to pair with our wines. An in depth tour of the winery, wine making process and tour of the natural cave where the wines are stored. In the cave we got to taste directly from the barrel. The two ladies we met working at the winery were incredibly helpful, really in depth and knowledgeable about the winery and super nice. It is such a beautiful place it was hard not to want to stay there the entire day enjoying a bottle of wine and relaxing on one of the picnic tables. We loved the experience so much we joined the wine club and truly I can't wait til our first shipment of wines arrives in June! In addition to the wines being absolutely fabulous the grapes are all organically grown. This is a must see!
About the Winery: Moon Mountain Vineyard is located high on the Sonoma Valley side of Mount Veeder, at nearly the 2,000-foot elevation. The steep, southern-facing slopes consist of soils called the Sonoma Volcanics, which are derived from rock, volcanic ash and lava. These soils, combined with the rigors of growing on the mountainside, push the vines to work harder, resulting in small, intensely flavored fruit. To balance these rugged conditions, we organically farm each row to gently enhance the complexity of the vineyard by creating a rich, healthy growing environment and produce grapes with pure flavors and a pronounced sense of place.
Our Favorites: (the wines are available exclusively at the winery, but the good news is they can ship to most states, Connecticut included)
Chardonnay Sonoma County 2007, $16: I loved this one, thought it was really nice, not a typical California Chardonnay. Crisp, Great fruit, not overly oaky or buttery.
From the Winemaker: This Chardonnay is perfectly balanced and elegant, with all of the fruit coming from the Russian River and Dry Creek Valley’s. This alluring wine offers aromas of honeysuckle, citrus, kiwi, along with a kiss of elegant French oak nuances. It is a well-structured wine, with a creamy mouth-feel and a finish with refreshing acidity; these complex lingering flavors are just mouthwatering. Pairs with: Grilled Tuna & Poultry Dishes; Brie & Goat Cheeses.
Cabernet Franc Estate 2006, $45: This one was an easy favorite, it made the short list of only 6 select wines we shipped back with us after our stay in California.
From the Winemaker: This 100% Cabernet Franc is from our highest vineyard block at 1,750 feet in elevation, the Feather Block. Deep garnet in color, this wine provokes a rich full-bodied mouth feel and lingering finish. Tantalizing and powerful flavors of mountain blackberry, black currant and wild sage are complemented with a subtle hint of root spice, cedar and mocha. Cabernet Franc is a very bold wine, yet velvety tannin structure. Pairs with: Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine); Blue, Gorgonzola & Camembert Cheeses.
Zinfandel Dry Creek 2007, $35: On my tasting notes sheet this got the most exclamation points. It was my favorite and I am told that the Estate 2007 blows the Dry Creek out of the water, with only 11 bottles left in the production. I somehow let husband convince me the Cab Franc (his favorite) should be the one we purchased, but if I had my way I would have bought a case of this. They also make an incredible Zinfandel Dry Creek Port 2006, absolutely delicious. Instead of bringing dessert to the next dinner party bring a bottle of this port with fresh dark chocolate, you will be a huge hit!