I first tasted Calluna Vineyards‘ Bordeaux-style red wines in April 2012 at Vinoteca, a winemaking cooperative in Santa Rosa. At that tasting, I learned David Jeffery’s story, from corporate financier to winemaker. He invited me to his Chalk Hill AVA vineyards this trip. The property is not yet a public winery, so the visit included a tour of the vineyards and property in an all-terrain vehicle with Jeffrey and a personal tasting and lunch in his home with his wife and dog. Calluna is comprised of a vineyard for each of the “great” Bordeaux red grapes and Jeffery has plans to plant Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon in the near future. A guest house on the property with a beautiful heather (calluna) garden serves Calluna’s investors and best customers when they visit. All four wines, the Cuvée (red blend), Merlot “Aux Raynauds,” Cabernet Sauvignon “The Colonel’s Vineyard” and Calluna Estate tasted wonderfully both alone and with the fresh charcuterie, cheeses, and salad lunch provided by Jeffrey’s wife. I look forward to returning there in the near future.
I have written about Trentadue previously on Yelp, but I had not visited since September 2010. In addition to outstanding wines by winemaker Miro Tcholakov at affordable price points, Trentadue is a premier location for a destination wedding. The tasting fees remain low and the winery is also dog-friendly for those who travel with their pets. During this visit, I had the opportunity to interact with visitors, dogs, and Victor Trentadue, and remain convinced that this is the most friendly, unpretentious winery I will ever visit. I sampled most of their wines, including their delicious, yet inexpensive, bubbly; Trentadue Sangiovese and Old Patch Red; a side-by-side tasting of the Trentadue and La Storia Zinfandels; La Storia Reserves Cuvée 32, Merlot, and Petite Sirah; and concluded with “Randy’s candy,” a blend of their viognier port and bubbly. For $30-$40/bottle, you can’t beat the La Storia Reserves, and the Old Patch Red is still an amazing value at $15.
For more pics of my visits to Calluna and Trentadue, visit this public link. If you are interested in visiting either Calluna or Trentadue, please contact me and I can arrange an experience you will never forget.