We have been at the Russian River Thousand Trails RV Resort in Cloverdale, California this last week. We are near all the wineries in Alexander Valley, Sonoma, and Napa Valley. There are a lot of them, too many wineries and not enough time to enjoy them. ;)
Our first visit was to Korbel. The Korbel brothers had originally settled in the location because of the redwood tree forests and made cigar boxes. They began the winery after all the redwood trees around them had been cut down. After some experimentation, it was found that grapes could grow very well in this region. We were able to take the tour through the old sparkling winemaking facilities and learned about the tedious processes necessary to complete their product. We finished the tour, then had our tasting, and it was time for the tour through the gardens.
One little bit of trivia we learned was that the 1960's TV series Combat! was shot across the street where there were still stumps left from the redwood trees. The stumps were blown up in the war scenes and other scenes were shot around the vineyard.
We also drove over to Napa Valley and visited the Vintage Sweet Shoppe. We had purchased a Groupon for a chocolate and wine pairing. Oh my goodness, it was good! We couldn't believe how the different kinds of chocolate would change the taste of the wine. The chocolate is made in the shop and is excellent!
Our favorite visit was to BobDog Wines. I had e-mailed and made a reservation for Jim and I to visit. Tim, the owner, got back to me and plans were set. The winery was the closest to where we are staying, we just had to drive 2000 feet up a mountain.
It was a beautiful drive up, there are some winding curves and the road is narrow, but it is worth the visit.
Once we were near the top, the views began to reveal themselves.
Tim greeted us and took us out to the vineyard for an up close and personal view of the grapes.
Tim's wife, Kandy, joined us and we then spent the next two and a half hours talking and tasting wine as well as learning about the wine and the process to make it. Tim and Kandy love what they're doing and are very happy to share their knowledge. We had such a wonderful time and the wine was good too.
Francis Ford Coppala also has a winery in the area. There was an original Tucker car in a room by the tasting room.
One of the prettiest wineries we went to was Ferrari-Carrano Winery. There are gardens around the tasting room that were absolutely gorgeous and are free to tour.