It’s the end of summer and what better way to celebrate the harvest than to revisit a favorite winery of mine in Calaveras County in the Sierras over Labor Day weekend. Previously named Laraine Winery, Four Winds Winery sits just off of HWY 4. The road leading into to Four Winds winery is called Six Mile Road and you wind your way through beautiful scenery including rolling hills, old barns, and roaming horses. The winery itself sits on a picturesque 100-acre vineyard and a charming 1800’s farmhouse serves as the tasting room. A big plus is that all of their wines are hand-crafted and Estate produced. Outdoors, there are plenty of picnic tables and shade from trees for a great way to sip wine and enjoy the scenery.
The wine list consists of their signature Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese. The quality of wines get better with each passing year and the wines do not disappoint. The Syrah at $24 is a steal and worthy of much more rave than I can possibly give it on this blog. David Webster, the general manager, overhears my comment in the tasting room and jokingly says that next time I come in he’ll charge me double for the Syrah! The Syrah is a wonderful bouquet of rich berries and has a smooth, sophisticated quality to it. It’s definitely in the top 2 on my list and I can’t wait to try the 2010 release. Another notable wine is the 2010 Four Winds Sangiovese with a great balance of berry, smokiness, and light spice finish. And of course what first hooked me to Laraine/Four Winds was their wonderfully crafted Chardonnay.
Even after a change in ownership, the staff at Four Winds have kept the warmth and liveliness of their small tasting room. I always find myself very uncomfortable in wineries that have people who pour and then just stand and stare at you waiting for you to buy something. At Four Winds, it’s a fun experience and the and the quality of their wines showcase themselves. You’ll leave smiling!
Happy Wine Tasting!