Robert Frost once wrote, Two roads diverged in a wood/and I—
I took the one less traveled by/And that has made all the difference.
In this case, the wine road less traveled led me to Treasure Island where besides an old naval base and the location of the World’s Fair in the 1930’s there is not much afoot except fantastic views of San Francisco that await a snapshot from its next tourist. This island can be an oasis or wasteland whichever way you choose to see it, but several unique wineries have sprouted up making it their home here, including Winery SF and VIE winery, two exceptional finds. There are four wineries on the island in total all owned by the same parent company.
On a Pups and Pinot day, we stop at Winery SF, which boasts a huge tasting room in what used to be an old plane hangar. Lights are strung across the tops of the barrel room ceiling, creating a charming atmosphere. The staff is as friendly as can be and are as generous with their pours as they are with their time. I take my time strolling through the tasting menu as they have a good amount of wines on the list. Two standouts are the 2011 Viognier, a light aromatic wine with notes of floral and citrus and the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, with multiple layers of spice and fruit. And for under $25 it’s a steal! Another wine that deserves a mention is their 2010 Merlot which has great flavors of exotic spices, coffee, and blackberry fruit.
I ask Steve, our gracious tasting room host, about the Viognier and he describes it as a “classic old world style Viognier with notes of honeysuckle and apricot.” He also notes that it’s hard to find a really good Viognier outside of France, because “white wines in the New World aren’t meant to age weighty.” He smiles and let’s us know he’s keeping a few bottles of their Viognier to see how it transforms in the next few years.
While WinerySF wines are noteable and inexpensive, the robust wines at VIE’s tasting room are memorable for their sophisticated rhone blends, such as the 2010 Les Amours, a hearty Rhone blend with inky ripe blackberry and blueberries and a long toasty finish. Definitely a wine to be savored over a meal. Though be forewarned, the prices here are more in the $40-$45 range for a bottle. But, you can’t beat sipping a great wine next to a bocce ball court that overlooks the bay bridge.
Happy Wine Tasting!
Where to Taste:
200 California Ave, Bldg 180 North, Treasure Island
San Francisco, CA 94130
400 California Avenue, Bldg 448
San Francisco, CA 94130
Phone: (415) 756-1791
Photo Credit: Photos courtesy of [email protected]