Nick met us at the doors to the cave, and was very nice and informative about the Freeman family, history and wines. Their caves were beautiful, and we tasted 6 different wines. He was extremely gracious and fun to spend an hour with.
After stopping for a deliciously unhealthy McDonalds breakfast, we headed west to the coast.
After almost 2 hours on the road, up and down, left and right, winding around, driving on dirt roads, crossing bridges that we thought were going to crumble under us, and navigating a sign that said both THIS WAY and THAT WAY on the same post...we made it to Wild Hog Vineyard.
He's been making wine for 21 years...and had a production of about 4,000 cases until recently when he's trying to cut back to about 3.000. Making 14 different wines, he does everything right on his property...including hand bottling.
This picture isn't great - but check this out. See the thing under the window? It's a bottle filler. 8 bottles at a time, it will pump the wine into them...then the thing on the left, it's a corker. And the front machine puts the label on and then there's another piece that puts the foil on. It's amazing that he bottles everything on this little system!
That said...after the 2 hour trip back to
But a quick visit at one of our favorites, Moshin, and we were feeling much better. When we walked in, Tasting Room manager extraordinaire Sean took one look at us and grabbed 2 glasses, saying it would be better in just a minute, a poured us their Pinot Gris. Apparently we looked a little ragged!
Sean remembered us from our previous visits. We got to try all kinds of different things, comparing different vineyards of Pinot Noir and different vintages. It was great fun, he's always good for a few laughs. We also met Rick Moshin, the winemaker who started the winery in 1989. Moshin's great - not only do they have awesome wines and fun people, they've donated to auctions that I run at our annual conference!
In an attempt to keep these posts reasonable lengths, I'm going to break them up into days and nights separately...so hold onto the edge of your seat, there's more to come!