In Search of the Small Winery Experience

The “LaMancha” release last fall was an opportunity to not only check out the wine, but to cater the party for Wofford Acres Vineyards wine club in Camino, just above Placerville.  I followed this up with a surprise I made to specifically pair with their newly released Port at a recent wine club event.  A bonus was getting to sample two other new wines: Estate Syrah and Syrah Rose.  Both wines take you to another blissful world.

You may be wondering who this winery is, a.k.a. WAV wines?  Smaller (1,000 cases produced annually), opened in 2003, family owned and run (brothers Mike and Paul, and Paul’s wife Ann) and producing wine worthy of the trip to check them out!

Exiting Highway 50 at Schnell School Road, you drive into the country. Getting there is a pleasant trip past several Apple Hill farms.  This time of year, everything is in bloom and the fruit stands start to open for the season making it hard to pass them by.  Turing onto Hidden Valley Lane, you continue down this road and may wonder “is this it?”  Yep!   About a half mile down or less, you arrive at the winery.

The tasting room is in a modest building that invites you in.  Ann is often behind the counter, I can now recognize her jovial laugh from outside.  Stacks of wine line the perimeter and a variety of pictures and ribbons cover the walls.

A winemaker with 30+ years experience, Paul makes a pleasing variety of wine including some blends; two whites (the Dulcinea stands out for me), three reds and their flagship estate red blend, La Mancha.  They also have an Estate Syrah, Syrah Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Late Harvest Viognier, and a fine Port wine utilizing Portuguese grape varieties.  They will also be releasing a hard apple cider any time now.

The wonderful thing about WAV Wines is their hospitality.  You immediately feel at home.  They’ll invite you to grab a glass of wine to enjoy outside.  They have an idyllic picnic area standing watch over a lush valley of grapevines that ease into tree covered hills.  Great place for a picnic lunch or snack.

These things and the serene country setting put you at ease.  No hoity-toitiness, no tasting fee, just honesty, smiles and great wine.  I’ve definitely found my smaller winery experience for the summer!

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