A wine review by Jamie Gall
Every time I drive by Yorkville Cellars on my way to visit Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, this adorable winery puts a smile on my face. It is such a welcome after the hour-long drive from Sonoma County to the back roads of Anderson Valley.
The winery is in the perfect place as it’s one of the first wineries you’ll hit on your drive to Anderson Valley. Although, this winery is a part of the Yorkville Highlands AVA, it’s adorableness will make you want to stop in. And, if the picturesque winery doesn’t make you stop, the signs out front saying, “Pouring Bubbles Today” or “Serving Orange Wine” today just might.
It’s also the only winery in the area that grows and produces all 8 Bordeaux Varietals!
I’d driven by this winery many times, but never stopped until recently, and it left quite the impression on me. As you pull in and walk into the winery be sure to keep an eye out for their winery cat, Slate, who is very open to pets and love as you visit.
Let’s break it down for you as to why this winery is a GREAT place to visit by looking at: Atmosphere, The Wine, Price & Availability, and the Experiences!
This winery gets you from the minute you first lay eyes on it, its picturesque winery that looks like a house out in the country surrounded by vineyards is very appealing to the eye. As you walk up the stairs to the tasting room you’ll look back out through the vineyards and take in the scenic views. It’s quite the site, and changes seasonally.
Once inside, you’ll walk up to the tasting bar to enjoy your tasting or enjoy your wine outdoors with a picnic. It’s a great stopping point on your drive to Anderson Valley or the Mendocino Coast.
2) The Wine
The winery is the only one in the area that grows and produces all 8 grape varietals of Bordeaux, and they have an extensive list of wines available.
They’re also not afraid to try new things. A few wines that caught me by surprise were a Sparkling Malbec Brut Rose, Semillon, a Rose made from Petit Verdot, and their Amber Folly, a white wine produced just like a Red Wine. Yep, this White Wine is fermented 10 days with its skins on giving it an orange color to the wine. Also, don’t forget to try their Sweet Malbec, it goes down like juice, with only half the sugar as a typical Late Harvest wine! Their twist on trying new things was refreshing to see!
3) Price & Availability
Their wines are only available at the winery, but it is truly worth a visit. Bottles range anywhere from $20 dollars to $46 dollars a bottle! Very affordable!
Also, their tastings are complimentary, no tasting fee at all, unless you’re looking to do a reserved wine tasting then you’ll pay a nominal fee to try more of their specialized wines.
They are very open to accommodating your tasting needs. No reservations are needed for Complimentary tastings.
However, they have some focused and Private Tasting Experiences available with reservations:
Organic Vineyard Tour & Tasting: 25 Dollars Per Person
Founder/owner Edward or Deborah will lead you through their vineyards planted to eight varietals originating in Bordeaux.
Then sit down under ancient oaks trees or on antique love seats indoors. Enjoy a reserve tasting including ten or more of their current release wines accompanied by charcuterie and cheese selection. All are acclaimed artisan wines, hand crafted in small lots and difficult to find outside their tasting room. Learn the story of each wine within sight of the vines that they are made from.
Progressive Picnic in Our Vineyards: $35 Dollars Per Person
With a founder/owner, Edward or Deborah Wallo, take a tour through their organic vineyards planted to eight varietals originating in Bordeaux. At various stops you will be served an appetizer paired with wine from vines you are looking at.
After the tour, you will head back to the tasting room to enjoy a tasting of 10 wines indoors or outdoors with your choosing!
Organic Vineyard Tour and Play, “Name that Varietal.” $45 Dollars Per Person
Tour the ranch with an owner/founder, Edward or Deborah Wallo, and learn about organic farming as you pass through the vineyards planted to eight Bordeaux varietals. Winter visitors may be accompanied on their stroll by a flock of sheep or in the summer you might be invited to release ladybugs or measure grape sugars.
Your private tasting will start with several of their white wines. Next, to discover the unique differences among the Noble Reds, you’ll be able taste their current releases Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and the lesser-cultivated Petit Verdot and Carménère. All varietals are grown side by side in the same vineyard, making this a unique experience. Throughout your tasting you will be served a variety of tasty small bites to pair with the wines.
If you like, select a “blind” tasting called “Name That Varietal.” We introduce them in an enjoyable board game. On the table in front of you are glasses with a red wine in each. Now, which wine is which varietal? The tasting can be quite a challenge indeed! But this is the best and most fun way to learn about wine. Once you’ve decided which varietals you prefer, we’ll dip into our wine library covering over 20 vintages and let you sample a few aged wines.
The grand finale is of their Richard the Lion-Heart, a meritage wine blend that has all 6 Noble Reds which is the result of their numerous blending trial sessions.
5) Perks of Joining Their Wine Club
Four times each year – shipped in the first week of: March, May, September and November, you will receive a sample pack of three different new wines before they become available to the public in their tasting room.
Their normal maximum discount is 10% on a case of 12 bottles. Hi-Rollrs receive a minimum discount of 20% on the retail bottled price on all sample shipments and any orders of current release wines, even if the order is less than a case. There are two other club level options which earn higher discounts.
They are reserving some of their outstanding vintages and when they have reached full maturity, they will be re-released to their wine club members. Exclusively available to their wine club members are larger sized bottles (3 liter) of our premium wines.
Have you been to Yorkville Cellars? Has it left an impression on you like it did for me?