Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#251 Post by Sarah S »

Wes Barton wrote: March 14th, 2021, 8:25 pm
Sarah S wrote: March 14th, 2021, 7:30 pmIf you haven’t read this, you will probably enjoy it.
http://drbenniontrustfund.org/Wines_and ... ages).html
Thanks. I have a copy right next to me.
Ha! Very cool.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#252 Post by Thomas Keim »

Wes Barton wrote: March 14th, 2021, 8:38 pm Cronin is very special to me. Long time fan and managed to go to the last couple open houses. I organized a memorial tasting through the Parker Board, where the half of the attendees who weren't already close friends became close friends and led to so much. My personal favorite were the Peter Martin Ray PNs.

Sarah's Vineyard was sold. At first, the new owner's wines were right in my preference. A decade and a half later we went by and the wines are clearly tailored to the tasting room traffic. Ripe and oaky. Still good, but not my thing. It's a good location and they seemed to be doing quite well.
I first read about Duane Cronin's Chardonnays through the 'Connoisseurs Guide to Wine' when they went crazy over his 1980 Chardonnays. There were three Chardonnays at the time, all sensational, but I believe it was the 'Paragon' Vineyard that was the standout. I immediately looked him up on my next visit and was a yearly customer for years after. Wasn't quite a fan of his reds (those Pinots seemed to take forever to come around).

Marilyn Otterman at Sarah's Vineyard was a definite one of a kind. She was elegance personified, as were her wines. I used to love to visit her and even marveled at the way she would wrap each bottle in the most expensive paper available. Her Chardonnays were just wonderful back then in the early 80s (around the same time some of the Northern guys like Fred Fisher and Mark Kistler were hitting the scene). Such a fun time for California wines.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#253 Post by Nevin Miller »

JBucholz wrote: March 13th, 2021, 3:43 pm When I think of old favorites that are gone now the first one that comes to mind is Caymus.
Same for me. My go to Cabernet during the 80's and 90's, just loved these wines. Such a shame.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#254 Post by Sean_S »

Sean Devaney wrote: March 10th, 2021, 11:04 am This thread coming back to life is great. A winery that I forgot to mention was Congress Springs. Some great Chards, Pinots and estate Zin. Now Savannah Chanell.
I've haven't visited there in the last few months but they appear to still be in business. Very popular local winery. I don't see them going out of business.

https://www.savannahchanelle.com/

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#255 Post by Sean Devaney »

Sean_S wrote: March 15th, 2021, 2:49 pm
Sean Devaney wrote: March 10th, 2021, 11:04 am This thread coming back to life is great. A winery that I forgot to mention was Congress Springs. Some great Chards, Pinots and estate Zin. Now Savannah Chanell.
I've haven't visited there in the last few months but they appear to still be in business. Very popular local winery. I don't see them going out of business.

https://www.savannahchanelle.com/

Sean
The winery has gone through different owners from the Congress Springs of old. Victor Ericson bought the property in 1972 and started the winery in 1976 with Daniel Gehrs as winemaker. After bringing on partners and running down the winery the winery was sold and became became Mariani Winery for a short while and then became what they are today Savannah Channel. I don't count that as being in business as Congress Springs other than taking over the property. YMMV.

For a history checkout http://drbenniontrustfund.org/Wines_and ... prings.pdf

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#256 Post by Sean_S »

Sean Devaney wrote: March 15th, 2021, 3:58 pm
Sean_S wrote: March 15th, 2021, 2:49 pm
Sean Devaney wrote: March 10th, 2021, 11:04 am This thread coming back to life is great. A winery that I forgot to mention was Congress Springs. Some great Chards, Pinots and estate Zin. Now Savannah Chanell.
I've haven't visited there in the last few months but they appear to still be in business. Very popular local winery. I don't see them going out of business.

https://www.savannahchanelle.com/

Sean
The winery has gone through different owners from the Congress Springs of old. Victor Ericson bought the property in 1972 and started the winery in 1976 with Daniel Gehrs as winemaker. After bringing on partners and running down the winery the winery was sold and became became Mariani Winery for a short while and then became what they are today Savannah Channel. I don't count that as being in business as Congress Springs other than taking over the property. YMMV.

For a history checkout http://drbenniontrustfund.org/Wines_and ... prings.pdf

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#257 Post by Steve M »

Cloud view +1. Pricing was superb for the product....compared to successor Continuum
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#258 Post by JDavisRoby »

Not an oldie but still a goodie, Hidden Ridge. The successor just isn’t the same.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#259 Post by Gideon »

Wes Barton wrote: March 9th, 2021, 5:44 pm
Josh Grossman wrote: March 9th, 2021, 3:03 pm No mention of Renaissance. Evidently you all didn't drink the Kool-aid.
There is Clos Saron, which some here are fans of. Same winemaker and some of the same grapes. Just bottled an OV Zin from grapes Renaissance used to source.

Savannah-Chanel is still around. I'd guess they just don't need as wide of a net, with club and local sales. It's been a few years, but they always had a well attended tasting room.
Hi Wes, Just wondering what sourcing of Zin By Renaissance you refer to? To my knowledge, they never sourced Zin grapes. Unless it was during the short lived tenure of Eddie as a winemaker perhaps?
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#260 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Roy Piper wrote: March 9th, 2021, 2:14 pm
Matt Latuchie wrote: March 7th, 2015, 12:13 pm Thunder Mountain. Plus, it clearly had the finest label of all time.
I thought their mid-90s Cabs were even better than Montebello.
Roy,

I just posted on 1996 Thunder Mountain Cab from Bates Ranch... and as far as vineyard quality, I listed Bates Ranch as #2 in the Santa Cruz Mountains, after Mount Eden. I would put Monte Bello a solid third.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#261 Post by Dan Kravitz »

dougwilder wrote: March 12th, 2021, 12:38 am I just recalled one I bought a lot of back in the early 90s. I searched for the brand, Cinnabar (Santa Cruz Mountains) and saw they are still around though no longer making 'Fox Hollow Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon. Polished, earthy and must have been cheap! There were some delicious 1987 California Cabernet available then, wines that may be still around as brands but significantly less interesting. Anyone remember Clos du Bois Marlstone, or William Hill Gold Label from that era?
The vineyards that belonged to Cinnabar are now the source for Domain Eden wines. I consume these in significant quantities.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#262 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 13th, 2021, 2:28 pm I thought I would be the only one who would mention Gemello.

In 2001, I did a 25 year anniversary of Steven Spurrier’s tasting. The French had always complained that Spurrier had chosen either mediocre estates or vintages or both. I chose the best from both regions from the 1970s, wines such as Petrus 1970, La Mission 1975, Heitz Martha’s 1974 and Phelps Eisele 1975. As I was boxing the wines in my cellar, I broke a bottle of 1974 Mondavi Reserve. The only other bottle that fitted the criteria was Gemello 1970. I had liked the wine and decided it would be interesting to see how it would fare against the other wines.

The tasting was held at Eleven Madison. A word about the judges. They were divided equally among professionals and gifted amateurs. Two winemakers from Bordeaux chateaux plus a Bordeaux negotiant flew in specially for the event. Eric Asimov and John Gilman were also there. The wines were served single blind in flights of four.

The results were astonishing. California wines took the first three places, with fifteen out of sixteen judges giving the Gemello first place. John Gilman is still convinced that the sommelier mixed the wine up with the La Mission 1975. I brought a bottle to one of our yearly over the top lunches, where it showed equally well.

To give you some idea of how good that wine was, I started calling Santa Cruz, to try and locate the vineyard. It was the only time in my life that I ever thought about becoming a winemaker. I am chronically lazy but this wine convinced me that I could make something where all the hard work might be worthwhile. Sadly it was subdivided into small lots and bought by internet moguls.

A couple of fun facts. One of the tasters was desperate for a bottle, so I sold him one that night for the same price as the highest priced bottle there, Petrus. $1000.
And, the Gemello was aged in redwood; it said on the label, that it would probably be at its best after five years.
The best California Cabernet I have ever had was 1960 Gemello. Santa Clara Valley Appellation. I bought it at the winery store behind the bowling alley in Mountain View. It was signed "Made by me. Mario Gemello."

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#263 Post by T. Altmayer »

Really miss Herb Lamb, Jennifer was such a wonderful host and their wines were outstanding.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#264 Post by loren.grossman »

Speaking of Bates Ranch - Alghren is an easy addition. The Bates Ranch cabs were amazing.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#265 Post by Mel Knox »

Clos du Bois was an important winery for me, as one of the founders and his wife were regular customers for me when I was in retail. Then they became one of my biggest barrels customers. When Margaret Davenport made the wine, we traded wine. Many years later I took several of those Marlstones to special dinners at the Bay Wolf and they really blew peoples' minds. They had developed like classic claret. I suppose that sort of thing was hard to sell. Once a winery gets into 'supermarket wine' mode, the expensive stuff is hard to sell.


No idea what Gallo will do with the brand but I have heard the facility has been mothballed.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#266 Post by Nathan V. »

loren.grossman wrote: October 18th, 2021, 9:59 am Speaking of Bates Ranch - Alghren is an easy addition. The Bates Ranch cabs were amazing.
Kenny Likitprakong made Cabernet from the Alghren vines from 2013-2105 (it may have been 2012 but I know 2015 is the last vintage) that is an absolute timne capsule in the best sense. He probably still has some to sell. I think the vines were subsequently uprooted.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#267 Post by Nathan V. »

Mel Knox wrote: October 18th, 2021, 10:55 am Clos du Bois was an important winery for me, as one of the founders and his wife were regular customers for me when I was in retail. Then they became one of my biggest barrels customers. When Margaret Davenport made the wine, we traded wine. Many years later I took several of those Marlstones to special dinners at the Bay Wolf and they really blew peoples' minds. They had developed like classic claret. I suppose that sort of thing was hard to sell. Once a winery gets into 'supermarket wine' mode, the expensive stuff is hard to sell.


No idea what Gallo will do with the brand but I have heard the facility has been mothballed.
I remember those mid-80s Marlstones. My dad would buy them from time to time and they absolutely aged like old claret. I have fond memories.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#268 Post by Wes Barton »

Nathan V. wrote: October 18th, 2021, 11:35 am
loren.grossman wrote: October 18th, 2021, 9:59 am Speaking of Bates Ranch - Ahlgren is an easy addition. The Bates Ranch cabs were amazing.
Kenny Likitprakong made Cabernet from the Ahlgren vines from 2013-2105 (it may have been 2012 but I know 2015 is the last vintage) that is an absolute time capsule in the best sense. He probably still has some to sell. I think the vines were subsequently uprooted.
There's a big section that got replanted. They used the best performing root stock and grafted from the best vines. It looked like a multi-year transition, all in production now.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#269 Post by Thomas Keim »

Nathan V. wrote: October 18th, 2021, 11:36 am
Mel Knox wrote: October 18th, 2021, 10:55 am Clos du Bois was an important winery for me, as one of the founders and his wife were regular customers for me when I was in retail. Then they became one of my biggest barrels customers. When Margaret Davenport made the wine, we traded wine. Many years later I took several of those Marlstones to special dinners at the Bay Wolf and they really blew peoples' minds. They had developed like classic claret. I suppose that sort of thing was hard to sell. Once a winery gets into 'supermarket wine' mode, the expensive stuff is hard to sell.


No idea what Gallo will do with the brand but I have heard the facility has been mothballed.
I remember those mid-80s Marlstones. My dad would buy them from time to time and they absolutely aged like old claret. I have fond memories.
Those were great wines, I was also a big fan of their Flintwood Chardonnay
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#270 Post by Mel Knox »

What has happened to Ravenswood? Constellation paid a lot for it, made Joel P rich, but then they sold it to Gallo, I believe. Hard to keep track of all these things. I believe the winery has been mothballed.

Acacia is just a BTG brand now, but back in the day they made some great wines.


Sebastiani went through many changes. They owned a bunch of brands that made Sebastiani important to wholesalers. Then they sold those brands and the big brand suffered. Now it is part of Foley.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#271 Post by Al Osterheld »

Sebastiani had some family drama along the way.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#272 Post by Sean Devaney »

Mel Knox wrote: October 19th, 2021, 11:12 am What has happened to Ravenswood?
The new yet-to-open Harrow Cellars winery has purchased Sonoma’s Sojourn Cellars and the two wineries will share the former Ravenswood tasting room, production facility and cellar space on Gehricke Road. The terms of the Sojourn acquisition were not announced.

Harrow Cellars is a new winery run by Angelina Mondavi and owned by Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group (SBHG), the Sonoma-based collective of local businesses run by Karin Rogers. Mondavi and SBHG announced the acquisition of the former Ravenswood property in January 2020.
https://harrowcellars.com/harrow-cellar ... -property/

Full article https://www.sonomanews.com/article/life ... =0&sba=AAS

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#273 Post by Howard Cooper »

Howard Cooper wrote: March 12th, 2021, 5:28 am Inglenook Cask and BV Private Reserve - THE legends of California wines, now only around in name only.
Also, Sterling.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#274 Post by Mel Knox »

Thanks,Sean. I need to read the trades more often.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#275 Post by Ken Zinns »

Should I add Harrington to the list? 🙂
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#276 Post by Al Osterheld »

Ken Zinns wrote: October 20th, 2021, 7:18 pm Should I add Harrington to the list? 🙂
Heck, Harrington is a legend now disappearing into the mists of time.

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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#277 Post by Andy Steinman »

Chaine d'Or Cabernet - never saw much commercial success but had a few great bottles in the mid 2000's.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#278 Post by Wes Barton »

Andy Steinman wrote: October 20th, 2021, 9:10 pm Chaine d'Or Cabernet - never saw much commercial success but had a few great bottles in the mid 2000's.
It still exists. When they decided to retire, they invited up-and-coming Stefania Wine to make their wine at their place. They only wanted enough wine under the Chaine d'Or label to go to their existing accounts and customers, with the rest of the exact same wine under the Stefania label. They were there 2007-2014. When Stefania moved out, Nicola Vonderhayden moved in, I think with the same arrangement. (I heard some rumor he's leaving the area, so we'll see what's next.)

Robert's Market in Woodside carries their wine. Their website has a mailing list sign-up, so I'd guess there's an annual offer.

For those who don't know, that's a high elevation cool site in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with Cabernet Sauvignon (some Merlot and Cab Franc) and Chardonnay.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#279 Post by MikeV »

Summers and Lava Vine in Calistoga. Lava vine was a unique atmosphere out there.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#280 Post by dougwilder »

John Flick wrote: March 14th, 2021, 2:41 pm Reverie....
Nigel uses this fruit for Kinsman-Eades. It is a great site. I think I bought the first cases of Norm Kiken's Daydream for the shop I worked at in San Francisco.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#281 Post by dougwilder »

The Deloach Single Vineyard Zins from the late 90s were beautiful on release.
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