Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

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Robert M yers
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Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#1 Post by Robert M yers » October 26th, 2019, 7:27 am

I’m always interested in people trying things in odd places, especially growing grapes. I’m thinking West coast here really, but anywhere in the world might be interesting too.

Where are some vineyards in odd or remote areas, (bonus for beauty) with the caveat that the wine they produce must be at least worth the effort.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#2 Post by Josh Grossman » October 26th, 2019, 7:35 am

I hiked to Marisa Cuomo Winery this summer after hiking up to and through the Trail of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast; stunning! We drank a bottle out of plastic cups waiting for the bus to take us down to Positano.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#3 Post by Brian Tuite » October 26th, 2019, 9:12 am

Halcon Vineyard 2300’ above Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Weather to mimic Northern Rhone and producing world class Rhone Varieties.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#4 Post by David Baum » October 26th, 2019, 10:46 am

27BDB24E-9DDF-4BF3-AF84-B1C7825C68E7.jpeg
One of my favorites in Sonoma and a privilege to have made the trip twice.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#5 Post by Michael O'Brien » October 26th, 2019, 10:48 am

The most remote wineries we have been to are in Croatia and Slovenia. Most are up in the mountains on narrow winding roads. You have to know where you are going.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#6 Post by Markus S » October 26th, 2019, 11:44 am

David Baum wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 10:46 am
27BDB24E-9DDF-4BF3-AF84-B1C7825C68E7.jpeg

One of my favorites in Sonoma and a privilege to have made the trip twice.
Isn't Wild Hog close to here also?
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#7 Post by brigcampbell » October 26th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Paging John Cabot.

His vineyard is as remote as any in California, I'm guessing. The views are stunning.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#8 Post by Blake Brown » October 26th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Foxen`s Tepusquet Mesa Vineyard has to qualify for both, the off the beaten path and beauty criteria. First, the winery is located on the winding, curvy narrow back road called Foxen Canyon Road. The vineyard is accessed via a dirt/ partially gravely road with potholes and ruts often too big for most vehicles.

It sits high up on a hillside in an East and South facing layout. Just a bit on up the road is the picnic area that's been big enough for the masses who have assembled for the Foxen May Party that was the country side party of the year for a few decades.

Most importantly, the fruit that's sourced from the vineyard is some of the best the winery has, estate or otherwise. This is oak tree country and numerous old oak trees are scattered throughout the hillside and beyond. Wild flowers abound in the Spring time into the Summer season.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#9 Post by David Baum » October 26th, 2019, 2:31 pm

Markus S wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 11:44 am
David Baum wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 10:46 am
27BDB24E-9DDF-4BF3-AF84-B1C7825C68E7.jpeg

One of my favorites in Sonoma and a privilege to have made the trip twice.
Isn't Wild Hog close to here also?
I believe Wild Hog is south and east of this. It's also just off the road. The peay vineyards are about a mile drive through the woods on rough, rocky dirt roads. No signs, you can only get there with good directions referencing some landmarks.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#10 Post by Gary Schulte » October 26th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Calera in Hollister is a bit off the beaten path. Could take in few others in the area or in Monterey. There's also the backside of Pinnacles National Park and a visit to Mission San Juan Bautista in the area of Calera.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#11 Post by Michael Martin » October 26th, 2019, 8:07 pm

The Douro Valley
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#12 Post by Kris Patten » October 26th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Waiheke Island in NZ. Unreal beauty, especially the Man O' War vineyards.


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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#13 Post by Nola Palomar » October 26th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Located outside a little village in the Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain in a region known as Las Alpujarra.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#14 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 26th, 2019, 9:27 pm

I work for the Miller family of Bien Nacido fame. Their French Camp vineyard southeast of Paso in the Paso Robles Highlands AVA is definitely off the beaten path as well as interesting. We grow everything from Chardonnay to Lagrein and everything in between there. The vineyard is in the far southeast of the larger Paso AVA about 40 miles inland and up at about 1500 feet in the hills that separate the coastal valleys from the Central Valley. Hot days, cool nights, potential freezing temperatures during harvest. The landscape looks like the surface of the moon.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#15 Post by Blake Brown » October 27th, 2019, 12:43 am

I thought of another one that meets the criteria for this thread. It's Morning Dew Ranch planted by my dear friend, Burt Williams of the original Williams Selyem fame. it's located high up in the hills above the barely thriving metropolis of Philo, population 349, at the very West end of the Anderson Valley overlooking the valley to the East and the fog laden coastal mountain range to the West. It's lush and green in this area when not in a drought phase and has a modernized 2 bedroom house and a small winery with a lab and crush pad as well as a.small pond on the 40 acre property which adds to the charm.

When one considers all of the fantastic clones grafted on the rootstock, it's a royalty of Pinot Noir clonal varieties. 12 acres are planted to cuttings from the Rochioli Vineyard, "DRC" suitcase selections from adjacent vineyards, clone 23 (a clone Burt's deceased son favored), and Dijon clones 115, 777 and 828.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#16 Post by Eric Ifune » October 27th, 2019, 12:55 pm

Colares. Not too far from Lisbon, but grown on pure sand with a limestone bedrock. To plant new vines, the sand is removed to plant the vine. After it is established, the sand is replaced. Own rooted since Phylloxera can't travel through the sand. Old vines which snake along the dunes.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#17 Post by Ken Zinns » October 27th, 2019, 2:06 pm

Alder Springs Vineyard in remote far northwest Mendocino County would have to qualify. Halcon came to mind for me as well.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#18 Post by Kris Patten » October 27th, 2019, 4:49 pm

Bodega Colome has a vineyard at 10k feet, Altura Maixima.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#19 Post by Steve Crawford » October 27th, 2019, 5:20 pm

sugarloaf in napa, across from the dmv.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#20 Post by Albert R » October 27th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 9:12 am
Halcon Vineyard 2300’ above Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Weather to mimic Northern Rhone and producing world class Rhone Varieties.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#21 Post by David Jefferson » October 28th, 2019, 6:43 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 9:12 am
Halcon Vineyard 2300’ above Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Weather to mimic Northern Rhone and producing world class Rhone Varieties.
X2 [cheers.gif]

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#22 Post by Mike Kuller » October 28th, 2019, 9:05 pm

While there are a number of wineries in the Corralitos area of the mountains near Santa Cruz, Windy Oaks wins the prize for being the most out of the way.

Very nice pinot noirs and a short walk with your glass up to the top of their vineyard with a view of the ocean.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#23 Post by Rob_S » October 29th, 2019, 3:31 am

I would say that some of Ebie Sadie's vineyards in the Swartland are pretty remote. And old.
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Same with Telmo Rodríguez
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#24 Post by Gabe Berk » October 29th, 2019, 8:35 am

Chamisal Winery, San Louis Obispo. Formerly Domain Alfred, pioneer of Edna Valley AVA. Wines are better than ever. Chard, Pinot & Syrah

Chalone Vineyard, Soledad (Monterey County). Vineyards and winery perched within the Pinnacles National Park. Rich in history and one of the original estates in California. Chard, Pinot, Syrah, Chenin & Pinot Blanc

Hudson Ranch & Vineyards, Carneros (Napa County). One of the originals of Carneros. Farmer first, but kicks out some world class wine. Lee Hudson is a great guy with never ending stories and sells his grapes to the likes of Aubert, Kongsgaard, Kistler, Paul Hobbs, Failla, Bedrock, Arietta and many more...

Mauritson Family Vineyards, Dry Creek (Sonoma County). Long time growers, still family owned and operated making hearty Zins, Cabernets with a little Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#25 Post by G. Greenbaum » October 29th, 2019, 9:45 am

Canary Islands.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#26 Post by Jeff_M. » October 29th, 2019, 9:58 am

Chard Farm in Central Otago, NZ. Across the street is the bungee jumping bridge and then we took a one way dirt road around a cliff side to the winery
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#27 Post by Rob_S » October 29th, 2019, 10:03 am

Rob_S wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 3:31 am
I would say that some of Ebie Sadie's vineyards in the Swartland are pretty remote. And old.
Image

Same with Telmo Rodríguez
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#28 Post by Marco Maiocco » October 29th, 2019, 11:44 am

Carema in Piedmont
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#29 Post by PeterH » October 29th, 2019, 12:36 pm

How remote can you be in Switzerland? Hard to get to, yes!

Domaine de Beudon

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#30 Post by Ian Alper » October 29th, 2019, 12:42 pm

Agree with above that Windy Oaks is a nice drive and sweet spot. Another local one would be Big Basin Vineyard. Seems like you are driving to a State Park and you actually are!

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#31 Post by Paul Miller » October 29th, 2019, 12:48 pm

G. Greenbaum wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 9:45 am
Canary Islands.
This

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#32 Post by PeterH » October 29th, 2019, 12:56 pm

I agree that the Canary Islands are worth the trip. There are also good wineries on the more accessible Balearic Islands.

I'd nominate San Juan Island Winery, or maybe Glacier Peak Winery, but for the provision that the wines themselves be worthwhile.

https://www.seattlemag.com/northwest-tr ... wn-explore

https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb ... UBzza4V-P7
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#33 Post by Mike Kuller » October 29th, 2019, 1:26 pm

A friend sent this to me with some nice pictures of the vineyards and restaurants:

Recently had a chance to visit the Guadalupe valley in Mexico, an up and coming wine region. It is due east of Ensenada and so they get fog coming in through a gap in the coastal mountains that cools things off at night. We tasted some nice wine and had some terrific food. Varietals included some nice chenin Blancs, grenache(both rose and red) a lot of Tempranillo, Zinfandel and Cabernet. Quite a few of the wines are sold in selected wine shops in San Diego, not much in the Bay Area yet but I suspect we will see more of these wines in the future.

Then she came across this article and sent it to me: Why Mexican Wine is no Longer a Restaurant Novelty

https://www.winemag.com/2019/09/11/mexi ... qQ8Qu6Rl6E
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#34 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 29th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Soon I'll be placing my order through Dehlinger for their Garbro Ranch wines...and the offer came with an incredibly interesting history of that vineyard. First release of wine from that ranch ever.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#35 Post by Jason T » October 30th, 2019, 1:45 am

I find the vineyards (and wines) on the Greek island of Santorini to be very interesting. Vines are trained in a very unique way to deal with the pounding they take from winds. Views of the surrounding seas are often stunning. And the wines, particular the whites and stickies, are the real deal.

If the island wasn't overrun by tourists I'd make it a point of going more often.
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#36 Post by Vince T » October 30th, 2019, 2:47 pm

The vineyards on Lanzarote (Canary Islands) are trained in black volcanic soil with rock wind shields:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... lands.html

This has been on my vacation bucket list, ever since watching Almodovar's Broken Embraces.

Then there's the oldest living, wine-producing vine in the world in Slovenia... nearly 500 year old. Good luck getting to taste it though, they only produce 100 250ml bottles of the wine from it! [wow.gif]
https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/this-gra ... 500-years/
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#37 Post by Dan Kravitz » October 30th, 2019, 2:56 pm

Great question, lots of great answers.

For California, the Santa Cruz Mountains are hard to beat. You need appointments to visit some of the best producers. Mount Eden is an all-time favorite. Please note that if you get an appointment at Mount Eden, do not trust the driving time given on Google Maps. That is to the mailbox, from which you've got 3 miles and 15 minutes of switchbacks to get up there.

Ridge is another stunning place, but the whole area is incredibly beautiful.

In Napa, Mayacamas is another mountaintop, as is Chalone in Monterey.

Santorini is, as noted, unbelievably beautiful and overrun by tourists, but not so much in winter.

I haven't been to the Canary Islands or Madeira, they have to be magnificent.

But of the vineyards I've been to, I would pick the ones on Crete. There are hundreds of course, all over a very big island.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#38 Post by Jason T » October 30th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 2:56 pm
Great question, lots of great answers.

For California, the Santa Cruz Mountains are hard to beat. You need appointments to visit some of the best producers. Mount Eden is an all-time favorite. Please note that if you get an appointment at Mount Eden, do not trust the driving time given on Google Maps. That is to the mailbox, from which you've got 3 miles and 15 minutes of switchbacks to get up there.

Ridge is another stunning place, but the whole area is incredibly beautiful.

In Napa, Mayacamas is another mountaintop, as is Chalone in Monterey.

Santorini is, as noted, unbelievably beautiful and overrun by tourists, but not so much in winter.

I haven't been to the Canary Islands or Madeira, they have to be magnificent.

But of the vineyards I've been to, I would pick the ones on Crete. There are hundreds of course, all over a very big island.

Dan Kravitz
Dan, good call on visiting Santorini in the off-season. What did you think of the wines of Crete in comparison to Santorini?
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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#39 Post by kyledorsey » October 30th, 2019, 3:56 pm

G. Greenbaum wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 9:45 am
Canary Islands.
I am surprised I had to scroll down this far on the thread to see this posited. Spectacular landscapes and wines.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#40 Post by Dan Kravitz » October 30th, 2019, 6:14 pm

to Jason T,

"What did you think of the wines of Crete in comparison to Santorini?"

Really tough question as there are so many wines in Crete and so few in Santorini, but I would have to say that the best Santorini wines are still better. However on Crete, things are improving. Lyrarakis has some outstanding wines. Nostos (owner Ted Manousakis is a friend) can be excellent. Rhous is improving at an amazing rate and the best is yet to come. Surprisingly, Boutari is behind, when they have the resources to be ahead.

However for an off-the-beaten-track wine experience, I don't think Crete can be matched. Even in winter, Santorini is busy and, let's face it, it's small. You can start in any city in Crete and be lost in a pre-lapsarian world in well under an hour by car, under four hours on foot. From anywhere on the island!

The most beautiful place I've ever seen is Machu Picchu. I saw it 45 years ago, when it was not easy to get to. The second most beautiful place is Diktynna. It's still not easy to get to (although my last trip was about 10 years ago), and you will probably be alone, except for the goats on the roof of your car.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#41 Post by Robert M yers » October 30th, 2019, 6:41 pm

awesome recommendations to check out folks. Surprised no Switzerland vineyards yet? I’m pretty sure I’ve bought some wine from garagiste and Fas$ just from pictures...

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#42 Post by Dan Kravitz » October 31st, 2019, 5:51 pm

Marco Maiocco mentioned Carema. Been there, love that. But someplace a step beyond that I highly recommend...

not-exactly-commercial-post: I would go further to Aosta. I import wines from this region.

If you drive from France to Italy through the Mont Blanc tunnel, as soon as you get out, there are vineyards. As you drive SSE through Aosta, there are gorgeous vineyards and views, all the way to the border with Piemonte.

A little obscurity here: Malafrena is a novel by Ursula K. Leguin, taking place in the imaginary country of Orsinia (she named it after herself), which is in Central Europe... think Slovenia. But Aosta looks just like it. Spectacular mountains, valleys and mitteleuropa scenery and architecture. Wines range from good to almost (but not quite) great. They are not cheap, because Aosta has the lowest production of any region of Italy. Italian is obviously the language, but every person I met there also speaks French. This is historically part of the heartland of Savoy (Savoie in French, Savoia in Italian).

If you go, I have a recommendation... no commercial interest.

I stayed four nights at La Clusaz, north of the city of Aosta. Hands down the best hotel-restaurant deal of my life. I paid EUR 130 a night for a room for two, demi-pension. At the time about $165. That's per night, for two people, for room, dinner and breakfast. This is a Michelin * restaurant; IMO it fully merits the Michelin star. So that's $82.50 per person for dinner in a Michelin * restaurant, with your room and breakfast thrown in.
Have you ever had breakfast at a Michelin * restaurant? I have, and it was every bit as good as it should be.
The room was plain and totally comfortable, with gorgeous views to the hillsides, complete with cows.

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Re: Where are the Most off the beaten path and interesting vineyards

#43 Post by Edward H. Earles » November 3rd, 2019, 5:30 pm

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Petrichor yet.

Also, another vote for Windy Oaks here....best California Pinots I've had.

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