Monday, October 31, 2016

Tamayo Family Vineyards

A little while back we visited Tamayo Family Vineyards in Brentwood.  We had gone to Brentwood to pick Cherries last June.  If you haven't gone to a U-pick Cherry orchard I highly recommend it.  You get a bucket and there are ladders near most of the trees but you can just pick them without the ladder.  We had planned on spending the afternoon picking.  We didn't really know how many cherries there would be but when we got there the trees were dripping with cherries. After picking 9lbs of cherries in about 30 minutes we had some time to go wine tasting.  (If this is a retelling of an older post I apologize.  I could have sworn I already wrote this entry but I can't find it.)  

So we went to google and yelp.  I had originally thought we were a lot closer to Livermore and since I've never been wine tasting there I was a little disappointed to see that we were about an hour away.  We found two wineries in the immediate area.  

The first one Hannah Nicole Winery was not our jam. If you like sweet wines you might like these, but if you like sweet wines you will probably be more satisfied by wines from less expensive retailers as the tasting fee was $10 for 5 pours and the reds were in the $30-$50 range.  We were less than impressed by their wines.  However it did seem like a happening spot as the winery was pretty full of people and there was some sort of live music happening on the grounds.

Tamayo Family Vineyards

Maggie found another winery about a mile away called Tamayo Family Vineyards.  They do tastings by appointment only so we were lucky to get a last minute tasting.  It is run by the husband and wife team of Jeff and Sara Tamayo.  As we drove up the driveway there was a winery in a barn on the right and an impressive house further up on the left. So we drove to the quaint barn which didn't have any parking or people which of course was the wrong place.  The Spanish styled estate has been in their family for generations and is a beautiful piece of property with a fountain, elegant stonework, and terra cotta roof.  We definitely felt out of place with our cherry picking clothes on but Sara met us out front and put our worries at ease with a glass of their lovely Bailey Viognier which is super floral and reasonably priced at $24.  

She then took us on a short tour of the vineyard, bee hives, chicken coop (because Maggie is obsessed with chickens), and the grounds where they have weddings and events.  Jeff joined us as we sat on their porch to taste some reds and munch on cheese and crackers.  Jeff had just come back from the East Coast (he arrived while we were walking on the grounds) and even though he was probably jet lagged he graciously joined us.  He even showed us their wine collection which has a dining table in the middle of the room for special events.  I smiled and nodded at the French wine's that he has since I don't really know much about old world wines other than generalities.  He had some older California offerings like Jordan and Chateau Montelena that made the wine nerd in me very happy.  Come to think of it, I feel like they did more to try to sell us on having a wedding/event there than trying to sell us wine, but when the wine is as good as there wine is they don't have to try to sell it.  They just have to open the bottle.

We loved their Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and the estate grown CANA.  The 2008 Pinot was dark and silky with sour cherry and earth notes accented by a touch of cola.  This sells on their website for $32 but is on sale for $16!  

The 2007 CANA is a red blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Mourvedre, Malbec, Carigagne, Alicante Bouschet, Tinta Cao, and Viognier.  Since it is a 2007 it has had plenty of time to mellow out the tannins from the bolder grapes in the bunch.  The wine exhibits dark berry aromas with hints of spices and layers of mocha and vanilla.  It has a medium to full body and soft mouthfeel.  The CANA retails for $30 on their website but is also currently on sale for half off!  All the prices of their wines are more than reasonable and those two being on sale is truly amazing!  

We also bought a jar of honey that their son makes from the bees on their property.  Its delicious. 

Lagunitas Night Time Ale

Autumn is finally kicking into gear here in the Bay Area.  The leaves are changing color and the temperature is dropping.  Time for some nice dark beers to warm our bellies while the rain pitter patters on the roof tops and the fire crackles in the fireplace.  Well we don't have a fireplace but the yule log channel can't be too far away...

I digress, last night I had the Lagunitas Night Time Ale.  Sometimes Lagunitas really hits the nail on the head, this is one of those times.  You get those coffee and chocolate notes that usually comes with a porter or stout and then there is  the 71 IBU from the hops which provides some bitterness but also some floral notes as well.  It comes in a 22 oz bomber and at 8% ABV that is enough for me these days.  I know some people will see that 8% and be turned off by it but I really couldn't detect the alcohol as far as taste goes.  So its a good offering to the night time ruckus and as always there is a fun bit of nonsense on the bottle which Lagunitas is known for and I always appreciate.