Cooler weather and sunshine calls for a little mountain wine tasting.
Los Gatos is my hometown, and a beautiful one it is. With a charming downtown and lovely residential areas, it also extends into the mountains towards Santa Cruz and the beach. These mountains house some terrific wineries.
Byington Winery is closer to town than Summit, the top of the mountains and half-way point to the beach. It's a beautiful house and event center; our close friends are getting married there in 3 weeks!! We wanted to visit before the wedding and were running out of time. NH and I stayed in the tasting room while they met with their photographer on the grounds.
The views are breathtaking.
The tasting room is nice, very casual. There is no tasting fee for the regular menu.
You can taste two signature wines for $5. The bottles are pricey at $50, so it's certainly worth five bucks to sample them.
The grounds have some beautiful roses that I couldn't resist.
We liked each wine we sampled, including this '06 Chardonnay which pleasantly surprised me. Not a Chardonnay person as you know, but this one wasn't overpowering.
After a little lunch (some sandwiches purchased in town beforehand; they were inhaled so no pictures), we drove next door to David Bruce Winery. Our friends had been before and were lukewarm on the service in the tasting room, but it was convenient.
The property is quite lovely, especially on a nice day.
The tasting area is roomy and it's free here also; they specialize in Pinot Noir and offer a special "sampler case" which I've never seen before. For $200 you get 12 different bottles of wine, which would $350 if you buy them separately.
But alas, the service in the tasting room was confirmed. It's infuriating how some treat a group our age. They seem to think that two 20-something couples are just out to drink and get drunk. An unfortunate assumption for them, since we do know a bit about wine and are there to enjoy and experience. And 10 years from now we will be the connoisseurs they want to fawn over. And we will remember the mediocre treatment.
With a few favorite wineries in the area- Burrell School, Bonny Doon, Testarossa- it was wonderful to try something new. I'd recommend Byington Winery to any visitor and I know we'll be back (for wedding and for wine).