Monday, July 20, 2009

Toulouse - An Anderson Valley Winery

I snuck away to Mendocino County this weekend to a campground in the Anderson Valley, which is overflowing with wineries along Highway 128. We did our share by tasting our way through more than a few of them over Saturday and Sunday. A task I certainly couldn't describe as being in any way arduous. It was hot, truth be told, and we were sweaty and sunburned, but still we pressed on! Here's where we stopped:

Tasting in the Anderson Valley is a very different experience than a Napa or Sonoma trip. In comparison, the wineries in Anderson Valley feel practically undiscovered. You never have to wait for a spot to taste, and in two occasions, we were the only people tasting at the time. No fighting traffic, and we hardly ever encountered a tasting fee. It's a bit further to go, but it's well worth it.

Our favorite visit was Toulouse Vineyards. Every wine we tasted there was fantastic, but their 2007 Pinot Noir was truly exceptional. We were in heaven with the first sip, but then the tasting rep gave us each a piece of mild black licorice, then asked us to taste again. The combination was incredible, bringing out even more flavors and notes in the wine. It was a spontaneous find for us, and truly the best part of our trip. I highly recommend doing a tasting at Toulouse, or ordering a bottle.

More on cooking over a campfire adventures later!

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