Driving south from Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst, I could enjoy the beautiful foliage as we whisked passed on rock carved roads toward O’Neals, CA. As you leave the mountain area, it opens up and reminded me of scenery in Oregon – open space, greenery, and overcast rays of sunshine.
Westbrook Wine Farm is a quaint winery located in O’Neals, CA. It is by appointment only and when you go there you’ll understand why. Ray and Tammy Krause love their wines and will talk anything “wine”. Ray reminds me of an esteemed college professor. As he poured each wine for tasting, the “students” sat back as he explained each wine from growing and harvesting grapes to the final wine produced. The intimate setting induces more comments and questions from the tasters as they sip the wine versus just standing at a wine bar with a huge crowd of people.
2009 Uber Rhenish, Dry Riesling, Madera – This wine is crisp, sassy with a hint of the expected Riesling “petrol”. Barrel fermentation to total dryness serves to bevel the naturally sharp edges of this naturally acidic fruit. It received 90 points and Editor’s Choice in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine, September 2007 issue. Tasting notes: dry, clean, refreshing aftertaste. Suggested pairing: sashimi, oysters on the half shell
2011 Savvy, Sauvignon Blanc, Laurie’s Vineyard – Tasting notes: floral aroma, fruit centric back end
2010 Chardonnay, Barrel Fermented, Lodi – Tasting notes: fruity nose. Suggested pairing: Grilled fish or herb roasted chicken
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Peterson Family Vineyard, Lodi – This wine has flavors of dark cherries, dark roses, chocolate, truffles, cedar, and Cabernet sauvignon fruit. Tasting notes: smooth, well-balanced. Suggested pairing: Grilled ribeye steak
2009 Petite Sirah, John Simpson Vines, Madera County – The grapes harvested from John Simpson Vines provide for naturally proud tannins and alcohol. It is a more floral than fruit forward wine. Tasting notes: peppery nose, flavor coats the entire palate. Suggested pairing: Sage rubbed, flamed charred venison
2009 Fait Accompli, “10th Anniversary” Estate - This is Westbrook Wine Farm’s flagship wine which is a co-fermented field blend of the grapes from the estate. “Fait accompli” translates to accomplished fact. Like red wines from Bordeaux, it is full-flavored, deeply colored, and highly extracted. Their proprietary field blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Carmenere. Tasting notes: complex, strong Cabernet Sauvignon bouquet, peppery, oak flavor
As I drove away on the small dirt road, I imagined my next visit of serenity and peace.
For more information:
Westbrook Wine Farm
49610 House Ranch Rd
O'Neals, California 93645
Madera Wine Trail