Monday, April 23, 2012

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

As part of Spring Passport we visited Pleasant Valley Vineyards, one of the four wineries on the Corralitos Wine Trail.

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

The tasting took place in their backyard. It was a beautiful oasis, surrounded by the estate vineyard growing Chardonney and Pinot, complete with a waterfall and their own giant red wood grove. It's hard to imagine a more perfect place.

Tasting under the shade of red woods

Pleasant Valley is a family run winery. Craig Handley is the wine maker. His wife Cathy, does all the pruning on the estate vines. Their son and his wife poured us tastes of Chardonnay, Pinot, Syrah, Merlot, and Zin. Their wines were all named after the grandchildren and themed according to their interests. The Merlot, one of my favorites, was named Casey Alexander and was decorated with pirates. According to his father, Casey's interests have moved on to Star Wars, but thought it unlikely Lucas would allow them to put light-sabers on the label royalty free. It was refreshing to see such family involvement. The wine was all very good.

The adorable grandchildren were getting in on the action as well, selling colorings for $1 and $2. Bob and Carolyn got a kick out this and purchased one for a dollar.

They were running a special on the wine, buy 3 get one free so we combined our orders and decided to purchase 2 Merlots, a Pinot, and a Zin. I went to see Cathy about the purchase. On the way I ran into Craig and told him how much we enjoyed his presentation at Pinot Paradise, just weeks before. Craig then asked if we were interested in a special Pinot tasting, which I'm guessing was for the wine club members. I said, "Sure!" He then poured us the some incredible Pinots and entertain us with interesting stories of his life.

Our favorites were the Willa's Block, the Lester Cuvee, and the Dylan David Estate Reserve. These were more expensive than the previous wines we tasted, but the scruptousness was ratcheted up accordingly.

After making some addendums to our order, I again headed to see Cathy. We commented on how cute the grandchildren were. Cathy provided more evidence, telling us how Abby would introduce herself by saying, "I'm Abby Cabbie. My wine is really good!" It was very hot and Craig went the extra mile, hooking us up with a refrigerated box.


We had a great time at Pleasant Valley. The location and hospitality were second to none.