Description and review of the Yolo County Wine Ramble, featuring 12 Yolo County wineries.
Two friends and I spent a recent Sunday afternoon checking out the Yolo County Wine Ramble. This was the third year the two-day event was held.
We had visited the Yolo County Vineyard & Winery Association website and the Wine Ramble page to develop a tentative itinerary for the day. This included making notes on opening and closing times, if and when musical entertainment was scheduled, as well as the food options. A number of the wineries had arranged to have food trucks on the premises, while others encouraged guests to bring a picnic lunch.
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Our original plan was to visit the Grindstone Winery and Matchbook Wine Company in the Dunnigan Hills area as we were not familiar with this region about 40 miles northwest of Sacramento. First, however, we decided to stop in Winters and visit the Downtown tasting rooms of Turkovich Family Wines and Berryessa Gap Vineyards.
Note: We never did make it to Dunnigan Hills.
Winters is a small town in rural Yolo County. If you haven’t been to Winters before, it has a really quaint and walkable downtown area with a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as craft breweries and the previously mentioned wine tasting rooms.
It was an early Sunday afternoon when we arrived in Winters, and we were easily able to find parking in the free public parking lot on Railyard Avenue. Parking can, however, be a bit challenging when there is a big event taking place in town.
Turkovich Family Wines Downtown Winters Tasting Room
Our first stop was the tasting room of Turkovich Family Wines at 304 Railroad Avenue. The tasting room is rustic and cute, with both indoor and outdoor seating. In addition to the front patio area, there is a nice patio in the back.
Inside there is a small shop area where one can purchase snacks (cheese, crackers, spreads, etc.) to enjoy while you sip a glass of wine.
The three of us chose to sit inside at the small bar. The “Wine Ramble Special” was a glass of a newly released red wine and a berry hand pie for $20. We opted instead to do the wine tasting ($15 for any five wines of our choice).
We spent a most enjoyable time chatting among ourselves and with the friendly tasting room employees who gladly answered questions about the wines we were tasting. One member of our group limited her five tastings to white wines, while the other two of us worked our way from white to red.
The wines that we tasted that day were, simply put, not to our taste. The consensus was that they could best be described as being “young” and/or “unfinished”.
Afterwards, we walked around the corner to the tasting room of Berryessa Gap Vineyards.
Berryessa Gap Vineyards Downtown Winters Tasting Room
The Berryessa Gap Vineyards tasting room at 15 Main Street is as very attractive and cozy space with a variety of seating and interesting hand-crafted lighting fixtures. There is also outdoor seating.
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. We enjoyed chatting with them as they shared interesting background information about both the winery and the winemaker.
Spanish Tapas Menu
After we were seated and were sipping our first pour we ordered a cheese and meat board from the Spanish Tapas Menu. The Plato De Espana included two types of Spanish cheese, jamon, Marcona almonds, green olives, fig bread and was served with membrillo and crostini ($23). It went very well with the wines we were sampling.
Wine Ramble Flight
The Berryessa Gap Vineyards Wine Ramble Flight featured five wines for $20:
- 2022 Sauvignon Blanc
- 2021 Verdejo
- 2018 Gozar! Rose
- 2019 Tempranillo
- 2020 Petite Sirah
All three of us were very impressed with the Sauvignon Blanc we were sipping, and we took our time to enjoy it. We were looking forward to trying the Verdejo, and it did not disappoint! Of note, it had won Double Gold at the S.F. Chronicle Wine Competition.
All three of us then enjoyed the 2018 Gozar! Rose, and we were all more than pleased that each wine we had sampled to that point was so tasty.
The friend who was limiting herself to whites and rose passed on the next pour, but gratefully accepted the offer by our accommodating servers to substitute two whites.
The other two of us greatly enjoyed the Tempranillo and the Petite Sirah. I noted that the 2020 Petite Sirah had also been awarded the Double Gold at the S.F. Chronicle Wine Competition. The Tempranillo was awarded 92 Points by Wine Enthusiast.
Another award of note, Berryessa Gap Vineyards was awarded the 2023 Best Winery in Yolo County by the readers of the Davis Enterprise in their annual Readers’ Choice: The Best of Yolo County competition.
About Berryessa Gap Vineyards
Berryessa Gap Vineyards was founded in 2002. It is family-owned business that takes advantage of the terroir of the land to produce a variety of red and white wines, including those mentioned above.
Also of note, the founders own Martinez Orchards, a highly regarded grapevine nursery that has provided rootstock to premier Napa and Sonoma vineyards and wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties since 1969.
The winery produces 8,000 cases annually,
Nicole Salengo, Winemaker
Nicole Salengo, the winemaker, moved to Davis after earning a college undergraduate degree in Geology. She earned her winemaker’s certificate from the UC Davis department of Viticulture and Enology. Prior to joining Berryessa Gap, Salengo worked for several boutique wineries in various capacities.
L’Apero les Trois
Berryessa Gap winemaker Nicole Salengo is also a partner in L’Apero les Trois. L’Apero les Trois is a small batch, low alcohol aperitif made by infusing Berryessa Gap wines with seasonal fruit from orchards surrounding Winters.
The L’Apero les Trois tasting room and lounge is located at 22 Main Street, nearby the Berryessa Gap tasting room.
To Sum Up
It is rare, in my experience, to so enjoy each wine sampled when wine tasting. The last time I personally had something similar happen was wine tasting at Silt Wine Company in Clarksburg.
See related blog post: Silt Wine Company – Clarksburg
It will come as no surprise that each of us walked out of the tasting room that day with a six-pack of assorted wines. One friend signed up for the Berryessa Gap Wine Club.
I am looking forward to hosting friends at backyard BBQ’s this summer, and serving them one of these tasty wines!
Additionally, I have added visiting the L’Apero les Trois tasting room the next time I visit Winters to my “must do” list.
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