Travels In Wine Tours' co-founders, Kimberlee Young and Derek Schuler, share their love of wine, food, and travel with curious tourists through tours designed and led by certified sommeliers. Epicurean scenic tours of boutique wineries, personalized luxury Napa vacations, and custom weekend getaways marry viticultural education with flavorful indulgence as guests take in picturesque panoramas of vineyards that stretch to the horizon before curving upward and forming bridges to the moon.
At any given time, the Rioja! WineKeeper's handsome wooden casing houses 12 bottles in a temperature-controlled setting. These conditions keep the wines fresh and result in a full-flavored pour. A quick flick of the tap and a crisp white or bold red streams into Riedel crystal, the only glassware used at Rioja! A Wine Bar. Between these sophisticated pouring and storing methods, and the sheer immensity of the full selection—some 800 wines—Rioja!'s dedication to the appreciation of wine is palpable.
Their tapas menu was designed with elegant pairings in mind and—much like playing "spin the bottle" at the UN—highlights flavors from around the world. Prosciutto bruschetta, stuffed dates, and a chorizo and manchego plate show off the kitchen's Mediterranean leanings. South African-style jerky, on the other hand, indicates a willingness to infuse an Old World dining tradition with New World recipes. The bartenders also keep a healthy selection of craft beers from brewers such as Bell's, Duck Rabbit, and Founders.
Triad Homebrew Supply’s full-time purveyors of yeast, brew kits, buckets, and tubes dedicate themselves to making homebrewing accessible to all. Long dissatisfied with the paltry materials available in local stores, the owners stock everything from recipe books to elderberries, and they even provide an after-hours number that customers can call to get emergency supplies. Brewing classes, held roughly once a month in the lot outside the store, give newbies an introduction to their art or an efficient way to use up the lifetime supply of barley they won in the lottery.
Helmed by Doctor of Wine Chemistry Robert Wurtz, Stonefield Cellars Winery's team of winemakers craft award-winning, small-batch libations using grapes from an onsite vineyard, as well as from local Yadkin Valley vineyards. The winery offers wine tastings in a tasting room with dark wood accents where cheese and crackers are also available, as well as hot mulled wine on winter weekends. An array of events includes workshops that educate students on different grape varietals, as well as winemaking classes where instructors demonstrate their craft and show off limited-edition grape-stomping boots. Winemakers also guide budding blenders through a bottling program, during which they learn to mix, ferment, and bottle their own wines. Stonefield Cellars also offers regular events such as dinner-and-concert nights or wine-and-food pairings to grant visitors unique ways to taste their wines. In warmer weather, tours and revelers venture outside the tall white barn to frolic under an outdoor pavilion or on rolling green hills.:
Wine and Design’s team of local artists organizes painting classes and get-togethers for any occasion. They provide all the necessary materials⎯including paints, canvases, aprons, brushes, and corkscrews⎯and lead students stroke by stroke as they craft whimsical pictures of subjects such as animals, landscapes, and flora. They also invite guests to bring their own drinks to the party to enhance the fun.
While in Sonoma on business in 1992, tech entrepreneur Max Lloyd fell in love with the fermented grape. Though his father and grandfather had been in the business of winemaking, it wasn't until his encounter with California-grown, European-style varietals that he resolved to dabble in the family trade himself. Launched as a part-time project in Virginia and transplanted to its current location in 2001, Grove Winery and Vineyards culls its grapes from two estate vineyards that span more than 70 acres in addition to a handful of local vineyards. The staff meticulously handpicks the grapes and gently presses them with a basket press to yield their fresh milk.