Tahoe Tastings and the Golden Rose are proud to bring our guests on not only a tour of Lake Tahoe but also a tour through Northern California wineries! On your wine tasting tour from South Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay, you will taste 8 different wines, beginning with a sparkling wine and including both whites and reds. We rotate our wines throughout the season to offer wines from a variety of regions, including the world-famous Napa Valley wine country as well as wines from Anderson Valley, Calaveras, Placer, Nevada, Amador, El Dorado, Monterrey, Mendocino and Yolo counties as well as the Central Valley. The wines that you will be tasting on your tour have been hand selected by us from our favorite wineries in each region. The wineries chosen are high-end boutique wineries and the chosen wines are exclusive to the winery tasting rooms, with the exception of the Golden Rose! We will have bottles available to purchase at the end of your trip to enjoy during your stay in Lake Tahoe or to take home to add to the rest of your collection.
We like to start each cruise with a bit of sparkling wine from Northern California. Currently, we are pouring Domaine Carneros Brut Vintage Cuvée out of Napa. Domaine Carneros was founded by the family behind Champagne Taittinger where they began in 1987. The Domaine Carneros château is stunning and surrounded by 138 estate acres, with 350 total acres in Carneros AVA. Aromas of white flowers, apple pie, and citrus peel are enhanced with notes of toast and vanilla. The wine is elegantly structured, round and flavorful with a signature long, creamy finish. Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Methode Traditionnelle.
Fenton Herriott Vineyards is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills at the gateway to Apple Hill, and is situated on what was once the old Pony Express Route and resides just 1/2 mile from the Smith Flat house. This region has a vibrant prospecting history, and is just a short distance from the gold mining towns of Coloma and Sutter’s Mill. All of their wines are made “by hand” which is both a time consuming and an exacting task, yet truly something they love to do. Currently, we feature Fenton Herriott’s 2016 Syrah, a medium bodied red wine with a wonderfully warm palate of plum and cherry aromas leading into flavors of cured cherries, chocolate, coffee and vanilla nuances which is beautifully structured and balanced from start to finish. Previously, we poured their 2016 Petit Syrah.
Four Winds Cellars is surrounded by 100 acres of grapes from the Gerber Vineyard, which is the largest vineyard in Calaveras County. Four Winds Cellars grapes are estate grown and are from the same vineyard as Napa and Sonoma Valley notables Stagg’s Leap, Rodney Strong and Carneros Creek wineries. The Four Winds Cellars tasting room is rich in history and dates back to the 1880’s. Tahoe Tastings and the Golden Rose are proud to share the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon which is dark cherry in color, with aromas of mulberry, cassis, vanilla, dark chocolate and espresso. Enjoy this full-bodied wine with rich stews, pasta, or roast dinners. Previously, we poured their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Iron Hub label was launched in 2016 and features handcrafted estate-bottled varietals and blends. It is owned and operated by Tom and Beth Jones and their children. Tom was the founding winemaker of Lava Cap Winery and developed their style of award-winning wines for almost 30 years, prior to launching Iron Hub. Currently, we are featuring one of Iron Hub’s award-winning Zinfandel’s, the Clockspring Zinfandel. This is a well-balanced Zinfandel from one of Amador County’s most well-known vineyards. Lovely cherry and berry aromas with berry flavors and a hint of spice and vanilla on the finish. This Zin pairs well with grilled or smoked foods including sweet Italian pork sausage and BBQ chicken. The wine will compliment a variety of medium cheeses, such smoked Gouda.
Currently, we are featuring two wines from Navarro Vineyards, in Anderson Valley. Anderson Valley is known for its cool foggy nights and warm, sunny afternoons, making it the perfect place for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Anderson Valley is about 2 hours north of San Francisco in Mendocino County. Navarro Vineyards has been producing wine in that region since 1974. The first is their 2015 Chardonnay, Première Reserve. About a quarter of the barrels for the Reserve bottling are new with three-quarters of this Chardonnay aged in seasoned barrels to retain fruit. The result is a rounded entry, Chardonnay flavors of poached pear and citrus framed with barrel and cellar flavors suggesting toasted pine nuts and butter. The second wine we feature from Navarro Vineyards, is their 2015 Pinot Noir, Méthode à l’Ancienne. In 2015, their vines set a light crop with small berry size, consequently, a higher percentage of the wine was aged in new barrels; almost 40% of the blend went into new oak rather than their typical 30%. Big and concentrated with flavors of dark plum and cherry with a touch of toffee and leather; great with fresh or smoked salmon. Both wines are Gold Medal winners and our guests really enjoy them as well.
School Street was born out of the love and dedication one extraordinary teacher has shown not only to her school but also to her local community. Chatom Winery and the School Street label, are now operated by the successful Hatcher brothers of Hatcher Winery, Matt and Sewell Hatcher. Currently, we are featuring the 2013 Dolcetto, a lovely Northwestern Italian grape, which is aged twenty-four months neutral oak. This Dolcetto will give you aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry with hints of cedar and tobacco with bright acidy. Full body tannins will assure this wine will last.
Via Romano Vineyard is a fairly new winery in El Dorado County, making rare Italian varietals not often seen in this area. Via Romano is the closest winery to Lake Tahoe that we currently feature and is only an hour drive from South Lake Tahoe, CA right off of Highway 50 in Placerville. We are featuring their newly bottled 2017 Vermentino, a light bodied grape from Northern Sardinia, Italy dating back to the 14th century. Award winning white wine with bright acidity, flavors of lemon and almond, with hints of citrus, green apple and peach on the nose. Previously, we have poured their 2018 Pinot Grigio and their 2017 Fiano, which is an intensely flavorful white grape that grows primarily in the Southern Italian regions of Campania, Basilicata, and Puglia. It has been produced since at least the Roman times and is known for its rich texture, giving wines produced from it more body than many other white varieties. This is a medium-bodied white wine with bright acidity, you will taste apple and lemon with hints of honey, tangerine, papaya, jasmine, melon, orange blossom on the nose.
*Wines may be substituted and changed without notice.
Past wines featured on the Golden Rose:
Andis Wines are located in Amador County where they have a beautiful modern ‘green’ winery and tasting room. Keeping with their environmentally friendly goals, they have 2 Tesla charging stations as well as an EV charging station. We will be featuring their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, a refreshingly crisp wine with tropical notes and aromas.
Brian Arden Wines, located in Calistoga, California in the Napa Valley, have been bottling their wines since 2008. They opened their beautiful tasting room in 2015 but their winemakers are 3rd and 4th generation winemakers with vines dating back to 1886 in Lake County, California. Not only are they longtime friends of ours but we love their wine! We’re excited for you to try their 2014 Sangiovese with us.
Established in 2010, the Clarksburg Wine Company is located in the historic Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, California. They are focused on producing a range of full-bodied red and aromatic white varietals that bring out the best of the characteristics that distinguish our local wine growing region. The 2015 Cabernet Franc is featured on the Golden Rose. A Loire Style Cab Franc, inspired by the great wines of the Chinon and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, bottled with little to no barrel aging in the late spring the year after harvest.
Dawn’s Dream Winery, focuses on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rosé. The vineyards range from the coastal regions of Monterrey County, to the golden hills of Carmel Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands. Dawn’s dream has always been to help create dreams for others by donating her product, money or time to support nonprofit organizations, both locally and globally. Dawn’s passion for helping women and children equals her passion for making wine. On the Golden Rose, you will get to taste her Pinot Noir Rosé, this clean, satisfying Rosé is the epitome of luxurious refreshment.
Dono dal Cielo is a small boutique winery in the Sierra Foothills crafting award-winning wines with a focus on their brilliant Zinfandels. They have great outdoor seating to enjoy a cheese platter and a glass of wine with friends or picnic on their “Zinfandel Hill”. They have live music on most Saturdays in the summer and various days throughout the year. We previously poured our favorite Dono dal Cielo Zin with you, the 2014 Zinfandel which won Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle. We have also poured their Tã Rosé Dry traditional Zinfandel Rosé, showcasing strawberries and watermelon. Light bodied with lively flavors of pink grapefruit and rhubarb. Pairs well with herbed cod, lobster, shellfish and oysters.
Ironstone Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery that places as much emphasis on the natural beauty and history of our surroundings as we do on the quality of our wines. Located in Murphys, in the heart of the Sierra Foothills in California’s scenic Gold Rush Country, Ironstone is a state-of-the-art wine production facility. The winery was built in the style of a 19th-century gold stamp mill and has antiques and gold mining artifacts on display throughout the facility, they also have an amazing summer concert series in their amphitheater. We feature their 2013 Reserve Chardonnay which has an extremely concentrated tropical fruit flavor with nuances of butterscotch, vanilla, and ripe apple.
LangeTwins Family Winery from Lodi, has a long rich history of farming dating back to 1870. Their love of farming turned into a passion for wine, they are now on their fifth generation of winemakers. They believe in practicing habitat restoration and taking advantage of renewable energy through solar power at their state-of-the-art winemaking facility. We have chosen their 2014 Nero D’Avola, which is a single varietal Sicilian wine, barrel aged for 18 months to share on your tour. The LangeTwins 2014 Nero D’Avola can only be found at their winery or on the Golden Rose of course!
Miner’s Leap is a small family winery in Clarksburg just outside of Sacramento, in Yolo County. Miner’s Leap is located along the Sacramento River, setting a gorgeous backdrop for visitors of this beautiful winery. Plan on staying awhile and bring a picnic lunch along with your four legged and two legged friends to enjoy live music and the beautiful atmosphere. We have chosen to share their 2014 Cinsaut, a French grape grown on 130 year old vines in Lodi, with our guests.
Naggiar Vineyards is our favorite winery in Nevada County, located in Grass Valley, California. They are family owned and operated and their wines are estate grown. A truly beautiful location with live music through the summer and a bistro on the weekends. We can’t wait for you to try one of their reserve wines, the 2012 La Boheme, their elegant Bordeaux blend that rounds out the wine tasting tour with a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. This is a small batch blend with only 6 barrels produced.
Rancho Victoria Vineyard is a beautiful, hidden gem nestled in Amador County. Whether you are there for their delicious wines or an event, Rancho Victoria offers panoramic views, rolling hills, majestic oaks, and 120 acres of picturesque vineyards, on an amazing 1,100-acre ranch. Currently, Tahoe Tastings is pouring their 2015 Barbera, which is estate grown with a light body and high acidity making this Barbera seem “juicy”. This has minimal tannins, a fruity demeanor, making this a great everyday drinker. Pairs well with dark meats or blue cheese.
Renegade Winery is a newer winery to Calaveras County, nestled in the Sierra Foothills in a little Gold Rush town called Mokelumne Hill. Not only do they make lovely wine but they also have microbrews on tap and a bistro inside their tasting room. Tahoe Tastings and the Golden Rose are excited to share the Shipwreck Red Blend, which is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It is fruit forward from the Petit Verdot, yet has a slightly earthy finish from the Cab Sauv. Higher in tannins, this wine will only get better with time.
We will begin your wine tasting tour with us with a glass of Mirabelle Brut from Schramsberg Vineyards – America’s House of Sparkling Wine, based in the Napa Valley. This young, bright bubbly exhibits the crisp acidity and vibrant green apple/citrus fruit that is characteristic of cool-climate Chardonnay. Pinot Noir adds body, mid-palate and further richness of fruit flavor. As with Schramsberg’s single-vintage sparkling wines, all grapes for Mirabelle are grown in the cool-climate pockets of California’s North Coast, including Carneros, Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast and Marin County. The fruit is hand-picked in the early morning hours at optimal maturity. We know your tour will get off to a great start with a glass of this bubbly.
Toogood Estate Winery out of FairPlay, California in El Dorado County, has several amazing wines for any pallet. We have chosen to share their 2012 Aglianico, an estate grown varietal from their reserve collection with you. In addition to their wide variety of wines, they also have a beautiful cave in the hills which is a must-visit stop off the Highway 50 corridor.
Truckee River Winery was established 26 years ago with the vision of sourcing quality grapes, bringing the fruit to Truckee in order to take advantage of the high elevation and cold temperatures to naturally cool the fermentation and slow down the barrel aging process. Thus becoming the highest and coldest winery. We feature their 2013 Chalk Hill Malbec which won Double Gold in the 2016 SF Chronicle. Coming from the Chalk Hill AVA in Sonoma County, this wine is aged for 1.5 years in 50% American and 50% French oak. This is a full-bodied wine with a deep purple hue, aromas of cedar box, violets and leather, spiced blackberry and toasted oak flavors.