Sierra FoodWineArt – Spring 2017 (original article here)
Tahoe Tastings – Sip Wine on a 40-foot “Woodie”
Imagine standing on a lovingly restored, 40-foot “woodie” on Lake Tahoe, holding a glass of Andis Wines 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Dono dal Ciello 2014 Zinfandel or another regional varietal, and watching the sun set over the Sierra.
This leisurely experience is now possible from June to October, thanks to Tahoe Tastings. A husband-and-wife team of Shane and Diondra Colquhoun launched Tahoe Tastings last year on the South Shore and enjoyed a successful inaugural season.
This year, the lake level will be higher, thanks to the wet winter. Ski resorts such as Heavenly are going to be open until the Fourth of July, well into the summer season. “You can ski in the morning, and join us for a sunset cruise in the evening,” says Diondra.
The Colquhouns, longtime wine connoisseurs, had considered opening a wine bar at the lake—until they saw the “Golden Rose,” and decided to locate their wine bar “on the lake,” as Diondra said. “We are longtime boaters and this vintage Chris Craft is one of a kind,” she says.
The Golden Rose is a 1953 Chris Craft Venetian Water Taxi. During an extensive restoration, all of the boat’s original chrome pieces were plated in 24 karat gold—and that’s how she gets her name. Her large windows have a rose etched in the glass at each corner.
This Lake Tahoe tour is more intimate than most. The Golden Rose carries up to 12 adults on a 2-hour tour along the West Shore of Lake Tahoe—from Tahoe Keys north into Emerald Bay (past Vikingsholm) and back. A midday cruise departs at 11 a.m. and a sunset cruise departs at 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
Once on-board, guests are greeted with a glass of Blanc de Blancs from Schramsberg Vineyards to start their tour. Throughout the tour, they sample eight wines from various wine regions in Northern California, including Andis Wines in Amador County, Dono dal Cielo in South Placer County and Ironstone Vineyards in Calaveras County.
Tahoe Tastings also features Truckee Winery’s 2013 Chalk Hill Malbec, which won Double Gold in the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Guests can bring light snacks, such as crackers, cheese and fruit, on board.
The Golden Rose also can be rented for a private tour. Although daily tours are for adults, children are welcome on private tours.