Ok, I've only stopped at two so far ... the vastly over-rated, IMO, Orfila and Ferrara. What else is good? What else is swill?
I found Orfila first and the warning bells went off when I saw all the touristy signs, but it DID say it was an award winning winerey (was the award from Wal-mart?)
Five bucks for six sips with a glass to take home. Second radar warning ... how to pronouce common wines ... shar DOH nay.. can you say TAN NIN? Man, the 35 buck pinot noir gave me fish face. I've never been to a winery before that warned you not to open the bottle for a few months ... no kidding ... why give tastes then? The port was deplorable, very raisony. They gave you a Hershey kiss and told you to take a sip before eating the candy and then afterward ... there would be a totally different taste ... well the taste post kiss was reminisant of raisonettes. Yuck.
Of the six tastes I had, I wouldn't buy one. I didn't like any of them. Pretty picnic grounds though and you can take a self-guided tour through the winery.
Ferrara on the other hand was charming. No glasses, but little plastic thimbles to sample the wine ... FOR FREE. They were really generous and I must have tried about eight different wines.
The port is my favorite California port ... anywhere. Better than anything from Napa / Sonoma. It even gives some of the stuff from Portugal competition. Very complex flavors with an overall taste of butterscotch. Well worth the $18 bucks.
At Christmas they do a special port that is only available the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's day. Supposedly it is exceptional.
They currently have three ports available ... generation III is the best. I haven't tried the white port yet since I was starting to get buzzed.
Lovely Barbera with a peppery taste. It is very smooth as well. They do great table wines in two liter sizes at about 7 bucks a bottle. They have the white, pink zin and red table wines in gallon sizes as well. I'd proudly serve these at a party.
The Nonie Gino (Grandpa George) Vino Di Caspanoe is a nice mix of three varietal wines. Very good drinking wine.
I have a friend who likes white zin and Frrara does a nice one for about six bucks. It isn't cloying and sweet like most white zins and has a lovely pink-copper color.
The reds run about $10 a bottle and are a good value for the money.
So what other wineries are worth a trip?