Staying at a Winery

Trip Start Sep 06, 2012
Trip End Mar 06, 2013

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Where I stayed
Jaxon Keys Winery

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, October 22, 2012

Midday temp: 16C

Last night we realized that because we want to visit wine country we will have to leave the coast highway and travel inland. So after about 10 more miles of coastline we headed east, over a mountain or two, and then travelled along the Anderson Valley and the Mendocino winery
areas. The geography changed completely from the rugged coast to acres and acres of grapevines growing on hillsides and flat lands, and acres and acres of cattle grazing on hillsides and flat lands. In the 128 km we travelled today we passed more than 40 wineries. Not all the wineries are open to the public but we did stop at the Meyer Family Cellars and spoke with the owner. They were in the process of transferring the grape juice into oak barrels for the second
fermentation process. We were surprised that the equipment (press, vats, barrels) were all outside and not in a huge sterile building. It was not what I expected at all. One of the owners is originally from Australia and learned her craft at her home and also in New Zealand, Germany and France.
She was very knowledgeable about Canada and Nova Scotia but did not realize Nova Scotia has a wine industry.  We tasted a few of their wines and bought a bottle of port. The grape harvest has finished and we missed the wine/food/music festival that was held in this area just this past weekend, unfortunately.

Our next stop was Jaxon Keys Winery which is located in Hopland. We chose this winery because they are members of Harvest Hosts and so we decided to stay there for the night. Star was parked beside the grape vines, in amongst some incredible scenery. We found out that this winery is owned by Canadians who bought about 6 other wineries in the area. Greg and I sampled a few wines here and purchased a couple bottles of white wine. 

 Then we unhitched the Fiesta and drove the short distance into Ukiah, Mendocino County’s largest city. It was settled in the 1850s and now has about 16,000 residents but does not have
the old town feeling that we experienced in other small towns. We dropped into
the visitors centre, hoping to get some information about San Francisco since we’ll reach there
tomorrow. The centre didn’t have any brochures but when the gentleman heard
about our adventure he said we are living his dream and then told us about a
few places that we should not miss. We found a Wal-Mart and went in to
pick up a few things. As we walked through one of the isles we came across the wine
section. Well, wine here starts at $1.97 per bottle for most California wines and a 4L jug of Julio Gallo is only $8.99. We don't know how good these wines are but we can’t make it for that back in NS. 

 Then it was back to Star and our winery for the night. After supper we walked around the property looking for wildlife. Greg had seen deer earlier when he was out walking and he thought we might see them again. We had no luck seeing them but did see lots of signs of wildlife. We did find the
location where the winery workers dump all the wine skins and stalks after processing. We were surprised that it isn't given to farmers for their livestock.

Driven today: California
Travelled today: 128 km
Travelled to date: 9522 km

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Heather on

If it's only $1.97 for a bottle of wine, why didn't you buy one and see how good it is?

Mom on

I can attest to how delicious Julio Gallo wine is. I agree with you Heather!!

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