Benziger Vineyards: They had me at the port wine

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For me, the deluxe tour at Benziger was the eye-opener in terms of wines. The guide takes you out into the vineyard and gives a detailed explanation of what vines are planted where. For example, one side of the hill may get Chardonney vines whereas the opposite side is planted with the Pinot Noir grapes. He covered the impact of the extinct volcanon [3rd photo below] has on the soil. Benizger has converted totally to bio-organic farming and has created its own 'biosphere' from plants to pests to critters that kill pests to recycled water.

Once the outdoor guide finishes, he hands you off to another guide inside the cellars who explains about the wood comprising the barrels and then leads you into a room for a wine-tasting. It was at this point that I realized I preferred red wines with the note of pepper. And when I tasted a port and bit into dark chocolate, which then turned the port into tasting like coconut, I was hooked. My friend and I split a wine club membership as not only Benziger is still a family owned corporation, but also because of the organic focus. I look forward to tasting many more wines from this vineyard.
:) Carol