Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Westwood Barrel Tasting and Crush!

With all this cold weather I keep thinking about warm sunny days. Every time we open a bottle of a big red wine I think about our trip to California's wine country and start planning our return trip in my head! As you may recall, on our first trip to Napa we stopped off in Sonoma Square and visited the Westwood Winery tasting room at our friends' recommendation (they are wine club members). When our friends added Westwood to the Google Doc for our return trip I was excited to head back, having thoroughly enjoyed their Pinot Noirs on the first go-around.

Where the Magic Happens!

When you are wine club members that live nearby, you get a lot more perks than simply shipments of wine. Our friends have developed a real friendship with the people involved with Westwood. September is harvest/crush in wine country, making it an especially fun time to visit, but it's also a busy time for all the vintners! However, John Kelly, the man behind the label, invited our group over to the warehouse where the magic happens - we got to PUSH DOWN THE GRAPES! Turns out vintners don't really use their feet anymore (imagine that!) - instead, they have metal rods. I only pushed down for this photo op (30 seconds) and was exhausted, so looking at the number of barrels John had ahead of him, I was not envious.

Pushing down the grapes!
After trying out hands at the wine making process, we got to do a barrel tasting! John went through a couple of different barrels in a variety of stages of the aging process. It was interesting to taste how different each of the wines tasted depending on the maturity. There were one or two that I really could have had shipped straight home - they were so delicious! It's hard to believe that when the wine is aged, John will further blend them to come up with something even better.  

Active Push Down

Note the grape skin line and how far down they have been pushed!
After our trip to the warehouse, we went over to the tasting room on Sonoma Square and enjoyed tasting the finished product in their tasting room. This was just a special experience and as good as I remember it the first time. If you have an opportunity to visit Westwood's tasting room, tucked in on Sonoma Square, I highly recommend it!


  1. That looks like so much fun! I seriously need a California wine country trip!

  2. This is the perfect post for such a dreary day! Added to my list for our next Sonoma trip.


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