Bohème Wines takes its name based on its Bohemian Highway location along the Sonoma Coast. Back in 1872 a San Francisco-based men’s club, the Bohemian Club was established — a group of artists, prominent business leaders, even a few government officials. In 1878, the men decided to follow the Bohemian Highway route to what is now referred to as the Bohemian Grove. Here the club would host a two to three week encampment celebrating art in all forms — whether created by man or nature.
I came across Fore Family Vineyards during my last excursion to Lake County. An enjoyable experience at the tasting room’s downtown Kelseyville location, I was intimately hosted by both Jim and Diane Fore. (To be honest, it was 11am on a rainy Saturday morning — no one in their right mind was out wine tasting that day.) I tasted through a full line up of their current releases, but it was this GSM Rhone-style blend that, to me, elegantly displayed what their unique plot of Lake County has to offer.
I had such a great experience with the Clos Pegase Sauvignon Blanc, I was quite excited to move on to their Chardonnay. Interestingly, these two very different grapes come from the same vineyard — Mitsuko’s Vineyard in the cool(ish) climate of the Los Carneros appellation. The sprawling 365 acre vineyard boasts a wide array of soil types and elevations that creates a broad range of microclimates suited for different varietals.While the portion planted to Sauvignon Blanc is all about the Bordeaux-like soil, the portion planted to Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) is all about those chilly breezes wafting off of the San Pablo Bay.
I came across Steele Wines during my last tour of Lake County Wine Country. A pleasant experience all around: great staff, a large tasting menu, and — of course — enjoyable wines. But the one that struck me the most — the bottle I came home with — was the 2014 Writer’s Block Cabernet Franc. Sourced from Shannon Ridge Vineyards in the High Valley area of Lake County, the wine shows the true expression of everything one knows and loves about the Cab Franc grape (assuming, you’re like me and love the grape). But what’s more is the story that goes along with it…
On my most recent trip to Sonoma, I popped by the highly recommended Mounts Winery. A tiny little shack hidden in the hills of Dry Creek, this is the kind of winemaker one-on-one experience I crave every time I visit a winery. Admittedly, his wife Lana is usually behind the tasting table, but I came on a day when winemaker and third-generation vineyard owner, David Mounts, was able to host my small little group through a tasting of current releases himself.