A winery tour and tasting is always a great way to spend an afternoon. However, it’s hard to top a tour and tasting shared with loved ones in a beautiful, rustic setting. Add to that some remarkable wines, rescued animals and a skinny-dipping three year old, and you have a perfect afternoon! That is exactly how we spent last Monday afternoon in Alpine, CA to celebrate our dear sister’s birthday. The winery is Rock Canyon Vineyards and Tim, owner and winemaker, was our host.
When we arrived, we were greeted by an enthusiastic chorus of dogs who escorted us through our tour and tasting. Our first stop was the barrel room where we sampled the delicious wines. Winemaker Tim makes red wines, we learned that it is too hot in that area to grow white wine grapes. First we tasted the Dos En Uno, a delicious, full bodied red blend that goes down way too easy. We also tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot and an amazing Zinfandel that is jammy and full of fruit. The final flourish was a rich port that would pair perfectly with dark chocolate. Tim is generous with the pours and offers seconds and thirds if needed to be sure you get the full effect.
Our next stop was where the newly picked grapes were placed in large vats to begin their journey into wine. Tim had been up at 4 am that morning picking grapes, and he gave us a taste of the juice from the fresh harvest. It was a hit with everyone including the kids in our group.
Our next stop was to visit the rescued animals. Glasses in hand, we met donkeys, Brutus the pig, and three beautiful horses.
Tim also has an eclectic collection of interesting items including a London taxi cab, an old west style wagon, many signs and plaques, a horseshoe coat hanger and much more.
At this point he and the dogs escorted us to a covered area by the pool where we spent the rest of the afternoon with some more wine and a delicious picnic.
Tours at Rock Canyon are by appointment only, the link at the beginning of this blog has the information for scheduling a tour.
I think it’s safe for me to say that everyone in my family would recommend a visit to this winery, including the youngest member of our group, who immensely enjoyed skinny-dipping in the pool.