Get Out There!
OK—so I'm in no way, shape, or form the guy who encourages other people to go outside, enjoy the sunshine, and get some fresh air (generally I'm the guy who wants to go to the mall and get drunk), but I'm going to advocate for doing just that when it comes to Fall in Sonoma right now. I drove up to the Gundlach Bundschu winery on Tuesday morning with my boss Trey Beffa and was utterly blown away by this place. So when I tell you to go outside, enjoy the sunshine, and get some fresh air, what I really mean is get in the car and drive over to Gundlach Bundschu. I'll keep it short and sweet: for those of you who think California wine country is full of tour buses, pastel linens, and pretentious pageantry, you're right! But it's not all that way. There are a number of places I've been sending folks to for years that are free of that ridiculousness and starting now I'm putting this place at number one on my list. I've always enjoyed the wines from Gundlach Bundschu, but meeting the young staff, checking out the atmosphere, and getting a sense of the vibe changed everything. The Rhinefarm is like a piece of California wine country gold that's pretense-free and real. It's everything I love about California (the hills, the colors, the produce, and the laid-back vibe) with nothing that I hate (the snobbery, the meta-hobbyism, the anal-retentive and competitive attention to detail as it pertains to booze). The wines have fruit, but they're restrained and balanced. They're reasonably priced and honest. If you need more info, I've laid it all out for you here over at the On the Trail blog.
Now you just need to go. You can thank me later. I'm going back next week. And I might go back the week after that. This is the type of winery that makes me proud to live in CA.