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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Villa

Yesterday my husband decided as part of his portion of his recent bonus, he would like to start re-filling his wine collecting out. My husband works 5-6 days a week and has little time for anything extracurricular, so his "hobbies" are food and wine. So of course it was not a surprise this is what he wanted to do with the money...I do not mind as I get to enjoy as well. So we pulled out all our pamphlets, picked a direction, in this case the near by area of Auburn California. Hubby punched in the address to a tasting room/vineyard by the name of The Villa, a location that has four vintners come together under one roof.

We hopped onto the highway and headed to our destination. After a brief drive from our apartment we exited onto the back country roads that leads to The Villa. Doing so lead us through what is left of the town of Ophir, someplace we always wanted to drive through and now had the chance.

There is not much there now past many homes,ranches and a school, but the surrounding area is just a breathtaking view full of lush greenery, trees as well as livestock such as goats, sheep and horses....
Soon after so many twists and turns through the country roads we ended up at The Villa. Amongst rolling hills filled with grape vines, and a serene lake near by complete with a beautiful goose floating upon it sat the tasting room.

"Inspired by the rich agricultural history of our region and our love of wine making we have created a unique wine-tasting experience in the foothills of Placer County. Our four small family wineries are focused on hand-crafted limited-production wines and we are pleased to showcase our passion for the craft with you in the elegant and tranquil setting of Villa Fiorente, our shared tasting room set amongst lush vineyards in the beautiful rolling hills of  Placer County wine country. Hosted by the winemakers from each winery we offer a unique, personalized and engaging wine tasting experience and an intimate perspective on the art of wine. "

Of course I had to have a photo snapped.
As we walked up to the building we were greeted by a very nice young man who told us all about The Villa, handing us the tasting notes pamphlet, glasses and then we were off to taste wines. Our first stop was at the wine bar for Fortezza Winery, with the owner Lisa Mann. We enjoyed each of the offerings ranging from  Viognier to Cabernet Sauvignon. We enjoyed each one and made our notes for possible purchases and moved on to the next "station", that belonging to Ciotti Cellars , where we met Joe Ciotti, the wine maker and our server that day....and from first sip to the last we were in wine heaven ( there was no pouring out of any of the tastings ....something we do to pace ourselves.) each sip was as great as the last. The price range is all in the low to mid 20's ...very reasonable for the wonderful wine he makes/offers up.

Our samplings that day. We went home with Merlot...but it was hard to choose.
The next stop was over at Popie Wines, served and made by Michael Duarte. Again the wines were very good, we realized it was going to be very hard to decide what to buy that day. So many of Michael's wines were very good, but I think they were more my taste than my husbands. Popie offers so many varietals my favorite was the 2010 Bianca di Barbera , and at a medium price point of 20.00 it may have to be something we go back for.

Then it was over to David Brockman over at Cristaldi Vineyards. David was so personable, fun to chat with and offers a fine line up of wine offerings. That day we tasted an Albarino, Merlot, Zuppa Di Vino ( a blend and what we went home with) and Fruit Shed Red ( another wonderful blend) . Price ranges from just under 20.00 to just over 30.00. David has a wonderful pallet and we thoroughly enjoyed the tasting and the visit.I know we will go back often to see what he has to offer and to chat.
David Brockman

In the end we had to go back over to Joe Ciotti and his wines for another full tasting as well as to purchase a bottle of the amazing Merlot, with a promise to come back for other varietals as we can swing the money to do so. Thank you Joe for being such a wonderful host as well as we hope possibly one day a new friend, and an amazing wine maker.
Joe Ciotti
So bottles in hand, a smile in our face and a warmed heart by the hospitality and kindness each wine maker showed us and all guests that day, we headed home back down the 80..... but I know we will be back at The Villa time and time again.
The road home.


  1. Gorgeous photos and I love your outfit as always Ruby honey! I have some really great news on the paperback version of my 1st novel. I'd love for you to head over and check it out! Have a great night doll! Kori xoxo

  2. What a lovely day you had! We have a vintner just down the road and they make some wonderful wines in the $20 range. Now, you'll have to tell us what you paired them with in the next few days!

  3. I always love your road trip adventures!! The Villa is gorgeous and sounds like you had a great time.

    Where did you find that skirt and hat. I die!


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