Fizz and fire in California - Wine Tours and Wine Tasting Holidays

Tim's Wine Tour Blog

Fizz and fire in California


The Roederer Estate in the acclaimed Anderson Valley was at the end of quite a long journey this morning. This famous Champagne House acquired land here back in 1979 so have shown incredible foresight and judgement, as this Valley has become a really hot ticket for high quality fizz and Pinot Noir.

Being California’s coolest climate region, it is ideally suited to producing fruit that is high enough in acidity but with enough ripeness to suit methode traditionelle production.california-wine-tour-2-roederer-lunch

It was another glorious sunny day, so we stepped out for a tour of the vineyards and then into the winery itself. No investment has been spared and Roederer Champagne have been meticulous in ensuring a French style is created that also one that reflects the ripeness of Californian fruit.

We tasted six seriously good sparkling wines – their Brut Cuvée being possibly the best value wine of the tour @ $22.00 a bottle.

Lunch was taken on the terrace overlooking their oldest vineyards – washing it all down with magnums of the Brut. We could have stayed there all day but another visit loomed.

california-wine-tour-2-toulouse-entranceJust a short hop from Roederer you find the Toulouse Estate nestling into the hillside. A retired San Francisco fire captain by the name of Vern Boltz acquired the estate in 2000 and has always operated on the basis that he had nothing… lose…geddit? He has lost nothing and gained a great reputation for very elegant Pinot Noir. Perhaps here, more so than other tastings, the vintage variation was more clearly demonstrated. Cool years were more austere and structured, the warmer  ones yielded more fruit and approachability, but they were beautifully elegant and well made.