So being the nerd that I am I did a google search on California wine (as CA produces 90% of U.S. wines!!!!) and where it originated. I was happily surprised to see that it pretty much started in my own back yard. CA wine production began at the missions and most historians believe that it was the San Juan Capistrano Mission that started it all! I won’t bore you with the details but if you are as geeky as me be sure to check out this mission. Not that I need one, but this was a perfect justification for me to go visit then walk next door and try some wines at the Rancho Capistrano Winery :-). This post is Part 1 of my California wine series…follow along as I taste my way through CA in cities other than the ever popular Napa, CA.
Now to the good stuff…the wine!! We headed next door to the Rancho Capistrano Winery located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano among some amazing shops and historical buildings. This is a family owned winery, who buys grapes from around the world (including CA), that has over FIFTY wines and varietals. As much as I would have loved to try all fifty lol I stuck to just a few and will be back to try the rest.
First up is the “Bella” Chardonnay- This wine was a PERFECT representation of a California style Chardonnay with big, oaky, and buttery flavors. I, also, got lots of sweetness but I think that was just my palate as it was not on any of their tasting notes! If you ever want to try a Rancho Capistrano white wine I would say this is it (again, I haven’t tried them all though).
Next, I tried their other Chardonnay, the “Juliette”. This Chardonnay is brighter in flavor with aromas and tastes of fruit and flavors. I picked up a TINY bit of oak as well and believe that caused for the perfect balance.
Onto the red beginning with their “Mission” Zinfandel. I am pretty picky about my Zin’s but this one really hit the mark for me with lots of berries (but not too sweet), spices, and a little tobacco. I would definitely recommend this bad boy!
Just so you know these were SPLIT tastings lol. I did not drink these all by myself :-). Anyways, this was their “El Capitan” which is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blend. I had to try this one as those are two of my favorite varietals! I got big, bold flavors of spices, leather, and tobacco with a very smooth finish. Highly recommend! This was my hubby’s fav…
Did I mention they have the most fabulous food?! I have a tough time drinking wine with my food…I really prefer it on its own, however, this pizza paired PERFECTLY with their Chardonnay. I cannot WAIT to go back and have all three again :-D. Another HUGE plus for me was that they have a large, gorgeous patio that we could sit out on and let our little one run around as they are kid-friendly! All you parents out there can appreciate that as not all wine facilities are.
Ever been to Rancho Capistrano Winery or tried any of their wines?! Then let me know some of your favorites and what I should try next. Also, I am looking for some recommendations for California Wine regions and wineries other than Napa to go explore. Let me know your thoughts!