Wine, for me, is all about the experience and having fun with old friends and new. Goosecross Cellars, a family-owned winery in Yountville, delivers on both excellent wines and plain, old wine fun! The ideal wine experience for me includes more than delicious wines. The experience is also about wine education, approachable staff and lots of great conversation. Goosecross sets the bar on all three in my book.
The Goosecross Cellars tasting room is always full, and, yet, they make sure that every guest feels like a VIP. If they know your name or recognize you, they will greet you loudly. It almost feels like you have entered into an episode of Cheers. They have a menu of different tastings, but be prepared to try wines that are not on the tasting list. They will invite you to try other wines on hand and tailor the tasting to your personal preferences. The Goosecross crew also loves to joke around with its visitors and expects to be harassed back. For example, on a recent visit to the winery, I received the nickname “Puddin.” I always like to come to Goosecross as my final winery, because I know that I will end the day on a positive note and get great recommendations for dinner.
This fun and approachable atmosphere sets the stage for their award winning wines. Whereas I am not a sommelier or well-versed in viticulture and enology, I do know what characteristics I like in a wine. My personal favorite is the 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a smooth, special occasion Cab that is great paired with food or enjoyed by itself. Goosecross also sells a special order, chocolate-dipped bottle of the Howell Mountain Cab. The 2011 Cabernet Franc is another of my recommendations. Cabernet Franc is usually a blending wine, but this one stands on its own. Goosecross also makes a number of white wines that turned me into a white wine drinker as well. Their Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs are crisp and delicious. I also like the sweeter 2011 Orange Muscat. All three are perfect for a warm summer day. Goosecross’ wines are also typically ready to drink.
If you are so inspired, their wine club structure has a level for everyone. You can join the two, four, six or twelve-bottle club. Goosecross also hosts great members’ events. Recently, I attended the Winemakers BBQ. This event welcomed new winemaker, Bill Nancarrow. It was both family friendly and fun for couples and singles. They had a bouncy house for the kiddos and an upbeat country band playing for the duration. The evening included four wines (2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Estate Chardonnay, 2011 Zinfandel, 2009 State Lane Cabernet Sauvignon) and a catered barbecue. Winemaker, Bill Nancarrow, visited each table, poured the wines and talked with each guest. It felt like the party was at his home. Goosecross really knows how to celebrate a relaxing summer evening with great wines, good food and excellent company.
Next time you are driving along the Silverado Trail, turn off for a visit to Goosecross Cellars. You will not be disappointed!
Goosecross Cellars is located at 1119 State Lane in Yountville. It is approximately 200 yards off of the Silverado Trail and 300 yards from downtown Yountville. Their tasting room is open seven days a week from 10:00am-4:30pm.