POSTED ON September 28, 2009 | IN Tasting Rooms | BY Joe Becerra

For many years the Cuvasion tasting room in Calistoga has been a favorite of wine country visitors. Now these visitors have a second option for tasting Cuvaison wines, an absolutely amazing and beautiful new tasting room located in Cuvasion’s Carneros vineyards. The Carneros tasting room opened in the spring and last week was our first chance to visit this stunning tasting room. It is a modern but classic tasting room that is open and airy, with the most amazing views of the Carneros vineyards.

When the folks at Cuvasion planned this tasting room they decided to take a different approach to the old tasting room idea of people standing up at a long bar. They decided with the mood and pace of Carneros, the tasting experience would be better as a sit-down wine tasting. When visitors arrive they are asked to sit at one of the tables either inside or out. It almost feels like a private tasting. At first, we were a little apprehensive thinking this might be one of those elaborate over-the-top and expensive wine tastings. Not so, we had a choice of two sets of tasting of four wines each for $15. Our server snuck in a couple of extra wines because as she said “We have these wines open and we don’t want them to go to waste.”

We chose to sit outside on this lovely and weather-perfect day. The pace is so relaxing that we spent one hour tasting the wines. About a half hour into our tasting a steady breeze began to grow across the vineyards. This is typical of the summer days here in Carneros and one of the climate factors that make Carneros the ideal region for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As the Valley heats up the air rises and that causes the cooling air from San Pablo Bay to pour across the vineyards. It is fantastic to feel nature working it magic.

It is hard not to like the wines at Cuvasion. The lovely setting brings out the best and we enjoyed all the wines we tasted. The Chardonnays we tasted were moderate in oak and weight and an excellent choice with foods. The Pinot Noir wines are more traditional in style, none of them were too big and bold like so many that are made that way today.

To find Cuvaison Carneros tasting room, take Highway 121 and go west on Duhig Road. The entrance is located almost opposite the Chateau of Domaine Carneros. You cannot miss it.