POSTED ON July 31, 2009 | IN Dry Creek Valley, Paso Robles Wine Country | BY joe

Among things I enjoy so much about the Dry Creek Valley are the numerous backroads and side roads throughout this amazing wine area. On Wine Creek Road, just off West Dry Creek Road, there are two hidden wineries, one of which is Mounts Family Vineyards. Rich Mount and his son David are the owners of this small-production winery.

The family has owned vineyards here since 1945 and has been farming 85 acres of vineyards. Rich and David decided a few years back to begin testing the waters for making their own label. 2005 marks the first vintage for Mounts Family Vineyards. The family keeps only a small portion of their crop to produce 2000 cases of wine and the rest is sold to several different wineries. On the list of clients are Michael Mondavi (Folio), Blackstone, St. Francis, and Sattui.

We arranged an appointment for a mid-week visit and found Rich Mount at the small tasting room. Rich does all the farming while David is the winemaker. Rich Mount is a throwback to another era. He does things very much in the old-fashioned way and describes how some of his clients send out their chemist, winemaker and others to tell him how to manage their plot of vineyards. He pretty much ignores their advice and does things the way he thinks will work the best. “If they don’ like it, they can get their grapes somewhere else.’ I guess when you have owned the land since 1945, you can very much call your own shots.

Now for the wine. Rich poured several varieties, we liked them all especially the Petite Sirah. We found the reds to be a little too much on the tannic side and perhaps that will mellow with age. The price point we thought was a little too high for our wine budget. We tend to search for wine bargains like the one we found the previous day at the Rosenblum tasting room. Some of their wines were marked down 25 to 40%. These days there are plenty of bargains to be had and I find it hard to pay over $30 for wine that is good and tasty but not out of this world.

Mounts Family Vineyards is open on Saturdays and by appointment the other days of the week. It is a fun place to visit and the beauty of the vineyards are at their best this time of the year.

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