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Sausalito: Wine Tasting, Winery Tours and Wine Lore

Today, California wines constantly receive honors in global competitions

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Globally, it is estimated that almost 90% of American wines are produced in the state of California. Nearby to the San Francisco Bay area rests some of the finest wine producing landscape on the planet. In and nearby to Sausalito, it is possible to sample elegant local wines, tour famous vineyards and participate in social functions that are hosted by wine enthusiasts. In Marin County, wine tasting outings are often coupled with other activities.

A brief history of wines in California:

In 1833, the original European wine vines were planted in Southern California; by 1854, wine grapes were being grown in Napa Valley. In 1861, Charles Krug planted his famous winery that is located about 45-miles away from Sausalito. In 1863, wild California grape varieties were traded with Europe and this introduced new diseases that almost eliminated winemaking in Europe. Through grafting techniques, American disease resistant grape varieties were grafted to European vines to produce a new type of grape vine for Europe.

Prohibition almost destroyed the American wine industry. After table wine was banned in America, growers replanted their plots with a poor-quality juice grape; then, the majority of growers quit producing during the first Great American Depression. Before Depression years, an estimated 2500 wineries were operating in America. In 1933, about 100 growers were still in business. During the early 1970s, the American wine industry started to flourish again through the use of modern growing techniques, old skills and technology.

Today, California wines constantly receive honors in global competitions. Globally, wine connoisseurs enjoy toasting the perfect vineyard growing conditions that are present in locations nearby to San Francisco Bay communities. Local growers are proud of their historical occupations and many wineries offer tours, tasting rooms and museums or displays that are related to the local wine growing traditions. In Sausalito, it is possible to contact local tour guides and travel planners to arrange for hosted trips to winery areas.

Fine wines are available in Sausalito, California:

 

Madrigal Family Winery of Napa Valley’s 2nd tasting room is located at 819 Bridgeway in the heart of Sausalito. Since the 1930’s, three generations of the Madrigal family have been farming some of Napa’s finest vineyards and have always been known for their old-world hospitality; adding a second tasting room is a natural evolution of the family’s history. The new Madrigal Winery tasting room is the first and only Sausalito tasting room to be opened by a “brick and mortar” Napa Valley winery.

Designed by well-known wine country interior designer Shawn Hall, Madrigal’s tasting bar and lounge have a gallery sensibility with the warmth and character of a West Coast cafe. The environment artfully mixes local wine country elements with an urban flair, showcasing sustainable materials and California style. A large window display depicts the history of the Napa Valley and the early days of winemaking, as experienced by the Madrigal family first-hand.

The new tasting room offers three different tasting experiences, each featuring five world-class wines:

Spring in Wine Country: $12 tasting fee*

2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate
2013 Gewurztraminer, Mendocino County
2014 La Vida Rosa Dry Rosé, Calistoga
2011 Merlot, Estate
2012 Zinfandel, Napa Valley


Madrigal Family Tasting: $15 tasting fee*

2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate
2012 Zinfandel, Napa Valley
2012 Tempranillo, Calistoga
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2011 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley


The Family Jewels: $25 tasting fee*

2011 Cabernet Franc, Calistoga
2011 Nuestra Sangre, Heritage Blend
2011 Sonnet #63, Bordeaux Blend
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
2010 Petite Sirah, Barberis Family Vineyard

*Tasting Fee is waived with 2 bottle purchase from flight.

Let Madrigal Family Winery Sausalito Tasting Room host your next party or corporate event!  We can accommodate up to 30 people.  Please email Patti Gatti at pgatti@madrigalfamilywinery.com for more information.

Madrigal Family Winery

819 Bridgeway Sausalito, CA 94965
Open daily from 11-7pm
Phone: 415 729-9549

 

Bacchus & Venus Wine Tasting: The Bacchus and Venus two-story wine tasting room can be accessed nearby to the downtown attractions in Sausalito. This wine room offers a nice selection of tasty California wines. There is a fun-filled art gallery, wine club, accessories for sale, wine-oriented educational materials and friendly people ready to answer questions about wines or local events. Hours: 11:00 a.m. until early evening.

Bacchus & Venus Wine Tasting
769 Bridgeway
Sausalito, California 94965
Phone: (415) 331-2001
Web: www.bacchusandvenus.com

Mollie Stone’s Market: This local Sausalito grocery store takes pride in its wine department. When customers purchase six or more bottles of wine, discounts can apply. Helpful sales people are informed about local wines, cheeses and proper storage methods. It is possible to order wines through the Mollie Stone’s Markets for San Francisco Bay Area weddings, special events and gift giving occasions. Contact the store for details.

Mollie Stone’s Market
100 Harbor Drive
Sausalito, California 94965
Phone: (415) 331-6900
Web: www.molliestones.com

Real Napa Tasting Room: The Fotsch Vineyards from Napa Valley host a wine sampling establishment in Sausalito. This carefully decorated building has hand-made iron chandeliers, interesting artwork and a comfortable space for friends to gather and watch the changing scenery along the Bay. Wine sampling is the prime activity at the Real Napa Tasting Room; however, Fotsch also offers Napa tours and a wine club.

Real Napa Tasting Room
611 Bridgeway
Sausalito, California 94965
Phone: (415) 332-0105
Web: http://www.realnapa.com

Wellingtons Wine Bar: Wellingtons of Sausalito is an English-style wine bar with an extensive wine list. This establishment offers local and global wines, interesting beers and delicious trays of snacks. At times, it is possible to find discounts that apply for wine tasting treats at Wellingtons. The wine menu changes to include seasonal offerings, there are board games available to play and it is possible to book space for private parties.

Wellingtons Wine Bar
300 Turney Street
Sausalito, California 94965
Phone: (415) 331-9463
Web: www.wellingtonswinebar.com

Nearby Wineries, Wine Tasting Options and Tours:

Mountain View Vintners: This local company offers online sales and a wine tasting facility in San Rafael that is open daily, closed Sunday. Popular label names include: Butterfly Ridge, Cockspring, Front Porch, Monterey Highlands, Mountain View Vintners, River View and Villa Sam Maurice. Private label wines are available.

Mountain View Vintners
1660 Second Street #B
San Rafael, California 94901
Phone: (415) 898-6778
Phone: (888) 588-9463
Web: www.mountainviewwines.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 9 miles.

Kalen Cellars This Marin County winery produces about 7,000 cases of wine each year that are made using European techniques. Sausalito residents and visitors can experience this locally grown wine that is sold in Marin County Whole Foods specialty stores and many fine dining establishments outside of our Bay Area. Call for details.

Kalin Cellars
Novato, California 94949
Kalin Cellars Phone: (415) 883-3543
Novato Whole Foods Store: (415) 878-0455
Distance from Sausalito: About 17 miles.

Point Reyes Vineyard Inn: This small family-operated winery has been represented in Marin County since the 1930s. The Vineyard Inn is located nearby to the Point Reyes National Seashore; a wine tasting room is available. This small winery consistently wins awards for their flavorful offerings. The wine tasting hours and sales times vary by season. There is a free wine tasting club offering that periodically offers club members social activities and discounts. Call ahead for hours and club details.

Point Reyes Vineyard Inn
12700 Highway One
Point Reyes Station, California 94956
Phone: (415) 663-1011
Web: www.ptreyesvineyardinn.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 22 miles.

Don Sebastiani & Sons: In 1904, this company was founded in Sonoma. Today, Don Sebastiani & Sons is a well-respected name in wines from Northern California. The Sebastiani & Sons vineyards are not accepting tour or wine tasting requests at this time; however, it is possible to find bottles of Sebastiani wines in the San Francisco Bay area. Popular labels include: Aquinas Napa Valley, ‘B’ Side, The Crusher, Smoking Loon, Project Paso and others. For more information, contact Don Sebastiani & Sons below.

Don Sebastiani & Sons
135 West Napa Street
Sonoma, California 95476
Phone: (707) 933-1704
Web: www.donandsons.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 27 miles.

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards: The Ferrer Vineyards offer full services at their location, including tours, wine tasting, wedding services, special events and wine club activities; online sales are available. The popular Gloria Ferrer wines include: Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose, Carneros, Gravel Knob Vineyard, The Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard, Sonoma Brut, Royal Cuvee, Jose S. Ferrer, VA-DE-VI, and more.

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
23555 Highway 121
Sonoma, California 95476
Phone: (707) 996-7256
Web: www.gloriaferrer.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 27 miles.

Cecchetti Wine Company: The Cecchetti Wine Company offers to put consumers onto a mailing list to receive information about their three brands of wines. This company produces the Backhouse Wine, Redtree Wine and Line 39 Wine labels. For more information about tour possibilities, contact Cecchetti Wine Company.

Cecchetti Wine Company
Vineburg, California 95487
Phone: (707) 996-7221
Web: www.cecchettiwineco.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 28 miles.

Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines: This company produces the Acacia Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Moon Mountain Vineyard, Dynamite Vineyard labels and more. Tours are not known to be available at the time of this writing. Contact Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines for more information about tours, wine tasting or distribution locations.

Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines
240 West Gateway Road
Napa, California 94558
Phone: (707) 299-2600
Distance from Sausalito: About 32 miles.

Hess Collection: The Hess Vineyards company offers a fun selection of activities to do at their establishment near scenic Mount Veeder. There is a historic stone winery building that was erected in 1903, an interesting art museum, wine tasting areas and tours available. This company sells collector wines and brands from the Hess Family. Hess wines include: Hess Small Block Series, Hess Collection Wines, Hess Select Wines and more. For more information and driving directions, contact the Hess Vineyards.

Hess Collection
4411 Redwood Road
Napa, California 94558
Phone: (707) 255-1144
Web: www.hesscollection.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 32 miles.

Benziger Family Winery: Unfortunately, the Benziger Family Winery does not offer tours at this time; however, after this company won Winery of the Year at the San Diego International Wine Competition in 2011, many people in the San Francisco Bay Area are interested in trying the Benziger wines. Popular labels include: Tribute, Stone Farm, Oonapais Sonoma Mountain and more. Watch wine bars for these great offerings.

Benziger Family Winery
1883 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, California 95442
Phone: (707) 935-3000
Web: www.benziger.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 36 miles.

Domaine Chandon & Newton Vineyard: This company offers vineyard tours, wine tasting facilities, a wine-oriented restaurant, wine-related art and wine club activities at their winery. Popular labels to watch for at the wine tasting bars near Sausalito include Chandon and Domaine Chandon options. For driving directions or information about where to find these fine wines, contact the Chandon Vineyards.

Domaine Chandon & Newton Vineyard
1 California Drive
Yountville, California 94599
Phone: (707) 944-8844
Web: www.chandon.com
Distance from Sausalito: About 38.5 miles.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer