On the second Saturday of each month, several tasting rooms in Hopland celebrate by offering special wine discounts, food pairings, and live music. If you want to get a taste of the town that has the most solar power per capita in the world, visit Hopland on the right bank of the Russian River east of Mendocino. Here, you’ll find a bigger variety of grapes since they are inland from Boonville and can grow lots more than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Here’s where you can get a tasting of three uniquely different reserve cabs from Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa. Taste side by side, notice how each of them hits your mouth in different parts, and then taste the Trio: a blend of all three. The last one gives that velvet as it wakes up all parts of your mouth.
For a taste of Italian wines in downtown Hopland, check out Graziano. They have more than one label to showcase their different styles. Of course they do Burgundian styled Pinot Noirs from the coastal areas. But also classic Tuscans from a bit inland. Another label covers Piedmonte styled wines like Barbera and Dolcetto. And finally a bit of California from the Redwood Valley to cover famed zin and Petite Sirah. You could really go around the world at this place.
Last Saturday, they were pouring two of those Coro wines that have the ultimate signature characteristics of the county. Both are limited release so not sure how much longer you’ll be able to taste two vintages side by side. But worth the trip if you can get there soon.
Cesar came from Mexico and worked his way through many different vineyards and cellars in the valley. Now, his small family winery is known for their Zinfandel after winning at the ZAP festival (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers). ZAP must be so relieved we don’t call it Primitivo!
If you are ever in the north end of the Russian River and need a place to stay, look up Campovida. It is a delightfully decorated and exquisitely maintained boutique inn right in downtown Hopland. Their tavern downstairs serves handcrafted beers and Italian pub food that goes with it on a beautiful patio.
Walk across the street or down the street to one of many local tasting rooms. You’ll have a hard time finding a bad wine here.