By Stuart Schmidt
Sometimes we forget that the best times to be had are right in our own backyard. Napa and Sonoma may shine brightly on the world stage, but little do most know that we have a small but notable wine region right here in Fairfield! A great example of days gone by is Wooden Valley Winery-a great winery just a few miles into the small agricultural area of Suisun Valley. Wooden Valley has it all: food truck and live music days, views of fantastic golden rolling hills and picnic tables right next to a 1931 Ford Model A truck that really ties it all together.
Rustic and unpretentious-Wooden Valley caters to all folks regardless of their tastes with a list that caters from the sweet wine lover to the hardcore heavy red enthusiast and doesn’t disappoint with either style. Though I had visited in the past, I decided to make a trip to Wooden Valley to sample some of their current wines. As I arrived, I noticed how lush and green the vines across the road were and how quaint and tidy the outdoor picnic area was. The tasting room/gift shop has a warm, earthy feel with its heavy wooden doors and a long yet still welcoming bar. Wooden Valley has a great selection of wines to taste. I had:
A dry (not sweet) Riesling: a very crisp and refreshing white wine commonly grown in Germany but is doing well here in Suisun Valley.
The Rosetta: a delicious sweet Rose made from the Valdiguié grape (a little uncommon sight in this part of California).
Merlot: a pleasant and fruity medium-bodied red.
Petite Sirah: a heavy and full-bodied red (also known as Durif).
Muscat Canelli: a sweet white which featured a lovely peach/apricot aroma. I think it would be perfect as a digestif.
I’m not always one for sweet wines-but the Rosetta was so delicious I walked out with a bottle (and at $15 a bottle, it makes whole lot more sense to buy a whole bottle and get your $10 tasting fee waived). The tasting went very smoothly thanks to Michelle, the tasting room manager with whom I had a lovely conversation with.
To get to Wooden Valley Winery simply go up Suisun Valley Road past Rockville Road and only about a hundred yards past Larry’s Produce. So bring a picnic lunch and visit this fun and down-to-earth winery in beautiful Fairfield!
You can read more about Stuart and his wine-tasting adventures at https://stuartswinelife.com/