Let’s face it; Lake County is truly the place you go to get away from the real world. There are few better ways to leave the city, relax, and enjoy some incredible wine. Let me take you on an adventure.
It all starts on Spruce Grove Road–meander through rural Lake County before turning on the gravel driveway that winds upward towards Wild Diamond Vineyards. Traverse an oak grove, winding higher and higher in elevation as the oaks slowly turn to pine trees. That’s when you know you’re almost there. At the tasting room–or more accurately, mountain top–the world turns truly silent and still. A strong breeze greets you first as you step out of your car, a reminder that the world is far, far below. Joy, your server for the tasting, greets you with a glass of their 2021 Albarino. Its fruit-forward notes are dry, not at all sweet and oh-so-easy to sip. It easily pairs with a charcuterie tray or light summer salad.
Glass in hand, you make your way to the back of the expansive patio just behind the refurbished shipping container turned into a classy tasting room. The views are expansive, stretching 270 degrees from Snow Mountain in the north to Mt. Konocti, Mount St. Helena in the south, and, on a clear day, the Sierras to the east. Settle down in an Adirondack chair and enjoy the moment.
Just the right amount of time later, Joy brings a glass of 2016 estate-grown Mourvedre in a fresh glass. The quiet surrounds the mind while the gentle breeze washes away any and all worries. The Mourvedre sits delicately on the palate, matching the gentle lulling of nature.
The moment is so beautiful you hardly notice time passing. The only hint is Joy’s return with a glass of estate grown 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cab is gentle to the palate, smooth, not overly oaked, and with just a hint of boysenberry. Below, a raven soars over the valley. It’s a strange and welcoming sight to be looking down on birds.
And just when you think your tasting experience can’t get any better, Dylan, Wild Diamond’s Director of Hospitality, offers you a glass of estate-grown 2016 Grenache to take on a tour of the vineyards. Now you get to see the expansive ninety-three-acre vineyards gracing the sides of the mountain. But with a total of seven hundred acres to the estate, so much of the drive remains untouched and wild. Take a quick stop to do some Lake County Diamond hunting–these clear gems are only found in Lake County and are the fitting namesake of the winery. All too soon, it’s time to head back while hearing all about the vineyards and stories of the wild turkeys who incidentally love the Sauvignon Blanc vineyard as much as the caretakers.
Once settled back on the patio, you might choose to end your tasting with a splash of Estate grown 2013 Cabernet Franc just because. It’s a pleasant way to end the tasting with heavy tannins showing its boldness without being better with a long-lasting finish.
And this might be when you regret not coming earlier in the day, because leaving is the only negative experience you will have at Wild Diamond Vineyards.
Part of what makes your tasting experience quite possibly one of the finest in Lake County probably has to do with their strict policies of tastings by appointment only. That way each person gets individual, thoughtful attention. And remember, no pets other than service animals are allowed, and absolutely no one under 21. Tastings are available Thursday – Sunday and are a guaranteed unforgettable experience.