Our last stop of the day was also the biggest stop of the day. We went to Carlton Cellars, which is a cooperative where several wineries share harvesting and bottling equipment. Carlton Cellars is the main winery there, and their custom crush wineries include: Youngberg Hill, Ghost Hill Winery, Angel Vine, Barking Frog Winery and J. Albin Winery. With so many wineries under the same roof, there is a lot to taste. You really have to pace yourself!
We started our tasting with the Carlton Cellars white wines, where they had Pinot Gris, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Pinot Noir Rose. The Pinot Gris was good, but almost a little too dry for my taste. I wanted it to be a bit sweeter. The Sauvignon Blanc was excellent – crisp, with a lot of minerality, perfect for a hot summer day. The Pinot Noir Rose was just ok, I thought it lacked structure.
The second stop was Youngberg Hill. Youngberg Hill had four wines to taste – a Pinot Blanc, a Pinot Gris, and two Pinot Noirs. I liked their Pinot Gris quite a bit. Crisp and sweet – without being overly so. The two Pinot Noir’s, called Natasha and Jordan were good, with the difference in the taste due to the vineyard where the grapes were grown. The Natasha was grown in marine sedimentary soil, where the Jordan came from a vineyard planted in volcanic soil. You can taste the difference, with the Natasha being much more fruit forward, and the Jordan having a smoky, more earthy flavor. That said, I liked the Jordan Pinot Noir much better, it just had that something – it was richer, more solid.