After leaving Northstar Winery, we followed the recommendation of our server and headed back down the road we came in on for a stop at Va Piano Vineyards. The name, for those of you who think it sounds unusual for a winery, comes from the Italian saying, “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano.” He who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far. As the story goes, the winemaker spent his senior year in college in Italy, where he fell in love with the Italian wine industry and decided to make a career out of it. The vineyards were planted in 1999, the first vintage (2003) was released in 2005.
The tasting room is set on a hill with a beautiful view, and is styled after a Tuscan Villa. It is a beautiful facility. But Jon and I were a little worried before we went in, because there was a white, stretch limo parked outside… Oh dear, Bachelorette Party? But it turned out to be just one couple in the limo, with a woman about my age being treated to a nice birthday wine tour weekend! The atmosphere in the tasting room was light and fun, and the two other couples there were friendly and eager to interact.
Our tasting began with a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which was blended with a touch of Riesling. This wine is excellent; very crisp with a green apple finish. I think it is very similar to New Zealand Sauv. Blancs that I like so well.
Then we moved into the reds, with a Cabernet Sauvignon called Bruno’s Blend. It had medium tannins, light oak, and flavors of raspberry. Very good!
The next wine was a library release – a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, that had much heavier tannins and oak that the earlier blend – it didn’t have much fruit left. This wine was too much for me.
But their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon had much more fruit and acidity with flavors of black raspberry. I thought it was very nice.
The tasting ended with their 2009 Syrah – all I wrote was “very good!” I do remember that it is very similar to the 2006 Dobbes Family Estate Syrah that we bought down in Oregon on a tasting trip there. That was one of the best Syrahs I have ever tried, so that says a lot about the Va Piano Syrah.
We left with the Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah – not bad for a place we had never heard of!