During our recent week long trip to CA, we visited many wineries in the Alexander, Anderson and Napa Valleys. I can easily put our stop at Toulouse right at the top of the list of favorites. The laid back atmosphere, the staff, and scenery were all perfect.
I'll readily admit I had never heard of Toulouse before quite a few people we talked to on the coast and in the Anderson Valley recommended we visit the winery. Upon arriving at the tasting room, we were greeted by Rita who would be our server. For the $5 tasting fee, were able to sample eight wines. Toulouse produces pinot gris, gewürztraminer, and riesling. But, the vineyard's stars are its pinot noirs. We enjoyed all the pinot noirs we sampled and were really enamored with the 2008 vintage. Rita explained to us how many visitors from outside the area (like us) took to the 2008s because of the smoky flavor. Unfortunately, she further explained, the flavor was caused by the smoke produced by forest fires that burned in the area during the 2008 growing season. While us visitors liked the smoky flavor, most locals didn't because it brought back memories of the fires. Rita was also very helpful in answering our questions about the winery's production and distribution, and even asked a few questions to us about how wineries operated in Virginia.
After our tasting, we purchased a bottle of pinot noir to enjoy with dinner that night. (And, upon arriving back home in VA, we phoned the winery and ordered a case!) Be sure to visit Toulouse the next time you're tasting in the area. You won't regret it.
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