After several years of Covid-related postponements, Family Winemakers annual trade and consumer San Francisco wine tasting event has returned. Its 2022 event was held in a very nice venue in Oakland.
Who are Family Winemakers?
Family Winemakers is a non-profit group that was formed in 1990 by small, family wineries. They joined together to fight for more access to markets, particularly to get the right to ship wines nationwide and to have a voice in government regulations over wineries. They also work together to gain more recognition for their wines.
The 2022 Family Winemakers Event
Fifty five of California’s family-owned wineries exhibited their wares, everything from light, refreshing Rieslings and Gewürztraminers to big, brooding Cabernet Sauvignons and Malbec. No matter what your taste profile, it is easy to find likeable wines.
As in past years, the event does not have a lot of food. Crackers are on each table and several cheese and chocolate producers were sampling their products. But we were there for the wines, not the food.
With so many wines to taste, we found several new wineries that we want to track (and buy from) and reacquainted ourselves with many old favorites. Among our favorites of the wineries and wines were:
- Bella Grace Vineyards (Amador County) for its 2021 Riesling and 2020 Merlot;
- Berghold Vineyards (Lodi) 2019 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Cabana Winery’s 2021 Riesling, 2020 Merlot and Barbera, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon and its Cabernet-based Harbor dessert wine;
- De Novo (Oakland) 2016 Energy Cabernet Sauvignon and Bella’s Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Enriquez Estate (Sonoma) 2021 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir;
- Glunz Family Winery (Paso Robles) 2019 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Hawk and Horse Vineyards (Lake County) 29 Cabernet Franc and 2019 Block Three Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Howell Mountain Vineyards (Napa) 2017 Howell Mountain and Beatty Ranch Cabernet Sauvignons;
- Justin Wine (Paso Robles) 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon and Isosceles blends;
- Landmark Vineyards (Sonoma Valley) 2020 2020 Dierling Vineyard Pinot Noir;
- Lava Cap Winery (Amador County) 2019 Sonnfrost Dry Riesling, 2018 Ad Coelum “Peak” and “Hill” Cabernet Sauvignons;
- Madrona Hills Vineyard (Amador County) 2021 Riesling, 2018 Malbec, 22017 Cabernet Franc and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Pine Mountain Vineyards 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignonand 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon;
- Prager Winery and Port Works (Anderson Valley) 2017 Tawney Port;
- Sakura Winery, (Livermore) 2016 Split Rock and 2015 Viluko Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sarah’s Vineyard (Gilroy) 2018 Tondre Grapefield (Santa Lucia Highlands) Pinot Noir and 2018 Syrah;
- Tablas Creek Vineyard (Paso Robles) 2019 Esprit blend.