Yolo County is home to some amazing wineries – over 30 to be more specific – and it’s a wine destination that’s somewhat of a hidden gem. If you’re looking to explore all wineries, you’ll need a few days or four (see our other blog titled Sip & Stay & Eat). But if you’re looking to spend a day sampling at some of the area’s most notable wineries, the Yolo County Wine Pass is a great place to start. This is your insider’s pass to six tasting rooms to get your sip on at the reduced price of $49. That’s right, only $49 to enjoy six distinct tasting flights at six unique venues valued at over $100. The pass can be used for 72 hours after the first tasting flight redemption occurs, so no need to rush. Take your time and stay awhile.
So where do we start? How about with the good stuff – the wineries! First up is Great Bear Vineyards nestled on the edge of Davis. Great Bear was just voted best local winery by Sac Magazine and you’ll get five delicious tastings here with your pass.
Their complex soils, hot days and nights cooled by the delta breeze, partnered with careful management, result in grapes filled with intense flavors. Currently, Great Bear Vineyards is open most Thursdays & Fridays from 5-8pm and Saturdays from 11am. Check their website for exact opening times and for reservations.
Next stop on the Yolo County Wine Pass tour is Matchbook Wines where you will get four great tastings. The picturesque 400 square-foot patio overlooking Matchbook’s estate vineyards and the coastal mountain range is open for walk-in tastings on non-event days (i.e. non-food truck days) and is dog-friendly. Trust us, you’ll want to linger here a while. Located in Dunnigan Hills, they produce fantastic wines from their estate vineyards along with wines from different appellations. Matchbook is a proud producer of The Arsonist, Matchbook, Mossback, Chasing Venus and Black’s Station wines.
The rolling hills, oak lined arroyos and rocky alluvial fans of the Pacific Coast are the best building blocks for Grindstone’s balanced wines – the next winery and vineyard on our tour which also includes four flavorful tastings. Their sustainable agricultural operations protect our environment and improve wine quality. Grindstone Wines offers their latest releases as well as previous vintages that have aged gracefully with every passing season. Visit Grindstone every 2nd and 4th weekend of the month. Reservations are accepted and well-behaved children and pets are welcome.
Taber Ranch Vineyard marks the fourth spot on the Yolo County Wine Pass tour and includes six delightful tastings. This rustic outdoor event venue and winery was originally established by the Taber family in 1867 when they came west to settle in the Capay Valley community. Their property also includes a tasting room and a covered outdoor patio with bistro lighting and two cozy fire pit lounge areas for colder evenings. The tasting room is open Friday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
Up the road about 3.8 miles is Séka Hills Olive Mill & Tasting Room – its name inspired by the scenic views of the surrounding orchard and rolling blue hills. For thousands of years, Native American people have lived in the oak forests, rolling hills and grasslands of California’s Capay Valley, tending the natural resources, following ancient wisdom and creating eternal bonds with the land. Today, the Tribe known as the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, produces a number of goods including wine, olive oil and more. Their tasting room hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm and your pass includes four wonderful tastings.
Last but certainly not least, head south to Historic Downtown Winters for our last location on the Yolo County Wine Pass tour – Turkovich Family Wines. Their downtown tasting room is open daily starting at 10am and the ideal place for enjoying local wines and cheeses. The latter coming from the Winters Cheese Company which is located in the same building and features a variety of cheeses available for purchase. And with five tastings included in your pass, you’ll definitely want a little something to munch on afterwards!
Okay, now that you’re definitely feeling a little or a lot winey, it’s time to click on this link and get your very own Yolo County Wine Pass! You’ll get all the specific details on each winery’s tastings, along with other tidbits of useful information – like how you’ll need to activate the pass within 90 days after purchase. Plus, don’t forget that once you visit your first winery, you’ll have 72-hours to finish using it. The pass will be delivered directly to you via text and email – no need to download any app. Then you just need to decide when you’re going and who with (make sure your friend or loved one purchases the pass as well). Where you start is up to you but here is a handy map to give you a lay of the land.
And if you’ve decided now it might be a good idea to stay the night, we couldn’t agree more. With over 25 ways to stay – from charming B&Bs and Inns to motels and hotels – it’s easy to find a place to drift up to dreamland after such an enjoyable day. Speaking of enjoyable, the Yolo County Wine Pass makes a great gift for the upcoming holiday season and the wine aficionados in your life are sure to love the thoughtfulness. Cheers!
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