Sip and Savor Along Yolo County’s Boutique Wine Trail

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People in vineyard wine tasting

Whether you prefer Tempranillo or Albariño, Cabernet or Rosé, you’ll find it in Yolo County, one of the most diverse wine-growing areas in Northern California. Or so explains Aaron Millar, award-winning travel writer and host of a new travel podcast, “Yolo County: Indulge in the Authentic.”

In the third episode in the series, “Vine-to-Glass on the Boutique Wine Trail,” Millar visits several wineries in Yolo County, starting off with Turkovich Family Wines in Winters. Here, co-owner Luciana Turkovich describes how winemaking is part science and part art. They tour the barrel room and enjoy a glass of rosé inspired by Luciana’s home country of Argentina, while watching the sunset dip behind the Dunnigan Hills.

The Science of Winemaking

Next, Millar meets with Megan Bartlett, plant physiologist and viticulture professor at U.C. Davis. Bartlett discusses the impact soil and climate have on the flavor profile of a wine. She said that Yolo County’s location between the ocean and the valley makes one of the most diverse spots in California wine country, meaning visitors can sample a range of varietals.

Wine Tasting as a Sensory Experience

Millar then paid a visit to Berryessa Gap Vineyards, where he participated in a sensory evaluation test. That may sound overly scientific, but it actually helps wine lovers hone their tasting skills. Because tasting is predominately aroma-based, Millar donned a blindfold while he smelled various scents and attempted to identify their features — fruity, floral, spicy, herby.

Wine Growing in Harmony with Nature

Millar then headed to Davis, where Jenny and Marcus Meadows-Smith gave him a tour of their winery, Great Bear Vineyards. They explained that they grow wine grapes in harmony with nature, providing habitat to animals like rabbits and owls. Millar then had the ultimate wine experience — a good, old-fashioned grape stomp — followed by tasting some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the region.

Yolo County: True California Wine Country

To learn more about slow wine in Yolo County, check out “Vine-to-Glass on the Boutique Wine Trail,” the third episode in the series  “Yolo County: Indulge in the Authentic.” Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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