Napa Valley

Sierra Foothills
Paso Robles
Santa Barbara/
Santa Ynez




Umpqua Valley

winery Reviews:

Sierra Foothills

Hatcher Winery

Located in the heart of Murphys, under ground! You have to walk down an alleyway, down some stairs and under the main street (I think it is even called Main Street) and you will find a small darkened room where some of the best wines in the area are served.

Matt Hatcher is the owner and winemaker, and his wine making talents have put Hatcher on the don't miss list of Foothill wineries.

All of their wines are under $25 a bottle, which I feel makes them all a great value. I most enjoyed their ‘06 Merlot, ‘06 Barbera and their ‘06 Mourvedre. I bought a few bottles of each wine. The Merlot was my personal favorite and reminded me of my initial reaction to my first tasting Keverson’s Zin, ‘I thought this is how Merlot SHOULD taste.’ It had some Classic Bordeaux characteristics. On the nose, cut hay, rose petal, tobacco and dark berries. The palate brought on cherries integrated with oak gave it a good structure and balance that lead to a nice long finish.

Hatcher is open from 11:00am-5:00pm Friday thru Sunday and 12:00pm-5:00pm Monday thru Thursday. They are located on Main Street in downtown Murphys, (across from Grounds restaurant).

Vina Moda

If I say Caymus, Heitz, Stags Leap, what do you think of? Some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons California makes right? Well, stand back folks- Vina Moda has entered the room!
Winemaker, owner Nathan Vader (no relation to Darth) has brought out a wonderful 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. It literally made my knees buckle when I tasted it. I am serious.
Don’t let the screw-cap closure on this bottle fool you either. (I asked Nathan why he would want such a fine wine in a screw cap bottle; his response was that he did not want to risk the chance of just one bottle being ruined by oxidation) This is no New World fruit bomb from down under or over yonder. The nose on this Sierra Foothills Cab struts Old World character with cedar and pencil shavings (yes I said pencil shavings) reminiscent of Bordeaux, followed by red berry fruit with very subtle herbal notes. On the palate, it is a tight package of red berry and sour cherry fruit, with tarry notes supported by ample fine-grained tannins and an appealing earthiness. The wine finishes with good grape tannic grip and still lively acidity at nearly 5 years of age. You could lay this wine down for another 10 years. This wine was perfectly balanced.

If you’ve been avoiding California Cabernets because you think it is all sweet jelly jar grape juice, then you may want to reconsider your preconceptions. This wine, at just 13.5% alcohol, it represents a wonderful counterpoint to that more mainstream fruity style California Cab. I bought 6 bottles of the Cabernet, and I will probably order more. It is a very limited production. And at $36 a bottle, when you have to pay $50 and up for what I consider equal wines from Napa, you can not go wrong! They also had a Petite Sirah that Bev fell in love with too.

Their website isn’t up yet with the details of their wine, but it does have their contact information.

  Email:          Phone: 805-404-6620           195 Tierra Rejada Rd., #148, Simi Valley, CA 93065

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