June 20, 2004
St. Francis winery was completed in 1979 and named after Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of humanitarian efforts. The visitor center however was just built recently and is very beautifully done. The area around the visitor center includes manicured lawns and herb gardens which when brushed up against release a lovely aroma of lavender and rosemary. Behind the large and airy tasting room through stained oak French doors lies a stone patio with tables and chairs that are surrounded by even more meticulously tended gardens.
Before approaching the wine tasting bar, my husband and I looked at all the other items for sale that included everything from wine glass charms to delicious Essence of Lavender honey, which by the way, tastes just like candy and is wonderful in an evening cup of tea!
Upon approaching the tasting bar, we were greeted by the friendly and professional staff whom advised us that the tasting fee is $5.00 however if we purchased a bottle of wine that would be credited to the purchase. Of course, many wineries do charge somehow or another for the tasting so we shrugged, paid our $10.00, and were given lists of the wines offered so that we may pick which ones we would like to try. Since my husband and I have toured many wineries, we have learned that if you are visiting a winery with someone that you don’t mind sharing a glass with, it’s best for each person to check every other wine and then just share as each glass is poured. Not only do you get to try more of what the winery has to offer but it also cuts down on how much you drink, therefore allowing you to stay a little more sober.
After tasting the sweeter then the drier whites, we moved onto the reds, which we both agreed were absolutely delicious. While tasting a Zinfandel we exclaimed how good all the red wines were at which point we were advised that St. Francis is actually known very well for their red wines. This has earned them the nickname "House of Big Reds" and boy do they deserve it.
For more information click on the following link: St Francis Winery
From journal From Coast to Coast, a 3 week trip across the US