Bouchaine Vineyards & Winery
Bouchaine Vineyards & Winery is the oldest continually operated winery in the Carneros wine region. The Carneros AVA is actually located in both Napa and Sonoma counties, and has a nice cool climate that suits Burgundian varietals very well.
Pinot Meunier is a varietal that is unknown to many people. It is one of the three varieties used in Champagne, with the others being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Pinot Meunier provides fruitiness and freshness to this world-famous sparkling wine, while the Chardonnay brings its grace and the Pinot Noir its power. Pinot Meunier is very rarely used as a single varietal still wine, so I decided that this would be a fun bottle to include as a Wine of the Month.
The Wine – The nose of the 2009 Bouchaine Pinot Meunier is very aromatic, with violets, wintergreen, black currant, black raspberry and pomegranate. The palate has some very nice acidity, with some good earthiness and full, lush black currant. This is a very nice wine. It’s a fun bottle to take for a blind tasting or to share with other wine lovers, as it’s not one people (even wine pros) taste every day!
Visiting the Winery – The winery itself is lovely, with a big barn-like structure housing the tasting room. Tasting wine in this warm, cozy room with a beautiful fireplace only enhances their lovely Burgundian style wines. The gals working in the tasting room were fabulous! They were very fun and friendly, and also knew the wines well! French doors off of the tasting room lead to a beautiful deck and picnic area, open to Wine Club members. My husband and I so enjoyed opening a bottle of their Estate Chardonnay to enjoy with some cheeses and breads we had brought along. Sitting on this deck and enjoying the stunning view of their Carneros vineyards was the perfect way to end a day of tasting.
The Journey – Bouchaine Vineyards is located in the Carneros wine region in the Napa Valley, not far from California State Route 121. My first visit was years ago, before the days of GPS devices. This past visit was a breeze to find thanks to good signage and our Tom Tom. The drive is a lovely and delightful ride through pretty back roads full of beautiful vineyards.