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Wish you could be a wine-tasting insider?

You know, taste wine with the winemakers. Maybe a little barrel tasting. Really get to know the wine that’s in your glass. A little less wine country pomp and circumstance and more about the wine and the vineyard from which it comes. How would you like that?

Here’s your chance.

I often hit the wine road to taste, catch up with friends in the wine business and find new wines to recommend to the wine-world. I got to thinking the other day that my members would really enjoy these tastings, and the more the merrier! What do you think? Care to join me at these tastings? After the calendar is information about how these tastings work.

Members of Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor are welcome to join me on Road Trips at no cost.
It’s easy to become a member. Join Here.

Dan Dawson and Bertus van Zyl


Road Trip Calendar

Friday, December 14: two visits

Friday, December 14, 12 Noon

With Chris Hansen, General Manager
We spend an hour with Chris and learn about the importance and craft of  oak wine barrels.
Seguin Moreau: 151 Camino Dorado, Napa

T-VINE Wines
Friday, December 14, 1:15 PM:

With Bertus van Zyl, winemaker.
We’ll taste current releases and barrel samples of soon-to-be-bottled Zinfandels with Bertus.
Tasting is at the winery: 396 Devlin Road, Napa.

Scott Schultz Jolie Laide

What you need to know about Road Trips

  • To attend, one must me a Member of DDWA and can bring one guest.
    Not a member yet? JOIN HERE.
  • Please contact me to reserve your spot(s) in the tasting. Space is limited.
  • There is no cost to attend.
  • The hosting winery and I reserve the right to change the date and/or time of the tasting. Just being honest: things happen sometimes. I don’t expect changes, but super-intimate tastings like this are vulnerable to date changes compared to large-scale events. 
  • Purchasing wine is not required but the winery and I request that you do consider buying if you like what you taste.
  • It’s up to you to get to the tasting venue (usually the winery). I’ll meet you there.
  • I want you to have a good time, but no partying!
  • Regarding having a good time – I’ve done countless such tastings, and I’ve found those in attendance who are not in the wine business have a great time because a) they learn so much about the wines tasted and wine in general, and b) it’s such a unique experience.

“In late October, I got the chance to accompany Dan and others on one of his road trips. Being able to taste Bohème’s single-vineyard Chardonnays and Pinots with vintner/owner Kurt Beitler in the redwood-studded privacy of the Stuller vineyard as well enjoy the uber-boutique wines of Jolie-Laide poured by vinter/owner Scott Schultz with his hands still stained from incoming Syrah grapes from the acclaimed Halcón vineyard is something mere mortals rarely get to do. Thank you to Dan for providing a truly unforgettable day!”
Robert from Calistoga, CA

Past Road Trips

Friday, November 30, 10 AM:John and Ashley Derr

We drive up near the top of Mt Veeder for a tasting at Lampyridae Vineyards, owned and farmed by John and Ashley Derr.

After a tour to get to know the vineyard, we’ll taste their wines:
“Lampyridae” Mt Veeder, Napa Valley 2014

46 cases made. $85/bottle* 94 points DDWA and a GREAT VALUE.

LAMPYRIDAE VINEYARDS Grenache, Mt Veeder, Napa Valley 2017
100 cases made. $50/bottle*

*Lampyridae will offer these wines to Road Trip attendees for 20% off.

Friday, November 30, 1 PM (after Lampyridae):
Odisea/Cochon Wines

We visit the Odisea/Cochon Wine Bar at 531 First Street, Sonoma for a tasting of their current releases.

11 AM  (Visit #1):
BOHÈME Wines in Occidental

Owner/Winemaker Kurt Beitler will lead a tasting of his Sonoma Coast wines. We’ll have a vineyard tour, current release tasting and maybe some barrel tasting.

Thursday, October 25
1 PM  (Visit #2)
JOLIE-LAIDE Wines in Sebastopol 

Owner/Winemaker Scott Schultz will greet us at his winemaking facility located at The Barlow in Sebastopol. We’ll taste his four fall release wines: Trousseau Gris, Grenache and two Syrahs. All will be available for purchase.

Monday, September 17, 1 PM:

We’ll meet Neyers winemaker Tadeo Borchardt for some barrel tasting and current release wines in a very casual atmosphere. Neyers makes wines from all over Northern California, so this is a particularly good tasting to learn about NorCal Wine Country.

Monday, September 17, 3 PM:

Owner/Winemaker Jay Heminway will taste us on the Green & Red current release wines. The vineyard, tucked away and secluded on the side of a hill in Chiles Valley, is a true wine-insider’s visit.

Monday, July 23:
Dan Petroski LarkmeadGROUNDED WINE CO.
with Josh Phelps, Owner & Winemaker 
Tasting was at Clos Pegase Winery, Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga.
My first tasting of Grounded wines. Read my reviews here. I’ve known Josh peripherally for a few years. Great guy…super hospitable and savvy.

Monday, July 23:
with Winemaker Dan Petroski.

Dan poured us barrel samples of the 2017 Larkmead wines and filled us with knowledge and insight of Larkmead and the 2017 vintage.  Dan is a wealth of wine information and has a skill of blending science, art and romance in his wine explanations. This was a perfect example of a unique, priceless DDWA Road Trip.

Tuesday, July 17:
With Yannick Rousseau, Owner & Winemaker
Tasting was at Y Rousseau Winery, 902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa.
Yannick, born and raised in Gascony, France, has mastered two grapes of his homeland: Colombard and Tannat.
Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are also part of his repertoire. Read my reviews of his wines here.
All his wines are delicious, honest examples of their grape and place.

Sunday, September 2, 2 PM:

We’ll have a quick vineyard tour then a tasting of Navarro’s delicious and great-value wines (see their site for all the wines they make). Be prepared, you will want to buy at least a case, maybe more!
Tasting is at Navarro: 5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA  95466
*Since Navarro is 2+ hours drive from Napa, there will be another winery visit either in Anderson Valley or Northern Sonoma County. Ask Dan what else he has in mind.