Range: 1 to 9 (9 is best, 5 is average)
Historic mountain-top stone winery building. Cabernets and Sauvignon Blanc.
It had been a long while since my last trek up Howell Mountain (about four years) so I decided it was time to return. I decided to visit two wineries on the mountain to make the drive up worthwhile. I started out at Ladera Vineyards to take in the beauty of their historic stone winery operations building. First completed in the 1880’s, a lot of thought went into its design. (For example, each floor has direct access to the outdoors and much of the wine flow is drawn by gravity.) The estate is set back away from White Cottage Road (which is a couple of miles off the main road up Howell Mountain), giving the winery a very peaceful feeling, ideal for enjoying a tasting flight in the warmth of the outdoor sun. As a navigation note, the main road up Howell Mountain is Deer Park Road. Unless you are visiting a winery actually located on Howell Mountain Road, you should avoid this longer, twisty route up the mountain.
|The historic winery building at Ladera Vineyards|
|The contrast of modern fermenting tanks against the old stone walls at Ladera Vineyards|
Based on this experience, I would rate the winery as a 5 and the wines offered as a 7. This is consistent with my previous visit.