|A quick right just beyond the bridge|
Driving along the lower end of South River Road just after one of Sacramento's hottest heat waves of 2017...thus far, I was reminded of the days of fishing on a once somewhat secluded, private beach just off the main channel of the Sacramento River. Steamboat Bend had been a favorite location of mine to fish and just hang out whenever the need arose. The beach was quiet except for the occasional tractor or big rig carrying tomatoes and sugar beats across the old rickety drawbridge that separated the slough from the main channel of the Sacramento River. I remember the feral cats that would amble by and beg or in some instances threaten me by show of fangs, for chunks of bait and the boats that somehow managed to navigate through what appeared to be water so shallow that walking across to the opposing bank seemed effortless.
|Bridge view from the vineyard|
For those like myself who crave nature, solitude and a peaceful existence...albeit while enjoying good wine, Grand Island Vineyard, is a must visit destination. Located just a few hundred feet beyond the bridge, the vineyard and winery offer a good selection of wine, top notch hospitality, (they passed my 30 second "notice that I'm in the room!" test) and the need for tranquility, that fishing once...and still provides.
Having visited more than 300 wineries within the last five years, and completing coursework in risk management, I was instantly impressed with the design and care put into the ADA compliant access to the winery. Having worked with persons with disabilities, the welcoming and easy to maneuver ramp and walkways provide access to those with mobility challenges. The attention to detail that was placed in the design complemented the large tasting room and winery which took nearly five years to complete. Angular and modern, the building retains a "barn-like"character that does not clash with it's surroundings. Newly planted grapevines will soon provide an added touch of seclusion but definitely not exclusion from the now well traveled river road.
|Live music and wine!|
|The tasting room|
The Red wine:
According to Melanie, the Salman family has been growing grapes for more than 45 years. Click here for the whole family story. http://grandislandvineyards.com/people.html
From vineyards stretching nearly 20 miles south in Walnut Grove, CA to just north of Clarksburg, CA the Salman family currently produce 10 varietals with a newly released Cabernet Sauvignon. As mentioned previously, six wines are offered in the complimentary tasting of which a rich, robust Cabernet Franc is among the line-up as well as a...wait for it...
|Pinot Noir in the Delta???|
Moving forward with more surprises...the Cab Franc would also peak my interest.
|Velvet and fruit!|
As if I wasn't intrigued enough, the $17.00 per bottle price tag for this gem put a whole new spin on my holiday shopping list! Moving on.
|The easy drinker!|
GIV offers a "Wine Club Only" tasting of a Rose' of Cabernet which unfortunately I did not explore. Rose's are beginning to make a huge re-appearance as a "cool" wine to consume. I'm sure this one does not disappoint.
The White Wine:
Interestingly enough, Chardonnay produced by several wineries within the Clarksburg AVA present in a multitude of flavors and styles based on exponential winemaking style. Wow, that was a mouthful! In short, this Chardonnay was not a butter bomb, twig spitting Puligny Montrachet! Straight fruit forward, refreshing, evenly dry, and would pair well with cheese or fresh fruit. The perfect wedding wine for guests who want to socialize before or drink with dinner.
The apex of this visit was coming near and I still had two more wines to go. I rarely if ever drink varietals that are synonymous with dessert. However, the Riesling and the Gewurtztraminer were initially offered in the beginning. I declined opting to wait until the end assuming they would be sweeter.
|We have a winner!!|
|Sweet and Sassy!|
Although commercialization is slowly encroaching the agricultural landscape, the beach is still under the bridge and a soon to be open small cafe is in the works to provide travelers sustenance and refreshment which is sorely needed whenever alcoholic beverages are being consumed. Folks can now get their wine tasting on after a day of fishing or chilling on the river.
My research has allowed me to visit wineries throughout California, and I am always amazed at what I find...especially in my own back yard. It is exciting to be able to watch a developing destination winery come into its' own as the Delta continues to provide new and emerging wineries a place to call home. I give Grand Island Vineyards three slaps upside the head...and this is a good thing, as they really know how to make a visitor feel at home. The history, wine, location...in close proximity to some of the best bass fishing in the Delta...don't tell anyone, and the people are truly a welcome addition to the wine industry.
Check them out at:
Be sure to ask about their wine club and current specials. Thank you Melanie for A+ hospitality and thank you GIV for rekindling the memories of my fishing trips in the Delta!
Until next time.