We stumbled upon Cote Bonneville on our way home from a trip to Red Mountain and were absolutely delighted with what we found. The tasting room is an old train station that has been transformed into a wonderfully intimate space – perfect for savoring their wines.
It really is a family business. The grapes are from the 45-acre DuBrul Vineyard. Kathy and Hugh Shiels planted their vineyard in 1992 on the site of a former apple orchard. Kerry Shiels is the winemaker for Cote Bonneville. She attended UC Davis and has worked in Argentina, Australia and Napa learning all aspects of wine making.
On the day we visited, Alex was pouring for us. She was terrific. Quite knowledgeable and anything she didn’t know; she was willing to look up. Alex gave us lots of information about the winery, the vineyard and each wine as we tasted it. We loved her enthusiasm. The day we were there, another couple from Germany was visiting and we had such fun watching them have fun. At the end of our tasting, Kerry came in and it was such a treat to be able to chat with the winemaker.
Kerry told u that she has always enjoyed working with wine. She made her first bottle of wine for her 7th grade science project. I’m sure that she passed with flying colors. She proudly told us about her all-female crew and her eleven-year-old niece who has already decided she will be the winemaker when Kerry retires. You have to love a family like that!
The tasting fee is $20 which is refunded with a purchase of $100 or more.We tasted the following wines:
2022 Riesling – A bit sweet, but not too much – just right. Not usually a white wine drinker but I did get a couple of bottles of this beautiful wine. $25/bottle
2022 Cabernet Franc Rose’ -This Cab Fran wine is bright and playful. Very nice bottle for the price. I surprised myself and also purchased this. $33/bottle
2018 Carriage House – A Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Sav, Merlot & Cab Franc. This might be a good bottle to lay down in the cellar for a bit to mellow. $56/bottle
2020 Syrah – Herby with a bit of a tart finish – $70/bottle
2015 Cote Bonneville – This bold Cab Sav / Merlot blend has an intense fruitiness with layers of minerality. $125/bottle
I was really surprised at how much I liked Cote Bonneville’s white and rose wines. I am usually a red wine girl through and through but these were delicious and I wanted to take them home to share with my white wine loving friends. It was a gorgeous day; the tasting room was charming and you really have to love the folks who work there. Definitely worth a visit.