Pushing through the wine tour

Next up Chateau Chantel. Breathtaking view, traditional and sprawling estate. Love at first site. Now, wait one minute…

Cue the massive rain. Mother Nature saved the best for the best winery. Awesome.

Before all hell was unleashed we quickly snapped some shots and ran inside. Well Tara didn’t get to run in, she was kind enough to help another couple take a photo. She didn’t have a hoodie or headwear. We did but we preferred to watch her from underneath the Chateau’s entrance. Why soak two people when one is already being soaked?

Chateau Chantel is huge, but it is also extremely busy and it truly depends on who you get in order to feel like you had a wonderful experiences or just an “meh” one. Tara and Bobby experienced a sommelier who was amazing, insightful, paid attention when attention needed to be paid and he was charming. Ours was a flaky lady approaching retirement age who was distracted by a group of cougars who were just a bit louder and more um… “attention grabbing” than us. So every once in a while she’d remember us and toss us a wine sample. Eventually other sommeliers felt sorry for us and would help us through our flight. Somehow we cobbled our tour together sharing each others samples just to get through. Even in these sub par conditions we found a bottle aptly named “Twilight” to call our own.

watching the less fortunate.

I see Chateau’s charm and I know many people love it, I won’t give up on this place but next time I will not choose this lovely lady as our wine tour guide.

Four on our whirlwind tour of Old Mission Peninsula was Brys Estate.

This one is definitely more traditional in style. We were surrounded by vineyards, lavender, perfectly manicured shrubbery and a quaint little seating area. But also a line… we are now getting to the point in our tour that everyone and their drunk grandmother were out sampling the grape juice.

By now we were noticing the uptick of other wine tasting enthusiasts. Some faces from other locations were beginning to pop up. We all have one thought in mind, more, good wine – fast. We noticed the tall, bald-headed gentleman wearing a Smurf-colored button down. And the disheveled couple from Blackstar Farms. Yep still disheveled and it was now 3pm.

Brys Estate felt a bit pricier and a little more traditional than the others. We enjoyed our experience, but were ready to move out quickly. Plus lines make me antsy, I am an only child I am not used to waiting for anything!

Eventually wine tours get long and time gets short we start to pick up pace a little and venture to our next “pit stop” Chateau Grand Traverse.

If lines drive me nuts then this place would take the cake. They were well organized, but could have boasted the longest line. It is definitely a regular occurrence as they have a permanent blue painter’s tape guide on the floor to help us stand in line among their well-appointed shelves of wine necessities. That’s how they get you… with wine accessories. Tara was reached her threshold and wanted to leave I told her that gauging from my professional experience I’d say we’d be done close to 5pm.

We worked through the line and within 20 minutes were enjoying what were starting to become nameless samples. Among those we found a pleasant red table wine for my mom and another white. (we were starting quite a collection.)

Now we are at the final leg of our trip. We have about 40 minutes before all wineries close for the day, we better make it count. We better end on a good note. Peninsula Cellars.

I appreciate great marketing and integrating your environment into your product and vice versa. I am also a sucker for good marketing, Penninsula Cellars are housed in an 1895 one-room schoolhouse. I love it, I love it, I love it. You could hardly squeeze into this place and by now all that wine had warmed all of us. We worked through our flight appreciating “Homework,” “Detention,” “Old School White.” The names were carefully written on original blackboards surrounding our tasting room. This will definitely be a place I’d love to return to. Also, this was the place I tried the single smoothest Merlot I’ve ever had. But I digress and it was time to leave.


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