Our two servers were delightful and knowledgeable. We learned that the Caraccioli family is of Swiss Italian origins, from the Lake Como region, and that they have been in the agriculture business in California for four generations. They added wine making from hand-picked Santa Lucia Highland grapes to their repertoire in 2006 and we’re glad they did.
Caraccioli has two wine makers. One is an expert in sparkling wines; the other is in charge of the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. We decided to share a flight of five wines (for $12) and were pleased with all of them.
The two sparkling wines were very cheery. The 2006 Brut Rose was a lovely honey salmon color and the 2006 Brut Cuvee was fruity and strong and had a “fine mousse.” We learned that a “fine mousse” refers to the slender center-of-the-glass bubble stream that rises to the surface.
The 2007 Chardonnay was clean and “refreshingly crisp” and the 2008 had a “round full mouth.” We liked both of them.
To finish off the afternoon, we decided to taste some Moonstruck Chocolates (from Portland, Oregon) with the Caraccioli 2007 Pinot Noir. What a good idea! We mmmm’ed our way right through the rest of our tasting.
When we walked out the door, our wine purchases were nestled in smart black bags imprinted with the Caraccioli gold logo, another example of the Caraccioli “definitive elegance.”
For tasting room hours (they’re open until 8 p.m. on certain nights), call 622-7722, and check out their website at www.caracciolicellars.com for more information on their wines. We think you’ll like them.