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Travels and Tastings Through California Vineyards

Travels and Tastings Through California Vineyards

After nearly a month traveling through the vineyards of California, I’ve tasted so many incredible wines that I may just need to take a break for a little while! Finding great wines to add to our website’s collection has been rewarding, and I want to share my experience here. On our recent trip, I discovered so many vineyards just by meeting locals who told me about small family-owned wineries in the area. I’ll be revealing the names of the companies at a later date! For now, I just want to tell you about my month of exploring... While traveling around, I spoke to vineyard owners and winemakers, participated in tastings, and even snuck into a few group tours. I was able to walk around some of the vineyards to see how they farmed and cared for the vines while soaking in the incredible landscapes.  I developed some great relationships in Napa and Sonoma and also felt what it was like to be here during the wildfires that devastated parts of the region.

One of my favorite parts of these trips is learning how the vineyards got here. I love hearing about establishments that have been in these families for generations. Or about the pilot turned winemaker. Or how a couple of guys in their thirties went from making wine in their backyards to owning their own business. There are so many wonderful stories! With each bottle of wine we sell on Vegan Wines, I’ll share these stories so that you can learn exactly where your wine comes from. I think that’s important.

I experienced a variety of vineyards, each unique in its own way. From those remote, scenic properties along our route to lands where people’s homes stand just next to the vines. Some are tiny, with only a tasting room. And some of them grow organic fruits and vegetables during the seasons when the vineyards are left untouched to grow next season’s grapes. I tasted so many wines that I enjoyed. The unfiltered wines, in particular, were amazing because the winemakers put so much care into the cultivation and harvest of the grapes to make them perfect.

 Almost every vineyard I visited has their own methods of ensuring that the wines they produce are vegan. Some used natural fertilizers from the earth while others used none at all. They all took incredible care of their crops, watching them intensely. While none of the winemakers or owners that I met were vegan, the importance of doing things naturally is evident in their work. In terms of the harvest, some pick all of the grapes at once and some pick the grapes in stages, making sure each is ready before harvesting. When it came to the winemaking, some used new oak, while others used recycled oak. Because I find the winemaking traditions of each so fascinating, each of the bottles sold by Vegan Wines will come with a link to explain just how you came to hold that bottle in your hands.

These winemakers and vineyard owners have made the choice to keep their wine, their soil, and their production methods natural. I met several owners who love the idea of this business - some of them wanted to start right away! So many of them care about our earth and our earth's future, and I'm proud that they'll be included in our Vegan Wines Collection. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list (up at the top there↑) if you'd like to hear more about when they'll be available! Meanwhile, if you're in the area and you'd like to meet other wine enthusiasts, check out our California Vegan Wines Meetup Group! We'll meet at a different vineyard in Napa or Sonoma each month to chat and learn more about wine and veganism... and of course, we'll taste some vegan-friendly wines! Okay, I’ll share one of my favorite wineries! The people at Moondance Cellars not only make delicious wine, but they’re animal lovers and great people too. I even did my new photoshoot there! I have so much more to tell you about their vineyard in a future post!