Summary: A visit to Brutocao Cellars in Hopland, California will take you through the main street of Hopland on Route 101 to the center of town. Watch for a white building with Hopland High School on it and you have discovered the Brutocao Cellars tasting room.
Brutocao Cellars is a family winery. Everyone in the family has a role to play at the winery. Visitors will discover that the wines are handcrafted by the family and that the winery produces everyday food friendly wines.
Brutocao Cellars’ tasting room and restaurant are located in the middle of Hopland, California. The facility is located in the original Hopland High School built in 1923. They chose the lion on St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy to be their logo to symbolize their family history. Behind the tasting counter a large mural of Venice with St. Mark’s centrally located has been painted on the wall. The family began growing grapes in the 1940’s but it was in the 1980’s that they chose to begin producing wine with their grapes.
The vineyard property in Mendocino County was purchased in 1943. Today they have a total of 450 acres in 4 vineyards including Bliss, Feliz and Contento. The Russian River separates these. Slo Lopin’ is located in the Anderson Valley. The vineyards are home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Dolcetto, Primitivo, Barbera and a small amount of Portuguese grapes. Ten years ago they began growing several Portuguese grapes including Alvarelhao, Bastardo, Sausau, Fiota Cao and Touriga Francesa.
Brutocao Cellars’ tasting room was purchased in 1998 from the Fetzer Family and extensive renovations were made including adding on a restaurant, bistro, landscaping and a large bocce court. Bocce teams gather weekly and whether you enjoy the game itself or watching people having fun it’s worth a visit according to the owners. A patio is located outside of the restaurant.
Brutocao Cellars produces two brands Bliss and Brutocao. Current production is 12,000 cases of Brutocao and 40,000 of Bliss. The Bliss brand wines are five years old and 80 percent estate grown.
Chardonnay, Bliss Vineyard 2008 was fermented in stainless steel. This wine offered apple nuances on the aroma and the taste. The finish was crisp with apple notes. Dolcetto 2007 had an aroma and taste of light red berries. This fruity wine had light tannins. Primitivo Contento 2007 was a dark purple. The aroma had plum and licorice nuances while the taste offered plum, licorice and spice notes. There were tannins on the finish. Coro 2006 was a blend of 60 percent Zinfandel, 20 percent Barbera, 10 percent Syrah and 10 percent Dolcetto. This dark red wine offered dark fruit nuances on the aroma and taste. The finish was fruity with mild tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Hopland Ranches offered an aroma of blackberries with a hint of cedar. There were blackberry nuances on the taste. The finish had tannins with fruit yielding to spice.
Olive Oil Tastings
Olive oil tastings are a delightful experience and available in the Brutocao tasting room in Hopland. Olive oil is produced from olive trees growing on the Brutocao Mendocino property. Olive oil can be purchased by the bottle or in bulk.
Enjoy a visit to Brutocao Cellars tasting room where you will discover an array of wine related merchandise to browse, quality wines to taste and The Crushed Grape Restaurant. Brutocao Cellars also operates a tasting room in the Anderson Valley on Highway 128 in Philo.
Brutocao Cellars Hopland tasting room
13500 S. Highway 101
Hopland, California 95449
GPS: N38º 58.273’ W123º 07.057’
Brutocao Cellars Anderson Valley tasting room
7000 Highway 128
Philo, California 95466
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