Moore Family Winery
Summary: The strength of a lone tree amid a destructive fire parallels the strength of a family that created a beautiful vineyard, winery tasting room, landscaped grounds and wine caves out of the ashes. Visit the family friendly winery and plan to spend time relaxing taking in the views.
In 1994, a devastating fire blackened parts of the land on Bottle Rock Road in Kelseyville. While some saw the destruction, Steve Moore saw the opportunity to create a dream for his family. In 1995 Steve purchased land and started planting vineyards in 1999. When the property was purchased, a single tree remained, a symbol of strength. Steve sees family as a symbol of strength and both symbols are represented on the wine bottle labels. An image of the lone surviving tree is on the front label. Stars representing each family member are scattered on the back label. As the extended family grows, so do the number of stars.
Steve is the owner of Moore Family Winery. His son Beau is the vineyard manager and both Steve and Beau make the wine. Steve’s daughter Stevey is the events co-ordinator. Both Beau’s and Stevey’s families are involved in the winery. The two granddaughters have vineyards named after them.
Beginning in 1999, the whole family pitched in to help plant six acres of vineyards. Over the next three years more acreage of vines were planted. By 2012 the 14 acres at an elevation of 3,000 feet are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and Merlot. Although the vineyard is not certified organic, organic principles are maintained. Sheep and goats graze in the vineyards at certain times of year. Present production in the winery is about 1,000 cases.
Steve is in the mining business and it seems natural that the winery would be housed in a cave. In 2012, two caves were built to make wine, age barrels and provide storage. There are plans in the future to connect the two tunnels possibly creating an event space. Currently the tunnels are not open to the public. They can be seen from the tasting room.
Tasting Room and Grounds
The tasting room and surrounding grounds were designed with families in mind. The Tuscan style tasting room is open and airy. In one corner a wood burning fireplace and comfortable seating area provides a perfect place to taste wines during cooler temperatures. The tasting counter is at the diagonal corner of the room. The counter is a slab of monkey wood supported by two wine barrels. The design allows for easy movement of the tasting counter and furniture to allow for events. During warmer weather, tastings can take place at the many tables and chairs that are outside on the patio.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped. There are two pond areas surrounded by flora. A bocci court draws attention of many visitors that take time to play bocce. There are plenty of grassy areas where children can run around. The grounds provide a wonderful place for families to hike together.
We tasted several wines with Trinity Minty, wine club coordinator, that also took us on a tour of the property.
The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was a straw color.The wine offered citrus especially grapefruit on the aroma and taste while the finish was crisp. The 2010 Chardonnay was a straw color wine made with grapes from Lake County. It offered pear, apple and vanilla aromas and flavors and had a crisp finish. A 2009 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc was a golden yellow color that had floral notes that reminded me of a dried flower arrangement. The wine had a honey taste and a long honey aftertaste.
The 2008 Carley Reece’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was named after one of the granddaughters, Carley. The ruby colored wine had blackberries on the aroma and taste that were accompanied by chewy tannins and a fruit driven finish. The 2009 Malbec was a dark purple. There were boysenberries on the aroma and taste that had hints of earthiness. Tannins were on the finish that had a blackberry fruit aftertaste. A granddaughter named Syrah also has a vineyard named for her. The 2009 Syrah’s Vineyard Syrah was ruby colored with dark fruit and a hint of cedar on the aroma and taste. The finish had tannins and was fruity. The 2009 Wildfire Zinfandel was a ruby color. The wine had dark berry fruit with a hint of licorice on the aroma and taste while there were bold chewy tannins on the finish.
Although the site and tasting room is a great location for events, it is equally wonderful for families to visit. Couples will find a romantic setting where they can taste wines and walk along the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Moore Family Winery
11990 Bottle Rock Road
Kelseyville, California 95451
GPS: N38º 52.443’ W122º 46.294’
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