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Wildhurst Vineyards
by
Kathy Sullivan

Wildhurst VineyardsSummary: The Wildhurst Vineyards’ tasting room is located in Kelseyville, a small town in Lake County, California. Travelers will discover a delightful tasting room filled with an array of home products as well as a tasting counter staffed by friendly wine enthusiasts. As of summer 2012, a patio with an earthen oven, tables and chairs has been added for visitors to enjoy.

Wildhurst VineyardsWildhurst Vineyards tasting room is located in the delightful small town of Kelseyville in Lake County. Equally delightful is the tasting room with a friendly and enthusiastic staff as well as numerous home gifts to enjoy exploring. We soon learned that everyone works together as a team.

While we enjoyed visiting the tasting room in Kelseyville, we also liked the visit to the winery and vineyards in the outskirts of Kelseyville. The winery facility is located in the midst of pear orchards and vineyards. Wildhurst is Gallic for “tree.” The Wildhurst logo is a tree and this logo is used on the wine bottle labels.

Originally the owners of Wildhurst Vineyards, Myron and Marilyn Holdenried, were pear growers. The Holdenrieds are fifth generation farmers in Lake County. While many of the pear orchards continue, 400 acres of land are planted with vineyards. The Home Ranch has Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot, Riesling, Muscat, Orange Muscat and Syrah. The Plunkett Vineyards are filled with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery keeps grapes for producing Wildhurst wines and sells the rest to other wineries.

Wildhurst VineyardsWinemaker

Banyon Kirkendall is an enthusiastic person and his enthusiasm is contagious. We met Banyon in the tasting room where despite being busy he welcomed us and took the time to show us the baking oven he was building with soil from the vineyards. While in college, Banyon had built the same type of earthen oven. Banyon was confidant the oven would work and that soon he would be using it to bake bread sticks and more. The earthen oven will be located on the new patio to the side of the tasting room.

At the winery facility, about two miles on the outskirts of Kelseyville, we learned that Wildhurst is also a custom crush facility. While at the winery, Banyon noted that 100 percent of the wine production takes place at Wildhurst.

Wildhurst VineyardsWhite Wines

We tasted several wines with Banyon at the winery. Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a straw color. The wine had an aroma of grapefruit and tropical notes. The taste had pineapple and grapefruit nuances. The finish was crisp and fruity with fruit yielding to some grass. Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was a straw color. The aroma had grapefruit notes with a hint of tropical fruit. The taste offered pineapple and banana nuances. The crisp finish had tropical fruits yielding to grass. Reserve Chardonnay 2010 was aged in American oak and had a yellow color. The wine offered pear and apple notes while the finish was crisp. Orange Muscat was bright yellow with good clarity. The wine had an orange aroma and the taste was dry. Orange notes lingered on the finish. This is a food friendly wine.

Wildhurst VineyardsRed Wines

Merlot 2009 was a dark opaque purple. The aroma was of dark fruit. Tannins were on the taste and finish. A suggested pairing was with duck. Reserve Petite Sirah 2009 was a very dark purple. The aroma was of dark fruit such as dark raspberries while the taste had dark fruit notes. The finish offered tannins, with dark fruit nuances lingering. Zinfandel 2009 Home Ranch Vineyard was aged in 100 percent American oak. The aroma and taste were of red berry fruits. Spice was noticed on the taste. Mild tannins were on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was from the Plunkett Creek series. The wine was a dark ruby with notes of blackberry and blueberry. The fruity finish had tannins.

Port

Port was made with Zinfandel grapes. The color was ruby with a Sienna rim. The Port offered notes of dried fruit.

Enjoy a visit to the Wildhurst tasting room where you will receive a friendly welcome and have an opportunity to taste Wildhurst wines while browsing the extensive array of home items.

Wildhurst Vineyards
3855 Main Street
Kelseyville, California 95451

 


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