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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The (John) Lasseter Family Winery

This past weekend on a quick trip to Northern California, we found a great little winery with a big Disney connection. In the small Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen, you'll find the Lasseter Family Winery owned by John and Nancy Lasseter.  THE John Lasseter of Disney-Pixar!

The Lasseter Family Winery is currently open to the public by appointment only. We were able to make our reservation the morning of our visit. The winery offers intimate tours and tastings for $25 a person. They typically limit each group to 8 people or less so you get a private, intimate feel for the tour and tasting.

We all know Mr.Lasseter can make great animated movies, but what about wine?

We pulled up to the gate and were buzzed in quickly. The winery sits in the middle of a beautiful valley surrounded by grape vines on all sides. The building is well designed but unassuming to blend in with the landscape. The winery is completely off the grid, totally powered by solar panels housed right on the property.

Once inside the gate, we were greeted by our host Cecil. The tour began by tasting some of the many variety of grapes grown on the vineyard. They were amazing and still warm from the California sun. Next up, we headed to the grape processing area below for a brief tour. There we saw the how the grapes are processed and prepared to go into the fermentation tanks. Next door, the barrel room was full of giant oak and steel tanks.

Just beyond that were the fruits of all that labor either aging or boxed and ready to ship. From the barrel room we headed back inside and into a beautifully appointed tasting room, set with several glasses and an amazing cheese plate. Yummy!

Our wines were already poured and waiting for us next to the plate of cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, honey, and chocolate. The Lasseter Family Winery is a small producer of around 3000 cases a year. They specialize in red wine blends that tend to mimic French varieties. Since the Lasseters policy is to only make wines that they like, what you buy is a reflection of their tastes. We tasted all five of their current wines and were offered refills of our favorites. L'ame du Sage was our pick and we eagerly purchased some to take home.The bottle labels are stunning and highlight things that are special to both John and Nancy, as do the names of the wines. For example, their Amoureux wine, a Bordeaux-style blend, is named  to mean "The Lovers" because John and Nancy were introduced to it on their honeymoon in Sonoma County. It adds a playful touch to these really amazing wines.

In the wine room is various Lasseter Family Winery merchandise such as glasses, corks, shirts (even a custom designed John Lasseter style Hawaiian shirt), posters and more. But the best souvenir was the limited edition Pixar wine glasses!! I was instantly drawn to the shelf that housed them. I thought it was only a display until I saw the price tag off to the right. Cecil said they were glasses that John and Nancy had collected from various Pixar premier parties and he only had a handful left. Couldn't pass them up, so now they are on our shelf at home - no one is drinking from these glasses!

Visit the Lasseter Family Winery to own a set of these beauties!

If you would like to visit the Lasseter Family Winery please go to their website or like them on FaceBook and make an appointment. Be sure to tell Cecil that Jason and Molly sent you.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh so jealous! Looks wonderful. Thank you for finding it and putting it on my bucket list. :)