Guest Post by Jim Nelson, Three Cellars Owner
I started Three Cellars in October 2006 with my son-in-law, Shawn, to provide customers with excellent customer service and knowledge when purchasing fine wines and craft beers. We have grown over the years to offer wine schools and off-site tastings.
My background is in wine. I enjoy helping customers pick the perfect wine to pair with a meal or teaching customers how to cook with wine. My wife, Norma, and I taste all the wines we bring into the store so we can provide first-hand knowledge, including growing area information. I also personally train the staff on the wines we sell.
Over the years, many customers have asked us to put together wine tours. We’ve done a couple of one-day wine and beer bus tours here in Wisconsin. Recent requests have asked for wine tours in California.
I find when most people think California wine they think Napa and Sonoma, however, only a small portion of wine made in California comes from these two counties. I knew if I were to put together a California wine tour I wanted to cover more wine regions than Napa and Sonoma. That is how the California Wine Tour with Three Cellars was born.
California is the hot spot for wine in the United States and provides the greatest cross-section of different viticultural areas or wine grape-growing regions. Great wines are coming out of the central coast—especially Paso Robles—and out of the central valley region. Including these wine regions, with Napa and Sonoma, provides a better overview of the various California wine regions and their terroir and varietal variations.
This tour will appeal to wine enthusiasts of all kinds. I think what makes this tour special are the different American Viticultural Areas we will be touring. The wineries selected for the trip provide excellent wine tasting opportunities and are a great example of the regions’ known characteristics. There will also be free time for travelers to do additional sightseeing, so no need to worry about not experiencing it all.
To get you excited about the trip, here is a quick cooking tip for you that I love. Take a couple pats of butter and a couple of teaspoons of EVOO in a sauté pan and add about a cup of California Sauvignon Blanc. Then add a vegetable such as an asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and sauté until tender. I like the Sauvignon Blanc because it adds a nice citrus flavor to the vegetables.