Winery & Tasting Room
Alameda Winery & Tasting Room

1951 Monarch Street, Hangar 25
Alameda, CA 94501

Tel (510) 452-1800

SF City View Patio open by reservation only

Indoor Tasting Room temporary closed

News

San Francisco Chronicle

YOU CAN GO WINE TASTING IN THE BAY AREA AGAIN THIS WEEK, BUT SOME WINERIES WILL REMAIN CLOSED DUE TO RAIN

BY ESTHER MOBLEY

“We are raring to go,” said Mike Dashe, owner of Dashe Cellars in Alameda, a Zinfandel specialist. “We’d been waiting for this announcement.” Still, without a rain covering for his wine garden located in the Naval Air Station, he said he would be delaying the reopening to Feb. 5, in the hopes of clearer skies.


Wineries in the Bay Area, including in Napa and Sonoma, can now reopen for outdoor wine tastings after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted mandatory stay-at-home orders throughout the state on Monday. But many vintners said they were planning to wait at least a week before hosting visitors again, in part because of heavy rain forecasts.

Some wineries planned a quick turnaround. By Monday afternoon, wine tasters could book Tuesday reservations at tasting rooms like boutique Papapietro Perry in Healdsburg and the edgy Prisoner Wine Co. in St. Helena. Jackson Family Wines, one of California’s largest wine companies, said that 11 of its tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma counties would open Tuesday, including Freemark Abbey, Cardinale, La Crema and Copain. Others announced plans to reopen later in the week, such as Napa’s millennial-focused Ashes & Diamonds on Wednesday and Sonoma’s upscale Three Sticks on Thursday.

“We are raring to go,” said Mike Dashe, owner of Dashe Cellars in Alameda, a Zinfandel specialist. “We’d been waiting for this announcement.” Still, without a rain covering for his wine garden located in the Naval Air Station, he said he would be delaying the reopening to Feb. 5, in the hopes of clearer skies.

The news was surely welcome to the more than 50 Wine Country businesses, mostly restaurants and wineries, who recently sued Newsom over the outdoor dining ban. Under the new guidelines announced Monday, restaurants may immediately resume outdoor dining in all Bay Area counties except San Francisco, where restaurants must wait until Thursday. California residents are still advised not to travel more than 120 miles from their home.

“This is a huge step in a positive direction,” said Linsey Gallagher, CEO of Visit Napa Valley, which promotes tourism to the county. She cited the success Napa County has had so far with its vaccine rollout — already, more than 14,000 residents, or 10% of the county population, have received a vaccination — as evidence that it’s taking safety seriously.

The rain, however, was already dampening vintners’ excitement. A rain-protected outdoor patio is currently under construction at Three Sticks, said general manager Prema Behan. Until it’s finished — likely in February — they’ll be able to host just three tables at a time.

Jeremy Kreck, winemaker at Mill Creek Vineyards in Healdsburg, anticipated that there would be a mess of tree limbs and debris to clean out after this week’s storms, and planned to start pouring wine for visitors again on Feb. 5.

Tasting rooms are a vital revenue channel for California wineries, especially smaller-scale ones, and this year they became even more essential for those who had depended on wine sales to restaurants and bars. “Our wholesale distribution throughout the country probably on average is down by 50%,” said Dashe. That’s why reopening the tasting room “is crucial to our operation,” he continued, “especially since it has been a bit of a trauma to have it closed during the whole holiday period.”

Tim Colla, winemaker at Saintsbury in Napa, a winery known for its single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, stressed that reopening a tasting room after being shuttered for more than a month can’t always happen overnight. “Our ability to open isn’t necessarily dictated just by the county’s approval,” he said. “We have to reschedule our tasting room staff, take some time to prepare. There’s a lot of leg work.” Coupled with the atmospheric river on the horizon, he expected Saintsbury to get its doors open sometime after the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.

Several other Bay Area vintners gave a similar, early-February timeline for their projected reopenings, including Ridge Vineyards’ two locations in Cupertino and Healdsburg and Wente Vineyards in Livermore.

But after a year of several back-and-forth guidelines on whether and how wineries can be open for tastings, many vintners were trying not to get their hopes up that this new reopening would be permanent — or that it could save their businesses.

“There’s still a lot of hesitation about how excited we can be about it,” said Katie Bundschu, vice president of sales at the massively popular Gundlach Bundschu Winery and owner of Abbot’s Passage Winery, both in Sonoma. “We’ve been down this road before.”

Bunschu expected both properties to reopen in a limited capacity later this week. But she harbored no illusions that it would feel anything close to normal. “We’re still a year or two away from seeing anything like the foot traffic we saw before COVID,” she said. “That’s not going to happen until people start feeling comfortable getting on a plane again.”

Wine Spectator

13 SPIRITED CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS

BY TIM FISH

Zinfandel lovers are a special breed, being so devoted to the signature California grape. They bicker about which regions and wineries make the greatest versions, and debate which Zinfandel style is best: bold and jammy or sleek and supple? But Zin fans of any stripe can find a bottle to enjoy in this week's selection of newly released reds.


Dashe makes Zinfandel in a restrained style, refraining from too much ripeness and showy oak. The winery puts this on display with one of this week's top scorers, a spicy version with black cherry flavors. Winemaker Rene Calderon uses carbonic maceration to give the red extra richness without relying solely on barrel aging.

Food & Wine Magazine

SPATCHCOCKED SMOKED TURKEY

BY RODNEY SCOTT

Sweet, tangy, and succulent thanks to Rodney Scott’s smoky dry rub and spicy mopping sauce, this turkey is easy to tackle on a kamado-style cooker. While Scott swears by the thermal qualities of a ceramic grill, this turkey also can be cooked in a kettle grill or smoker (or even the oven!) at 225°F.


Suggested Pairing

Berry-scented Grenache: 2017 Dashe 'les enfants terribles'*

Wine Spectator

13 DIVERSE SONOMA VALUES FOR $40 OR LESS

BY AARON ROMANO

Hundreds of wineries and thousands of grapegrowers farm more than 60,000 acres of vines in California's Sonoma County. From Pinot Noir in Sonoma's coastal ridges to Zinfandel and Merlot along its valleys and riverbeds, more than 60 grape varieties thrive in the region’s many microclimates. This week we’ve selected a baker’s dozen of new reviews that show off this regional wine diversity. And to top it off, the wines below are easy on the pocketbook, all priced less than $40.


DASHE
Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Reserve 2017

Score: 91 | $36

WS review: Precise, with a sinewy elegance that draws in bright cherry and cranberry flavors laced with notes of briar, dill and white pepper. Drink now through 2027. 1,526 cases made.—Tim Fish

Wine Enthusiast

10 OF OUR FAVORITE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WINES FOR LESS THAN $30

BY JIM GORDON

When shopping for the great wines of the world, you can learn a lot about a wine’s potential for high quality from the appellation on the bottle. The same is true when looking for great values. Certain Northern California regions, often designated as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) on the bottle, provide important clues for value-minded shoppers.

In general, the smaller the region the more likely the wine will be higher quality. The corollary is that the widest appellations often produce the simplest wines, which is the case for hundreds of Golden State wines labeled as California AVA. It means they could have been made from grapes grown anywhere in the state, often selected largely for their low cost, which is a good proxy for quality.


Dashe Cellars 2019 Les Enfant Terrible Concrete Cuvée Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg); $24, 90 points.

This attractive, technically light-bodied wine fermented in a concrete egg is rich in ripe fruit flavors and has a mouthcoating texture, but stays nicely balanced thanks to underlying acidity.

Wine Spectator

11 EXCITING OFF-THE-RADAR CALIFORNIA REDS

BY MARYANN WOROBIEC

California grows dozens of red grapes besides its famed Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. This week’s list highlights several of these alternative varieties, with many grown in the Golden State's lesser-known corners and by practitioners of the "natural wine" movement, with low-intervention methods to highlight their unique characters and terroirs. And although most of these reds are made in small volumes, they are generally great values for their quality.

New York Times

FINDING THE HEART OF ZINFANDEL

BY ERIC ASIMOV

The comment from Preston G. of San Francisco seemed dismissive and definitive. Over the last month, as this column has been exploring zinfandels that were a step back from the popular over-the-top blockbuster style, he wrote: “Restrained is not authentic to the variety.”


Here at Wine School, expressions of historical certainty about wine generally arouse suspicions, as do assertions of authenticity. They are almost always wrong, yet nonetheless valuable in provoking discussions.


Determining the authenticity of any product is never an easy task. It’s particularly difficult with wine. Its production is largely specialized, with few accessible records to testify to the techniques and goals of long-ago vignerons.


The question of authenticity is especially perplexing in the New World, where decisions about which grapes to plant and what style of wine to make were often entrepreneurial or commercial rather than cultural.


The Dashe, at 14.5 percent alcohol, was rounder and richer, yet pretty, with bright, spicy, floral flavors. It was extremely well-balanced and reminded me of an excellent Southern Rhône blend, although the producers, Mike and Anne Dashe, say only that they were aiming for a “bistro wine,” a bottle made to go well with food.

New York Times

REVISITING ZINFANDEL FROM A LESS BRAWNY ANGLE

BY ERIC ASIMOV

Some people might wonder why we are examining zinfandel at the height of summer. Shouldn’t we save the reds, particularly possibly brawny bottles, for the colder weather?

Not necessarily. Will you not be grilling burgers or spareribs? No chili or tri-tip steaks? How about orange beef that you either make yourself or order for takeout? These zinfandels could be excellent matches for those dishes, regardless of the season.

Help Dashe Cellars. Benefit Yourself and Your Friends.

We Need Your Help. Get a 30% Discount for a Good Deed!

Many (if not most) of you use social media such as FaceBook and Instagram. We would like you to “LIKE US” on social media, and also to go a small step farther. Just take a photo of one of your favorite Dashe wines and post it along with a hashtag #drinkdashe, AND tag us in the photo using @dashecellars. If you include the link https://shop.dashecellars.com/Shop to encourage people to shop, you get extra admiration from us!
 
Here’s what we have in mind:

  1. First of all, start out by liking or following us on your favorite social media platform.
  2. Then, post a photo of your favorite Dashe wine and tag us @dashecellars and use the hashtag #drinkdashe in your caption. You can post photos of yourselves Sheltering in Place with our wine—anything you might be doing, from a dinner, to a living room game, to a picture of your pet with a strategically placed bottle. Anything at all, you'll find some inspiration below.
  3. If you do all of these, we will direct message you with a code for 30% off your next non-wine club purchase of Dashe Cellars wines, and you’ll earn our eternal thanks, as well.

Cabernet Franc, our brand-new 'Les Enfants Terrible' wild child

FINALLY HERE—IT'S CABERNET, IT'S BEAUTIFUL, AND IT'S FROM DASHE!

Yes, you heard that right: Dashe Cellars has released, for the first time, a mindboggling Cabernet Franc! Yes, it’s the wine that our Tasting Room team has been hinting (and occasionally giggling) about, for months. 

Cabernet Franc that is! Yes, the wine that our Tasting Room team has been hinting about is finally here. Not only is it a house favorite, but it's our newest addition to our line of lighter reds, our 'Les Enfants Terribles' Wild Children. Made from grapes grown in Clarksburg on the Heringer Vineyard, this is the first Cabernet Franc we’ve created at Dashe. Made in a Loire Valley style, it shows fresh, vibrant fruit that is complex and mouthfilling. We love how this wine goes with a wide range of foods and is also ideal wine for sipping on its own. The unusual combination of flavors–cassis, blueberry, pomegranate and spice–make this one of the most compelling Dashe wines ever.

Click Here to buy the 2017 Cabernet Franc

Our Wine Club members have been enjoying our pairings for years, now that we are at home and cooking more we wanted to share Anne's perfectly picked pairings with our friends too.

GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH GREEN-OLIVE RELISH

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Archived News

Shipping, Pick-up, and Tasting Room updates during the Cornonavirus Outbreak

At Dashe Cellars the health and safety of our guests and employees is of the utmost importance. In light of the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we are temporarily closing our tasting room doors.
During this closure, we are offering our customers $10 flat-rate UPS Next-Day-Air now that our Warm Weather Shipping is in Effect, coupon code SUMMERSHIP. No one should have to go without creature comforts when hunkering down. Click Here to place your order in our online store or call (510) 452-1800 x4 and Stephanie can help. You are also welcome to drop by the winery Friday and Saturday from 1-4:00 to pick-up wine or schedule a $0 At-Home-Delivery, simply select "Pick-up" or "At-Home-Delivery" at checkout. 
We will continue to monitor and work with guidelines from health authorities, and will evolve our policies accordingly.
Thank you for continuing to support local businesses—in this difficult time we all need to help mitigate the effects of closures, etc. so that we have products and restaurants to return to when this is all over. We are all in this together! Stay safe.
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