Russ Winton: Wine List

A vote for Berryhill wines

The Berryhill Family farms over 600 acres of premium wine grapes. In 2016, Bill and Triana Berryhill decided it was time to follow their dream and open a winery. The Berryhill Family is proud to release its first estate-grown wines, certified, Lodi Rules Sustainable, from the Borden Ranch Region in Lodi.

The 2016 Chardonnay has racked up two 90-point scores, an Editor’s Choice Award, one gold and three silver medals. The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc picked up a 95 point State Fair Gold, an Editor’s Choice Award and two silver medals. On the red side, the 2016 Merlot scored a 91, gold and two silver medals. The 2016 Zinfandel earned a silver medal and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, a bronze. These awards, for a first release from a small family winery, are like a rookie hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat. Congratulations to Berryhill Family Vineyards. Check out their website for more information or better yet, join their wine club. I hear they throw amazing pick-up parties.

This first vintage is dedicated to father Claire. To honor his legacy, 25 cents per bottle will be donated to the non-profit Community Hospice Foundation.

November tastings

The SLO Coast Collective is hosting the “Harvest on the Coast” at Avila Beach, Nov. 1-3. It begins with a winemaker dinner at Filipponi Ranch on Friday. Then, a Grand Tasting (60-plus wineries) and live auction on Saturday. Followed on Sunday with all local wineries hosting open houses. More at

The 17th annual Madera Holiday Spirit Weekend is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 & 10. Early Bird Tickets are $20. For tickets and information go to

Eight sessions of the Vintner’s Holidays in Yosemite begin Nov. 3. First up is Domaine Carneros, Twomey Cellars, Silver Oak Cellars and Halleck Vineyards. Wow! What a line-up. Each winery does a sit-down tasting/seminar in the Grand Hall of the Ahwahnee Hotel. One evening is a meet-the-winemaker social with wine and passed appetizers. The final event is a five-course meal paired with wines in the beautiful Ahwahnee Dining Room. Yosemite in November is very quiet, cool and calm. Check out

90-point bargains

These wines fall into my “daily drinker” category and are priced around $10. There are two 2018 Roses,’ Charles and Charles and SeaGlass; 2017 Bogle Sauvignon Blanc; 2017 Edna Valley Pinot Grigio; 2018 J. Lohr Bay Mist Riesling: 2017 Castle Rock Cuvee Pinot Noir. My favorite house red is the 2016 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, just $7.99. Cheers!