Don’t be discouraged by the red barn and small tasting room.  It can be a sign of great wines to be tasted!  Such is the case with this fine winery in Truckee.  Owner Russ Jones knows his wines, especially Pinot Noir. As a graduate of UC Davis, he has spent much time studying and learning in Oregon, Washington, and the Pasa Robles area.  Winemaking started for Russ and his wife back in 1989.  Over the years, they have grown and now have a cozy, comfortable  tasting room with very friendly staff to try their great wines.  Most of the grapes are sourced from the Lodi and Monterey regions.  All the wine making process from crushing, to fermenting, to aging, to bottling is done locally.  You’ll likely be greeted at the front door by their wine canine connoisseurs, Max and Hamond. At the wine bar, you’ll have two fine wine flights to select from; traditional and reserve. As a couple, we tried both and didn’t waste a drop.  The 2014 Pinot Gris is sourced from Lodi. It is moderately acidic with good apple notes.   The other white Lodi sourced wine is a 2014 Chardonnay. That wine is a very nice crisp, citrus, and floral treat.  The Red Barn Red is a local favorite and by far the most popular. It’s a red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Tempranillo. It has some smokiness and tastiness that adds to the full body tasting experience and it is an easy every day red wine.  The 2013 Zinfandel from Lodi is sourced from a vineyard that has been around since the 1930’s, so it is a true old vine wine.  Ahhh….real Zin!  Toasty and earthy…what’s not to like?  The 2014 Merlot is another Lodi sourced red. It’s a good easy drinking smooth Merlot that would pair well with many dishes.  Next, the menu transitions into Russ’s favorite varietals, the Pinots. Two Pinot Noirs showcase the quality of the winemaker’s skills and love for this varietal. The 2014 Pinot Noir is sourced out of Monterey County. Aged for a good two years, you’ll savor the taste of cherries and medium tannins. Bring on that pork chop for pairing!  Next is the 2012 “Best Man” Pinot Noir.  Another wine made from grapes sourced from Monterey County, these grapes came from Gary’s Vineyard.  Yes!  Everything that is great comes from that place and coupled with a very passionate winemaker, you get something no less than super awesome!  Aged for a nice long three years in new French Oak, you get all the rich deep flavors and notes that you were expecting.  These two Pinot Noir wines will entice even a non Pinot lover. They will also tempt you to want to purchase more than just a couple of bottles because they are truly just that great! The 2013 Malbec is sourced from the Chalk Hill AVA in Sonoma.  It’s tannic and chocolate flavors linger nicely. Rounding up the lineup is the Apres Dessert Wine.  It’s a traditional fortified port style wine made with Tinta Madera, Tinta Cao, Touriga and Sauzao. Have your best chocolate ready for that one!  Not on the list is a Rose’ that was released for Valentine’s Day. It’s a blend a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot.  A very nice treat when it’s in the 70’s in Lake Tahoe during the skiing season!  This a great quality winery close to Lake Tahoe and a great compliment to the town of Truckee.  Make sure to add this into your list of places to visit when on your next trip to the area and chat and sip with the tourists, locals, and staff. There is even Bocce available outside if you’re interested in getting in a little game while you relax and enjoy!

IMG_8391 - Truckee River Winery