Roll Out the Barrels


Question: What do you get the wine lover who has everything? Answer: a barrel of wine. At Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, a boutique winery 70 miles north of Sacramento in the Sierra foothills, you can purchase wine at the barrel level for a fraction of the retail price. A barrel of the winery’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (equal to 25 cases of wine) is $4,500—about half the bottle price. “We do barrel tastings on a regular basis so that customers can sample the wine before they buy it,” says Renaissance sales manager John Brooks. “We slap their name right on the barrel and will bottle and label it for them.” Renaissance will store your wine for free for up to a year; after that, you pay a nominal fee.