Sacramento is surrounded by stunning wine regions. While there are more than 200 wineries within an hour’s drive of downtown, there also are winery tasting rooms located within the city limits. If you don’t want to spend time driving but still want to plan a day of wine tasting, you can assemble a satisfying itinerary that requires little logistical maneuvering. You can visit three producers within a 2½-mile walk or drive of each other. I paid these wineries a visit recently and here are the highlights:
My first stop was Bailarin Cellars, located in The Hardin, near Eighth and K. This wine tasting room is situated among a strip of restaurants and bars including MidiCi Pizza, Solomon’s Delicatessen, Kodaiko Ramen, Ruhstaller and Tiger. The winery specializes in elegantly styled white, rose and red wines from Sonoma County, including their flagship production, the Bailarin Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir. Additionally, the tasting room doubles as an espresso bar that serves locally roasted Insight Coffee.
It’s clear that the winery has made some adjustments to maintain social distancing. Visitors are asked to make an online or over-the-phone reservation to taste wine while seated on their outdoor patio. Bailarin is also offering another alternative: to-go tasting kits, like the mini Summer Sipper set that I picked up, which includes a selection of three wines in 5-ounce bottles. With the purchase of the sampler set, guests are invited to schedule a virtual tasting appointment (which lasts about an hour) with a member of the Bailarin team or they can simply follow along at home with the provided tasting sheet. If you want to continue to enjoy Bailarin at home, you can join their wine club that ships twice yearly.
Happy with my Bailarin small bottle set, I continued my wine tasting journey and headed to Acheson Wine Company on 19th Street. While tiny in size, this spot has a lot to offer wine lovers. At Acheson, you can try their wines via a take-home tasting flight of four wines. When you decide on your favorite wine, you can place an order and they will fill reusable glass liter bottles with your selections. Hungry? They’ve got you covered with pre-packaged pasta and sauces made by Cacio, an Italian-themed restaurant in the Pocket. If you live within a 5-mile radius of the tasting room, free delivery is also an option. Also, you can take advantage of extra perks and discounts by joining the new monthly Acheson Wine Club.
I picked up a bottle of Acheson Grenache Blanc to get me through the 100–degree days, and made my way over to Revolution Winery and Kitchen for happy hour. This tasting room offers more than just wine. Revolution is set up as a proper restaurant, rather than a tasting room, with seating available on the outside patio. I grabbed a seat and quickly reviewed the disposable paper menus. Ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal, and there are plenty of tasty options and vegetarian/vegan dishes. I ordered the happy hour deviled eggs with pickled onions, dill and lardon, and a glass of Revolution Clarksburg Chenin Blanc.
I asked the server how things had changed in the time of COVID-19 and she noted the most noticeable shift has occurred because of social distancing. Revolution Winery has always been a gathering spot where friends meet up and strangers interact. The mood is much more subdued now that capacity has been reduced to accommodate new safety protocols. That said, the staff was friendly and accommodating, and Revolution offered a nice experience for the afternoon. Guests can also take home canned wine and refill 1L bottles. Revolution Winery also offers a wine club with plenty of benefits and special offers for members.
I purchased a cheerful–looking bottle of Petillant Natural (natural sparkling) rosé of syrah that I could chill and enjoy with my friends in the Sacramento heat… at a distance, of course.
If you’d like more information about these wineries, please visit the links below.