Part I


It’s summertime again and so my thoughts start to wander to wine and the wineries which create this nectar of the gods.

And, living in California, one of the premier places in the world for wineries, I’m going to talk about wineries and wine making for the next several posts.

You may ask, what does wine have to do with oaks?

A lot.

But we will explore the relationship slowly and in a round-about fashion.

First, we will visit some US wineries that have the word “oak” as a part of their name.


Allison Oaks Vineyards

Located in Yadkinville, NC. Owned by the Renegar family, it was founded in 1997 on a former airstrip. Check out their Wine Glossary on the website to familiarize yourself with the language of wine. Their wine listing offers several blends of fruity wines including a muscadine and ice wine blend.


Ancient Oak Cellars

Located in Santa Rosa, CA. Their motto is “Real Dirt. Real People. Real Wine.” The grapes come from three family estate vineyards. They pride themselves on their sustainability practices and certification by the LODI Rules:  Wines come in blends and varietals that are usually seen on the California landscape, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Auburn Twin Oaks

Located in Chagrin Falls, OH. This relatively new winery (2010) opened their doors offering an unusual dessert wine, Maple & Vine. Since then they have added others including Merlot, Zinfandel, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon. And now they have a Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple & Vine.


Barrel Oak Winery

Located in Delaplane, VA. This is a dog friendly winery that is open for family fun as long as you obey the “Doghaus” rules which include:  “ We are a working farm and state law clearly states that as such, we are not responsible for your death or dismemberment while on our property. Please don’t let yourself become dead or dismembered; we’d feel just awful about it!” One has to appreciate their sense of humor. And, oh yes, they sell wines too. Wines such as Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and an unusual Petit Manseng. 


Black Oak Vineyard

Located in Princeton, KY. Owned and operated by Dr.s  David and Pete Hall, father and son. Known for their blackberry wine, they also offer a Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Concord wines.


Blue Oak Vineyard

Located in Napa, CA. This small production winery (only three acres of vineyards) specializes in the Merlot grape. In  describing their latest Merlot blend they call it “strong, masculine yet not overpowering tannins, this wine provides scintillating black cherry depth, a gorgeous purplish hue and a languous finish.” My kind of wine.


Burr Oak Winery

Located in New Lisbon, WI. They offer many red and white blends and several dessert wines which include an ice wine.



Part II

When the Spanish missionaries came to California they planted the first wine grapes, what we now call “Mission” grapes. Eventually these were replaced by grape species that we are all now familiar with, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.

The US is the fourth largest producer of wines in the world behind Italy, France and Spain. In the US, California is the greatest producer of wines, accounting for 90% of the trade (over 3,300 bonded wineries). They are followed by Washington, Oregon, and New York although there are wineries in all fifty states. (Wine for Dummies 237-9)


Castle Oaks Winery

Located in Athens, TX. Opened in 2013 by the Littleton family they offer a variety of red and white blends and varietals including Malbec, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Moscato and others.


Charter Oak Winery

Located in St. Helena, CA. Calling itself a boutique winery in the heart of Napa Valley, this is a family owned business . Tours of the winery and the art studio of Layla Fanucci are available. Wines sold include Petit Sirah, Canernet, Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.


Chestnut Oak Vineyard

Located in Barboursville, VA. They offer Cabernet Sauvignon, and the unusual Petit Manseng. For those, who like myself do not know this wine, they have a little history note concerning it:   ”This variety of grape has been grown since the Middle Ages at the foothills of the Pyrenees - in Jurançon in the southwest of France. According to legend, the wine of Jurançon was served at the baptism of King Henry IV in the year 1553. “


Collin Oaks Winery

Located near McKinney, Texas. Specializing in sweet and semi-sweet unfiltered wines, they do not ship. Besides the classic Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon they also offer unusual wines such as blueberry, blackberry, and hibiscus wines. A family owned and operated business, they believe in being a part of their community by participating in local events such as the Mesquite Rodeo, the McKinney Oktoberfest, the Grapevine Grapefest, as well as the State Fair.


Cooper’s Oak Winery  (They don’t appear to have a dedicated webpage).

Located in Higbee, Missouri.  Opened in 2006 this winery is situated on the land of A & K Cooperage which makes oak barrels. They also feature the historic Higbee jail which is found in the wine cellar.


Costal Oak Vineyards

Located in the heart of California wine country, Sonoma. They offer four of California’s most popular grapes:  Cabernet Suvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

Coyote Oaks Vineyards

Located in Escondido, California just a short drive from my home (yahoo!).  It is “nesteled among 300 year old oak trees that whisper the secrets of the coyote trodden paths. The sun-filled terroir has captured a unique moment in time that will make your taste buds howl in delight.” (Just had to include this quote). This is a small production winery of 200 to 400 cases a year. They offer Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, and red blends. The tasting room is open!


Double Oak Vineyards & Winery

Located in Nevada City, CA. They call their wines the “ultimate slow food” which “creates a synergy with other foods and promotes conviviality.” With only nine acres of vines, they pride themselves on their hands-on approach to winemaking where their goal is to “guide but not control, to manage but not manipulate.” Offerings include Merlot, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Rose.


More to come.