Ron and Kristin West and their children, owners of Varaison Vineyards & Winery (pronounced like raisin) offers a truly unique experience at their winery. They pride themselves on educating you on the proper techniques of tasting wine, and son, Alex, has this down to a tee! He is extremely knowledgeable and VERY enthusiastic about teaching you the “how tos.” But don’t let quiet brother, Andrew, fool you, he knows his stuff, too! The current West family is the 5th generation to live in the Grand Valley and is producing some delicious wines.
Varaison adds a little different twist in the naming of their wines, and predominately produces them in the Old World style. Their 2007 Merlot is called Bin 3115 and was aged in oak barrels. It is a fruit forward wine with tastes of black cherry, plum and hints of milk chocolate. They also have a 2007 Merlot called Bin 405, that they aged in stainless steel tanks with 7 “oak exchanges.” The two are amazingly different, yet from the same grape and vintage. You can’t take my word for it, you will have to taste it for yourself!
The winery is adding a new product to their tasting room…truffles. They are still experimenting with the final product but I was able to sample a few paired with their wines. What is interesting is some of the ingredients…sundried tomatoes and blue cheese and yet tastes like chocolate!
In addition to their tasting room, they also have an events center for private parties up to 400 people, with 125 ideal. The facility features a catering kitchen and includes a 100 year old pizza oven. Whether you are at Varaison to taste wine or attend an event, you must take a walk through their formal English rose garden, tended by daughter Ashleigh.