One of the great things about visiting Wine Country is the number of stories and history each Winery has. While these vary greatly, one of particular interest is that of Terra Valentine. While that winery as an entity only dates back to 1999, their facility has a much longer and pretty fascinating back story. The building that is the Terra Valentine Winery as well as a guest cottage on their property were both built by original owner Fred Aves. Over many years he built everything by hand. This included stained glass windows, doors, cast metal stairs, a multitude of stonework and much more. Visiting Terra Valentine is a fascinating insight into the vision of an iconoclast and his singular drive to create something unique. Fred Aves did make wine at the winery which he called Yverdon, for a number of years. But he was a reclusive fellow and didn’t really share his craft or his creations with many.
About a decade ago Angus and Margaret Wurtele discovered the property up for sale after Fred had passed on. They purchased it and spent time cleaning it up and adding modern winery equipment. While they make a number of other wines the focus at Terra Valentine is on Cabernet Sauvignon. They make several single vineyard designates both from the property the winery sits on and another Spring Mountain District parcel the Wurtele’s own.
Each of the Cabernet’s I tried was delicious and well made. Amore, their blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon really stood out to me. It was a classic food wine that paired very well with the bites of food served with the tasting.
Visiting Terra Valentine requires an advance appointment. They have several standard tour times per day. Outside of that they do their best to accommodate visitor’s needs. Once you’re there you get a tour of the facility while tasting the first wine. The day I went it was a lovely Viognier. Once the tour is over you proceed to a spacious tasting room. There at grand table you sit down and go through quite a few of their other wines. As I mentioned above these are paired with some small bites to nibble on. Overall you spend a bit over an hour there. You’ll get to tour a fascinating and beautiful facility with a unique history and taste some really nice wines. This is an excellent way to spend some time in my book. When you do go, give yourself plenty of time to get there. The road up Spring Mountain is windy and takes longer than the actual distance might seem to indicate.