Only seven miles southeast of Napa, gently rolling Suisun Valley doesn’t have the name recognition of its neighbor, but there are two mighty fine wineries to be found among its pickup trucks and fruit stands. Although wine grapes have been ripening at Wooden Valley Winery since Prohibition, its wines aren’t available in stores, so the place remains a well-kept secret. The owners, the Lanza family, produce prize-winning whites and reds; sample their 2004 primitivo at the bar made from old redwood casks in their vaulted tasting room. What’s so unique about these wines? “High quality at low prices,” says owner Ron Lanza. “Almost all our wines are $14 and below.” We’ll drink to that.
Buy some sandwiches and fresh strawberries and make a stop at nearby Ledgewood Creek Winery & Vineyards (pictured), where you can admire the vines, flowers, and mountains while you chow down. Dean and James Frisbie corral the wines here. Their chardonnays, cabs, and merlots have racked up impressive awards, but James Frisbie isn’t picky. When asked his favorite, he says, “Anything I got in my hand.” Atta boy.
Wooden Valley Winery, 4756 Suisun Valley Rd., Suisun Valley, 707-864-0730. Open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.
Ledgewood Creek Winery & Vineyards, 4589 Abernathy Rd., Suisun Valley, 707-426-4424. Open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.