Wood Family Vineyards
From high in the sky to down to earth wines!! Yes Rhonda Wood, winemaker/owner of Wood Family Vineyards used to fly planes (US Airways) but now can be found in the vineyards tending vines. She and husband Michael (with their two sons), have a winery in eastern Livermore. Rhonda started making wine in 1996. Besides sourcing wine on their property (Merlot), they are have 17 specific vineyards which are manicured to their specifications throughout Livermore’s ideal climate.
Rhonda and the family winery are small in comparison to some of the Livermore’s popular known name wineries, but have been regarded for years as one of the top quality wine producers. For example, just recently they received the following accolades with many more coming:
2014 Chardonnay Livermore Valley BEST OF CLASS Tri-Valley Uncorked Wine Competition 2015 SILVER Best of Bay Competition 2015 SILVER San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Especial” GOLD San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2015 SILVER Indy International Wine Competition 2015
2013 Zinfandel “Big Wood” Livermore Valley GOLD San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016 GOLD Indy International Wine Competition 2015
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley SILVER San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016
While Rhonda may state her favorite wines are her Petite Syrah, Zinfandel “Big Wood Zin” or her Merlot, personally I have enjoyed for at least 15 years her Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Her Chardonnay, a regular for summer time crowds, is call “Para Mas Amigas” meaning “for more girlfriends”. This was not on purpose, but some rusty Spanish made it thus! She was trying to say “for my girlfriends”. She has made many friends, of both sexes, all enjoying her Chardonnay. It has lingering tropical fruits, peach and pear in the palate. A portion under goes 100% secondary malolactic fermentation, but allows a final mix, to allow old world and new world Chardonnay to coexist in harmony. In a recent conversation, she has blended her Chardonnay from both “tightly grained barrels and loosely grained barrels” into the final production wine.
Our other favorite is her Cabernet Sauvignon “Especial”. What sets this apart from her already good Cabernet Sauvignon, is that this “Especial” come from the Smith Ranch Vineyard, on the southern side of Livermore. Additionally this is aged in 100% new French oak barrels. This wine is deep ink purple in color and has a nose which Rhonda states “from last night’s campfire is the first aroma to emerge from the glass and is quickly followed by succulent figs and other purple fruits” and “one sip and your palate is engulfed by chocolate raspberry truffles and sweet cola but the wine is dry”.
Besides those wines just mentioned, she makes a Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel “Muy Bueno”, Merlot, Petite Syrah and a 50/50 Blend (a late harvest Zinfandel with Petite Sirah).
Wood Family Vineyards has a thriving Wine Club and celebrates various special days during the year with several “Open House” events. Typically live music, artisan cheese, chocolates and even chili can be served. The events are always outstanding. Her trademark label with the “Woody cars” are often on display by their guests and worth a viewing in person.
We want her creativity in the winery not in the air doing acrobatics or teaching Spanish lessons—she is in the right place making excellent wines.
It’s all good at Wood! http://woodfamilyvineyards.com
If you like this post, please hit the Follow and Subscribe buttons on the right side of the page. Also check out: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaWinesAndWineries/ for more wine information.