Of the three wineries producing a good bottle of wine in Orange County, Giracci Vineyards & Farm is the prettiest, and most similar to a traditional wine estate. The similarity of all three wine makers? Besides working in the OC, they are blending grape from Paso Robles.
Giracci sits in the canyons east of Yorba Linda and Orange off Santiago Canyon Road east of the 241 toll road. If you hit Cooks Corner on this road you’ve gone too far east. Turn around and come back.
Giracci is in horse country, but they’ve added a wine component. We’ve been there a number of times over the past year, even recommending it as a venue for a wedding. Thankfully they took our advice and we were able to spend the day in a beautiful place with a good bottle of wine and good friends, both new and old.
We recently revisited Giracci, driving through Orange County’s gold hills and canyons in our convertible, enjoying smells of sage and sounds of fluttering birds.
It’s always a treat being up in the canyons above Orange County. Down at the beach or working in an urban environment, we become desensitized to noise. After driving the canyon and exiting your car at Giracci, there is no sound but the crunching of gravel under your shoes, the heat ticking and bleeding from your car and the occasional horse neighing.
You forget it can actually be that quiet.
They have four levels of tasting, two at $10 and two more at $15. The best way to describe it is a standard flight and a premium flight, a standard flight of reds only, a reserve flight of reds only. Then a standard flight of mixed whites and reds, and a premium flight of mixed whites and reds.
On this particular trip we chose the premium red flight. All of their reds are from Paso Robles even though they do grow grape on the estate. Their first vintage was 2006. Here’s what we tasted:
2008 Zinfandel, $25 -✰
2009 Zinfandel, $25 ✰
2008 Merlot $27 ✰+
2009 Merlot, $27 ✰
2008 Syrah, $29 ✰
2009 Syrah, $29 ✰
2010 Syrah, $29 ✰
While we didn’t taste any of their whites on this visit, we have tasted them in the past. In fact on our first visit, the owner was pouring wine and invited us to sample his whites, saying, ‘You owe it to yourself to taste these wines.’ They were blends and we’ll include them here. We enjoyed both.
2009 Dueto (Pino Grigio & Viogner) $18 ✰+
2011 Battaglia ( Chardonnay, Symphony, Reisling, Savignon Bland & Viogner) not currently available. ✰+
So when you have some time, slow down, take a drive up Santiago Canyon, take a lunch and sample a tasty bottle of wine at Giracci. They’re located at 16162 Jackson Ranch Road in Silverado. You can follow the link above to their web site.
Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Bakersfield.