Sunset's 2011 Western Wine Awards

Our judges tasted 500 wines to bring you the most extraordinary. Plus this years top wine bars, tasting rooms, and wine pros

2011 Western Wine Scene

This year's top wine bars, tasting rooms, and wine pros

Best Tasting Rooms
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Best Tasting Rooms

Prettiest: Denner Vineyards
Built against a hill in a series of graceful arcs set off by modern metalwork, the complex is at once an efficient gravity-flow production space and a work of art. By appointment only; $10 tasting fee; dennervineyards.com.

Most entertaining: Francis Ford Coppola Winery
You gotta love sipping a mojito poolside—at a winery. From the movie museum (with props from films) to the hunks of meat coming off the Argentine grill at the winery restaurant, the father of The Godfather is a master of entertainment, even when it comes to his wine. Pool pass $15, no tasting fee; 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA; franciscoppolawinery.com.

Best place to spend a day: Raymond Vineyards (shown here)
Forget sitting around when there's a blending lab (you blend), plus a pool table and karaoke if you reserve in advance. Tasting fee from $10; 849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, CA; raymondvineyards.com.

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