Sunset's 2011 Western Wine Awards
2011 Western Wine Scene
This year's top wine bars, tasting rooms, and wine pros
Best Tasting RoomsPrettiest: 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.