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I wanted to love this place. I mean, really wanted to love it! I even wrote on my itinerary: Oak Mountain Winery: MUST VISIT! They had several bubblies on their website so I was super excited about that. I had really high hopes and was beyond excited to visit.
When we drove up, it was beautiful…I literally stopped to take a picture of the gates because I just loved them so much. They were big and welcoming and you drove up this big hill…you felt like you were about to be transported into an amazing experience.
We began by just walking about to explore the area. The first place we found was the Pavilion – it was set banquet style with a bunch of round tables so we weren’t sure if that was normal or for something specific. I am not sure if it is always like that or not. But it was definitely not the feel we wanted for our experience. And no one was serving at the tables, so you still walked up to the small bar for your tasting.
It was definitely and odd feel for a tasting, but would make for a great event space.
We then found the tasting room-it was small and dark, not very inviting. You walked up the to bar and stood there to do your tasting. It was very crowded (and yes, it was a Saturday) and there were only two people working.
I ask a lot of questions about the wine I am about to drink and we had one attendant who was full of knowledge and excited to share and the other who we both thought was fairly new (because of her lack of knowledge that she shared) but it turns out she’s been there over 4 years. So that was a bit disappointing.
Finally made our way to the cave-beautiful space but you can only taste their if you’re a member. If the cave was the first place we found wandering about, it would have been great. Although we couldn’t taste there, so we still would have been sent to the other rooms, but the cave it what really makes this place unique.
Since we had a charcuterie tray, we were allowed to bring it in there with our last tasting. You could eat there if you’re a member or not and it was SUPER crowded with what looked like a long wait. We were able to sit at a high top and finish our charcuterie tray and our last glass of wine.
The reason we made it a point to go here around lunch time is because we saw pictures of their food on Instagram. And when we drove past it, they won an award for best outdoor restaurant. So, we figured it was a perfect lunch time spot.
Because the wait for sit down lunch was long, we figured we’d order a favorite of ours, a charcuterie tray and use that as our lunch time snack.
The charcuterie tray was beautiful, but unfortunately it looked better than it really was. The chocolate was good as was the cheese. The grapes we devoured. The prosciutto was leather-like and not edible. And I am not exaggerating when I say that we tried to cut it with a butter knife and were unsuccessful. And the bread was on the drier side. Overall, we ate good chunk of it, but I would never order it again.
They have a good selection of bubblies and I was able to taste four of them.
Now to be clear, I am not a bubbly snob. I typically don’t mind pouring one after another in the same glass. Because they had a lot of really fruity bubblies, I did ask for them to be poured in the “right” order to be sure I could really taste them and not have one taint the other. Because the fruit sparkling wines were so fruity, I do wish she would have rinsed each glass before pouring the next one.
This was my favorite….not too sweet and on the drier side. This is very unique to them as they are 1 of only 2 wineries in the country that make a Pinotage sparkling. It’s actually a red grape, but a white wine because they didn’t use the skin. I would buy a bottle of this to have on hand for sure.
This was overpowering with sweetness, so if you like sweet, you’ll love it! Had I mixed it with the Cave this might had been really enjoyable. All of their fruit sparkling wines are made with real fruit, including the sangria.
This was very fruity and personally didn’t remind me of sangria at all. I would maybe use this wine to create a sangria, but by itself, I didn’t enjoy it.
This had a super fruity aroma with a taste to match. Keep in mind, I don’t like too fruity or too sweet, so this one wasn’t a win for me.
Honestly I wish I had seen this. It’s $45 and you get 6 tastings, a meat and cheese tray for 2 and a tour that starts in the vineyard and takes you down into the cave. This is a great deal and would be a very fun experience for sure.
They do have several wine club offerings staring at just 1 bottle for up to 6. 1 bottle is very unique and super handy for people like me who join too many wine clubs. They have a bubbles only club too.
Their wine club gives you free tastings/month (the number depends on the type of membership) and then discounts on additional tasting fees, bottles of wine and food.
Their overall grade is a C. I understand that we visited on a weekend and it was crowded in the general tasting room, but it didn’t matter which place we entered, the pavilion, the tasting room or the cave, we weren’t greeted and didn’t feel welcomed.
In the tasting room, we felt like they just wanted to pour and move on since there were so many people so we learned very little about the wine we were drinking.
Unless you’re a club member and able to do your tastings in the cave, the ambiance of the rest of the place leaves a lot to be desired.
Unfortunately, this was a very disappointing experience and one I don’t ever feel like I need to visit again.
The Caves are really cool and very unique, , in fact, they are the only mined wine caves in Souther California so I highly recommend doing the tour if you want to experience this winery…I think that is the way to go to learn about the winery, the wines your tasting and get to experience their wine and food at the same time especially considering a tasting alone on the weekend is $20/person.
We visited Oak Mountain Winery right before they had to close due to the pandemic. We decided to pause all of our winery reviews/report cards since they were closed.
As wineries are opening back up, please check their website first for new guidelines and procedures before you head out to visit.
Are you curious about our thoughts on other wineries in the area and how we came up with the report card? Go check these out.
August Hill Winery, An Unexpected Hidden Gem in Illinois
Red Top Winery: A Daringly Different Experience
St Julian Winery-Incredible Winery Guaranteed to WOW Everyone
8 Southern Michigan Wineries-The Best Bubbly and Experience
Masía de la Vinya-An impressive winery creating an awe-inspiring experience