Traveled up Napa Valley's Silverado Trail, drove east at Deer Park Road, and continued to Summit Lake Vineyards where one is greeted by three winery dogs. It's a treat to see five pigs, two horses, two pygmy goats, a gaggle of ducks, beautiful multi-colored eggs from the chicken coop, and today, an eight-week old squirrel. This is the thirty-eight year old winery in rural Angwin.
We were first introduced to Summit Lake Vineyards at a "Taste of Howell Mountain" five years ago. It was one of the few wines I tasted at the event. I told my husband, "I found a wine I really like [and described the label,] but I don't know what winery it was." Hunting the Taste of Howell Mountain website until he came across a bottle label I described, we made reservations to visit Summit Lake. Immediately I fell in love with the place, it reminded me of growing up in Mariposa, California, and particularly of my best friend's home.
Last year we happened upon one of Summit Lake's pig roasts when we stopped to pick up wine. They were hosting vineyard workers for a thank you dinner, and invited us to stay. That was a very memorable night.
Tonight they barbecue-roasted a whole 100 pound pig, boiled two cases of corn on the cob, had a friend make a green mole and a red mole, and baked five pans of the most delicious bread pudding for dessert. The seventy-five guests (all wine club members) also enjoyed a cheese plate, huge Diablo prawns, fresh-caught and smoked trout, and a beautiful garden salad. The Brakesman family worked hard to provide an outstanding event.
2006 Summit Lake Zinfandel
2006 Summit Lake "Emily Kestrel" Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Summit Lake "Sophia Lynn" Petite Syrah
2002 Summit Lake "Claire Riley Pirates Reserve" Port