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Fodor's Southern California 2014
Founded in 1865, the venerable Schramsberg produces bubblies made using the traditional méthode champenoise (which means, among other things, that the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle before being "riddled," or turned every few days, to nudge the sediment into the neck of the bottle). To taste, you first must tour, but what a tour: in addition to glimpsing the winery's historic architecture, you see the underground cellars dug in the late 19th century by Chinese laborers. A mind-boggling 2.7 million bottles are stacked in gravity-defying configurations. The tour ($45) includes generous pours of several very different sparkling wines, as well as tiny snacks to enhance the experience. To learn more about sparkling wines, consider the three-day Camp Schramsberg. In the fall sessions, you harvest grapes and explore riddling, food-and-wine pairing, and other topics. Spring camps focus on blending sparkling wines.
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