Langtry Estate 21000 Butts Canyon Rd., in Middletown, 707-987-2385. Tasting daily 10-5; tour Tu-Sat at 11 & 1, reservations required.
In the late 1800s, this picturesque property was purchased by British actress Lillie Langtry. According to winemaker Paul Brasset, “She was the Madonna of her time. She was outrageous in many ways and one of the first famous women to capitalize on her image.” Now named for her, it is a vast 22,000-acre (that’s 37 square miles) estate--the biggest winery in Lake County--and produces a Petite Sirah that has won more gold medals than any other in the world.
Getting here via the mandatory back roads is half the fun; the other half is tasting that Sirah and taking the Tephra Vineyard Lunch Tour, during which participants picnic at a table overlooking the Guenoc Valley and sit within the very vineyard that produced the grapes for the wine served with lunch. Their Guenoc label is known for delicious, well-priced wines.