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Tulip Hill Winery & Vineyards Bringing a bit of wine country to the desert

Tulip Hill Winery & Vineyards

Tulip Hill Winery & Vineyards
Nice, California

Rooted in Northern California's Lake County and complemented by a second tasting room in Rancho Mirage to the south, Tulip Hill Wineryframes the Golden State with its vibrant fruits of the vine. An artist of the soil for over a half-century, Tulip Hill founder Budge Brown cultivated an appreciation for the process of winemaking in daughter Kristi and together they unveiled their first vintage in 2001.

Two versatile vineyards provide the creative palette. Standing as a natural barrier to inclement weather, Mount Oso serves as sanctuary to the more than 380 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, and increasingly popular varietals from Southern Europe that grace the alluvial fan of the mountain. The 18-acre Pope Valley vineyard--aligned with the path of the sun for optimal climate control along the northeast slope of Howell Mountain--nurtures Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. More than 6,000 tulip bulbs of hundreds of varieties are planted at Pope Valley as well.

Close to the source and ensconced by the fertile folds of Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa, the winery and tasting room in Nice, California, are redolent, not only with the brilliant bouquet of Tulip Hill's wines, but also with its namesake flower that carpets the extensive gardens (an additional 48,000 bulbs are planted each year around the winery's grounds). "The tulip, historically, is one of the world's most highly prized flowers," says Kristi Brown, president and co-owner of the family-run enterprise. "My father chose the tulip as a symbol of the quality, rarity, and soft and approachable style of his wines."And to ensure these characteristics continue, Budge brought on Winemaker Mikael Gulyash and Lab Technician Stephen Dilley to protect the standard of excellence. "Restrained winemaking promotes alluring, fruit-forward style wines that harmonize with the meal or the mood," Mikael contends. Stephen considers him a great teacher. "Mikael's mentoring style has enabled me to use my education practically and acquire new skills," says Stephen. "It's a consistently fascinating endeavor making wine!" Friendliness and approachability also define the winery itself with frequent epicurean offerings including: monthly wine and food pairings; social events such as a May through September concert series where everyone is invited to bring a picnic, lounge on the lawn, and dance the evening away; and the annual Festival of Tulips.

For desert-bound bon vivants, the Tulip Hill Tasting Room in Rancho Mirage near Palm Spring is in full bloom. "I wanted to bring a taste of the Northern California wine country and the true tasting room experience to those who would appreciate it but did not live in a convenient place to do so," says Kristi. "Our location in Rancho Mirage has become a community favorite." This is especially apparent during Tulip Hill tasting events scheduled the third Saturday of each month. But regardless of the day, culinary treats from complimentary olive oil samplings to wine-filled chocolates, provide inspiration for customized gift baskets or personal indulgences. And membership in the Tulip Mania Wine Club is available to bring it all home. True to Budge Brown's mission,Tulip Hill is a beautiful celebration of craftsmanship and camaraderie.

What to Buy:
'08 Reserve ChardonnaySoft oak, tropical fruits with citrus finish $22
'06 Lake County ZinfandelBlackberry and cherry with pepper, nutmeg $18
'08 Pinot Grigio Citrus, grapefruit with crisp mineral finish $16
'05 Napa Petite SirahBlackberry, dark chocolate, espresso, tobacco $30
'04 Zinfandel DessertBing cherry, tobacco, caramel toffee $30

4900 Bartlett Springs Rd.
Nice, CA 95464
707.274.9373; Fax: 707.274.9372

Tasting Room Open Daily 10-6
760.568.5678; Fax: 760.568.2331
71800 Hwy 111, A125
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Tasting Room Open Mon-Sat 10-10, Sun 10-6

Getting There:
From Hwy 101, exit onto Hwy 20 and go east about 30 minutes. The winery is on the corner of Hwy 20 and Bartlett Springs Rd.

To Rancho Mirage Tasting Room: Located on the corner of Hwy 111 and Bob Hope Dr.

From I-10, take Bob Hope Dr. Exit. Turn right onto Ramon. Turn Left onto Bob Hope Dr. Drive about five miles. The winery is located at The River at Rancho Mirage before Hwy 111.

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