The Shack – the name alone holds some intrigue. This Foxen Vineyard tasting room was recommended to us by another winery. Several questions immediately came to mind – is it really a shack, what does that look like, how is the wine? My significant other and I decided we had to know the answers, and we headed for the Shack.
Foxen Vineyards was founded by long-time friends Bill Wathen and Dick Doré in 1985. The Shack is a blacksmith shop built in the 1860s, was Foxen’s original tasting room (they opened a large solar-powered tasting room in 2009). The Shack features Bordeaux and Italian-style wines, whereas the newer tasting room has more of a Pinot Noir and Rhone-style focus.
Yes, the Shack is a shack. It has a roof and is mostly enclosed but one side leads out to tables on a patio where the mountain view is beautiful. The wine was great; poured by knowledgeable Foxen staff who bolstered a friendly atmosphere. We particularly liked the Cabernet Sauvignon from Happy Canyon.
I didn’t miss any amenities or opulence of a fancier building. In fact, the tasting room atmosphere with its laid-back and comfortable vibe fostered warm interactions among the customers. Perhaps due to the simplicity of the setting (in addition to the friendliness of the staff and the tastiness of the wine), everyone turned to each other to chat.
We spoke with two brothers, one of whom had recently lost a close friend. We listened to the story of his friend, who sounded like an amazing person and raised a glass in his honor.
This winery experience had rustic charm, good wine, and new friends.