A few months ago, at my beloved San Clemente Wine Company, I tasted Ancient Peaks Zinfandel and loved it. I mean, I'm not the kind of girl who can instantly declare a wine to be laced with gentle leathery notes and flavors of ripe succotash, but I know good wine when I taste it. I like to think that I am (slowly) getting better picking out more flavors than "mmmm delicious, more please!"
All that to say, the Ancient Peaks Zinfandel was one of those wines that you have with a meal and you actually remember. So, when the Hubs and I were driving through Central California a few weekends ago and I saw their winery, I made him turn the car around right then and there, so we could taste away.
The tasting room is small and spare, and the tastings are cheap ($5 for five tastings, refunded if you buy a bottle). The sommeliers behind the bar are knowledgeable and friendly and, of course, the wine is SO good. Most of it is reasonably priced too, we wound up purchasing a bottle of Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon for about $30 total.
The shop and vineyard is in the little town of Santa Margarita, so it's kind of out of the way, but if you're ever in Central California it's definitely worth stopping in. We didn't have time to try it, but we heard there's also a zipline on the vineyard, which could be really entertaining--especially after a robust tasting.