Sonoma County Wine Country

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Sonoma County Wine Country
DAY TRIPS
Spring/Summer 2011
Sonoma County Wine Country
10 Fun Wine Tasting Trips with
51 Preferred Tasting Room Reviews
A publication of
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Eastside Bunch
Rockpile
SI
RUS
R
AN
IVE
R
SBRAGIA FAMILY
Alexander
Valley
DUTCHER CR
EEK
Lake
Sonoma
Dry Creek
STEWART’S POINT
RD
CANYON
Alexander
Valley
RD.
FORCHINI
DRY CREEK RD.
TRUETT HURST
Dry
Creek
DRY CREEK VNYD
128
.
CREEK RD
DRY
W.
BOISSET TASTE OF TERROIR
FERRARI-CARANO’S
SEASONS OF THE VINEYARD
KENDALL-JACKSON
STEPHEN & WALKER
TOPEL
Westside Road
SIMIA
LEX
AN
HAWKES
WINE
DE
R
VALLEY
MEDLOCK AMES
CHRISTOPHER
ACORN
CREEK
RODNEY STRONG
MERRIAM
D.
DE LA MONTANYA
ARMIDA
ER
Pages 15-18
ES
TS
ID
RD.
HOP KILN
116
DE
.
RD
Chalk
Hill
ER
IVE
OL
SUNCÉ
HOOK & LADDER
LE
PIN
ER
RD
.
DE LOACH
RD.
LTO
N
OCCIDENTAL
FU
OC
CID
BODEGA HIG
HWA
Y
VA
L
LE
Y
CU
TO
F
RD
.
CELLARS
OF SONOMA
FREESTONE
VINEYARDS
Sebastopol/
Freestone
FO
RD
TA
L
F
Kenwood
Hwy. 12
Pages 30-35
EN
BALLETTO
R
GS
PRIN
Eastside
Bunch
NE
VIL
GRATON RD.
D.
MARK W
EST
S
T
RD
.
HIGHWAY
NA
MIAN
GU
KENDALL-JACKSON
WINE CENTER
SLU
ER
RD.
MARTIN
RAY
LA
GU
E
BOH
RIV
Green
Valley DUTTON ESTATE
SSE
R
RUSSIAN
HILL ESTATE
1
Pages 19-23
CHALK HILL
WESTSI
Russian
River
Knights
Valley
Downtown
Healdsburg
W
ER
RIV
Pages 24-29
MERCURY
PETERSON FAMILY
LYTTON SPGS
Northern
Sonoma
Gateway to
101
FERRARI-CARANO
DUTCHER CROSSING
Pages 7-14
ASTI
CELLAR NO. 8
SOUVERAIN
Russian River
101
/Olivet
Sonoma
Coast
116
Pages 40-47
GRAN
GE
CHATEAU ST. JEAN
VJB
VINEYARDS
& CELLARS
TA
LU
M
AH
ILL
RO
AD
Pages 36-39
Pages 48-52
LEDSON
ST. FRANCIS
BE
NN
PE
ET
MATANZAS CREEK
TV
AL
LE
YR
D.
MAYO FAMILY
RO
B
LA
RR
Glen Ellen
D.
Pages 53-60
10
Wine Tasting Trips
Tomales
BOD
EGA
HWY
Clary Ranch
12
WASHINGTON
Corda
HAWKES WINE
CHARLES
CREEK
FRAT
ES
Adobe
Road
Winery
ST
AG
E
GU
LC
H
116
116
Keller
Estate
Winery
101
Kastania
Vineyards
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
Sonoma/
Carneros
Los Carne
ANABA
12
121
121
E
ILL
EV
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
MOUNTAIN
TERRACES
VINEYARDS
Sonoma
Valley
Portworks
.
RD
7-13
20-25
14-19
26-32
33-38
47-51
39-46
48-52
53-60
61-67
K
LA
Bay
Dry Creek
Valley
Westside Road
Downtown Healdsburg
Alexander Valley
Eastside Bunch
Sebastopol/Freestone
Russian River/Olivet
Kenwood/Highway 12
Glen Ellen
Sonoma/Carneros
ERIC ROSS
ARROWOOD
MOONDANCE B.R.
COHN
CLINE
CELLARS
37
Pages 61-67 Region
JACUZZI FAMILY
VIANSA
TO V
A
LLEJ
San Pablo Bay
O
TO
N
AP
DAY TRIPS
PREFERRED
Sonoma Country Wine Country
Spring/Summer 2011
51 TASTING ROOM REVIEWS
Acorn Winery
Anaba Wines
Armida Winery
Arrowood Winery
Asti Winery
B.R. Cohn
Balletto Vineyard
Boisset Taste of Terroir
Cellars of Sonoma
Chalk Hill Estate
Charles Creek Vineyard
Chateau St. Jean
Christopher Creek Winery
Cline Cellars
De La Montanya Vineyards & Winery
A Publication of
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
669 Broadway, Suite B • Sonoma, CA 95476
P.O. Box 92 • El Verano, CA 95433
707-938-3494 Fax 707-938-3674
PUBLISHER Mike Giangreco
Direct (707) 938-3734
[email protected]
SALES REPRESENTATIVE Margaret Villarreal, 707-338-2894
[email protected]
MANAGING EDITOR Chandra Grant
Phone 707-938-1783 • Fax 707-938-3674
[email protected]
OFFICE MANAGER Cathy Gore
Phone 707-938-3494 • Fax 707-938-3674
Email [email protected]
EDITORIAL Introductions by Abigail Zimmerman
CONTRIBUTORS Michelle J. Baker
James Marshall Berry
Brendan Conroy
Ronda Giangreco
Charles Neave
Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
32
64
16
56
25
57
39
21
47
35
63
51
33
65
17
DeLoach Vineyards
Dry Creek Vineyards
Dutcher Crossing Winery
Dutton Estate Winery
Eric Ross Winery
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery
Forchini Vineyards & Winery
Freestone Vineyards
Hawkes Wine - Healdsburg
Hawkes Tasting Room – Sonoma
Hook & Ladder Winery
Hop Kiln Winery
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
Kendall-Jackson Healdsburg
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center
Ledson Winery & Vineyards
Martin Ray Winery
Matanzas Creek Winery
Mayo Family Winery
Medlock Ames
Mercury Wines
Merriam Vineyards
Moondance Cellars
Mountain Terraces Vineyards
Peterson Family Winery
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Russian Hill Estate
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Sbragia Family Vineyards
Simi Winery
Stephen & Walker Winery
Suncé Winery
Topel Tasting Room
Truett Hurst Winery
VJB Vineyards & Winery
Viansa Winery
Index & Winery Varietals
44
14
10
38
59
9
11
37
27
62
46
18
66
20
41
49
43
54
55
28
26
34
58
60
13
31
42
50
8
29
23
45
22
12
52
67
68-69
3
Sonoma County Wineries Map 70-71
Notes on Wine Tasting
It’s a good idea to plan to visit several wineries as every
wine-tasting experience offered is different. With so many
distinctive viticultural areas, one can easily taste many of
the world’s best varietials and winemaking styles without
learning the region. Listed below are five basic types of
tasting experiences. The experience will vary in style from
winery to winery.
Wine Bar Tasting
The most common tasting experience is a Wine Bar
Tasting. You step up to the bar where typically a list of
wines being poured is displayed. Expect to pay a tasting
fee between $10-$40. Some tasting bars will offer you the
option to taste a library or reserve wine. Exercising this
option increases the fee, but will allow you to taste very
unique, old or rare wines.
Sit Down Tasting
A Sit Down Tasting usually requires an appointment
and there may be a slightly higher fee than a wine bar fee.
Seated in an elegant room, you are poured several wines
by your winery host. Expect your host to describe the
unique characteristics of each wine and how it was made.
Table Service Tasting
A Table Service Tasting, popular at sparkling wine facilities, is a tasting experience where you are seated at a
table and the tastings are brought to you.
Walk Around Tasting
A Walk Around Tasting is a combination of a tour and
a tasting. Your host brings along several bottles of wine on
your tour, and may take you to a garden area of the win-
ery to pour the first round. Then you move to another
place within the winery to sample the next wine. This experience continues until all the wines are tasted.
Barrel Tasting
Another popular tasting experience that can be part
of a tour or a Walk Around is a Barrel Tasting. Your guide
takes a “wine thief,” a special siphon placed into a hole in
the top of a barrel to extract tasting samples of a maturing wine. The sample allows you to taste what the wine
is like in the middle of developing its full potential.
Why make an appointment?
4
Some wineries are so small that they need to know
when you are coming so someone will be there to greet
you. Other wineries have permit restrictions that limit
the number of guests that can visit each day. Others have
sit-down tastings that start and end at specific times. It’s
always a good idea to schedule your appointments well in
advance of your visit because some of the more popular
wineries fill up their appointments weeks in advance.
WWW.LEGENDARYNAPAVALLEY.COM
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Do the Math
One of the questions most asked when it comes to wine is how much of this does it take to make that, and so on. We won’t
pretend that it’s simple, but here are some industry statistics that will give a pretty good answer to that query. As with anything agricultural, of course, they are all based on countless variables when it comes to acre yields, but this is a good starting
point. The rest of the information varies little if at all.
=
A case of wine includes:
A single bottle contains:
…a dozen 750 ml bottles
(or 24 half bottles)
or 307.2 ounces total,
which comes from
30 pounds of grapes.
…750 ml of wine which is 25.6 ounces made
from about 2.4 pounds of grapes (39 oz.) and is
enough for four or maybe five glasses.
An acre of vineyard land can give the grower:
…five tons of grapes (though it is also less, depending on a variety of farming and winemaking
practices, and on the varietal and the vineyard
One standard oak barrel of wine holds:
location) which will give you 797 gallons of juice
…295 bottles of wine (or 59 gallons) made from 740 pounds of grapes (or thirteen-and-a-half barrels) which is pretty close
which works out to almost – but not precisely –30 cases of wine.
to four thousand bottles of wine.
What does all that information on a wine label mean?
XYZ Winery
The U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms regulates wine
labels and requires that information be given in a straightforward
way. Basically, you will want to look for the types of grapes grown,
where the grapes are grown and when the grapes were picked.
RESERVE
• Brand name
Dry Creek
Sonoma County
ZINFANDEL
2002
Produced and Bottled by
XYZ winery, Healdsburg, California
ALCOHOL 14.6% BY VOLUME
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
• Designation for a special wine
• Vineyard or appellation known for its grapes might be designated
• Location where the grapes used were grown
• Grape Variety used
• Vintage year in which the grapes were picked
• Location where the wine was made and/or bottled
(Not to be confused with the area the grapes are grown.)
• Alcohol content may be stated or the the label may simply say
"Table Wine”
WWW.LEGENDARYNAPAVALLEY.COM
5
Heading to the Tasting Room
Do not be intimidated for any
reason. That is rule number one
(and there are very few real rules
after that). For the most part,
going wine tasting is about the
easiest thing in the world, especially here in Northern California
where wineries and tasting
rooms abound. You can find
wineries specializing in red
wines of all types, those that are Twomey Cellars
famous for their white wines and
others who pour sparkling wine. It is a matter of doing a
little research and planning your day.
Most tasting rooms open around 10 a.m. and close between 4:30 and 6 p.m. As a rule sparkling wine houses are
opened the latest. Before you start off pack a few essentials: Water (plenty of water) and something to snack on
– crackers or a baguette. Many wineries have picnic areas
and there are plenty of delis and bakeries that can make up
a lunch for you, or make your own. Which brings us to
eating and drinking, the kind that doesn’t directly involve
wine.
Be sure to nibble during the day and make sure you
make time for lunch. Two tips: drink at least twice as much
water as you do wine, and remember that you don’t have
to drink everything poured into your glass. There is a reason tasting bars have dump buckets and a pitcher of water
to wash out your glass.
That said, here are some tips that have proven to be
helpful and are designed to help make the sensory adventure of wine tasting all the more enjoyable.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Time and time again
I have heard knowledgeable winery workers say that there
is no such thing as a stupid question, and they mean that.
You can drink what you want, in the order you want.
If you only like reds, say so; if you don’t like sweet wines,
speak up. But the idea of starting with whites, then going
on to reds and then sweet wines is a good guide.
Zinfandel is red. I am sure you know that but it never
hurts to remind everyone.
If there is a particular wine you want to try and it is
not on the list, ask. There might be a bottle around that
was opened for a trade tasting or by the winemaker. Most
tasting rooms are happy to pour a little if you show enthusiasm.
If you plan to take wine home with you, either in the
6
car or on a plane, buy a cardboard box with Styrofoam wine
inserts. Fill it during the day and
this keeps wine from rolling
around in the trunk.
Check out the smaller wineries. It is a revelation.
Take notes on the wines you
most enjoyed.
Take advantage of tours
when the winery offers them, but
keep in mind that they take anywhere from 20 minutes to well over an hour, so one a day
is plenty.
Buy wines that you can only find at the winery. These
often include smaller (375 ml) bottles of limited production Ports or dessert wines. Don’t buy a wine you can get
at a supermarket back home. You’ll pay more, and besides,
what’s the point?
Look for tasting rooms in towns. Many of these are cooperative tasting rooms, where in one place you might find
wines from a dozen or more small-to-medium premium
producers. They are scattered throughout the area and
more are opening all the time.
Don’t give too much thought to ratings and vintages.
It’s like art: if you like it, it’s a good wine. It is as simple as
that.
Remember that you don’t have to do the driving. It
takes no more than a phone call to rent anything from a
Town Car or restored Packard convertible to stretch limos
and a 20-passenger bus. All have drivers that will stow
your wine for you and the local companies know the area.
As to taking that wine home, ten people sharing one of
those impossibly long limousines is fine and fun, but if you
all plan to buy a couple of cases the trunk – which is no
bigger than a normal luxury cars – is going to fill up fast
and you’re going to find yourself filling the interior floor
with boxes and using cases of Cabernet as footrest.
Tell the transportation company what you have in
mind and listen to their advice. They know the territory
and the people and personalities.
Know your limits. If you get close to it let others taste
and you can listen. It beats ending the day in a blur, and if
need be calling a taxi is cheaper than the alternative.
And if at a seated tasting, don’t be afraid to leave a gratuity. It’s more than worth the five or ten dollars to get
wisdom – and wine – and a great time. BY CHARLES NEAVE
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Dry Creek wine country is one of the smallest enclosed
American Viticultural Areas in the nation, only 16 miles long
and two miles wide. With 9,300 acres of vineyard along this
beautiful valley’s floor, Dry Creek is a “must see” for first-time
and veteran wine lovers. Dry Creek boasts 63 wineries
producing a diverse range of wines from the famed Zinfandel
to Bordeaux and even Mediterranean varietals.
Don’t let its small size fool you… Dry Creek winemakers
have been growing grapes and making great wines for more
than 135 years!
While you’re here – don’t miss the beautiful gardens of Ferrari-Carano this time of year!
TO
Dry Creek Olive Oil, 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
(707) 431-7200, www.DryCreekOliveCompany.com
Rooted in traditions as rich as the Dry Creek Soil, Dry
Creek Olive Oil Company is your destination for artisan,
very fine, extra-virgin olive oils.
UR
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DUTCHER CROSSING FORCHINI
PETERSON FAMILY
R
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VI
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TTON SPRINGS
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Dry Creek
General
Store
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Driving Time: 16 minutes
From Sbragia Family
to Ferrari-Carano
1 mile
to Dutcher Crossing
2 miles
to Truett Hurst
2.5 miles
to Forchini
>0.5 mile
to Peterson Family
.5 miles
to Dry Creek
1.5 miles
Total 8 miles
AIN
ER
.W
OY
Dry Creek
Olive Oil
TRUETT
HURST
LLIV
.EVA E
STEWARTÕS POINT
RD
CY
ER
KE
COAST
Lake
Sonoma
Hatchery
128
W
G
TO
Hope Merrill/
Hope Bosworth
House
DR
FERRARI-CARANO
KA
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Lake
Sonoma
SBRAGIA
FAMILY
VINEYARDS
D
.
101
BM
I
Hope Merrill & Hope Bosworth B&B
21253 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
(707) 857-3356, www.hope-inns.com
Once an early stage-coach stop, these now two strikingly
restored Queen Anne Craftsman homes welcome you with
open arms. Truly where wine and romance intertwine!
Cloverdale
DIR
LODGING
Grape Leaf Inn, 539 Johnson Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-8140, www.grapeleafinn.com
A picturesque Queen Anne Victorian bed and breakfast,
the Grape Leaf Inn seamlessly blends modern decor
with timeless antiques. Gracious staff provide the best
hospitality in this relaxing, romantic environment.
EUREKA
EG
Dry Creek General Store, (707) 433-4171
3495 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
So much more than just a corner store, established in 1881,
this is also a full-service deli and beer garden with live
music occassionally, spectacular views and a wealth of
information on wine tasting, tours and even fishing!
TO
COAST
UD
PICNIC FARE
Oakville Grocery, 124 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-3200, www.OakvilleGrocery.com
“Little Country Store” with overflowing shelves and a
deli chock full of handmade, gourmet picnic items,
the Oakville Grocery is an absolute MUST.
MENDOCINO
.D
THINGS TO DO
Lake Sonoma Hatchery
3333 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville
(707) 433-9483, www.parks.sonoma.net
Located in the beautiful foothills of Northern Sonoma
County, Lake Sonoma is surrounded by vineyards and
land rich in history. Here, visitors can observe the operation
of the hatchery and see displays which describe the life
cycle of the coho salmon, steelhead and chinook.
ERC REH
DR KE
CT
m
Dry Creek Valley
DRY CREEK
VINEYARD
Not to scale
Dry Creek Valley
7
Ed and Adam Sbragia
If you are planning a visit to Sonoma County and Healdsburg
in particular, do not miss a visit to Sbragia Family Vineyards!
It’s less than 10 miles out on Dry Creek Road from downtown
Healdsburg. This is a very special place; well worth the trip!
The cellar is downstairs, with large windows providing a
view into the inner workings of the winery. The tasting room is
upstairs, with a large covered patio that wraps around the back,
providing a breathtaking view of the Dry Creek Valley’s vineyards and redwood studded hills.
The tasting room is bright with windows looking out onto
the valley. There is a vast assortment of tastefully displayed
wine-related merchandise. Freshly cut flowers from the family’s
garden are artfully arranged around the tasting room. As well
as growing beautiful flowers they also have a wonderful
produce garden too!
There is a $5 tasting fee to taste four wines and a $10
tasting fee to taste four of the reserve Cabernet Sauvignons.
Tasting fees are refundable with your purchase. The wines are
wonderful!
Private tours and tastings are available by appointment.
Sbragia Family Vineyards has a lovely private tasting room,
“The Ark,” which is named after their historic family
bar/restaurant on the Russian River in Healdsburg, where
visitors can enjoy wine and food pairings, vertical flights and
other memorable experiences.
The saying here at Sbragia is, “The only thing better than
the view is the wine!” Come see for yourself!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
8 Dry Creek Valley
PLAN AHEAD
Visitors are encouraged to purchase wine by the glass (or
by the bottle), pick out some snacks from the deli case
and relax at one of the many outside picnic tables.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Owner/founder Ed Sbragia is the only winemaker to have
won awards for crafting both the best red wine and the
best white wine in the world!
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and
Cabernet Sauvignon
PRIVATE EVENTS
Sbragia’s event center can accommodate up to 350
guests. There is a state-of-the-art professional kitchen,
which is a caterer’s dream, not to mention the stunning
views and world-class wines which will make it an event
no one will forget!
PRIVATE TOURS
Private tours and tastings are available by appointment.
Sbragia Family Vineyards
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9990 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
www.sbragia.com • (707) 473-2992
Mention this story for complimentary tasting. Tell ‘em The Wine Wench sent you!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Inside Villa Fiore, the magnificent Italian-style villa
that serves as Ferrari-Carano’s hospitality center, guests
will find a world of tasting opportunities. On the main
floor wine shop and tasting room, guests may taste many
brand new releases of Ferrari-Carano’s Classic Wines in
addition to the Villa Fiore wines, which are only available at the winery. Take your sample and browse the
shop’s extensive selection of gifts and souvenirs,
including many great wine and cookbooks, housewares
and wine country home décor.
Downstairs in the cellar, the luxurious Enoteca offers
guests Ferrari-Carano’s Limited Release and Reserve
Wines. Try a flight of lovely Russian River Valley
Chardonnays, or compare the two delicious PreVail
Cabernet Sauvignons that hail from the winery’s two
mountain ranches in Alexander Valley.
Guests are welcome to stroll the enclosed garden,
which has a meandering path and foot bridges along a
rippling stream that empty into fish-filled ponds. The
garden has more than 2,000 species of trees and shrubs,
all marked with informative identification tags, including
some of the few successfully growing Portuguese cork
trees in the area. Art lovers will also find bronze sculptures from world-renowned artists such as Dennis Smith,
Douglas Van Howd and Jane DeDecker throughout the
gardens.
By Michelle J. Baker
DID YOU KNOW...
Ferrari-Carano has a tasting bar and boutique on the Healdsburg
Plaza? “Seasons of the Vineyard” features wines from FerrariCarano and Lazy Creek … fantastic Anderson Valley Pinot Noir!
SPECIAL TOURS AND PRIVATE TASTINGS
Winery tours are by appointment, Monday through Saturday,
10 a.m., based on availability. Seven different private tasting
opportunities are available by appointment, seven days a week
at 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m, also based on availability.
WHAT TO TASTE
For the classic tasting, Pinot Grigio, Fumé Blanc, Chardonnay,
Bella Luce (aromatic white blend), Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot,
Cabernet Sauvignon and Siena (Tuscan-inspired red blend).
In the Enoteca , Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon,
PreVail and dessert wines.
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
www.ferrari-carano.com
For tours and private tastings, call (707) 433-6700
Seasons of the Vineyard
Open Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
113 Plaza Street, Healdsburg • (707) 431-2222
Look for them on Facebook and Twitter!
18,000 bulbs are planted annually. It makes for a beautiful color display in the spring.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Dry Creek Valley
9
Dutcher Crossing Winery has everything a wine-loving
visitor could hope for – delicious, reasonably priced wines, a
beautiful tasting room staffed with friendly and knowledgeable
employees, a gorgeous picnic area with stunning views of
Dry Creek Valley and a winery dog to welcome you.
Let’s start outside – you pull into the parking lot and notice
the beautiful landscaping surrounding the brown, barn-like
building that is the winery and tasting room. A flagstone path
leads you through a riot of colorful flowers to a breezeway that
separates the winery from the tasting room. Glass doors provide a view into the barrel room and winery. Most likely, you’ll
be greeted by Dutchess, a sweet, tail-wagging yellow Labrador
Retriever, owned by Dutcher Crossing Winery’s Proprietor,
Debra Mathy.
The tasting room is large, bright and airy, with high
ceilings, glossy wood floors and tasteful décor. A vintage
high-wheeled bicycle (used as the winery’s logo) sits against a
wall, beckoning to be ridden (well, I was tempted to try to ride
it, but I restrained myself). A selection of non-wine items is
available for browsing as you sip and stroll around the room.
During the week, there is a $5 tasting fee (waived for wine
club members) to sample a variety of six wines, and on weekends a $10 reserve tasting is available as well.
Winemaker Kerry Damskey does a wonderful job crafting
these wines! I tasted a few wines during my visit and they were
all excellent!
Taste some great wines, pet a friendly dog, relax and stay a
while!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
10 Dry Creek Valley
PLAN AHEAD
The picnic area is lovely and its views of the
Dry Creek Valley are breathtaking. There are
six picnic tables under a wisteria-covered arbor.
The colorful, fragrant landscaping and manicured
lawns will make you want to kick off your shoes
and stay a while.
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel,
Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Port
ANOTHER FUN FACT
Winemaker, Kerry Damskey is known as
“the Indiana Jones of the wine world.”
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Dutcher Crossing’s self-appointed greeter and
mascot Dutchess is a rescue dog. Owner, Debra Mathy
transported her all the way back from Taiwan!
Dutcher Crossing Winery
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8533 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
www.dutchercrossingwinery.com
(707) 431-2700
Look for Dutcher Crossing on Facebook.
For a perfectly sweet pairing, enjoy the custom-made chocolates with the port. Yum!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Just north of Healdsburg, a few miles out Dry Creek of the tasting room.
Forchini Vineyards has been growing premium variRoad is a very special place, where you’ll feel like part of
the family. Turn at the Bacchus sign, drive up the narrow, ety wine grapes since 1971. There are two properties –
winding, rosemary-edged driveway and you’ve arrived at the Dry Creek Bench (where the winery and tasting room
Forchini Vineyards & Winery. You’ll be greeted by at least are located) is comprised of 67 acres and is planted to
two happy, tail-wagging dogs, which will escort you to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carignane, Petit
Verdot and Zinfandel with 13
the tasting room.
acres of 100-year-old Zinfandel
Forchini Vineyards & WinForchini Vineyards & Winery
remaining. The Russian River
ery is a family-run winery that
Open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Terrace is comprised of 24 acres
produces only estate grown
or by appointment
and is planted to Chardonnay,
and bottled wines. Owned by
Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and
Jim and Anita Forchini, Jim is
5141 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Zinfandel with four acres of 90the winemaker, Andrew For(707) 431-8886 • www.forchini.com
year-old Zinfandel remaining.
chini is the vineyard manager,
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,
The winery was built in 1996
Michael and Carla Forchini
Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel
and produces 3000 cases per
lend a hand with marketing,
Bring a lunch to compliment your tasting and be
year.
special events and in the tastsurrounded by the beautiful vineyards, rose gardens,
Let’s talk about the wines – I
ing room. You can’t get more
Italian fountains and exceptional views.
tasted two wines during my
family-operated than that!
The building, surrounding picnic area and vineyards visit and they were both excellent! The 2007 Pinot Noir,
look as if they are right out of an Italian landscape – Proprietor’s Reserve is a classic, with aromas and flavors
stucco walls, tile roofs, splashing fountains, flower gar- of black cherry, strawberry, baking spices and vanilla, all
dens and vineyard-striped hills delight the senses. Just wrapped up in a silky-smooth mouthfeel. The 2006 Old
wait until you taste the wines – then your senses will be Vine Zinfandel, Proprietor’s Reserve is also wonderful,
with abundant blackberry, raspberry, bramble and pepdelighted even further!
Once inside the main building, you feel as if you are pery spice aromas and flavors. It is big and bold in the
in someone’s comfortable home. There is a large dining mouth and almost too easy to drink!
You really should visit this beautiful, comfortable,
room, with a table ready to serve eight, a fully appointed
kitchen, an office and the tasting room which is deco- delicious winery! The tasting room is open 11 a.m. 4 p.m.
rated in warm tones with faux-painted walls, wood Friday – Sunday and by appointment. For more inforflooring and a granite-topped oak bar. Behind the bar, a mation, call (707) 431-8886 or visit their website at
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
portrait of Bacchus, the god of wine, is the central focus www.forchini.com.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Dry Creek Valley
11
Set in the heart of Dry Creek Valley is a special estate called
Truett Hurst. As you drive in, the sheep and goat pasture is the
first indication that this is not in any way your average winery.
Vineyards are flanked by habitat islands for birds and beneficial
insects, and there are bluebird and owl boxes. Maintaining
biodiversity and habitat are part of the farming philosophy
here. Their commitment to responsible stewardship of this
property is matched by the passion with which they handcraft
award-winning Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir.
The wines are made by fermenting grapes in small, opentop stain fermenters. The grapes are punched down during
fermentation, rather than pumped over, allowing for gentle extraction of color and flavor components, while avoiding bitter
tannins. Then wines are barrel aged in approximately 30% new
French oak, until the flavors and structure of the wine perfectly
balance. The result: big, bold, textured wines with lots of spice
and jammy fruit.
You can savor these wines in one of the most comfortable
and relaxing wineries in the valley. You have a choice of
Adirondack chairs down by the creek where you may see Steelhead or Coho salmon. Or hang out on the patio and listen to
music while enjoying the sublime scenery of Dry Creek, or
enjoy a picnic or a slow lunch in the olive grove. If this is not
enough, you’ll always be served by the friendly wine pourers
who will make you feel right at home in this inviting tasting
room.
12 Dry Creek Valley
VARIETALS
Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir
PLAN AHEAD
On most Saturdays they have live music from some fine
local musicians who deliver everything from a jazzswing vibe to a third-world groove to Americana and
some classic tunes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. There
may even be something from the grill to munch on
while you take it all in.
SPECIAL TASTING
Tell them in the tasting room that Luci the black goat
sent you and you can taste the special Zinfandel that’s
named after her.
FUN FACT
A 60-year-old olive grove, a four-acre chef’s garden and
the beautiful Dry Creek (which, by the way, is never dry)
are all part of the estate.
Truett Hurst Winery
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
5610 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
(707) 433-9545 • www.truetthurst.com
Follow Truett Hurst Winery
on Facebook and Twitter.
Mention “Day Trips” and receive a complimentary tasting valued at $5.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Fred Peterson (grape grower and father) has been growing wine grapes and making wine in Dry Creek Valley for
more than 20 years. Jamie Peterson (winemaker and son)
has been around wine and the wine business his whole life.
These guys work hard, yet they don’t take themselves
too seriously. The result of their labors is delicious, reasonably priced wines with a casual, comfortable environment to
enjoy them in.
The Petersons call their approach to grape growing and
winemaking “Zero Manipulation,” meaning that they capture the essence of vintage and vineyard with a low-tech,
yet high-touch methodology. It’s all about the vineyards at
Peterson Winery (which Fred farms in a sustainable manner). Simply put, they let the grapes do the talking.
Let’s talk about the wines. I tasted a handful of excellent
wines during my visit. The following were my favorites:
2007 Zinfandel Tradizionale, Dry Creek Valley ($29):
Mouthwatering aromas and flavors of blackberry and raspberry are enhanced by a touch of savory herbs. Balanced
and juicy in the mouth. This is a big, rustic, friendly Zin.
2007 Syrah, Gravity Flow Block ($48): This wine is big,
balanced and intense, with abundant aromas and flavors of
blackberry, plum, coffee and peppery spice, all wrapped up
in a luscious mouthfeel.
Don’t miss Peterson Winery! Tell ’em The Wine Wench
sent you!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
VARIETALS
Zinfandels, Syrah, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon
Blanc, Muscat Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignons & blends
PLAN AHEAD
Open for tasting Friday-Monday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
Tuesday-Thursday by appointment. When available,
Jamie loves giving visitors tours of the winery and
offering sips straight from the barrel. Give yourself at
least an hour to visit this special place.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Peterson Winery releases as many as twelve different
wines annually, and sometimes more. Currently they have
four different Zinfandels, two Cabernet Sauvignons, a
Bordeaux blend, plus several other current releases.
FUN FACT
Friendly winery cats, Red & Whitey are always nearby
for a pet – they love visitors!
Peterson Winery
Open Friday-Monday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday by appointment
4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
www.petersonwinery.com
For tasting appointments, call (707) 431-7568
Mention this story for a 10% discount on your wine purchase.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Dry Creek Valley
13
Dave Stare, Don & Kim Wallace
Dave Stare, founder of Dry Creek Vineyard, can be characterized as a man of tenacity and vision, unafraid to experiment
to create a new future. A lover of Loire Valley French wines,
Dave’s vision was to make excellent Fumé Blanc (Sauvignon
Blanc) and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley style in California.
His new winery, founded in 1972, was the first to be built in
the Dry Creek Valley since the era of Prohibition. He had no
one else’s expertise or experience to draw on, and many predicted that he would fail, but failure was not in Dave Stare’s
makeup. His young daughter Kim was with him to help turn
over the first shovel of dirt for the winery’s foundation, and she
is still side-by-side with her father as she and husband Don
Wallace have become the second generation of the family to
carry on the tradition of fine wines made from Sonoma County
grapes.
Although the winery’s flagship wines are still the outstanding Fumé Blanc and Chenin Blanc (the only wine whose grapes
come from outside Sonoma County), Dry Creek now makes
many other varieties, including excellent Chardonnay, Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel as well as a few
single-vineyard-designated wines. Many of these wines are
available only at the tasting room, so treat yourself to a visit to
the pioneer winery of Dry Creek Valley.
After 39 years, the winery’s stone walls are covered with soft
ivy and clinging vines, stately and serene. Inside the tasting
room, you’ll see many photos and illustrations of sailing boats.
Sailing boats are the primary illustration on the winery’s labels, reflecting a life-long passion for sailing shared now by
three generations of Stares and Wallaces.
14
VARIETALS
Chenin Blanc, Fumé Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay,
Petite Zin Rosé, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
and Meritage
GOOD TO KNOW
Do-not-miss wines include the highly acclaimed
2007 Beeson Ranch Zinfandel and the delicious
2009 Fumé Blanc. Chilled wines are available for your
after-tasting picnic on the lawn. Also remember many
of their wines are available only at the tasting room.
CELEBRITY FACT
You might notice glamorous photos in the tasting room
of Kim Stare Wallace in the company of A-list movie stars.
That’s because for eleven years (and counting), Dry Creek
Vineyard has been the official wine poured at the annual
red-carpet Screen Actors’ Guild award ceremonies.
Dry Creek Vineyard
Open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg
(707) 433-1000 • www.drycreekvineyard.com
Follow Dry Creek Vineyard
on Facebook and Twitter!
Mention “Day Trips” and receive one complimentary tasting, valued at $5.
Eastside Bunch
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Westside Road is, quite literally, one of the most recommended routes to take for wine tasting
in this Russian River Valley AVA. Westside Road is slow and winding, filled with redwood trees,
heritage oaks with moss beards and famous vineyards. Should you wish to slow down and
experience wine country up-close-and-personal, Westside Road is your road.
THINGS TO DO
Shoffeitt’s off the Square
208 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
(707) 433-5556 • www.shoffeittsoffthesqure.com
This is a shopping mecca of antiques, collectibles, local arts
and gifts, as well as fine & custom jewelry. “Don’t judge a
book by it’s cover” ... the building goes on forever!
Dragonfly, 425 Westside Road, Healdsburg
(707) 433-3739, www.dragonflyfloral.com
By appointment only, this is a unique botany and flowerlover's destination. They can custom pick and arrange
flowers.
Wohler Bridge, 9765 Wohler Road, Forestville
A true Sonoma County landmark, Wohler Bridge is one of the
few old-old-OLD bridges left in California. This steel truss
bridge crosses the Russian River at quite a beautiful spot, too.
A
IS
R
SU
DaVero, 766 Westside Road, Healdsburg
(707) 431-8000 ,www.DaVero.com
Guided tastings of wines, olive oils and jams — as well as
fresh produce. It's also a great spot for a picnic, or just to wander the field. Check the website for hands-on cooking clases.
N
IR
V
E
R
.W
Driving Time: 8 minutes
From Armida
to De La Montanya
.5 miles
to Hop Kiln
>3.5 mile
Total 4 miles
128
DLAEH
D
YR
RD
.
Shoffeitt’s
Off the Square
Madrona Dragonfly
Mill
Manor
Street
DaVero Farms Antiques
UBS
EVA GR
C
R
E
E
K
Mill Street Antiques
44 Mill Street, Healdsburg, (707) 433-8409
Take the time to seek out the treasures here there’s sure to be something for everyone!
DE LA
MONTANYA
ARMIDA
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LODGING
Madrona Manor, 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg
1-800-258-4003, www.MadronaManor.com
A world-class destination for guests seeking gracious service
and luxurious accommodations in the heart of wine country.
Oh yes... "Rated #1 in Napa & Sonoma"
by Travel & Leisure... Need we say more?
.DR LLIH KLAH
HOP KILN
RD
WINDSOR RIVER
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Sonoma County
W
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Airport
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Farmhouse
Inn
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Wohler
Bridge
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Westside Road
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
PIN
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Not to scale
Farmhouse Inn, 7871 River Road, Forestville
(707) 887-3300, www. FarmhouseInn.com
Representing the finest level of Sonoma inns, restaurants
and Spas, sublime guestrooms, farm-fresh food, and seasonal
body treatments come together for one unforgettable experience.
DINING
Farmhouse Inn Restaurant, 7871 River Road, Forestville
(707) 887-3300, www.farmhouseinn.com
Tucked into one of the smallest, lovely towns in wine country,
the Farmhouse Inn boasts an exquisite restaurant. Each plate
by Chef Litke tells the story of Sonoma's diverse agriculture
and artisan producers.
Westside Road
15
Located not far from Healdsburg on Westside Road, ArmidaWinery
sits atop a vineyard-striped knoll. Wend your way up the driveway and
you are in for a real treat! To start with, the views from the oak-shaded
deck/picnic area and bocce court are unforgettable – the Russian River
Valley unfolds before your eyes in a glorious patchwork of vineyards,
trees and hills, the Mayacama range a majestic backstop.
The whole atmosphere at Armida Winery is one of delicious fun,
with a bit of mischief thrown in. The wines are seriously good, but the
folks at Armida Winery are serious about anti wine-snobbery
The tasting room is light, bright and airy feeling, with an octagonal
shaped wooden bar that is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable
servers, all of whom have been at Armida for many years. PoiZin
themed gifts are placed everywhere in the artfully merchandised tasting
room. A full-sized wooden Indian gazes solemnly at visitors as they sip,
swirl and shop. Against the back wall, a glass-fronted refrigerator is
well stocked with cheeses, hummus and other picnic fare.
Armida Winery is a popular stop along the wine road because the
tasting room is unique, the views are stunning, these folks really know
how to show visitors a good time, there is no tasting fee and the wines
ROCK. About the wines – I just had to taste the 2008 PoiZin. It is a
classic Sonoma Zinfandel, loaded with aromas and flavors of ripe blackberry, plum, caramel, vanilla and peppery spice, with a big, rich
mouthfeel and long, juicy finish. It’s a great deal at $25!
I also tasted their 2008 Durrell Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45), which
was another delicious, varietally correct wine. The nose drew me in,
with mouthwatering hints of rose petal, violet, cherry and baking
spices. These aromas continued as flavors in the oh-so-silky mouth and
on through the finish.
Be sure to visit this unforgettable place and tell them The Wine
Wench sent you!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
16
PLAN AHEAD
Bring a picnic, or purchase your cheese, crackers
and other snacks here. Play a little bocce and relax
a while. This is one of the best places in Sonoma
County to have a picnic!
WHAT TO TASTE
Don’t miss their single vineyard Zins and Pinots,
including PoiZin,“the wine to die for!”
FUN FACT
Armida Winery is family owned and they make
sure all of their guests feel like family, too!
VARIETALS
Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay,
“PoiZin”and“Antidote”
Armida Winery
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2201 Westside Road, Healdsburg
www.armida.com • (707) 433-2222
For tours & reservations,
e-mail: [email protected]
Follow Armida on
Facebook and Twitter.
Bring in this story for one complimentary reserve tasting. (No fee for regular tasting.)
Westside Road
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
How does the idea of a picnic and a glass of Pinot, in a private peaceful setting outside of a beautiful little redwood barn
located in one of the most idyllic spots in Dry Creek sound? If
it’s a taste of fine wine and casual luxury that you’re looking for,
then search no further than the De La Montanya
Tasting Room in its Felta Creek Vineyard, just a few minutes from
central Healdsburg on secluded Foreman Lane.
“If you’re looking to taste some of the most unique red wine
in Sonoma County, you’re in the right place,” said Dennis
De La Montanya, whose wines have yielded an impressive
collection of gold medals.
“We’re small, quaint, hard-to-find and well worth the
effort,” said De La Montanya, one of Dry Creek Valley’s most
celebrated hosts and champion of the art of understated
winemaking. Their meticulously crafted wines are bottled from
the best of the winery’s premium, estate-grown, hand-selected
grapes: 15 varieties from five distinctive appellations with ideal
soils and microclimates.
Visit the bucolic “barn” style tasting room in the vineyards
and discover the secrets of their success. It’s the unmistakable
spirit, charm and attention to detail on three acres of Zinfandel
and an acre of Primitivo surrounding a vintage apple orchard
that provides a leafy, shaded canopy over inviting lawns and
patios, rose arbors, a fire pit, outdoor pizza oven, pathways
and a bocce court. There is even a private two-bedroom
cottage on the property available for wine club members.
VARIETALS
Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitivo, Tempranillo
and unique blends
PHILOSOPHY
Fine winemaking may be serious business, not least when
producing 4,500 cases that range from offerings of just 25
to 250 cases per year. Yet De La Montanya and his tightknit winery team take equal pride in their shared
dedication to the art of a laugh and the craft of good living.
FUN FACTS
Several “rock star” special signature bottlings for bands
like Journey and Whitesnake have raised thousands of
dollars for a variety of worthy charities. And their limited
edition wines include a rather cheeky range of “pin-up”
wines for wine club members.
De La Montanya Estate
Vineyards & Winery
Open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, by appointment only
999 Foreman Lane, Healdsburg
(707) 433-3711 • www.dlmwine.com
Look for them on Facebook
and become a Fan!
17
Mention this article and receive a special taste of the De La Montanya Whitesnake Zinfandel.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Westside Road
Robert Janover
Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With a very limIn the words of the very nice people at Hop Kiln Winery, it is all about “Honoring the past, and handcrafting the ited production, most of the wines are sold at the winery
or through their very popular wine clubs, including the
future.” When you start with a 250-acre piece of prime
new HKG Collection with its long lists of benefits and acproperty located within Sweetwater Springs Historic Discess to some spectacular bottlings, many of them in very
trict, add a structure that dates back to 1905 (California
limited production.
Historic Landmark # 893), and then you have it posiYou may also enjoy the Hop Kiln Chardonnay, Sauvitioned in Sonoma County’s fabled Russian River Valley,
gnon Blanc, the pleasantly fruity Thousand Flowers or the
well, you pretty much have it all.
versatile Rosa Bellissima. Or for
The ranch property bethe reds: an aromatic
came a viticultural mecca in
Hop Kiln Winery
Grenache, the rare full-bodied
1975, when grapes, not hops
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Malbec, an aptly-named Big
(as in beer, the original crop
6050 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Red or the Syrah/Grenache
that was mainly shipped to the
(707) 433-6491 • hopkilnwinery.com
blend fancifully called Rushin’
brewmasters of Washington
River Red. All of them at an exState) became the crop and the
HKG Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
ceptionally reasonable price.
original kilns became working
Hop Kiln Thousand Flowers, Big Red and Malbec
One treat is to buy a bottle
space for a winery and a comfortable, casual tasting room.
FUN Hop Kiln also features mustards, oils, vinegars, of a favorite, get some artisan
cheese and meat from the deli
An enlargement of the tasting
FACT pestos, vinaigrettes and dessert sauces.
case, a loaf of bread (they supbar, to be unveiled this spring,
ply glasses, cutting board and knife) and sit outside by the
will provide an exciting personalized experience.
Every weekend throughout the year there are up to 60 pond. You can watch the waterfowl land, look out over the
property and relax. Be sure to bring your camera to capof their award-winning gourmet products to sample, from
ture the three drying towers, silhouetted against the sky,
a staggering array of locally made mustards to grapeseed
the fragrant beauties in the rose garden and the miniature
oil, chocolate wine truffles, pesto sauces and more …
replica of the winery floating in the pond serving as a duck
every one of them first-rate.
rest.
But of course you go there first for the wines proIt is the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon, and
duced from Hop Kiln’s prime real estate under the HKG
think about how things have changed over the last century
label. Both unfiltered, there is the complex Sonoma
at this historic property, and all for the better, year after
Chardonnay and a delicious, classic Russian River Valley
year.
Pinot Noir that recently took a “Gold” medal at the San
by Charles Neave
18
Westside Road
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Downtown Healdsburg
PRINCE
JOHNSON
CENTER ST
GROVE ST
LINCOLN
THINGS TO DO
Sonoma County Wine Library
139 Piper Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-3772, www.sonomalibrary.org/wine
A free visit with a wealth of information!
The library has more than 5,000 books dealing101
with all aspects
of making wine, some of them date even back to 1512!
Knowledgeable librarians are on hand to help guide you.
Raven Theater
115 North Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-6335, www.raventheater.org
Where would we be without performing arts?
A big, dark nowhere, that's where. It’s thanks to cultural
theaters like the Raven, that publics can experience
entertainment that is beyond a moment's blip of distraction.
Enjoy wonderful performances and expand your world.
Segway Tours
(707) 953-3477, www.segwayofhealdsburg.com
Take a fun tour of Healdsburg on a rented Segway.
Getaway Adventures
Santa Rosa, (707) 568-3040, www.getawayadventures.com
Healdsburg Sip 'n Cycle: Visit the sites and learn local wine
facts throughout downtown Healdsburg and into the vineyards
on this innovative, healthy tour! Tours include a picnic and
bocce.
HEALDSBURG AVE.
Healdsburg is charming. Every brick, every flower box, every elegant shop and eclectic
Seghesiogallery, every five-star restaurant and cozy cafe on every single corner speak to
this town's genuine individuality and down-to-earth-treasures. Downtown Healdsburg may be surrounded by bucolic rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, but
GRANT ST
around this age-old square, its hard to imagine being anywhere else more delightful. No matter what time of year, Healdsburg is a town for every season.
GRAPE LEAF INN
Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar, 344 Center Street
Reservations recommended, (707) 473-0946
Dinner served daily, lunch Monday-Fridays
Zin features delicious seasonal cuisine with
produce grown especially for them.
Wine industry locals often gather here for
a little nourishment and “shop talk.”
Zin Restaurant
Cyrus
Ferrari-Carano’s
Erickson
Fine Art Gallery
SEASONS OF
THE VINEYARD
PLAZA
KENDALL JACKSON
Dry Creek
Kitchen
ST
POWELL’S SWEET SHOPPE
BOISSET
TASTE OF
TERROIR
Plaza
TOPEL
SON
MATHE
Hotel Healdsburg
Histor
Walkin
Options Gallery
Healdsburg Inn
on the Plaza
Not to scale
MILL
EAST
Shoffeitt’s
off the Square
ER
STEPHEN
& WALKER
CENT
ST
Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
1-800-889-7188, www.hotelhealdsburg.com
Chic, beautifully appointed Hotel Healdsburg is located on the
historic square and is one of the premier Wine Country luxury
lodgings in all Sonoma County.
NORT
Raven Theater
LODGING
Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza
112 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-6991, www.healsburginn.com
Built in 1901, this classic California inn is located right on the
Healdsburg Plaza. From summer concerts to holiday tree lightings,
the town's best events take place right here. Guests are also surrounded by shops, galleries, tasting rooms and restaurants.
Cyrus Restaurant
29 North Street, Healdsburg
County
(707)Sonoma
433-3311,
www.cyrusrestaurant.com
Wine Library
Consistently
reviewed as one of THE best restauPIPER ST
rants in all of wine country by Wine Spectator,
Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire, Wine Enthusiast,
and Wall Street Journal.
FOOD
Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen
Hotel Healdsburg, 317 Healdsburg Avenue
(707) 431-0330, www.charliepalmer.com
Celebrating Sonoma's pioneering wines and spirits, celebrated
Chef Charlie Palmer takes the best of our farm-fresh produce and
culinary cradle and infuses it with his passion and trademark style.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Downtown Healdsburg
19
Kendall-Jackson wines are known to virtually every wine
lover. And the historic Sonoma County town of Healdsburg is
rapidly becoming a destination in itself. In every way this is a
perfect place to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to the
portfolio of Kendall-Jackson wines.
Near the northwest corner of the Healdsburg Plaza, the rich
and varied world of Kendall-Jackson wines seems to shrink
down to an intimate, unhurried scale that wraps each visitor
in a unique welcome. It’s not intimidating – you’re simply
encouraged to enjoy the limited production wines and the
incredible surroundings.
You’ll be greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable staff and
soon find yourself discovering unexpected dimensions of the
winery. With hand-crafted wines and exceptional vineyards,
this is one of the must-see attractions in Sonoma County.
Many visitors admit that they’ve never seen this side of
Kendall-Jackson. The “Eureka” moment comes with the look
on the faces of visitors becoming acquainted with the more
exclusive Kendall-Jackson wines they will find only in the
Tasting Rooms.
Visitors can choose either the Classic tasting which features
wines available only at the winery, or a Reserve tasting focusing
on exclusive single-vineyard wines. No matter which route
you choose, you can be assured that it will be both a memorable and enjoyable experience here in the heart of wine
country.
20 Downtown Healdsburg
VARIETALS
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling,
Muscat Canelli, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and
Cabernet Sauvignon.
FUN FACT
Taste small-production, vineyard-designated wines
available only in the tasting room.
WALK TO …
Healdsburgs’ bistros, bars (wine and otherwise) and grills,
bed and breakfasts and small inns, some of the nation’s
finest restaurants plus galleries, shops and some
first-class hotels. Or just stroll through the historic
19th-century plaza.
DID YOU KNOW
Jess Jackson, winery founder, also has some of the world’s
most famous and successful racehorses in his stable.
Kendall-Jackson Healdsburg
Tasting Room
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
337 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
(707) 433-7102 • www.kj.com
Follow Kendall-Jackson on Facebook and Twitter.
Complimentary reserve tasting if you bring in ‘Day Trips’.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Owned and founded by Jean-Claude Boisset, this
über-chic wine tasting salon is an unforgettable place where
you may taste some of the best wines from the Burgundy
region of France and the Sonoma County region of California.
“Oceans of the world separate us, great wines unite us” is
the philosophy on which that this delicious adventure was
founded, and there are some GREAT wines to taste here! Tasting flights range from $8 for the “Explorateur” selection up to
$100 for the “Grand Cru” selection. I tasted a few wines during my visit and the following were my favorites:
1999 Perle d’ Or ($25): Aromas of baking bread, apples,
pears and exotic spice continue as flavors in the effusively
sparkling mouth. This is a real steal at $25!
2006 JCB Pinot Noir No. 7 ($50): This Pinot made my
knees weak! Mouthwatering aromas of rose petals, cinnamon,
black cherry and a whiff of smoke lure the taster into a silken
mouthful of consistent flavors. Absolutely luscious!
The large table that spans the middle of the room is set
with white linen, an array of wine glasses and lit by an impressive Baccarat crystal chandelier. There is a small tasting
bar across the back of the room, which is painted black and
decorated with descriptive graphics. Displays of wine and
Baccarat crystal are artfully set up around the room. Tres
chic!
Boisset Taste of Terroir is simply an experience not to be
missed!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
VARIETALS
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay (from France and California)
and Burgundian bubbles
PLAN AHEAD
Truly enjoying the variety of wines offered here takes
time – give yourself at least an hour to relax and enjoy
a flight or two.
FUN FACT
The friendly, knowledgeable staff of Taste of Terroir
actually opens bottles of bubbly by slicing off the tops
with a saber.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Taste of Terroir features the Boisset family-owned
collection of wineries, each with its own unique history,
identity and style. Together, they share more than 17
centuries of winemaking tradition, an uncompromising
commitment to quality and a deep and abiding respect
for their terroirs, showcased by rigorous sustainable
farming practices.
Boisset Taste of Terroir
Open Sunday-Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
320 Center Street, Healdsburg
www.tasteofterroir.com
For more information, call (707) 473-9707
Mention this story for a complimentary “Sparkling Pearls” flight of wines.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Downtown Healdsburg
21
Known as the hidden jewel of Mendocino’s Duncan Peak,
Topel Winery is a far cry from the well-trodden highways and
byways of California’s most visited wine country.
The craggy 14-acre mountain “Hidden Vineyard” is a haven
of spiritual sustenance for owners Marcus and Donnis Topel.
The former sheep ranch that produces many of the winery’s
most sought-after wines is a world away from the chic downtown address of Topel’s trendy and attainable Healdsburg tasting
room.
The Topel Tasting Room opened to wine aficionados in September 2008 just off the Plaza and across the street from the
Oakville Grocery. Here, tastings are available of Topel’s Biodynamic® wines that are gently crafted to reveal a unique
evolution of each varietal. Minimalist techniques have transformed the grapes into world-class, soulful wines that reflect
the steep, rocky soil and foggy climate of their origin.
Owner/winemakers, Marcus and Donnis infuse a wealth of
aesthetic senses and experiences into their wines. Leading a
dual life, Marcus Topel is a prominent attorney handling some
of this country’s most complex criminal and civil litigation.
The cozy tasting room was artfully designed with comfort
and style as commanding elements in the details of its copper
countertops, sleek black fixtures and cherry wood library seating area with digital slideshow of the compelling vineyard cycle.
A snug and attractive estate room tasting area off the main
room is a regular hot spot for blending parties with the Topels
frequently hosting special events.
22
VARIETALS
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah Noir, Pinot Noir, Gamay,
Meritage, Super Tuscan Blend, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc,
Chardonnay, White Wine Blend and Orange Moscato
FUN FACT
Topel publishes a calendar every year – Topel Wine Tails –
a benefit for the Healdsburg Animal Shelter.
SPECIAL TASTINGS
A minimal fee of $5 offers visitors a choice of four wines,
$8 for a choice of six and $11 for all nine wines –
$5 is refundable with purchase.
Estate room tastings are available for private groups of
four to 12 people by appointment only and a fee of $25
per person is refundable with a minimum purchase of a
half-case (six bottles) per person. Private tasting includes
all Topel Flight wines, plus at least two library wines and a
selection of cheeses, breads and light appetizers.
Topel Tasting Room
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
125 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
www.topelwines.com
For more information, call (707) 433-4116
www.facebook.com/topelwinery
Bring in this article with you and get 20% discount on any wine purchase.
Downtown Healdsburg
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
The tasting room at Stephen & Walker Winery is home to
Nancy Walker’s celebrated, limited production wines, some of
the most praised wines in Sonoma. The tasting room is just
down the street from Healdsburg’s plaza, midway between two
world-class hotels. It offers a wonderful flight of wines showcasing her elegant, signature style. The charming tasting room,
with its big windows, long bar, polished floors and high ceiling
is a great complement to the wine being offered by a most
hospitable staff.
“We’re a small, artisanal, family-owned winery located in
the heart of wine country,” Nancy says. “We started our label in
2004 and are proud and passionate to bring you wines made
from the remarkable vineyards we tend with our growers in
Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Monterey counties.”
“We craft our wines to showcase the grapes and their
vineyard provenance that allows for the subtle nuances of the
appellation to shine. And and with only a few hundred case
of each wine produced, we can control the wines for the most
optimum result.”
“This philosophy allows us to create wines that are truly an
expression of our style. Every bottle we produce has our commitment and unique perspective, to bring you the true flavors
realized from the terroir. We believe each wine is a specific,
individual expression of the fruit from our vineyards and of the
winemaker’s craft.”
One thing you can be assured of is that you will long
remember the quiet, unhurried experience, and, of course
these very special, lovingly handcrafted wines.
VARIETALS
Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir,
Sauvignon Blanc, the new and award-winning Muscat
Canelli, Late Harvest Chardonnay and a very special Port
called, rather cleverly, ‘Portentous’
A NICE TOUCH
You can expect to sample a small bite with your flight.
GOOD TO KNOW
Unlike most tasting rooms, they stay open until 7 p.m.,
which means you can drop by for a guided tasting and
then head out to dinner.
PLAN AHEAD
Since these are rare wines you’ll seldom find elsewhere,
leave some room in your suitcase (or buy a wine shipper
and check them as luggage if you are flying - or have
them shipped) and buy some bottles to take home and
share this discovery with family and friends. Which, after
all, is what savoring wine is all about.
Stephen & Walker Winery
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
243 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
(707) 431-8749 • www.trustwine.com
Recent wins at the 2011 SF Chronicle Wine Competition: DOUBLE GOLD – 2008 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon,
GOLD – 2009 Green Valley of Russian River Sauvignon Blanc and GOLD – 2004 Portentous
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Downtown Healdsburg
23
Alexander Valley
Gateway to
Only an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Alexander Valley is leaps and bounds away from
any hustle and bustle. Visitors looking for a more relaxed, authentic wine country experience, will
be happy here. Brimming with hospitality, this stunning corner of the world is home to 40 wineries, each boasting distinctive, unassuming wines.
Healdsburg Ridge Hiking Trail
Entry gate at Arabian Way and Bridle Path.
(Sorry, no pets allowed).
One of Sonoma’s favorite nature preserves, take the Ridge Hiking
Trail to the Fox Pond Run and Fox Pond Overlook. A wonderful
place to get some fresh air and exercise in wine country!
FOOD
Jimtown Store, 6706 Highway 128, Healdsburg
(707) 433-1212, www.jimtown.com
Literally tucked into the vineyards in the Jimtown store.
For more than 100 years, Jimtown has provided Healdsburg with
fresh baked goods, hot coffee, and local products. Linger over the
eclectic American antiques and old-fashioned toys.
VETERANS MEMORIAL BEACH • WWW.HEALDSBURG.COM
THINGS TO DO
Veterans Memorial Beach,
13839 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
(707) 433-1625
Truly one of Healdsburg’s most favorite
riverside beaches! Bring a picnic, kick off
your shoes, or even borrow an inner tube.
Nothing to do here but relax, breathe deeply
and listen to the river roll on by.
Bosworth & Son General Store
21060 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
(707) 857-3463, www.bosworthandson.com
Once a mortuary and even a buggy store –
the buggy paint still stains the floor – Bosworth
& Son General Store is an old-fashioned store
meeting the Western-inspired needs of today’s
customer.
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Not to scale
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Cellar 8 &
Souverain
Geyserville Inn\Hoffman House Restaurant
Bosworth & Son General Store
Hope Merrill/Hope Bosworth House MERCURY WINES
Diavola Pizzeria
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Hoffman House Restaurant
21712 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville
(707) 857-3264, www.hoffmanhousegeyserville.com
Built more than 100 years ago by the Hoffman family, this
cafe serves healthy breakfast and lunch with striking views of
the majestic mountains nearby. Seasonal dinners, call first.
LODGING
Grape Leaf Inn, 539 Johnson Street, Healdsburg
(707) 433-8140, www.grapeleafinn.com
A picturesque Queen Anne Victorian bed and breakfast, the Grape
Leaf Inn seamlessly blends modern decor with timeless antiques.
Gracious staff provide the best hospitality in this relaxing,
romantic environment.
N
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Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria
21021 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
(707) 814-0111, www.diavolapizzeria.com
Diavola is not only a great stop for picnic items such as house-cured
salumi and olives but also features traditional Italian cooking
including gourmet pizzas from brick ovens and delicicious pastas.
Diavola uses the most locally available ingredients combined with
centuries old recipes.
AC
24
Alexander Valley
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Driving Time: 29 minutes
From Asti
to Mercury Wines >10 miles
to Hawkes Wine
>7 miles
to Medlock Ames
>.5 miles
to Simi
4 miles
Total 21 miles
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Jimtown
Store
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Healdsburg Ridge
Hiking Trail
Veterans Memorial Beach
Belle de Jour Inn, 16276 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
(707) 431-9777, www.belledujourinn.com
A single-story Italiante built in the 1870s, Belle du Jour nestles
on six acres of hilltop overlooking rolling hilltops and valleys.
Hope Merril & Hope Bosworth B&B
21253 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
(707) 857-3356, www.hope-inns.com
Once an early stage-coach stop, these now two strikingly restored
Queen Anne Craftsman homes welcome you with open arms.
Truly where wine and romance intertwine!
Geyserville Inn, 21714 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
(707) 857-4343, www.GeyservilleInn.com
First class accomodations at more affordable prices
in the heart of wine country!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Take a trip up to Asti, just north of Geyserville along Highway 101, and you’ll discover the county’s most historic winery.
The Asti Winery came alive all the way back in 1881, when
Genoa-born Andrea Sbarbaro first established the Italian Swiss
Colony. His idea was to create an agricultural cooperative to
provide work for the local Italian immigrants, and at the same
time produce world-class wines.
This seemingly quiet spot in the northern reaches of
Sonoma County was a bustling community and popular tourist
destination for many decades. In 1962, Italian Swiss Colony
was the second most visited destination in California (after
Disneyland), with 440,000 visitors in that year alone.
Asti was quiet for nearly 20 years, used just as a production
facility for a few wineries. Now Asti is open to the public again
as home to two stellar wineries, Cellar No. 8 and Souverain.
You’ve likely seen Cellar No. 8’s white label in the retail market,
but at Asti they’re showing off the winery’s black label wines,
produced in quantities of 10 barrels or less.
The Souverain (formerly Chateau Souverain) wines are
simply better than ever. Winemaker Ed Killian, the steady
hand behind Souverain for 20 years, puts his best stuff in the
Winemaker’s Reserves. The 2008 Souverain Winemaker’s
Reserve Chardonnay, with an eye-popping 92 points from
Robert Parker, is as lovely and balanced as Chardonnay gets.
Call ahead to schedule a tour of Asti where you can see the
oldest parts of the winery dating back to 1887, plus Andrea
Sbarbaro’s 1902 house modeled after Villa Pompei, and lots of
other surprises!
by Michelle J. Baker
ASTI SUPPORTS CHARITY
Asti is helping to promote Colby Red wine, a delicious
blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot
& Petite Sirah. Proceeds from the sale of Colby Red
support charities that promote heart health. At just
$12.99 a bottle, stock up and support a great cause!
WHAT TO TASTE
You name it, they’ve got it. Chardonnay, Sauvignon
Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and dessert wine.
DID YOU KNOW?
For many years the Asti tasting room was also home to
the town’s post office. Visitors were invited to fill out
postcards to friends and family and the post office would
mail them for free. This great tradition was rekindled
when Asti re-opened to the public, so when you visit
grab a handful of postcards and start filling them out!
Asti Winery –
Cellar No. 8 and Souverain
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
26150 Asti Post Office Road, Cloverdale
www.cellarno8.com and www.souverain.com
To schedule a tour, call (707) 265-5490.
25
2 for 1 Tasting – Receive two tastings for the price of one. Terms and conditions apply. See site for details. Expires 12/31/2011
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Alexander Valley
The lyrics to the song “Mercury Blues” were going
through my head during my visit with proprietor, Brad Beard
at Mercury Wines in downtown Geyserville. I really enjoyed
hangin’ with Brad. Every wine I tasted rocked and their hip
and modern tasting room is not to be missed!
From the sidewalk, large windows in the tasting room
offer views of barrels in one room and an adjoining winefilled, cubbyhole-lined retail room. Once inside, the vibe is
super cool and chic, yet unpretentious. The tasting bar is a
short plank, supported by two wine barrels.
The adjoining barrel room is used for large groups and
private tastings and there’s a patio out back for relaxing in the
Geyserville sunshine.
Now for my favorite part - the wines! Here are my faves:
2008 Freddie Rosé, Sonoma County ($18): Gorgeous!
Mouthwatering aromas of cherry, cranberry, vanilla and a
pinch of green herbs continue as flavors in the bright, juicy
mouth. Almost too easy to drink!
2008 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($25): This Pinot made my
knees weak! OMG! If for no other reason, go there for this
wine – I kid you not! Alluring aromas of raspberry, strawberry jam and cloves lure you into a silken mouthful of
cherry, vanilla and spice. Oh yeah!
When you visit Mercury, there’s a good chance that one of the
winemakers is on-site, pouring the wine and talking about their
unconventional approach to wine.
So, there you have it – great wines at reasonable prices,
cool vibe and nice people, too! by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
26 Alexander Valley
SPECIAL TASTINGS
The barrel room that adjoins the tasting room is used for
large groups and private tastings or on a nice, sunny day,
the patio is available, too.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
I don’t usually write about tasting room restrooms, but
their bathroom is really worth checking out! The walls
are painted bright blue, with one wall full of vinyl records
(all with the Mercury Records label, of course!).
FUN FACT
Behind the bar is a DJ set-up with two turntables,
sitting atop two vintage speakers that were part of the
Woodstock experience. Dig that! During special events,
there is usually a DJ on site, spinning the vinyl.
VARIETALS
Pinot Noir, Bordeaux blends and exotic whites.
Mercury Wines
Open Thursday-Monday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment
21015 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
www.mercurywine.com
For more information, call (707) 857-9870
Join the wine club and get 20% off all purchases as a member!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Located a short drive from Healdsburg, right next door
to the Jimtown Store, Hawkes Winery’s tasting room is a
delicious haven for wine lovers. The building itself is a
converted garage, painted a bright, cheerful white. A riot of
flowers is planted in flower boxes around the front. Once
inside the tasting room, the cheerful, bright theme continues, with floor-to-ceiling windows all around the room and
white open beam ceilings. A wood-topped bar spans one
side of the room and a couple of tables are available for
those who wish to sit and sip.
Alex was my server and she was fantastic! She is very
friendly, really knows her stuff and enjoys sharing her
knowledge with visitors. She also writes a great blog for the
winery’s website.
Let’s talk about the wines. I tasted a few wines during my
visit with Alex and they were all wonderful, but I only have
room to write about a couple, so here goes:
2008 Home Chardonnay ($20): Unoaked, juicy and vibrant, with abundant aromas and flavors of tropical fruit,
exotic flowers and spices, all wrapped up in a crisp mouthfeel.
2006 Red Winery Cabernet Sauvignon ($60): This is a
$120 Cab in a $60 dress! Mouthwatering aromas of ripe
black cherry, mocha, rose petals and cigar box continue as
flavors in the decadently rich, perfectly balanced mouth.
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
VARIETALS
Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Library
wines and large format bottles are also available
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
The Hawkes family was one the first growers to plant
Cabernet in Alexander Valley, back in 1971.
FUN FACT
Hawkes Winery is family-owned. Stephen Hawkes and
his son Jacob run the show with a little help from their
families and faithful staff.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Hawkes Winery has a second tasting room located at 383
1st Street West on the historic Sonoma Plaza
PLAN AHEAD
Give yourself at least a half hour to fully enjoy your visit
and to learn about the wines and winery. A nominal $10
tasting fee (refundable with bottle purchase, excluding
Chardonnay) allows you to taste five fabulous wines, and
sometimes a special library wine is thrown into the mix.
Hawkes Winery
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Monday
6734 Highway 128, Healdsburg
(707) 433-HAWK • www.hawkeswine.com
Twitter: @hawkeswine
Facebook.com/hawkeswine
Free shipping for wine club members. Join today!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Alexander Valley
27
When I first noticed the shiny new Medlock Ames Tasting
Room & Bar sitting proudly where the old Alexander Valley
Store and Bar used to be, it made me a little melancholy.
Change is inevitable, but the old store and bar was another
local hangout that had gone by the wayside. Or so I thought…
Turns out that Medlock Ames has lovingly restored the
bar (the best of old-meets-new) and the tasting room is gorgeous. This place is industrial chic done really, really well!
At the Bar, Thursday is local’s night and it’s a really cool
place to hang out! You’ll find this Wine Wench there!
Let’s start outside – olive trees surround the perimeter of
the grounds, which are neat and orderly, with raised herb and
vegetable beds, there is a pétanque court for those who like
to play and a copper pizza oven sits off to the side. A large
shaded patio off the back of the tasting room is dotted with
picnic tables.
The tasting room is inviting, with lots of windows and
light wood floors. The tasting bar is an island in the middle
of the room, lit with stylish drop-down light fixtures and a
galvanized pipe around the bottom of the bar serves as a foot
rail. There is also a long table next to the bar and a few tables
along the walls and windows where visitors may enjoy their
tasting experienced while seated.
The wines are great, the staff is friendly and the place is
gorgeous! Don’t miss Medlock Ames Winery!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
28 Alexander Valley
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir,
Cabernet Sauvignon, a Red Blend and Rosé
PLAN AHEAD
This is a great place to have a picnic and play pétanque!
Purchase your picnic supplies from nearby Jimtown
Store or from Medlock Ames’ selection of cheeses.
Occasionally, on warm Saturdays, the pizza oven
cranks out a variety of delicious thin crust pizzas,
topped with organic produce from the property.
After 5 p.m., the full bar is open. May through October
enjoy live music Saturdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
FUN FACT
The original building was constructed during the 1860s.
If only those walls could talk!
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
In the season, Medlock Ames sells organic veggies and
olive oil, all grown on their property.
Medlock Ames Winery
Tasting Room is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bar is open Sunday-Thursday 5 to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 5 to 11+ p.m.
3487 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg
www.medlockames.com
For more information, call (707) 431-8845.
Become a Fan on Facebook!
Try out the old-fashioned photo booth in the bar – it actually works!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
It was more than 75 years ago when Isabelle Simi Haigh
announced to her workers that she wanted them to convert a
huge, unused wine vat into a tasting room. Since then, Simi
Winery has built a reputation for offering visitors not just
tastes of superb wine, but also a comfortable and unique setting where you can taste. When the days are warm tours
often begin in the redwood grove by the tasting room. The
grove also serves as the focal point for events and food and
wine pairings. In the redwood grove nearly everyone involved with the winery loves to tell the story of this historic
family and the teenage girl who kept the winery operating
profitably when both her father and her uncle died unexpectedly within weeks of each other. Even the stones used in
the waterfall’s construction have a story to tell. For instance,
all the materials that went into the creation of this idyllic
spot were recycled from earlier structures, or they were natural stones found on the property as, over the years, more and
more land was cleared for vineyards.
Today, the long communal tables are where wine fanciers
from everywhere sit down as perfect strangers and rise as
friends, were crafted from staves of old fermentation tanks.
If it is early recycling that you want to find, look no further
than this innovative, eco-sensitive winery on the outskirts
northeast of Healdsburg in Sonoma County, where fine wine
is served along with a bit of wine country history.
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and
Cabernet Sauvignon
TOURS
Tours of the historic stone cellar, built in 1850,
are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
FUN FACT
The Simi Winery tasting room was originally from a huge
wine vat. Definitely a story you can take home to tell your
friends over a glass of Simi wine, of course.
PLAN AHEAD
Starting in May, on each Friday and Saturday afternoon,
the redwood grove is transformed into an exotic sort of
pizza café, offering a menu of exotic pizzas created by
Chef Eric Lee. The pizzas are made in the East Coast thincrust style, but the toppings are all strictly local, with
generous use of fresh-from-the-farm greens that Eric selects for the pizza he calls “Forage.” Even the Italian
sausage is made in the winery kitchen.
Simi Winery
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(707) 473-3232 • www.simiwinery.com
Follow Simi Winery on Facebook
Two-for-one tasting with this story. Limit 4 people.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Alexander Valley
29
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Giorgi’s
Restaurant
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Driving Time: 22 minutes
From Rodney Strong
to Acorn
>1 mile
to Christopher Creek >2 miles
to Merriam
1 mile
to Chalk Hill
7 miles
Total >11 miles
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Russian River
Valley Produce
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THINGS TO DO
Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
322 Center St., Healdsburg
(707) 431-2784, www.powelsss.com
Remember yesterday, today! An old time, old fashioned candy,
ice cream and sweets shop sure to delight your child within!
This is the first shop for Powell's now beloved franchise.
Riverfront Regional Park
7821 Eastside Rd, Healdsburg, (707) 565-2041
Once an old quarry, Riverfront Regional Park is now home to
two sparkling lakes perfect for swimming and non-motorized
boating...or hike a trail through serene redwood groves!
Rodney Strong Vineyards
11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg
1-800-678-4763, www.rodneystrong.com
Join visitors and locals alike on the lawn outside
Rodney Strong Vineyards for warm summer evenings,
good food, great wine, and a variety of musical guests.
Look for the summer 2011 online!
Russian River Valley Produce
400 Grapevine Lane, Healdsburg, (707) 433-7933
A four-acre, family-owned ranch, Russian River Valley Produce
farms top-notch vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers sure to
brighten any palate and table. Excellent farm tours
by appointment. The best of California farming!
R
.D
The "Eastside Bunch" (as they call themselves) are eight topflight wineries located close together along the eastern stretch
of the Russian River in Sonoma County. Specializing in Pinots,
cool-climate Syrahs, and that famousFERRARI-CARANO
Zinfandel, the Eastside
Bunch represents some of the finest winemaking and culinary
talents in all of Northern California. Don’t miss the annual
Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival in September!
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Eastside Bunch
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Riverfront
Regional Park
Not to scale
FOOD
Giorgi’s Restaurant
25 Grant Street, Healdsburg, (707) 433-1106
Great family-style Italian restaurant…pasta and hand-thrown
pizzas. Has a full bar, open late and food available to go.
Gilardi's Delicatessen
810 Den Beste, Windsor, (707) 838-9869
Certainly a vine above the rest! Feast on homemade lasagna
and freshly baked sourdough garlic breads.
LODGING
Country Garden Lodging, Healdsburg
(707) 431-8630, www.hcountrygardens.com
Three fully-equipped, affordable vacation homes located
on a 25-acre wine country estate boasting spectacular gardens.
Located just 1½ miles from charming downtown Healdsburg.
30 Eastside Bunch
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There are few places on earth more beautiful than
The Green, a bucolic nook of leafy splendor that graces
the grounds of Rodney Strong Vineyards. It represents the
absolute perfect spot in which to savor the marvelous wines
they offer, nibble on picnic fare and revel in the glory of a
day in the wine country.
Mr. Strong was one of the first to recognize in this land
the clues that pointed to its ideal nature as a grape growing
region. He realized that the soil, the climate and the topography here combined in a way to produce the conditions
that are necessary to make world-class wines. All of the
Rodney Strong wines come from grapes grown exclusively
in Sonoma County’s finest appellations: Alexander Valley,
Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Sonoma Coast. He was
also one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River
Valley and the first to produce and release a Chalk Hill
Chardonnay.
Currently available for tasting is their luscious Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot,
Cabernet Sauvignon and Symmetry, a red meritage wine.
Since 1989, the Klein family, who has been involved in
California agriculture for four generations, has privately
owned the winery. Their passion for sustainable farming
practices, solar power and other green business practices
led them to become Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral
winery.
– Ronda Giangreco
GOOD TO KNOW
The winery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and
guided winery tours are offered daily at 11 a.m. and
3 p.m. They feature complimentary tastings and tours.
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Amazing wines, breathtaking views and concerts with
contemporary artists – there’s no better way to enjoy a
Sonoma County summer than at Rodney Strong’s annual
Summer Concert Series presented in association with
Omega Events. Surrounded by acres of beautiful vineyards, guests enjoy top performers while picnicking at
the winery’s intimate concert venue, The Green.
FUN FACT
Depending on the season, you can witness vines being
pruned, the sugar-testing of grapes or receive a crash
course on evaluating wines right out of the barrel.
FIND THEM
Look for Rodney Strong Vineyards on
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Open Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg
For more information, call (707) 431-1533
or visit www.rodneystrong.com.
2 for 1 Reserve tasting – good through August 2011
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Eastside Bunch
31
Bill & Betsy Nachbaur
Located just south of Healdsburg on Old Redwood Highway, Acorn Winery is easy to find. Turn onto the driveway
and wend your way past a few houses, through some wellkept vineyards and you’ve arrived at a very special place.
Really.
Acorn Winery’s owners (and founders), Bill and Betsy
Nachbaur truly enjoy sharing their wines and educating people about the vineyards and the fruits of their labors. A visit
with them is an up-close, personal experience that you won’t
soon forget. In fact, if you visit at harvest time, Bill will take
you out in the vineyard, put a refractometer (sugar meter) in
your hand, have you check sugar levels and create your own
field-blend. Talk about hands-on!
The tasting room is a barrel against a wall in the winery.
Period. This place is all about function – wine grape growing
and crafting excellent wines is the focus here.
I had the pleasure of tasting a few wines during my visit.
They were all excellent, but my particular favorites were:
2007 Sangiovese, Alegria Vineyards $25: This is one of the
best California Sangiovese I have ever tasted (and I’ve tasted a
bunch!). Aromas of black cherry, coffee, vanilla and a potpourri of spices meld seamlessly and continue as flavors in
the bright, juicy mouth.
2007 Zinfandel, Heritage Vines™, Alegria Vineyards $32:
Wow! Aromas and flavors of raspberries, orange peel, caramel
and peppery spice delight from the first sniff, all the way
through the finish. Yum!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
PLAN AHEAD
Make your tasting appointment in advance and plan on
spending at least an hour with Bill & Betsy at Acorn
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
“Alegria” is the vineyard name at Acorn – the Spanish
translation is “happiness,” and the name “Acorn” comes
from the majestic oak trees on the property – meaning
from small beginnings comes mighty results.
FUN FACT
More than 40 different grape varieties are grown in Acorn
Winery’s vineyards and incorporated into their wines.
VARIETALS
Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel,
“Rosato” and “Medley”
Acorn Winery
Tasting by appointment only
12040 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg
www.acornwinery.com
For your private tasting appointment,
call Bill or Betsy at (707) 433-6440
Follow Acorn Winery on Facebook.
Mention this story for 50% off shipping charges on purchase of a case or more.
32 Eastside Bunch
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
of the grapes. “The best
Quietly charming. It’s a good
Christopher Creek Winery quality
wines in the world are made in the
phrase – perhaps the perfect one – to
Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
vineyard. The main job of the winedescribe Christopher Creek Winery.
maker is to take care of the grapes
The winery is owned by the
641 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg
and protect what Mother Nature
Wasserman family who, in addition
(707) 433-2001
has given us in such abundance.
to their grape growing and winewww.christophercreek.com
That is the philosophy here, and
making venture, have a long history
Become a Fan on Facebook!
you’ll find the proof is in the botof farming in California’s Central
tle, and in your glass.”
Valley where they have farmed oranges for the past 38
To taste their superb wines, just head to the tasting
years. They adamantly believe that that growing the
room. Christopher Creek’s is cozy, comfortable and inhighest quality grapes possible must be the main focus
disputably and proudly rustic. As a result, it’s
if you want to produce truly great wines.
sometimes tough to tell where the tasting room ends
They, and their winemaker, Texas native Todd
Crowell understand and appreciate the fine balance be- and the serious business that constitutes a working
winery begins, all of which happily adds to the charm.
tween the agricultural practices they employ and the
RECENT AWARDS
ZINFANDEL
2009 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
• Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, January 2011
CABERNET
2007 Finlay's Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Cabernet
• Gold Medal – Best of Class
– Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, April 2010
• Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, January 2011
PETITE SIRAH
2008 Russian River Valley Estate Bottled Reserve Petite Sirah
• SWEEPSTAKES WINNER – Best Red in Show
– Riverside International Wine Competition, May 2010
• Gold Medal – North of the Gate Wine Competition
VIOGNIER
2008 Catie's Corner Russian River Valley Viognier
• Gold Medal – Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, April 2010
• Gold Medal – Sonoma County Harvest Fair, September 2010
SyRAH
2007 Russian River Valley Estate Bottled Syrah
• Silver Medal – Riverside International Wine Competition, April 2009
PETITE SIRAH PORT
2008 Petite Sirah Port
• Gold Medal – Sonoma County Harvest Fair, September 2010
• Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, January 2011
Futures are often sold out before they are even bottled due to high demand, expectations and limited quantities.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Eastside Bunch
33
Winery owners Peter and Diana Merriam are both New
Englanders transplanted to California. Their honeymoon in
France led to a life-time love of fine wines, and his career as a
wine retailer reinforced their love of Bordeaux wines. All of
which led them to purchase an 11-acre vineyard property in
2000 called Windacre Vineyard – the soils of which are
uniquely suited to Bordeaux varieties. A second property was
purchased in 2002. Some of the vineyards back up to the
Chalk Hill appellation. A good thing, because it means the
climate here is warm enough to produce richly ripe Bordeaux
varieties. Winemaker David Herzberg is thrilled to work with
some of the best Bordeaux vineyards in Sonoma County
Merlot from Windacre Vineyard has great depth and
balance, with rich fruit flavors and smooth tannins. For white
wine fanciers there is a Chardonnay from Alexander Valley.
Fermented in French oak barrels, it’s barrel-aged 10 months in
the barrel for a silky, creamy mouth feel.
The winery and tasting room at Merriam are reminiscent of
New England farmhouses; the presence of a stately palm pays
homage to California and the generous warmth of this location.
Magnificent views show off the rolling hills and vineyards
while a terrace dotted with tables and chairs invites visitors to
linger, taste and enjoy the view.
Because of the limited production, their wines are available
mostly at the tasting room or to wine club members. You’ll also
find limited distribution in some New England states. But why
not just enjoy a beautiful day in Sonoma County and come
visit the winery?
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux Blend and
the always refreshing Rosé of Cabernet.
FUN FACT
The Stainless Steel Chardonnay was just released. It is
from the Simoneau Ranch Vineyard, made from five
different fruit clones. It tastes like a vacation in the
Tropics! Their Miktos (Greek, meaning “to blend well
together”), is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This is a huge wine with
plum and cassis flavors and powerful but tamed tannins.
GOOD TO KNOW
The tasting room offers gourmet picnic lunch items like
paté, cheese, tapenades and salami. So you can enjoy a
snack on the terrace with your favorite Merriam wine.
PLAN AHEAD
Cheese and wine pairings are available by appointment
($20 per person).
Merriam Vineyards
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. spring, summer & fall
(Thursday-Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter)
11650 Los Amigos Road, Healdsburg
(707) 433-4032 • www.merriamvineyards.com
Look for them on Facebook.
Winery tours and barrel samplings are available by appointment.
Traditional New England Lobster Bake takes place every July.
34 Eastside Bunch
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Founded in 1972 by Fred Furth, Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery was the first established estate winery on
Chalk Hill Road. Current owner, Bill Foley, purchased the
property in August of 2010.
The beautifully designed winery sits atop a large hill and
provides visitors stunning panoramic views of Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa counties. Mount St. Helena punctuates the
background.
The visitors center is clean, elegant and well appointed,
with a tasteful selection of upscale wine-related gifts. The staff
is warm, friendly and informative. And the wines…let me tell
you about the wines! I tasted a handful of wines during my delightful and educational visit and the following two wines were
my favorites:
• 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, $33: Mouthwatering aromas of ripe,
juicy pear, melon, white flowers and cut hay continue as flavors in the luscious, balanced mouth.
• 2007 Estate Red, $70: What an elegant, sexy wine! Picture
George Clooney in an Armani suit…OK, back to the wine –
aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackcurrant, cigar box
and mocha abound, all wrapped up in a decadently rich
mouth. Oh, yum!
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery has it all, wonderful
wines, scenic views, friendly staff and a beautiful facility. Plan
to relax and spend some quality time here. Tell ’em The Wine
Wench sent you!
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
SPECIAL TOURS AND TASTINGS
• Private tasting: $10 per person, daily
• Estate tour: $20 per person, Monday through Friday,
includes tasting
• Culinary tour: $75 per person, call for dates;
includes estate tour, culinary garden tour and private
food & wine pairing with Chef Didier Ageorges
PLAN AHEAD
A “regular” wine tasting takes 30-45 minutes, the estate
tour takes about 1½ hours and the culinary tour takes
about 2½ hours.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
All wines produced by Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards &
Winery are 100% estate grown, unfined and unfiltered.
Chalk Hill Estate
Vineyards & Winery
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
10300 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg
www.chalkhill.com
For tours and reservations, call
(707) 657-4837
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
Mention this story for 2-for-1 tasting.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Eastside Bunch
35
Sebastopol/Freestone
36 Sebastopol/Freestone
Freestone – Freestone is Sonoma’s first historical district and it is easy to see why! Harkening back to days
of western expansion and rural community, this small patch of old Sonoma County sits at the appropriately
named intersections of Bohemian Highway and Bodega Highway. Drive along some of the most scenic
stretches of pastoral California. Rustic bakeries, artisan wineries, creative day spas and roadside galleries
and garden shops are among the relaxed stops to make in rural Freestone.
DINING
Wild Flour Bread Bakery
140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone
(707) 874-2938
An over-the-top, sensory overload destination
full to the brim with espresso, sticky buns,
goat-cheese flat bread, seeded wheat breads –
all made by hand, all fresh and all delicious!
POINTS OF INTEREST
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary
209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, (707) 823-8231
Rejuvenate yourself in this one-of-a-kind Japaneseinfluenced cedar enzyme baths and massages.
Enduring Comforts
142 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone, (707) 874-111
A sweet mix of hand picked delights from new
hats, scarves, jewelry and cloths to antique furniture and an array of eclectic heirlooms.
Howard’s Station Cafe
3811 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental
(707) 874-2838, www.howardstationcafe.com
This was originally a railroad station
in the 1870s. Now serves a healthy,
organic breakfast and lunch stop.
Voted Best Breakfast.
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Driving Time: 26 minutes
From Freestone
to Dutton Estate
11 miles
to Balletto
4 miles
Total 15 miles
LODGING
Green Apple Inn
520 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, (707) 874-2526
A classic five-room B&B. Enjoy freshly baked
breads every morning!
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Sushi Tozai
Peter Lowell’s West County Organic
Sonoma County Repertory Theater Hopmonk
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Osmosis Day Spa
Enduring Comforts
Wild Flour Bakery
Green Apple Inn
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Howard’s Station Caf
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Occidental
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DINING
GTO’s Seafood House
234 South Main Street, Sebastopol
(707) 824-9922
A taste of New Orleans here in wine country!
Hopmonk Tavern
230 Petaluma Avenue, Sebastopol
(707) 829-7300, hopmonk.com
This killer brew pub is an absolute local favorite.
Go for a pint and stay for the live music out back
on the patio or the fun crowd at the bar.
Sushi Tozai
7531 Healdsburg Avenue, Sebastopol
(707) 824-9886 • www.sushitozai.com
Creative cuisine fused with fresh fish and local
ingredients! Impressive Japanese woodcarvings
and fine art.
Peter Lowell’s West County Organic
7385 Healdsburg Avenue, Suite 101
(707) 829-1077 • www.peterlowells.com
Feel good from the inside out after one of Peter
Lowell's delicious dinners made entirely from
locally produced and organic foods.
Shop Downtown Sebastopol!
Small town America meets hippie-chic
along this goldmine of a downtown.
Art and hand-hewn furniture galleries,
artisan clothiers and book sellers, tea houses
and wine bars, high-end restaurants and
beer pubs, theater and live music venues,
ice cream parlors and yoga studios.
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LODGING
Fairfield Inn & Suites
1101 Gravenstein Hwy. So., Sebastopol
1-800-465-4329 • www.marriott.com
Fairfield Inn & Suites provides a high-end Marriott experience within the heart of Sebastopol and
Russian River wine country.
The Sebastopol Inn
6751 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol
1-800-653-1082 • [email protected]
www.sebastopolinn.com
Lush gardens & fresh water fountains, wraparound porches and veranda-style-lounging
Vine Hill Bed & Breakfast
3949 Vine Hill Rd, Sebastopol
(707) 823-8832 • [email protected]
www.vine-hill-inn.com
Enjoy relaxing accommodations in this awardwinning, stunningly remodeled 1890s
Victorian. Be pampered with a full breakfast,
Egyptian towels and glorious views!
POINTS OF INTEREST
Antique Row Gravenstein Highway
Highway 116 from Cotati to Sebastopol
(a.k.a Gravenstein Hwy)
Antiques, collectibles, glassware and furniture.
Sonoma County Repertory Theater
104 N. Main St, Sebastopol, (707) 823-0177
Inspired, contemporary plays, top-notch performances and educational programs.
IE
Sebastopol – Equal parts hippie chic and rustic
elegance, Sebastopol is a true insider's favorite.
Located at the mouth of Russian River wine country, Sebastopol offers authentically artisan
shopping, great tea houses, brew pubs and restaurants and darling hotels all within a quaint
one-street-downtown. Local families stroll the
sidewalks eating hand-made ice cream cones.
Visitors stretch out and relax in any one of the
outdoor cafes, pubs and bistros. And the local
theatre and live music scene is beyond lively. If you
are looking for an off-beat (but still fabulous) wine
country experience, Sebastopol is your place!
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FREESTONE VINEYARDS
TO BODEGA /SONOMA COAST
Not to scale
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The hills and wizened old oaks give way to majestic redwood
groves as you head toward the Pacific. And then you come to the
historic and serene town of Freestone. Here you will find a vibe
that is decidedly tranquil, a place of peace and calm. But it was the
arrival of the Freestone Vineyards Tasting Room that has now elevated the little village to a true destination.
Located just minutes from the ocean, their vineyards enjoy
cool Pacific breezes that nurture and coax along the delicate nature of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Planted in 2000,
they are the realization of a dream for the Phelps family, who purchased the property and began planting vineyards that took
advantage of the favorable growing conditions of the region. At an
elevation of 500 feet, with rolling hills and views of the ocean, it
is an ideal location to plant grapes.
The tasting room is housed in the middle of town. The
intimate space is perfect for enjoying the fine wines produced
from the surrounding vineyards. Inside, you’ll be invited to
take a seat while you’re poured a selection of their award-winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays; an outside seating area is
perfect for enjoying not only the fabulous wines, but also the
ocean breeze that the grapevines like.
“Because this is a relaxed, seated wine tasting experience,”
explains Brad Schenider, tasting room manager. “We usually take
an hour or so to pour our wines. This allows us time to explain
what it is we do and why. We really enjoy not just pouring wine,
but educating guests about the process and the art of winemaking.”
WHAT TO TASTE
What else? Their memorable, delicious, hand-crafted Pinot
Noir and Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast vineyards.
PLAN AHEAD
Special events are held the second Sunday afternoon of
the month and are the perfect opportunity to sample
wonderful wines (including new releases) and talk with
the winemakers and vineyard staff, as well as enjoy delectable food like crab cakes, local artisan cheese and listen
to live music.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
The name of this picturesque town of about 50 dates
back to 1853 and refers to a public sandstone quarry.
Starting in 1873, Freestone was a stop on the North
Pacific Coast Railroad which eventually connected
Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry.
Freestone Vineyards
Open Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
12747 El Camino Bodega, Freestone
(707) 874-1010 • www.freestonevineyards.com
For groups of six or more you are
encouraged to call ahead.
Facebook: freestonevineyards
Twitter: @freestonewine
Join them each second Sunday of the month for special wine and food pairings,
art and entertainment. Visit the website for the current schedule.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sebastopol/Freestone
37
that provides grapevines the ideal combination of a nuWhat makes visiting wine country so much fun is
trient-poor yet well-draining base to thrive. Not long
that, no matter how many times you visit, there’s always
after the Duttons first planted grapes, the Dutton Ranch
a new winery to discover. For some visitors there’s even
name became synonymous with great Chardonnay.
a whole new wine region to explore, and all you have to
Fast forward to today, and the Dutton family farms
do is ignite your spirit of adventure, fire up the GPS or
more than 1,100 acres of grapes in the Green Valley as
take out a good map, and you’ll be richly rewarded.
well as 250 acres of CCOF cerOut in southwest Sonoma
tified organic apples. Warren’s
County is one such area just
Dutton Estate Winery
son, Joe and his wife, Tracy
waiting to be discovered – the
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Dutton, first started producing
scenic, rolling Green Valley
wine in 1995 and started their
appellation. Green Valley is
8757 Green Valley Road, Sebastopol
boutique winery called Dutton
the foggiest and coolest wine
(707) 829-9463 • www.sebastopolvineyards.com
Estate which showcases wines
appellation along the North
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,
made from their best grapes.
Coast. While summer days in
Syrah, Zinfandel and Late Harvest Zinfandel
The Duttons hang their
Green Valley are warm like the
tasting room shingle at a quaint
rest of wine country, the cool,
and cozy bungalow in front of the winery at the corner
foggy mornings and evenings here create the perfect cliof Highway 116 and Green Valley Road in Sebastopol.
mate for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Dutton Estate’s wines are exclusively from the Dutton
There’s no family more connected to the history of
family’s vineyard spread out through the Green Valley.
Green Valley than the Duttons, who began farming in
Two tasting flights are available in the tasting room,
Sonoma County in 1881. Warren Dutton began his
Reserve and Estate tastings, both featuring selections of
farming endeavors out of downtown Graton growing
single-vineyard estate wines with eye-popping ratings in
apples and recognized before anyone else the viticulture
the 90s from a variety of wine publications.
potential of the Green Valley area. In 1967, Warren
Dutton Estate focuses its production on Chardonnay
planted the first Chardonnay grapes in western Sonoma
County and the Green Valley. Green Valley turned out to and Pinot Noir, but also offers Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah,
be a world-class spot for Chardonnay due to the cool cli- and an occasional surprise such as Zinfandel and Late
Harvest Zinfandel.
by Michelle J. Baker
mate as well as the area’s special soil type, Goldridge,
Tracy Dutton’s mother is co-owner of the multi- generation Kozlowski Farms who are well known for
producing and growing specialty foods since 1948 – located only 1 mile north from Dutton Estate Winery.
38 Sebastopol/Freestone
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
You know that you are in real farm country when you head
to Balletto Vineyards. Sheep graze, veterinarian offices outnumber those of physicians, orchards border acres of vines,
and Balletto Vineyards sits in the middle of it all.
The estate wines you will find at Balletto grow in the distinct soils and climates of Sonoma County’s Russian River
Valley, and they invite you to come and, as they say, “Taste the
bounty that is Balletto” at their tasting room set in the middle
of a 200-acre vineyard. In all, they have a dozen vineyards in
this world-famous appellation. As the grape-growing business
grew, they decided to make wine instead of just selling grapes.
As growers first, they have strong feelings that with good
grapes, good wine will follow.
To experience Balletto you can visit their comfortable and
friendly tasting room or relax outside with your picnic lunch
where there is plenty of seating and the sound of trickling
water from the fountain.
“One thing I want our visitors to know is that we offer a
self-guided vineyard tour. While not many wineries allow you
to walk thru their vineyards, we actually encourage it,” said
tasting room manager Nancy Woods. “People who come to
the winery both appreciate and enjoy this option.” Just one
more reason to make the trip to this true “wine country” destination, where nature still dominates the landscape and the
wines will make you smile.
by Charles Neave
WHAT TO TASTE
The winery offers a wide selection of hand-picked
varietals for tasting, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,
Zinfandel, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Rose and Syrah
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
The Ballettos started out as vegetable growers and
transitioned into grape growers. Today, they farm 500
acres of vines and sell off 90% of what they grow. John
Balletto began farming in 1977 at the age of 17 and is a
big influence in this part of Sonoma County.
FUN FACT
Be sure to ask them about their own “Field of Dreams.”
The answer will surprise you.
PLAN AHEAD
There are a number of delis and groceries nearby where
you can pick up a picnic lunch. The winery’s patio and its
fountain is a great place for a lunch al fresco, with a bottle
of their wine, of course.
Balletto Vineyards
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 568-2455 ext. 101
www.ballettovineyards.com
Look for them on Facebook and Twitter!
Bring in this story and receive complimentary wine tasting.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sebastopol/Freestone
39
Russian River/Olivet
For more than a century, the Russian River has been a true gateway to the grandeur of California's
wild nature and dramatic coast. Today, it is still a destination for all naturalists as well as an
increasingly high-profile wine region – and rightly so. Russian River wines are quickly becoming
some of the finest, most sought-after wines in the world and artisan winemakers are finally
getting their due. Come for the fresh air, fine wines, incomparable cuisines and relax!
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Vintners Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 575-7350, www.vintnersinn.com
A luxury, 44-room, 4 Diamond intimate hotel that is
designed to showcase the very finest in gracious hospitality
that Wine Country provides. Relax in the spa, walk the
grounds, even take a cooking class with famed chef John Ash!
Truly an exceptional hotel!
Fountain Grove Inn
101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa
(707) 578-6101, www.fountaingroveinn.com
For business or leisure travel, the Fountain Grove Inn
Hotel & Conference Center is a luxurious, but not ostentatious,
hotel that is convenient to all of Sonoma County wine country.
Hilton Sonoma Wine Country
3555 Round Barn Blvd., Santa Rosa
(707) 523-7555, www.hilton.com
Enjoy 13 acres of landscaped grounds and views over
Santa Rosa Valley in this resort-like, pet-friendly,
100% non-smoking hotel.
DO
OW
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Pacific Coast Air Museum
THINGS TO DO
2230 Becker Blvd., Santa Rosa
Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 575-7900
(707) 579-2551, www.safariwest.com
www.pacificcoastairmuseum.org
Fun for all generations of your family!
“Climb Aboard” vintage aircraft,
Experience the spirit of Africa in the wine
and learn about the history of where and
country on a Safari Adventure or book a tent
how it was used from the crew who has
and sleep overnight in the Animal Kingdom.
lovingly restored it. Currently, the
Riverfront Regional Park
F-14 Tomcat, F-16N Viper & F-5 Tiger II
7821 Eastside Road, Healdsburg
are featured.
(707) 565-2041
Windsor Golf Club
Once a gravel quarry site, this park now boasts
1340 19th Hole Drive, Windsor
2 sparkling lakes perfect for fishing and
(707) 838-7888, www.windsorgolf.com
non-motorized boating. Explore redwood grove
Follow in the footsteps of the pros at this
picnic areas and more than 2 miles of trails
par 72 championship course regarded by
around Lake Benoist!
the regulars as a must-play course.
Charles Schulz Museum
Four tee options provide an appropriate
2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa
challenge for any skill level.
(707) 579-4452, www.schulzmuseum.com
Armstrong Redwoods
A tribute to the wonderful man who
17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville
brought so much joy to the world with the
(707) 869-2015, www.parks.ca.gov
"Peanuts" cartoon strip. Finally, a fitting
The ancient coast redwood is the tallest living
place in Charles "Sparky"RODNEY
Schulz'
STRONG
thing
hometown to preserve, display,
and
John Ash
& Co.on our planet! Come see this stately
Vintners
Inn preserve of trees close to 1,000 years old!
nature
interpret the Peanuts art.
FOOD
John Ash & Co. Restaurant , 4330 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 527-7687, www.vintnersinn.com
Celebrate wine cuisine at its best. Cooking seasonally with fresh,
local foods and produce—and pairing these exceptional recipes
with wines from the region, today the restaurant remains an
icon of gourmet dining and wine country living.
Gilardi's Delicatessen, 810 Den Beste, Windsor, (707) 838-9869
Certainly a vine above the rest! Feast on homemade lasagna
and freshly baked sourdough garlic breads.
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Hilton Sonoma
Wine Country
John Ash & Co.
Vintners Inn
Charles Schultz Fountain Grove Inn
Museum
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Driving
TO Time: 36 minutes
BODEGA
From
Kendall-Jackson
BAY
to Russian
Hill
5 miles
to Martin Ray
4 miles
to DeLoach
>4 miles
to Suncé
>1 mile
to Hook & Ladder
>1 mile
to Cellars of Sonoma 7 miles
Total 21 miles
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ESTATE
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KENDALL-JACKSON
WINE CENTER
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Riverfront
Regional Park
Safari West
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Pacific Coast Air Museum
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Armstrong Redwoods
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Freestone Vineyards
Guest Center
4th
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OCCIDENTAL RD.
40 Russian River/Occidental
HWY. 1
CELLARS OF
SONOMA
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GRATON RD.
SONOMA
VALLEY
12
TO
HWY. 101
Not to scale
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Kendall-Jackson has always had a commitment to the
land. Ask any vineyard manager or winemaker … it is a
mantra that always rings true. Or as they say at this world-famous Sonoma County winery: “One of the ‘truths’ we live by
is that from the best land come the best wines. Our Estate
vineyards are located atop cool coastal mountains, on rocky
ridge tops and rolling hillsides. These are places where soil,
climate and the vines come together to create remarkable
fruit. It’s our commitment to crafting extraordinary wines
from California’s best vineyards.”
At this magnificent chateau set on 120 acres, wine and
food lovers gather to experience the flavors of the region.
A variety of options is available. Enjoy a seated wine and
food pairing, visit the tasting bar, discover limited-edition
wines and tour the demonstration vineyard and extensive
culinary and sensory gardens that surround the chateau.
The Classic tasting is $5 per person and you can choose
four wines to taste. For an additional $10 per person, you
can try the Reserve wines – many available only at the
winery. The most extravagant choice is the Wine & Food
pairing. This is a unique, not to be missed opportunity.
Meet the chef, taste the wines and learn about the process of
pairing wines with food. No matter which of the three wine
and food options you decide upon, each is a fun and educational experience in a beautiful setting.
FUN FACT
Family owned and operated, Kendall-Jackson winery is
now into its third decade of handcrafting wine in Sonoma
County. In 1974, Jess and his family bought an 80-acre pear
and walnut orchard. After converting the orchard to a
vineyard, Jess began selling his grapes to local wineries,
and in 1982 he produced his first bottle of wine under the
Kendall-Jackson label.
DON’T FORGET
Visit the fascinating wine sensory garden for a new way of
understanding and appreciating wines. Plantings represent
aromas and/or flavors in both red and white wines. These
two innovative and lovingly tended gardens have been
designed and planted to demonstrate terms that wine
writers and educators use to describe what we smell and
taste in a glass of wine. Each garden also features produce
that pairs well with red or white wines.
PLAN AHEAD
Be sure to ask about the Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival
in the fall. It always sells out, so get your tickets early.
Music, food, wine and, of course, tomatoes.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
5007 Fulton Road, Fulton
(707) 571-8100 • www.kj.com
Follow Kendall-Jackon on Facebook and Twitter
Complimentary Reserve Tasting if you bring in Day Trips.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Russian River/Occidental
41
Russian Hill Estate is a family-owned and operated de rigeur winery dog and cat, Kiri and Ruska. (Both aniwinery in the Russian River Valley. Husband-and-wife mals, by the way, have official job functions at the winery
team Edward Gomez and Ellen Mack began searching for aside from acting as greeters: they are in charge of the Inproperty in the area in the mid-1990s, knowing they tegrated Pest Management program, specializing in
wanted to make Pinot Noir and well aware that Russian chasing birds away from the ripening grapes and catchRiver Valley had already established an outstanding rep- ing little critters that could damage the vines.)
utation as the premiere region for growing these grapes.
Inside the tasting room, although you may be enIn 1997, they purchased a proptranced by the views, you’ve
erty that had a home on it, but
come to taste Patrick’s delicious
Russian Hill Estate
no vineyards. In the ensuing
wines. The winery is dedicated
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
years, they have planted vineto Pinot Noir and Syrah, but
yards, built a winery and, under
Patrick also makes two excel4525 Slusser Road, Windsor
the winemaking leadership of
lent white wines – Chardonnay
(707) 575-9428 • www.russianhillestate.com
their nephew Patrick Melley,
from one of the prestigious
have created their own reputaDutton Ranch vineyards and an
Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier
tion for excellence in Pinot Noir
estate-grown Viognier. Now for
FUN Did you know that Russian Hill's tasting room the Pinot Noirs! Patrick curand, perhaps uniquely, for a deFACT was originally a dog kennel? Maybe that
licious cool-climate Syrah.
rently has five Pinots from
is why Russian Hill is so dog friendly!
You owe it to yourself to visit
different Russian River Valley
Russian Hill Winery to sample
vineyards. This is an outstandPatrick’s award-winning wines. A second good reason to ing opportunity to taste the difference that vineyard
visit is to enjoy the stupendous views of one of Sonoma location makes in the wine. All are classic Pinot Noirs,
County’s most enchanting regions. Why not bring your however, with rich cherry-raspberry and sweet spice flalunch to enjoy here? Russian Hill is set in the midst of vors.
rolling hills with panoramic views in all directions, but it
The real surprise of the tasting may well be Patrick’s
is isolated in the sense that there are no delis or restau- Syrah. Unlike the wines from warmer climates, the coolrants nearby, and you won’t want to hurry away once climate expression of the Russian Hill Syrahs is one of
you’ve arrived.
elegant restraint of characteristic ripe, black fruit and
Drive up a winding driveway lined with olive trees to spice flavors. His Syrah is smooth and deeply rich with
the tasting room and winery. The stately, pale-yellow soft tannins that come from extended bottle ageing bebuildings sit atop a hill covered with vineyards, and the fore release. Choose your favorite wine and enjoy a bottle
tasting room has windows that let you admire the scenery with your picnic on the covered outdoor patio while you
while you sip your wine. You will probably be met by the revel in the beauty of Russian River Valley. by Nan Reiley
42
Russian River/Occidental
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Martin Ray Winery is an ambitious amalgam of labels and
wines, all housed in one of Sonoma County’s most historic wineries. Courtney Benham is a third-generation San Joaquin Valley
winemaker who knew he wanted to own a winery himself. In
1990, he discovered a treasure trove of old library wines with the
label of Martin Ray, a Santa Cruz Mountains winemaker. Courtney
bought the rights to the Martin Ray name and in 2003 purchased
the historic Martini-Prati Winery in western Sonoma County; they
are now home to the Martin Ray line of wines.
One common thread is the firm belief that vineyard location
is crucial to character and quality. There is a special emphasis
on mountain-grown wines, a conviction that mountain-side
elevation provides cooler nights during the growing season resulting superb fruit ripeness. Diamond Mountain in Napa Valley,
Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz
Mountains to the south are three of the most prestigious vineyard
locations for Martin Ray grapes.
Wines available include fruit-forward, picnic-friendly
Angeline wines, while Martin Ray wines have more structure and
vineyard character and the Reserves are all vineyard designate.
Courtney Benham wines are limited-production offerings from
some of California’s most interesting wine regions.
At the winery, picnic tables and chairs outside the tasting
room look over verdant hills and vineyards. Lush, colorful landscape and flowers surround the tasting room and the tasting
room staff can suggest interesting wines to taste side by side so
you can compare a Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain
with one from Alexander Valley. It’s not only a great educational
experience, it’s also lots of fun!
VARIETALS
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Rosé, Pinot Noir,
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
ON THE VINE
The longer “hang time” (the time a grape cluster
remains on the vine) means riper, richer fruit.
You can find the result right there in your glass.
FUN FACT
Martin Ray is one of the oldest historical winery sites in
the Golden State – California – so take your time and
wander through the cellar and see the 10,000 gallon
old-growth redwood tanks.
PLAN AHEAD
Allow extra time for a tour by appointment only of the
historic production facilities as well as extensive tasting.
The scenic drive there on winding roads is a fascinating
combination of forests and vineyards. You’ll know you’ve
reached the winery when you see the large water tower
that dominates the skyline at the winery.
Martin Ray Winery
Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
2191 Laguna Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 823-2404 • www.martinraywinery.com
Look for them on Facebook and become a Fan!
43
15% discount on your first purchase when you mention this story in the Tasting Room!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Russian River/Occidental
This is a great place to consider if you are planning a private party. Behind the tasting room is the “guest house,” a
large rustic wooden building with lots of glass to let in the
Russian River Valley sunshine. There is an elegant great
room with comfortable furniture scattered about, a large
dining room with a long table at the ready for private tastings and dinners, a commercial kitchen (complete with
in-house chef) and three bedrooms for overnight guests. The
walls are bedecked with gorgeous original art, created by
students of the San Francisco Academy of Art.
The tasting room is spacious and comfortable. My first
impression was of bottles, bottles everywhere! The whole
wall behind the tasting bar and one other wall are covered
with horizontally stacked bottles. There is a tasteful selection
of wine-related merchandise artfully displayed around the
room.
I was very impressed by the wines I tasted. Here we go…
2007 Hawk Hill Chardonnay, $50: Big, intense and loaded
with aromas and flavors of buttered toast, spiced baked
apple and crisp pear from the first sniff, through to the long,
luxurious finish.
2006 Le Roi Pinot Noir, $45: This Pinot made me weak in
the knees. It is a gorgeous wine with a silken texture and
balanced aromas and flavors of cherry and rose petals with a
hint of earthiness and spice.
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
44
PLAN AHEAD
Schedule a tour of the grounds for $15 (includes a
wine tasting), or simply enjoy the wine tasting, sans tour
for $10. Tours are at 11 a.m. Tasting fees are refundable
with purchase.
VARIETALS
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah,
Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
DeLoach Vineyards was recently licensed as
biodynamic, which is a method of organic farming
that looks upon the soil and farm as living organisms,
so all things on the farm are inter-connected.
At DeLoach Vineyards, there are sheep that keep the
weeds under control in the vineyards and a huge flower
and vegetable garden that provides produce and flowers for special events.
DeLoach Vineyards
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1791 Olivet Road, Santa Rosa
www.deloachvineyards.com
For tours and reservations,
call (707) 526-9111
Mention this story for one complimentary tasting.
Russian River/Olivet
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
At Suncé, (“sun” in Serbo-Croatian), in the heart of the
Russian River Valley appellation where open pastures and olive
trees once dominated the landscape, old head-pruned Zinfandel vines assert their beauty. Nestled in this serene setting,
Suncé Winery is the ideal place to picnic, play bocce, stroll
the Pinot Noir vineyard then chat with the winemaker, Frane
Franicevic.
Franicevic was 17 when the family moved to Louisiana,
before moving to San Francisco to take his PhD in East-West
Philosophy. “I grew up in Croatia, in a small fishing village on
the Adriatic and I helped my father pick grapes and olives. My
parents made wine for the family, but my grandparents were in
the trade. It was hard work, but satisfying.”
Once inside Suncé’s cozy tasting room, you’ll find a wide
array of vineyard-designated wines, beginning with a crisp
Sauvignon Blanc. Moving into the reds, start with the Russian
River Valley Zora’s Estate Pinot Noir, a bold Burgundy-style
wine. Also not to be missed are the old-vine Zins. The Bastoni
Vineyard Zinfandel is reminiscent of its old world origins,
brimming with brambly, luscious blackberries and cracked
black pepper. Also not to be missed is the Double Gold Medal
winning Nebbiolo (think of a domestic Barrolo), a collector’s
wine that Suncé Winery owner and manager Janae Franicevic
says “touches places on the palate that have not been touched,
statistically speaking that is, if it ever makes it out of the vineyard (it’s more difficult to grow than Pinot Noir) it can have the
perfect balance of acid and tannins.” And these wines are, be
assured, just the beginning of your visit to this amazing place.
VARIETALS
There is quite a comprehensive assortment, many of
them seldom found in Northern California. They include
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Barbera,
Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc,
Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre and
Tempranillo.
FUN FACT
The Suncé tasting room and estate features a cozy picnic
area, complete with bocce courts that you are welcomed
to use. It’s a perfect place to come and stay for a while.
HISTORY
Both Frane and Zinfandel have their roots in the
country of Croatia.
GOOD TO KNOW
You can go to their website to get on the wine club
waiting list. Nearly all of Sunce’s highly sought after
releases are limited to 200-400 cases (12-16 barrels)
each and are sold directly to wine club members,
through the tasting room or right out of the barrel
before they’re ever bottled.
Suncé Winery
Open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
1839 Olivet Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 526-9463 • www.suncewinery.com
Follow Suncé on Facebook.
45
While you’re here, take advantage of the cozy picnic area including bocce courts.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Russian River/Olivet
Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, Olivet
Road has been home to the De Loach family for 35 years.
Cecil De Loach was a firefighter in San Francisco for 16 years
and in 1970, he and his wife Christine bought their first 24acre vineyard in Sonoma County and started second careers as
winegrowers. Five years later they made their first wine and
they went on to build one of the country’s most successful,
popular and iconic wine brands.
In 2003, with the De Loach Vineyards brand – one of the
biggest in the country, the De Loach family decided to start
over. They sold their eponymous winery and concentrated on
Hook & Ladder, which they’d started 20 years earlier with a
Port. In 2004, they opened Hook & Ladder on Olivet Road
on the first property the family purchased, next to the historic
Barbieri Ranch.
Cecil retired from firefighting in 1982, but there are lots of
firefighter themes at Hook & Ladder, including fire department
patches and t-shirts from visiting firefighters decorating the
tasting room. Now, three generations of the De Loach family
keep Hook & Ladder to just 35,000-case annually.
As part of their philosophy of “keeping it simple to help
keep prices down,” the informal and friendly tasting room occupies a part of the winery itself. As to the wine? Medals,
loyal followers and enthusiastic newcomers to the wines are
further proof that the De Loaches are still making great wine
after all these years.
46 Russian River/Olivet
Medal Time
Hook & Ladder hit gold at the San Francisco Chronicle
Wine Competition: two Golds for Merlot and Zin;
Double Gold and Best of Class for Third Alarm Reserve
Pinot Noir; another Double for Sauvignon Blanc.
The Land
On 375 acres situated in Russian River Valley, the
Hook & Ladder vineyards produce cool climate grapes
widely recognized as some of the finest in the world.
Fun Fact
Look for the shiny red Willy’s vintage fire truck near the
driveway.
For Gourmets
The long, cool growing season here yields hand-picked
olives with the intense, ripe flavors for their extra-virgin
olive oil. Made from mature Mission trees, the stonecrushed cold press master blend produces a richly
flavored and beautifully colored oil.
Hook & Ladder Winery and Vineyards
Open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
2134 Olivet Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 526-2255
www.hookandladderwinery.com
Look for them on Facebook and become a Fan!
Complimentary wine tasting...and public service (fire/police, etc.) get a 20% discount.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Situated in the heart of Santa Rosa’s bustling Railroad
Square, Cellars of Sonoma Tasting Room & Wine Bar has become one of the town’s biggest draws as the new place in town
to discover handcrafted, award-winning wines from some of
Northern California’s rising star wineries and both new and established winemakers.
Vintners represented include Amorosa Bella, Bonneau
Wines, Bradford Mountain, DuNah Vineyards, Gann Family
Cellars, James Family Cellars, La Sirena, Krutz Family Cellars
and TR Elliott. All are small-production local wineries.
Adding to the appeal of this trendy spot which does, indeed
feel as much like a restaurant and bar as it does a traditional
wine country tasting room is that they sell their wines by the
glass, and you can order food from one of the nearby restaurants
and they’ll deliver. As one recent visitor wrote, “The atmosphere
is friendly, comfortable, casual and fun.”
“Cellars of Sonoma provides regularly scheduled educational
and special events geared toward Sonoma County residents and
visitors alike,” said owner and founder Scott Jordan. “The experience that we offer isn’t like a traditional wine shop but rather
it’s akin to being in the tasting room of an upscale, family-owned
winery. The ambiance is meant to give our visitors a more
authentic and memorable Sonoma Wine Country experience,
while providing small lot wines to consumers, and it offers a
valuable distribution channel to the wineries.”
It is, as they say in the business world, a classic “win-win”
situation, and more than merits repeat visits, since each day at
this Sonoma establishment is always a new and welcome adventure.
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
VARIETALS
You name it. There are reds, whites, dessert wines,
sparklers like the NV Mendocino Sparkling Brut Rosé,
large format bottles and library wines that in some cases
are available only to members.
CHECK THE DATE
The full and ever-changing calendar of events at
Cellars of Sonoma includes live music, winemaker visits,
special sales, wine recipe potlucks, live broadcasts,
annual parties like those held for the Oscars and more.
Check their website for what’s coming up.
CLUBBING IT
Their popular Wine Club offers both wines that you’ll be
hard-pressed to find anywhere else, as well as discounts.
FUN FACT
Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, right off Highway 101, is
not only filled with historic buildings, it also has its own
boutique shopping.
Cellars of Sonoma
Sunday - Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
133 4th Street, Santa Rosa
(707) 578-1826 • www.cellarsofsonoma.com
Become a Fan on Facebook
Bring this in for a two-for-one current-release wine tasting – a value of $10.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Russian River/Olivet
47
Kenwood/Highway 12
First driving into the Valley of the Moon is certainly a lushly sensory experience. Rolling hills, centuries-old Heritage Oaks and verdant vineyards drape the
slopes and valley floor beneath Sonoma’s majestically craggy Mayacama mountain range. Graceful old country manors and their largely still in-tact estates
dot the countryside while cozy towns still speak to neighborly days gone by.
Follow Highway 12, once the railway system, up through the Valley of the Moon to the bucolic bergs of Kenwood! The “one-stoplight town” of Kenwood may
feel like a sleepy, locals town but culinary and wine magic awaits.
Kenwood boasts some of the finest artisan wineries in all of northern California. Ty Caton, Muscardini Cellars, VJB, Kenwood Winery, Kunde, Deerfield Ranch,
Enkidu, the Annadel Estate, St. Francis and Chateau St. Jean are only some of the award winning, gorgeous Wine Country Destinations located in and adjacent
to Kenwood.
Looking for a break from wine tasting? Enjoy antique shopping at Vita Bella or browse “Swede’s Feeds” for garden and both large or small pets’ needs. Splurge
on an ultra-luxurious massage or facial at the Kenwood Inn & Spa. Or simply sit out, pick up a Kenwood Press newspaper and unwind on the patios at Café
Citti, the Kenwood, or Doce Lunas restaurants.
THINGS TO DO
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Highway 12 & Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood
Hikes include views, bridges, impressive
waterfalls. Home of Ferguson Observatory –
largest in the western United States
Kenwood Plaza Park
Located on Warm Springs Road
between Kenwood Depot and
Kenwood Community Church
This 5 acre park comes complete with a play
structure and picnic tables.
Kenwood Depot
314 Warm Springs Road, Kenwood
(707) 833-5190, www.kenwooddepot.com
Sonoma County Historic Landmark #46.
Now a venue for special events this historic
landmark was once a working train station
and was built from locally cut basalt.
Kenwood Farmhouse
9255 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood
(707) 833-1212
Gift shop specializing in the works of local
artisans and craftsmen.
Look for them on Facebook.
Swede’s Feeds Pet Garden & Gifts
9140 Highway 12, Kenwood
(707) 833-5050, swedesfeedskenwood.com
Gifts, garden art, unsual plants
and pottery.
Kenwood Community Church
9637 Channing Row, Kenwood
www.kenwoodcommunitychurch.com
Charming church built in 1888
Adler Fels
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Vineyards Inn
8445 Highway 12, Kenwood
(707) 833-4500, www.vineyardsinn.com
Creative, organic, authentic flavors of Spain
LODGING
Kenwood Inn And Spa
10400 Highway 12, Kenwood
1-800-353-6966, www.kenwoodinn.com
A secluded, luxury hotel; Mediterranean-inspired private
restaurant; rated in the top three resort spas in the United
States – Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Poll, April 2009
Sugarloaf Ridge
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Café Citti
9049 Highway 12, Kenwood
(707) 833-2690, www.cafecitti.com
A trattoria style restaurant with
“great food, great value, great atmosphere.”
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Cafe Citti
Vineyards Inn
Photo courtesy of Kenwood Depot
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Driving Time: 4 minutes
From Ledson
to St. Francis
1 mile
to Chateau St. Jean
>2 miles
to VJB Vineyards & Cellars >1 mile
Total 3 miles
FOOD
Kenwood Restaurant
9900 Highway 12, Kenwood, CA 95452
(707) 833-6326, www.kenwoodrestaurant.com
A favorite restaurant for local winemakers, vintners
& celebrities. Fresh ingredients, great views,
local/international wines.
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Kenwood Inn and Spa
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www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Located in the heart of the picturesque Sonoma wine country rests
a majestic castle known as Ledson Winery. The absolute grandeur of
the Castle is simply stunning. Driving up the road to the winery, one
feels they are being welcomed into a world where wine and decadence
meets. Whether exploring the garden, sitting by the fountain and
looking out over the estate vineyard, or combing through the seemingly endless amount of corridors within the Castle, one is sure to feel
they’re in for an unforgettable wine country experience. On every
level, Ledson Winery aims to create an experience for their guests
which goes well beyond common expectations. Once inside, you are
greeted by a concierge and invited to visit any of the three downstairs
tasting bars or peruse the gourmet marketplace fully stocked with
sandwiches, salads and artisanal cheeses – perfect for a picnic outside
on one of many benches overlooking the vineyards. Upstairs are multiple private tasting suites that one can reserve ahead of time. If
visiting with a large group this is really a wonderful way to experience
the winery and I recommend calling to check on availability.
With a staggering 86 different wines produced Ledson offers a
wine tasting experience for all in both diversity and complexity. Not
one of the wines produced by Ledson Winery is distributed outside of
the tasting room. Steve Ledson, the winery’s owner and winemaker,
says he prides himself on crafting wines for every palate. And to do so
effectively, without compromising Ledson’s extraordinary attention to
quality, he limits his total case production to 40,000 cases a year. So if
you want to sample the incredible Ledson catalogue of wines, you
must visit the Castle, in Kenwood. With such beautiful grounds, it’s no
wonder this winery is constantly holding special events throughout
the year. The tickets for their annual Harvest Party, held every October
for wine club members, go quickly. So when planning for you next vacation, or weekend excursion to the wine country, remember that
Ledson Winery’s calendar is one you’ll want to check. by Brendan Conroy
WINEMAKER PHILOSOPHY
“To make a bottle of wine for every person on Earth
for both the price point and palate.”
WHAT NOT TO MISS
The intricately detailed architecture of the building is a
must see. It is designed so that even the smallest detail
on the walls or the floor creates an impact.
TASTING MENU
Ledson has numerous different varietals as well as
diversified growing regions on the menu, so there really
is a wine for every preference. Specific standouts include
the Dry Creek Zinfandel, the Knight’s Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon and the Cépage blend.
YOU MAY NOW KISS THE BRIDE
Ledson is one of the few Sonoma Valley wineries that
can be reserved for wedding ceremonies. There is truly
nothing more magical than a wedding at the beautiful
castle in order to make a story book fantasy come true.
Ledson Winery & Vineyards
Open Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7335 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood
(707) 537-3810 | www.ledson.com
Follow Ledson on Facebook!
For tours & reservations, contact
(707) 537-3823 or [email protected]
Upgraded Tasting: Purchase a tasting of 6 wines and receive an upgrade to 9 wines.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Kenwood/Highway 12
49
With so many different options for wine tasting in Sonoma
Valley, it can be difficult to choose one over another. One winery may have great wine, and another may have a beautiful
view. For the best of everything, come to St Francis Winery &
Vineyards.
Start by admiring the majestic view surrounding the Visitor
Center. With its plush foliage, acres upon acres of vineyards
and intricate, Tuscan-inspired architecture, St. Francis Winery
is nothing short of breathtaking. Sit on the back patio taking in
the view of 136 acres of estate vineyards as well as the
grandeur of Hood Mountain.
With three different tasting options, there is a selection of
wines for every palate. Visitors can select from a mixture of
whites and reds. Zinfandel fanatics can even enjoy a tasting exclusively comprised of different, distinct Zinfandels. The vast
majority of St. Francis’ grapes come from Sonoma Valley, with
the rest coming from other top appellations in Sonoma County,
such as Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.
For the ultimate culinary wine adventure, reserve a seat at
one of the daily wine and food pairings. The multi-course experience costs $35 and pairs four premium wines with
exceptional gourmet foods from the winery’s talented onsite
Executive Chef David Bush. Availability varies by season. Call
for information or reservations: 1-888-675-WINE.
by Brendan Conroy
PLANNING A SPECIAL EVENT?
The St. Francis Visitors Center is perfect for events
such as company meetings or wedding receptions.
It’s a gorgeous setting, ideal for all types of gatherings
and celebrations.
FOR THE SMART BARGAIN HUNTER
The 2007 Pagani Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel is a classic
Sonoma Valley Zin; spicy and brambly, with flavors of
dark fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, followed by
a long, balanced finish. It is currently being sold for a
whopping 30% off, so take advantage of the sale before
it runs out.
WINES TO ENJOY
The 2006 Lagomarsino Cabernet (90% Cabernet with
10% Merlot) has silky, rich fruit on the front palate consisting of mostly blackberry with touches of anise and
oak. For contrast, the 2007 “Tres Viejos” (meaning three
old men) is a ripe Zinfandel with a distinguished flavor of
blueberry in the front and soft jamminess on the finish.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa
1-888-675-WINE • www.stfranciswinery.com
Follow St. Francis on Facebook!
Present this story to receive two-for-one wine tasting,
plus 15% off your wine purchase.
50 Kenwood/Highway 12
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
As patrons arrive at Chateau St. Jean they are greeted by an
expansive European inspired garden. The topiary is a true
spectacle which creates a defined ambiance of both grandeur
and sophistication. The adjacent patio allows patrons to fully
admire the garden even before they have had a chance to taste.
Chateau St. Jean has two wine tasting room options. The
main tasting room has one of the biggest wine-related gift
shops in Sonoma Valley and gives the patron a well-balanced
sampling of both whites and reds. The Vineyard Room, located
directly across from the main tasting room, focuses on
Chateau St. Jean’s higher-end wines. The most enchanting
part about the Vineyard Room tasting experience is the fact
that it can be enjoyed outside. Imagine a brilliant, sun-struck
day sipping wine with friends and family as delightful minutes turn into contented hours without a care in the world.
With a total annual production of slightly under 400,000
cases, consisting of 32 different wines (10 of which are
distributed), Chateau St. Jean is well known in many wine
circles. One of its most highly reputable wines is known as
the Cinq Cépages. A winner of countless awards over the
years, the Cinq Cépages is arguably the most complex wine in
Chateau St. Jean’s wine repertoire. In fact, for $75 per person,
one can experience all of the different components that go
into the wine with the Cinq Cépages blending seminar.
It lasts roughly two hours and the everyday wine drinker can
feel like an expert as they create their own blend and compete with other tour members in the “Best Blend” contest.
– Brendan Conroy
WHAT NOT TO MISS
The gardens stand alone as truly a spectacular sight. The
Vineyard Room tasting may be $10 more than the regular,
but one should invest in the experience itself and taste
premium wines in the comfort of an outside patio overlooking beautiful hills and vineyards.
STANDOUT WINES
The Cabernet Sauvignon Cinq Cépages, Merlot Reserve,
Reserve Chardonnay, Benoist Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc,
Malbec, Fume Blanc and for the sweet wine drinker, the
Gewurztraminer.
ONE STOP SHOPPING
Chateau St. Jean has an exquisite merchandise section
with assorted cheeses, olive oils, balsamic vinegars,
as well as anything one would need in order to create
a superb picnic experience. With grounds as beautiful
as this, one can plan an entire day around the bounty
of Chateau St. Jean.
Chateau St. Jean
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
8555 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood
www.chateaustjean.com
For tours & reservations, call
1-800-543-7572
Follow Chateau St. Jean on Facebook!
2 for 1 wine tasting and 15% off wine purchases with this story.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Kenwood/Highway 12
51
As one of the few family owned and operated wineries in
Sonoma Valley, VJB emphasizes hospitality. Derived from
rich, Italian upbringing, the Belmonte family treats guests as
if they were family. In fact, most of the time one is even able
to meet the actual family members working diligently in the
tasting room and appreciate their love of wine and people.
The idea for the winery originally stemmed from the Belmonte family’s restaurant known as Caffe Portofino located
near the town square of Santa Rosa. They wanted to make
wine specifically to serve their patrons at their restaurant in
order to add a more personal connection to the meal. These
customers were certainly in for treat with these wines.
One of the best representations of VJB’s wine is the 2007
Barbera. It begins with ripe cherry, a hint of boysenberry, and
ends with rich notes of cinnamon and a trace amount of jamminess. This is from start to finish one of the best Barberas in
the valley.
Now producing roughly 5000 cases annually, VJB has extended its neighborly hospitality to the tasting room itself.
The wines are exclusively sold at the tasting room and
through the wine club known as “Club Enoteca.” The wines
themselves are mostly grown in Sonoma Valley on their estate
vineyards and they use, for the most part, neutral oak in
order to emulate the Italian style of winemaking. Not only
does VJB serve wine, but it also offers exceptional Italian coffee and homemade biscotti so that patrons can enjoy the
facility at all hours of the day.
by Brendan Conroy
52 Kenwood/Highway 12
WINE STANDOUTS
The Double Gold awarded 2009 Gabriella Chardonnay
is made in all stainless steel fermentation tanks and
has about 25% maloactic fermentation (what gives
Chardonnay a butter-like taste). It embraces the fruit on
the front with citrusy notes of orange peel and lilac. Pair
this wine with light seafood such as crab cakes or scallops for optimal results. Also try the flagship red known
as the Dante. This combination of Cabernet Sauvignon
and Sangiovese begins with ample spice and blackberry
and finishes with notes of refined, silky dark cherry.
WINE CLUB CRUISE
From June16th-June 23rd, the Belmonte family is
offering to wine club members an opportunity to travel
with them to 10 different parts of Alaska on a cruise
which includes a winemaker’s dinner, wine tasting with
the family, and much, much more. To embark on this
life-changing journey with some of the most sincere
people that you will ever meet go to the website at
www.vjbcellars.com and join the wine club..
VJB Vineyards & Cellars
Tasting available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Espresso bar opens at 7 a.m. weekends
6 a.m. Monday-Friday
9077 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood
(707) 833-2300 • www.vjbcellars.com
Mention this story for Complimentary tasting + 15 % savings on any wine purchase!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Glen Ellen
Follow Highway 12, once the railway system, through the Valley of the Moon to the bucolic berg of
Glen Ellen! Glen Ellen is more than just a town. It is the “foodie” and wine destination for Sonoma
locals. Located north of downtown Sonoma on Arnold Drive, just west of Highway 12, Glen Ellen
restaurants and town market celebrate the best of local wines, produce and services.
Check out Glen Ellen’s award-winning wineries such as Eric Ross, Benzinger, Audelssa, HKG and
Moondance Cellars. Enjoy a rejuvenating spa experience inside a large, historic wine cask at
Magical Massage. Walk Jack London’s hillsides and explore the famous ruins of his Wolf House. Or
gather with friends and family at local spots such as The Fig Café, Glen Ellen Inn, Garden Court
Café, Saffron and Yeti – the best curry you’ll have outside of India.
Whatever your taste, Glen Ellen is one sweet town that satisfies time and again.
CO
THINGS TO DO
Bouverie Preserve
Jack London State Historical Park
13935 Highway 12, Glen Ellen
2400 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen
(707) 938-4554, www.egret.org
Half-mile-long trail cirlcles throughAdler Fels
Magnificent 535-acre property features a
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(707)
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www.oakhillfarm.net
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12841 Highway 12, Glen Ellen
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(707) 996-6027, www.quarryhillbg.org Cafe Citti fresh herbs, lettuce,
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Driving Time: 39 minutes
From Matanzas Creek
to Mayo Family
7 miles
to Arrowood
>2 miles
to B.R. Cohn
>1 mile
to Moondance
3 miles
to Eric Ross
>1 mile
to Mountain Terraces 6 miles
Total 19 miles
RM SPR
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Gaige
House
Inn
MAYO FAMILY
Saffron
Quarry Hill Botanical Garden
NCH RD.
Jack London DON RA
Glen Ellen Inn
Garden Court Cafe
N
State Park LO Jack London Lodge
HKG Tasting Room Bouverie Preserve
Glen Ellen Village
ARROWOOD
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ERIC ROSS
Yeti
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The Red Barn Store
at Oak Hill Farm
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VINEYARDS
FOOD
Glen Ellen InnOyster Grill & Martini Bar
13670 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 996-6409 www.glenelleninn.com
Fusion of local ingredients paired with French,
Asian and Italian influences.
Saffron
13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 938-4844, www.saffronrestaurant.com
“The menu of California fusion cuisine constantly evolves,
with the only constant entrée being Chris’s centerpiece dish,
Paella.”
Yeti Restaurant
14301 Arnold Drive, Jack London Village, Glen Ellen
(707) 996-9930, www.yetirestaurant.com
Fusion of both Nepalese and Indian cultures.
Garden Court Cafe
13647 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 935-1565, www.gardencourtcafe.com
A local favorite for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
“If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.”
Glen Ellen Village Market
13751 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 996-6728, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
Pack the perfect picnic at this wine country inspired
gourmet market with fresh, local products.
LODGING
Gaige House Inn
13540 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 935-0237, www.gaige.com
Asian-inspired ambiance combined with modern luxury.
Granite soaking tubs and private Japanese gardens perfect
for in-suite spa treatments. Michelin recommended.
Ranked as 18 in Conde Nast’s Top Small Hotels in the U.S.
Beltane Ranch
11775 Highway 12, Glen Ellen
www.beltaneranch.com, (707) 996-6501
1892 ranch house and cottage – walking trails lead past
horses and cattle, through vineyards, olive orchards and
organically farmed produce gardens.
Jack London Lodge
13740 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
www.jacklondonlodge, (707) 938-8510
Situated on Sonoma Creek quiet, peaceful setting with
a pool, heated spa, and lovely gardens. Facility includes
Wolf House Restaurant and historic Jack London Saloon.
Glen Ellen
53
This is what wine country is all about – leave the big town
or the big highway, roll down the windows and let the fresh
country air flow as you meander the narrow, winding road past
horses, dairy cows and vineyards. All just to see where the
road takes you.
In this case it will take you to Matanzas Creek Winery, a
place that offers something for the wine lover, the green thumb
and most anyone in between.
Matanzas Creek, which put the bucolic east Santa Rosa
neighborhood of Bennett Valley on the map, took its name
from the creek that drains away the runoff in the valley. The
area enjoys a unique microclimate among North Coast appellations, with cooling influences from several fronts – the Russian
River Valley and Petaluma Gap from the west and southwest,
and the San Pablo Bay to the south and southeast.
Matanzas Creek produces a wide range of wines that reflect
the viticultural diversity of Bennett Valley and Sonoma
County. The winery is perhaps best known for its Merlot and
Sauvignon Blanc. At Matanzas Creek, the cooling influences in
Bennett Valley produce a Merlot that is not only great, but
wonderfully expressive and complex.
Visitors flock to Matanzas Creek in the spring and early
summer when the lavender fields are in bloom. Lavender has
long been the honored co-star here, and a section of the tasting
room is dedicated to the lavender products (soaps, scents, oils
and more) that are made at the winery.
By Michelle J. Baker
WHAT TO TASTE
The Journey wines are crafted from the most pedigreed vineyard sites in Sonoma County. Try the Journey Chardonnay or
the Journey Red Wine, a Bordeaux-style blend.
LAVENDER CLASS!
Matanzas Creek is hosting a series of lavender seminars for
fans of this aromatic and versatile plant. Learn how to plant,
tend, harvest and dry lavender. For more details, check the
winery’s website.
SPECIAL TOURS AND TASTING OPPORTUNITIES
Matanzas Creek offers private tours and tasting daily at
10:30 a.m. Choose from a Tour and Vintage Room Tasting
or go all out with a Tour, Vintage Room Library Tasting and
Cheese Pairing! Reservations are required.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
You can take a free, self-guided vineyard tour during regular
tasting room hours. The walk is less than a mile and is designed for all ages and levels of wine experience. No
reservations required.
Matanzas Creek Winery
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
www.matanzascreek.com
For Tours and Reservations, call
1-800-590-6464 or (707) 528-6464
or email: [email protected]
Mention “Day Trips” for a complimentary tasting of Journey Red Wine.
54 Glen Ellen
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
With its two different locations in the heart of Sonoma
Valley, Mayo allows patrons the chance to experience fulfilling, yet diametrically different tasting room experiences. The
Reserve Room located in Kenwood emphasizes hospitality
and community. This is best depicted in its wine and food
pairing program. One is treated to a display of culinary
mastery that will not soon be forgotten. Enjoy an outstanding
display of seven different wines paired with seven different
courses by the very talented onsite chef, Max Porter-Elliot.
Enjoy the Reserve Room with friends and family because
wine and food of this caliber is meant to be shared with loved
ones.
The second location is known as the Main Tasting Room
located in Glen Ellen. This facility focuses on highlighting
Mayo’s superb wine. With over twenty wines on the menu,
one has ample room to enjoy a multitude of different wines
with such distinct complexities that it would suit any
discerning palate. The best part about Mayo is the fact that it
is opened late. Most wineries in the valley close at 4:30 p.m.,
but Mayo stays opened until 6:30 p.m. This allows the patron
to leisurely make his way to a final wine destination without
worrying about the time. Mayo’s wines are only available at
the tasting rooms themselves, so stop by and pick up some of
the highly acclaimed award winning wines that people all
around the valley can’t stop talking about. by Brendan Conroy
Follow Mayo Family Winery on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/mayofamilywinery
BUBBLES ANYONE?
Few wineries in Sonoma Valley offer sparkling wines. Mayo
has its premier 2006 brut from the Laurel Hill Vineyards
which won a gold medal at the Sonoma County Harvest
Fair. Notes of peach, honeysuckle melon, and a balanced
acidity prove exactly why it won such a prestigious award.
WINE STANDOUTS
The 2007 Malbec from Trio B Vineyard imparts lush blackberry, cedar, as well as a touch of plum. The mouth feel is
very creamy and yet stays present long into the finish.
The 2009 Viognier is a drier style white with notes of
refined lemon, citrus, and is extremely refreshing. To
potentially coin a new wine tasting description, the nose
on the Viognier is highly reminiscent of cotton candy.
Come down to the tasting room to see what I mean.
IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH
Mayo wine is also featured at the Cellar Door located at
the Lodge at Carneros in Sonoma. It shares its space with
Chandelle, Haywood and Guerrero wineries.
Mayo Family Winery
Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
13101 Arnold Drive at Highway 12, Glen Ellen
(707) 938-9401 • www.mayofamilywinery.com
Mayo Family Reserve Room
9200 Highway 12, Kenwood, (707) 833-5504
Show this story for a 2-for-1 food and wine pairing experience at the Mayo Family
Reserve Room in Kenwood. Limit one per table. For reservations, call (707) 833-5504.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Glen Ellen
55
HENRIK KAM
With a roaring fireplace in the tasting room and a wraparound veranda offering sweeping views of Sonoma Mountain,
Arrowood Winery is the perfect winery to visit anytime of year.
At Arrowood, the focus is squarely on great wine, and leading the way is a slate of truly special Cabernet Sauvignons.
Arrowood is one of a scant few wineries that makes Cabernet
Sauvignon from the historic Monte Rosso Vineyard, which was
first planted all the way back in 1888. Arrowood’s Monte
Rosso Cab, hailing from a small block of the vineyard planted
in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, is classically dark and intense, with
beautiful aromatics, complexity and elegance, with a lengthy
and soulful finish.
Arrowood makes a vast selection of other varietals, including three Syrahs that each show a different face of this versatile
and interesting varietal. The same is true for the winery’s various Chardonnays, and for white wine lovers Arrowood offers
Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Viognier produced in very
limited quantities.
Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden took over winemaking
duties in 2010 after three years as Arrowood’s assistant winemaker. Heidi has the good fortune to work with fruit from
some of the best vineyards in the area, including Arrowood’s
certified organic estate vineyard, Saralee’s Vineyard in the
Russian River Valley and Monte Rosso Vineyard.
On your trip through Sonoma Valley, drop by Arrowood for
a Classic Tasting, featuring the best of what Sonoma County
has to offer, or a Reserve Tasting, representing the best quality
fruit selected for Arrowood wines.
By Michelle J. Baker
56
PLAN AHEAD
For a more intimate and in-depth experience, call ahead
to reserve a spot in the daily winery Tour and Private
Wine Tasting, held at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily ($20);
for just $10 more visitors can add cheese pairing to the
Private Wine Tasting.
VARIETALS
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer,
Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, Côte de Lune
Blanc (white Rhône-style blend), Côte de Lune Rouge
(red Rhône-style blend) and a decadent Late Harvest
Riesling.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Arrowood has a by-the-glass wine list; it’s easy to stop by
for a glass of wine and enjoy the roaring fireplace in the
winter; in the summer, hang out on the wrap-around
veranda and enjoy the spectacular view.
Arrowood Winery
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
14347 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen
For tours or more information, contact
1-800-938-5170 | (707) 935-2600
www.arrowoodvineyards.com
Become a fan on Facebook!
Mention “Day Trips” and receive a complimentary tasting of the Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% off your wine purchase!
Glen Ellen
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Rounding a curve on Highway 12, the sight of the pristine,
white farmhouse that is home to the B.R. Cohn Winery looks like
a postcard in the making. This small family-operated winery, surrounded by the Olive Hill Estate Vineyards, says “Sonoma” in a
way that no other winery quite can.
The vineyards are warmed by underground hot springs, while
cool ocean breezes from the west swoop in to create the ideal
growing conditions for the B.R. Cohn line of wines, including exceptional Cabernets, Zinfandels, Malbec, Merlots and
Chardonnays. The Olive Hill designation is famous throughout
the region for providing the highest quality of grapes and many of
the region’s top winemakers have utilized fruit from these vineyards in their production of premium wine.
But magnificent wine is not the only draw of this popular winery. In 1990, Bruce Cohn began producing gourmet extra virgin
olive oil from the 140-year-old Picholine olive trees that dot his
land, as well as handcrafted vinegars. His B.R. Cohn Olive Oil is
now considered one of the finest examples of ultra-premium olive
oil in California.
Music is another passion of this very Renaissance man. The
Charity Fall Music Festival held at the winery, now in its 25th
year, has garnered a loyal following and helped to make the winery a primary destination spot for visitors to the area.
Don’t miss the Gourmet Shop either, where you can sample
their line of gourmet olive oils and hand-crafted vinegars.
On the many sunny days that grace this beautiful corner of the
world, their patio area provides the perfect location for a picnic
and a chance to gaze out at the rolling vineyards surrounding the
estate.
by Ronda Giangreco
FUN FACTS:
• Bruce Cohn sold his first crop of grapes to
August Sebastiani.
• Soon to be famous winemaker, Helen Turley,
was an early member of the B.R. Cohn team and
wowed the wine world with stellar releases of
B.R. Cohn’s first four vintages.
• Bruce Cohn's favorite car is his classic 1933
Willys Roadster, one of only 98 built in Australia.
• Besides owning one of Sonoma’s most famous wineries,
Bruce Cohn is also the manager of the Doobie Brothers.
• The B.R. Cohn farmhouse was once used as a
stagecoach stop for Wells Fargo.
B.R. Cohn Winery
& Olive Oil Company
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
15000 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen
(707) 938-4064 | www.brcohn.com
Email: [email protected]
To schedule tours by appointment, call
1-800-330-4064 ext. 124
Look for B.R. Cohn on
Twitter, Facebook, youTube and Flickr.
2-for-1 wine tasting when you mention this article.
New food products in the Gourmet Shop: Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar & Fig Balsamic Vinegar!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Glen Ellen
57
Not everyone in the wine industry takes themselves seriously.
Some have a blast doing what they love and enjoying the ride.
Priscilla and David Cohen are two of the most friendly,
approachable vintners in Sonoma County. Their casual,
welcoming tasting room offers exactly the kind of personal,
one-of-a-kind wine country experience that many people seek
when visiting this famous region.
Moondance Cellars is truly a boutique winery, producing small
lots of award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and
Zinfandel from grapes grown in some of the most celebrated
vineyards of Napa, Sonoma, Russian River and Dry Creek Valley.
Located in the sleepy, little village of Glen Ellen, Moondance
Cellars requires that you take a moment and step off the beaten
path. You will be amply awarded for your efforts. Either David or
Priscilla themselves will likely be around to greet you and pour
their marvelous wines, along with a few tall tales sure to produce a
hearty round of laughter at the tasting bar. This is where wine tasting means a darned good time.
David came by his skills as a winemaker through family connections. His cousin, Bruce Cohn owns the famous B.R. Cohn Winery.
With the assistance of such luminaries of the trade as Helen Turley
and the late John Speed, David was able to hone his craft and take
his place alongside the best.
For the ultimate in wine country experiences, gather together a
group of your friends and make some vino of your own at Moondance Cellars. It starts with a private tasting tour, lunch and even a
serenade in the gardens. Then your group will actually participate
in the bottling and labeling of approximately twenty-five cases of
your own custom-blended wine.
by Ronda Giangreco
58 Glen Ellen
FUN FACTS
• David and Priscilla are “mom & dad” to a virtual
“zoo” of horses, dogs, cats and birds
• David’s pride and joy is his 1965 blown candy
brandy-wine Corvette.
• David and Priscilla are ardent supporters of
Canine Companions for Independence and are
partnering with them through the sale of the
Life Unleashed Moondance Merlot.
• Priscilla likes to spend her days off exploring
the beautiful back country of Sonoma astride
her paint gelding, Jester.
Moondance Cellars
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
14301 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 823-0880
[email protected]
For tours & reservations, call
(707) 938-7550
Follow them on
Facebook, youTube & Twitter.
Complimentary tasting with mention of this magazine. 100% Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back – LOL.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
If one is charged with finding a perfect wine for the perfect
meal, Eric Ross is the place to look. With a wide variety of different grapes originally descending from such prestigious
regions as France, Spain and even Croatia, any consumer can
discover a wine that would not only go with their favorite meal,
but also could be enjoyed on its own. Stylistically, each wine has
a bold, fruity front palate which only blossoms the longer one
savors it and very elegantly finishes without bite or harsh tannin. The wine makes a statement without being abrasive.
As one is deciding on a preference between the different
wines (which is no easy feat), take a moment to experience the
photography adorning the tasting room. The winemaker, Eric
Luse, began his wine journey as a photographer for the San
Francisco Chronicle. Fascinated by the wine and its lifestyle,
Luce began taking pictures of vineyard workers as they worked
diligently day-by-day in the vineyards. Each one of his photographs has a story to be told, and yet the viewer can by
themselves relive life from moment to moment through the
eyes of these dedicated vineyard workers.
With a total annual production of roughly 3000 cases, Eric
Ross does not distribute outside of the tasting room and thus is
very hard to come by. So plan a day at Eric Ross and make sure
to think of your favorite meals because this truly premier winery will make any dinner exceptional. For more information,
visit ericross.com.
– Brendan Conroy
Become a Fan of Eric Ross Winery on Facebook!
WINES NOT TO MISS
2009 Marsanne Roussanne – Lemon, citrus with a
balanced acidity which would be perfect with shellfish.
2009 Saralee Pinot Noir – Light body with hints of
bramble and raspberry.
2009 Dry Creek Old Vine Zinfandel – Classic example of
the 90 year old vines working hard to deliver smooth rich
darker berry aromas with balanced smokey undertones.
MEET THE MASCOT
At Eric Ross, the mascot is a rooster which sits quite comfortably on top of the bar. Feel free to inquire about its
back story and enjoy the humorous anecdote.
LEARN MORE
As stated earlier, each of Luse’s photos has a vivid story
behind it, so feel free to also inquire into the individual
lives of the vineyard workers that he has so eloquently
depicted and memorialized. The beauty of some specific
pictures stem from the minimalistic presentation of the
photograph contrasted with the depths of emotion in the
central point of focus.
Eric Ross Winery
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
14300 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
(707) 939-8525 | www.ericross.com
For private tastings, contact
Dennis & Diane Mitchell
(707) 939-8525 or [email protected]
Each wine from Eric Ross is unique and complex for one reason only, great wine is made in these quality
driven vineyards, not the cellar. Once you “Taste The Vineyard” your palate will be forever spoiled!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Glen Ellen
59
As one travels up the mountain, miles upon miles of terraced vineyards cascade in perfect symmetry down the
summit while being juxtaposed to the cool, silk-like fog embankment that highlights the terrain. Very few sites in the
area embody such aesthetic beauty as Mountain Terraces
Vineyard. Located on the Sonoma side of Mt. Veeder, this
pristine masterpiece of agricultural artistry will leave any
viewer with a sense of awe and appreciation.
With 125 acres (80 of which are planted) as well as
multiple elevations within the estate, it is no wonder that
Mountain Terraces Vineyard is capable of growing a multitude of Bordeaux and Rhône varieties. There are also 800
Italian olive trees adding to the beauty of the property from
which absolutely lovely estate olive oil is made.
The winery on the top of the estate is called Akóma
Zoúme which is Greek and means “live on.” Thoughtfully
crafted from these premium mountainside grapes are truly
delightful, complex and balanced wines.
Mountain Terraces Vineyard will offer the quintessential
day trip experience. With such majestic views, one cannot
help but to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a bright, sunny afternoon with friends and family in the heart of naturalistic
decadence. Vineyard tours are presented only by appointment so that the guests may have the finest experience and
make a memory to last a lifetime.
by Brendan Conroy
60 Glen Ellen
OVERALL PHILOSOPHY
“Don’t forget to stop and smell the vino.”
The overall message imparted by the Schaefer family
is very festive and emphasizes the celebration of life.
SEEING THE SIGHTS
From Mountain Terraces Vineyard, one can see not only
a beautiful slice of Sonoma Valley, but one can also see
San Pablo Bay, San Francisco and the top of the Golden
Gate Bridge. The true majesty of the view is nothing
short of amazing.
BRING SOME SNACKS
We would highly suggest packing some picnic items for
the trip because once you see the view; you will not
want to leave for a very long time. There are also conveniently placed picnic tables from which one can take in
the charm of the mountainside. Don’t forget a loaf of
bread for dipping in the estate olive oil.
Mountain Terraces Vineyard
Open by appointment only.
For tours or more information, contact
Dan and Gloria Schaefer
(707) 481-7377 | [email protected]
Follow Mountain Terraces Vineyard on Facebook
at www.facebook.com/MtTerracesVnrd
and also on Twitter @MtTerracesVnrd
“Check in” or “Tweet” about your visit and receive a gift while you are here!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sonoma/Carneros
T
ST. FRANCIS
ON
KM
OA
LE
DA
TO
SANTA ROSA
WN
LA
12
OB
AD
Vineyards Inn
Sugarloaf Ridge
State Park
NYON RD.
E CA
T. JEAN RD
US
TEA
CHA
Cafe Citti
CHATEAU ST. JEAN
Swedeʼs Feeds
Kenwood Farmhouse RD Pets, Gardens & Gifts
S
Visitors seeking an over-the-top ultra-luxury
wine
RING country experience would best steer clear of
P
S
M
Park
WAR
Depot
Churchgrace the two-lane Highway 12, wide-open
idyllic, slow Sonoma Valley. Sure, doublewide
tractors
VJB CELLARS
MAYO RESERVE ROOM
WARM
SP
RIN
GS RD
Kenwood
Restaurant
ranchlands blanket the Valley between towns,
and wooly
sheep keep weeds and grasses minimal in
Kenwood Inn and Spa
the vineyards. But no doubt you will also find countless award-winning wineries and world-class
restaurants throughout
all of Sonoma.
MATANZAS
Living in SonomaB Valley is all about life, about taste and enjoying each da. “Sonomans” are very
proud of their heritage and their town. Excellence is what
they
do. It’s just done in blue jeans.
Ranch
Beltane
CREEK
RD.
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LL
VA
TT
NE
EN
D
D UN BA R R
RM SPR
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D
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ITY Los Carneros, that bridges both
On the south end of town is one of the most unique appellations,
TRIN
Napa and Sonoma counties. Colloquially known as simply “Carneros” (for ram in Spanish), Carneros
has long been known for its cool, coastal climate, natural beauty and unparalleled Pinot Noirs,
Gaige
Chardonnays, Syrahs and sparkling wines.House
Inn
H RD
Quarry Hill Botanical Garden
Museum
THINGS
TO DO DON RANC . Glen Ellen Inn Saffron
Jack London
Garden Court Depot
Cafe
State Park LON Jack London Lodge
HKG Tasting Room
270Bouverie
First Preserve
St. West, Sonoma
Downtown Sonoma
Glen Ellen Village
Marketshops, ARROWOOD
(707) 938-1762, www.vom.com/depot
Picturesque city plaza boasts unique
ERIC
ROSS andYetifine wines Open 1-4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday
award-winning
restaurants
MOONDANCE
Fine museum with historically significant
available for tasting.
Historic points in- BR COHN
The Red Barn Store
CELLARS
collections.
Admission is FREE.
clude: Mission San Francisco Solano,
at Oak Hill Farm
Barracks, Toscano Hotel and the home of
MADRONE
CornerStone
Sonoma
General Vallejo.
MOUNTAIN
CAVE
TERRACES
23570DALEArnold
Drive, Sonoma
VINEYARDS
MOON MT
N
(707)
933-3010
Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
www.cornerstonegardens.com
20264 Broadway, Sonoma
AGUA
CALIE
NTE RO
CornerStone Sonoma is an eclectic collec(707) 938-3912, www.traintown.com
AD
tion of shops, wineries and a gourmet cafe
“The Most Well-Developed Scale Railroad
set amidst nine acres of garden installain the Americas!” Steam and diesel scale
tions created by the world's leading
railroad rides, petting zoo, miniature town,
BOY
landscape architects
ferris wheel and carousel rides ES BLVD
ARNOLD DRIV
E
MAYO FAMILY
TO
PETALUMA
ERO
LEV
116
TO
PETALUMA
101
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
ANABA
U
EA
NN
BO
5th ST WEST
Lodge at Carneros
Cellar Door
D
ROA
NI
12
ONT
FREM
Cornerstone
121
CLINE
JACUZZI
VIANSA
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
37
DENMARK
NAPA
12
121
.
LN
Girl & The Fig
110 West Spain Street, Sonoma
(707) 938-3634, www.thegirlandthefig.com
“Country food restaurant with a French passion”
Fremont Diner
2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma
(707) 938-7370
Old-fashioned style roadside hamburger joint with updated
menu. Fresh, local ingredients. Try the pulled-pork sandwich or
grilled cheese with sage and be sure to splurge on the milkshakes!
LODGING
El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
405 1st Street West, Sonoma
(707) 996-3220, www.eldoradosonoma.com
27-room contemporary boutique hotel located on the Plaza.
Restaurant is “sophisticated urban style with relaxed winecountry dining.”
Sonoma Hotel
110 West Spain Street, Sonoma
(707) 996-2996, www.sonomahotel.com
A 16-room, 19th-century hotel with modern amenities.
Located on the downtown plaza
EAST NAPA ST
MacArthur
Place
Traintown
Hopmonk Tavern
691 Broadway, Sonoma
(707) 935-9100, www.hopmonk.com
Large selection of beers; traditional and innovative
pairings of beer and food. Check the website for live music.
A
RD
EY
Y R
D
ST
ROAD
CARNEROS RD
BURNDALE
A AVE
THE
PLAZA
IN
.V
RD
TLE
CAS
VALL
E
8th ST EAST
CHARLES CREEK
PETALUM
Depot Museum
Swiss Hotel
LOVE
LL
California Mission
SPAIN ST.
7th ST
HAWKES
4th E
ORANGE
Girl & The Fig
Sonoma Hotel
El Dorado Kitchen
GEHRICK
E
RD
12
5th ST EAST
N
AV E
BROADWAY
GROVE
O
VE
RA
Not to scale
FOOD
Swiss Hotel Bar & Restaurant
18 West Spain Street,Sonoma
(707) 938-2884, www.swisshotelsonoma.com
Located on the Plaza; local favorite; historic bar; sidewalk
café; modern renditions of classical Italian fare
Fremont
Diner
TO NAPA
Driving Time: 14 minutes
From Hawkes Wine
to Charles Creek
>1 mile
to Anaba
5 miles
to Cline
2 miles
to Jacuzzi
>1 mile
to Viansa
>1 mile
Total 8 miles
MacArthur Place
29 E. MacArthur Street, Sonoma
(707) 938-2929, www.macarthurplace.com
19th-century estate transformed into a luxurious inn and
spa featuring Saddles – Sonoma’s best steakhouse
The Lodge at Sonoma
Renaissance Resort & Spa
1325 Broadway, Sonoma
707) 935-6600, www.thelodgeatsonoma.com
Spacious and luxurious accommodations; world-class
Raindance Spa; award-winning Carneros Bistro &
Wine Bar; excellent venue for weddings and corporate events
Sonoma/Carneros
61
If you are visiting the historic town of Sonoma, you just
gotta visit Hawkes Winery’s tasting room. It is located just off
the Sonoma plaza, right behind The Girl and the Fig Restaurant (which is fabulous, by the way!). The tasting room is a
converted bungalow that sits on a quiet side street. Neat, minimal landscaping surrounds the tasting room. The interior is
painted bright white, with lots of windows and light colored
hardwood floors. Tasteful paintings dot the walls. The overall
atmosphere is light and airy, much like their other tasting
room in the Alexander Valley. T-shirts and hats are available for
purchase, but the focus is really on the wines here.
Corinne was my server and I really enjoyed visiting with
her. She is very friendly and knowledgeable about everything
Hawkes (and other stuff, too). She will put you at ease and
serve you some great wines.
Let’s talk about the wines. I tasted a few wines during my
visit – the following wines were my favorites:
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($60): This
is Cabernet Sauvignon with a capital “C!” Mouthwatering aromas of spice box, black cherry, cassis and mocha delight the
nose and continue as flavors in the decadently rich mouth.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pyramid Vineyard ($60): In a
word, luscious! Black cherry, chocolate, potpourri spice and
pipe tobacco aromas and flavors abound, all wrapped up in a
velvety smooth mouthfeel.
Hawkes Winery offers world-class wines and nice people
with beautiful surroundings.
by Sue Straight, The Wine Wench
62 Sonoma/Carneros
VARIETALS
Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – Library
wines and large format bottles are also available.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
Total production at Hawkes is only around 3000 cases
and all of the grapes are estate grown.
FUN FACT
All of wines are small production and estate grown including the 2006 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)
from vines the Hawkes family planted in 1971 – first
Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Alexander Valley!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Located just barely off the Sonoma plaza, the tasting
room has patio seating available in the summer to
sit, sip and savor as you watch the world go by.
PLAN AHEAD
Give yourself at least a half hour to fully enjoy your visit
and to learn about the wines and winery. A nominal $10
tasting fee (refundable with bottle purchase, excluding
Chardonnay) allows you to taste five fabulous wines, and
sometimes a special library wine is thrown into the mix.
Hawkes Winery
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Monday
383 1st Street West, Sonoma
(707) 938-7620 • www.hawkeswine.com
Twitter: @hawkeswine
Facebook.com/hawkeswine
Free shipping for wine club members. Join today!
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
The wholesome, unpretentious charm of the Sonoma Plaza
is undeniable. Fortunately for the Charles Creek Vineyard Tasting Room, it is also the view out their front door.
Being located directly across from the historic stone city hall
and leafy expanses of the famous Sonoma Plaza is certainly an
advantage, but having award-winning wines to pour is really
the true measure of a tasting room’s draw for the wine lovers
who flock to the Sonoma Valley.
The Charles Creek Winery does not fail to deliver. Their
2009 “Saralee’s Vineyard” Chardonnay recently took the Double
Gold at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Created when Bill and Gerry Brinton, the descendants of
Midwestern farm stock, took the step to expand their little
family vineyard into a real commercial winery. Charles Creek
Winery specializes in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon,
but they also produce some marvelous smaller lots of Malbec,
Tempranillo and Grenache.
The Brintons are also dedicated to showcasing the work of
local artists. One very eye-catching piece, however, is not for
sale. “Ms. Moolot” a near-life-sized cow made entirely of wine
corks graces the middle of the tasting room…in fact, she nearly
takes over the space. But no one complains. She’s a whimsical
addition to the tasting room and famous for happily posing with
visitors. She has appeared in literally thousands of vacation photos and has become an icon of the winery.
by Ronda Giangreco
FUN FACTS:
• Charles Creek Winery’s Tecolote Wine Club is named
after his grandmother. It is Spanish for “owl” and was
his grandfather’s nickname for her.
• Bill Brinton is a direct descendent of John Deere, who
gained fame and fortune as the inventor of the selfscouring steel plow and started one of America’s most
successful companies.
• Charles Creek is named after Bill and Gerry’s son,
Charley.
Charles Creek Vineyard
Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
483 First Street West, on the Sonoma Plaza
(707) 935-3848 | www.charlescreek.com
Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Show your “Day Trips” guide and receive complimentary tasting (up to 4 persons) and a special
discount: 10% off 3 bottles or 20% off any case of 12. Does not combine with other discount offers.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sonoma/Carneros
63
Don’t let the palm trees in front fool you, there’s nothing
tropical going on here, just some incredible Rhône blends and
traditional varietals grown in the Carneros region at Anaba
Wines. Owner John Sweazey, originally from Chicago, fell in
love with the Rhône region of France many years ago and decided the Sonoma Valley was where he wanted to join forces
with winemaker, Jennifer Marion in 2006. With a case production of less than 5,000, Anaba can truly be considered a
“boutique” winery.
Anaba’s name (pronounced “Ann-ah-bah”) comes from the
anabatic winds that blow through this part of the Carneros.
The flagship brands are Rhône varietals called “Coriol,” named
after the Coriolis Effect, which is the name for how the earth
and the magnetic fields of the poles affect the wind on earth,
and if you’ve ever been to the Carneros region, then you’ve felt
the wind. Anaba takes advantage of these winds, utilizing a 45'
tall wind turbine to power the 100-year-old farm house tasting
room, as well as the property’s irrigation pumps on the eight
acres of estate vines.
Anaba’s 2009 “Coriol” White is an exceptional blend
of Roussanne, Voignier, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne.
The 2007 “Coriol” Red is a blend of Grenache, Mouverdre,
Petite Sirah and a lesser known varietal called Counoise.
Anaba also has a fine estate-grown Pinot Noir, and new this
year will be Gaps Crown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well
as a mouthwatering Grenache Rosé.
Another treat not to be missed is the late-harvest Viognier,
with all natural sugar and no fortification. by James Marshall Berry
64 Sonoma/Carneros
A LITTLE TRIVIA
The tasting room is a 100-year old farmhouse, that
belonged to a family for three generations.
GOOD TO KNOW
• Tasting room favorite is the Coriol Red.
• Winemaker Jennifer Marion spent time
at MacRostie before coming to Anaba.
• Enjoy a picnic or glass of wine on the porch.
A LITTLE FUN
• Wine club members get 15% off wine – free to join.
• Blending party for wine club members in October.
• Try the port chocolate sauce over cheesecake.
Anaba Wines
Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wine tasting offered until 5:15 p.m.
Large groups, please call in advance.
60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma
1-877-990-4188 (Toll Free)
(707) 996-4188 (Local)
www.anabawines.com
Look for Anaba Wines on
Facebook.com/anabawines
Twitter.com/anabawines
Special Offer?
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Wine tasting is never just about the wine. A picturesque
winery, warm and welcoming hosts and a bucolic setting in
which to enjoy a picnic, all combine to produce the memories everyone hopes for when they set out to visit the wine
country. No place delivers all three better than Cline Cellars
on the southern edge of Sonoma.
Fred Cline and his wife Nancy moved their winery from
its original home in Oakley in order to enjoy the magnificent
splendor of the Sonoma countryside, as well as to take advantage of the long and fruitful growing season that the
Carneros region offers. Their tasting room, located in an
1850s farmhouse, is surrounded by lush green lawns, six
spring-fed ponds and a glorious array of flowers, including
more than five thousand rose bushes. The scene is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of wine tasting, a wedding or
a special event.
Their historic 350-acre estate is planted to Syrah,
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, producing wines that have
consistently garnered rave reviews. But it is Fred’s passion
for the Rhone varietals that have made the winery famous.
Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne flourish on the
estate and produce award-winning wines that have visitors
coming back time and time again to this quintessential
Sonoma winery.
– Ronda Giangreco
Follow them at facebook.com/clinewine and on Twitter @clinecellars.
FUN FACT
The vineyards were once the site of a Miwok village, as
well as the site of the original Sonoma Mission before it
was moved to downtown Sonoma.
MUST SEE
The California Missions Museum is a marvelous collection
of to-scale models of all of the California missions. It was
first debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair at Treasure Island.
The models are acclaimed as an extraordinary and accurate depiction of California history. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WINERY TOURS/TASTING
Tours are available at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. daily. Complimentary tasting is offered daily. Food and wine pairing,
wine blending and barrel tasting can be arranged by appointment.
WHAT’S COMING UP
Cline Cellars will host the 15th Annual Dixieland Jazz
and Wine Festival on July 16th. A local favorite in the
wine country, this event is the perfect way to spend a
summer day.
Cline Cellars
Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
24737 Arnold Drive, Sonoma
(707) 940-4030 | www.clinecellars.com
For tours & reservations, contact Eric Hansen
[email protected] or (707) 940-4061
Join the Wine Club and receive special offers and discounts on wines.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sonoma/Carneros
65
The sun is shining on an endless sea of vineyards. You’re
sipping a luscious glass of Sangiovese and dipping fresh bread
in a bowl of rich, buttery olive oil. A scene from a villa in Tuscany? No, just another perfect afternoon at the Jacuzzi Family
Vineyards in Sonoma.
The Jacuzzi family first emigrated from Italy in the early
1900s to work on the railroad. Eventually however, the Jacuzzi
brothers would venture into the aviation business, the spa
business and to the delight of visitors to the Sonoma Valley, the
wine business.
The vineyards lie primarily in the Carneros wine region that
stretches between Napa and Sonoma. Here, the winery sits on
one hundred and ninety acres of lush, fertile land that boasts
rolling green hills and the historic flatlands of the San Pablo
Bay. Concentrating on Italian wines, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
produces Moscato Bianco, Dolcetto, Aleatico, Aglianico, Primitivo and the hard-to-find varietals, Lagrein and Vernaccia, one
of Tuscany’s most historic wines, just to name a few. There is no
need for a passport to be transported to the wine regions of
Italy, just a short drive to Sonoma will provide all the charm,
scenery and magnificent wines of the country without the time
and expense of overseas travel.
No visit to the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is complete without
a stop by The Olive Press Olive Oil Tasting Room and Gift
Shop. Dedicated to anything and everything having to do with
olives and olive oil, the shop offers samples of the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards’ award-winning olive oil that was inspired by the
rich olive oils of Italy and Southern France.
– Ronda Giangreco
66 Sonoma/Carneros
FUN FACT
Their first vineyards were planted in 1936 and consisted
of Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvedre grapes that they
sold for a mere $30-$35 a ton!
WINE TOURS
While the tasting room is open daily for complimentary
tastings, wine tours are available only by appointment.
Please call (707) 931-7576 and they will gladly arrange
to give you a guided tour of their remarkable winery.
Food and wine pairings can also be arranged.
DON’T MISS
The Jacuzzi Family museum. A fascinating collection
of photos and memorabilia documenting this amazing
Italian/American family’s history.
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
24724 Arnold Drive, Sonoma
(707) 931-7575 | www.jacuzziwines.com
For tours & reservations, contact
Teresa Hernando (707) 931-7576
Follow them on Facebook:
facebook.com/jacuzziwines
and Twitter: @JacuzziWines
Join the Wine Club and receive special offers and discounts on wines.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Viansa Winery & Marketplace is a property like none
other; a true destination in wine country. From the moment
guests enter the grounds they’re met with miles of well kept,
aesthetically intriguing vineyards and preserved wetlands,
endless rows of olive trees and gorgeous Italian statues and
sculptures. All leading the way to winery’s iconic Tuscan Villa,
perched high above the valley.
Offering guests a unique taste of California and Italian
wine history, Viansa is renowned for producing a wide array
of Cal-Ital, award-winning wines. Winetasting here is a must;
a chance to try wines that are only available directly through
the winery, the extensive menu includes Estate wines, popular California varietals and proprietary blends that combine
their California and Italian roots.
Also a must, a trip through the winery’s Marketplace, the
largest in the valley. From freshly prepared gourmet foods,
to artisan cheeses and sweets to enjoy while picnicking
overlooking the vineyards and wetlands, to exploring the
hundreds of foods created exclusively for Viansa, unique
wine tools and accessories and imported ceramics and
keepsakes, it’s much more than a tasting room visit.
A winery experience not to miss, it’s all this and more.
Visit viansa.com for more details or find Viansa on both
Facebook and Twitter, (there’s even a Facebook page
specifically for Viansa wedding).
There are few places better for spending the day in wine
country.
– Brendan Conroy
WINES TO ENJOY
2009 Arneis – The grape itself is an obscure Italian
variety that is quite uncommon in the area and imparts
notes of lemon, citrus and a touch of dry acidity.
Perfect with light seafood such as scallops or oysters.
2005 “V” is a Bordeaux blend consisting of Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It is a bold wine
that does not overpower the palate with notes of cedar,
blackberry and a hint of dark cherry.
LOTS OF CHOICES
With four distinctly different wine clubs at Viansa, there
are options for every palate and preference.
MASTERFUL COOKING
In addition to a wide array of wine and food pairing
books sold in the Marketplace, Viansa's website has an
expansive library of recipes, including appetizers, main
courses, side dishes and desserts. All accessed under the
“Food” section, it’s a great resource for delicious wine and
food enjoyment.
Viansa Winery
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
25200 Arnold Drive, Sonona
(707) 935-4700 | www.viansa.com
For tours & reservations, contact
(707) 935-4717 or [email protected]
Enjoy tasting with a friend. Purchase one tasting package and receive one complimentary wine tasting as our guest.
Plus: enjoy15% savings on all wine purchases during your visit.
67
*Simply present this printed offer to your Viansa Winery Host to redeem. Special available for guests visiting thru 08.30.11. Limit 4 guests per visit.
www.WineCountryThisWeek.com
Sonoma/Carneros
Acorn Winery – Healdsburg, tasting by appointment only, 707-433-6440
P32
Anaba Wines – Sonoma, daily 10:30am-5:30pm, 707-996-4188
P64
Armida Winery – Healdsburg, daily 11am-5pm, 707-433-2222
P16
Arrowood Winery – Glen Ellen, daily 10am-4:30pm
P56
Asti Winery – Cloverdale, daily 10am-5pm, 707-265-5490
P25
B.R. Cohn Winery – Glen Ellen, daily 10am-5pm, 707-938-4064
P57
Balletto Vineyards – Santa Rosa, daily 10am-5pm, 707-568-2455 x101
P39
Boisset Taste of Terroir – Healdsburg, daily (check hours), 707-473-9707
P21
Cellars of Sonoma – Santa Rosa, daily (check hours), 707-578-1826
P47
Chalk Hill Estate – Healdsburg, daily 10am-4pm, 707-657-4837
P35
Charles Creek Vineyard – Sonoma, daily 11am-6pm, 707-935-3848
P63
Chateau St. Jean – Kenwood, daily 10am-5pm, 1-800-543-7572
P51
Christopher Creek Winery – Healdsburg, daily 11am-5pm, 707-433-2001
P33
Cline Cellars – Sonoma, daily 10am-6pm, 707-940-4030
P65
De La Montanya Estate – Healdsburg, open by appointment, 707-433-3711
P17
DeLoach Vineyards – Santa Rosa, daily 10am-5pm, 707-526-9111
P44
Dry Creek Vineyard – Healdsburg, daily 10:30am-4:30pm, 707-433-1000
P14
Dutcher Crossing Winery – Healdsburg, daily 11am-5pm, 707-431-2700
P10
Dutton Estate Winery – Sebastopol, daily 10am-5pm, 707-829-9463
P38
Eric Ross Winery – Glen Ellen, daily 11am-5pm, 707-939-8525
P59
Ferrari-Carano – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-6700
P9
Forchini – Healdsburg, Fri-Sun 11am-4pm, 707-431-8886
P11
Freestone Vineyards – Freestone, Thu-Mon 11am-5pm, 707-875-1010
P37
Hawkes Winery – Healdsburg, Thu-Mon 10am-5pm, 707-433-HAWK
P27
Hawkes Winery – Sonoma, Thu-Mon 10am-6pm, 707-938-7620
P62
Hook & Ladder – Santa Rosa, daily 10am-4:30pm, 707-526-2255
P46
Hop Kiln (HKG) – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-6491
P18
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards – Sonoma, daily 11am-5:30pm, 707-931-7575
P66
Kendall-Jackson Tasting Room – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-7102
P20
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center – Fulton, daily 10am-5pm, 707-571-8100
P41
Ledson Winery & Vineyards – Kenwood, daily 10am-5pm, 707-537-3810
P49
Martin Ray Winery – Santa Rosa, daily 11am-5pm, 707-823-2404
P43
Matanzas Creek Winery – Santa Rosa, daily 10am-4:30pm, 707-528-6464
P54
Mayo Family Winery – Glen Ellen, daily 10:30am-6:30pm, 707-938-9401
P55
Medlock Ames Winery – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-8845
P28
Mercury Wines – Geyserville, Thu-Mon 11am-6pm or by appt, 707-857-9870
P26
Merriam Vineyards – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-4032
P34
Moondance Cellars – Glen Ellen, daily 11am-5pm, 707-823-0880
P58
Mountain Terraces Vineyard – Glen Ellen, by appointment only, 707-481-7377
P60
Peterson Winery – Healdsburg, Fri-Mon 11am-4:30pm or by appt, 707-431-7568
P13
Rodney Strong Vineyards – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-431-1533
P31
Russian Hill Estate – Windsor, daily 10am-4pm, 707-575-9428
P42
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Santa Rosa, daily 10am-5pm, 1-888-675-WINE
P50
Sbragia Family Vineyards – Healdsburg, daily 11am-5pm, 707-473-2992
P8
Simi Winery – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-473-3232
P29
Stephen & Walker Winery – Healdsburg, daily 11am-7pm, 707-431-8749
P23
Suncé Winery – Santa Rosa, daily 10:30am-5pm, 707-526-9463
P45
Topel Tasting Room – Healdsburg, daily 11am-7pm, 707-433-4116
P22
Truett Hurst Winery – Healdsburg, daily 10am-5pm, 707-433-9545
P12
68 Wine Varietals
VJB Vineyards & Cellars – Kenwood, daily 10am-5pm, 707-833-2300
P52
Viansa Winery – Sonoma, daily 10am-5pm, 707-935-4700
P67
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Wine Varietals
69
1
Caz adero
HOP
KILN
Twomey
Emtu Estate
Hartford Family
RIV
RUSSIAN HILL
ESTATE
ER
RD.
EA
STS
IDE
Sonoma-Cutrer
T
EA
SA
N
PL
HIGHWAY
RD.
OCCIDENTAL
D&L Peters
Taft Street Winery Carinalli Family
Freeman
MO
ENHanna
TA
L
BALLETTO
OC
CID
KENDALL-JACKSON
D’Argenzio
FOUNTAIN
GR
OVE
MONTE
CITO
Chalk
Hill
Lancaster Estate
Vérité/
Archipel
CHALK HILL
Chateau Felice
CREEK
RODNEY STRONG
MERRIAM
J Wine
DeNatale
Vine Tastings
Mueller
Christie Limerick
Lane
Woodenhead
WINE CENTER
Joseph Swan
Tara Bella Martinelli
MARK W
R
EST
MARTIN Pellegrini Harvest Moon
GS
SPRIN
RAY SUNCÉ
Robert Rue
Atascadero Creek
Benovia
Dehlinger
Graton Ridge
HOOK & LADDER Carol
Red Car
Marimar Torres GRATON RD.
Shelton Inspiration
INDUS
Inman
TRIAL
DeLOACH
Dutton-Goldfield
Battaglini PINERNovy
Lynmar
GU
Emeritus
ER
Siduri
Merry Edwards
NE
VIL
Paradise Ridge
LE
Russian River Vnyds
Iron Horse
128
Garden Creek Ranch Robert Young
Stryker Sonoma
AL
E
Meitz CHRISTOPHER
ACORN
Foppiano
Bradford Mtn Rochioli WINDS
OR
Arista
RIV
Gary Farrell
ER
RD
Porter
Thomas
Creek
Moshin
George
Copain
Matrix
C. Donatiello
SLU
Korbel
River Road
Green
ESTATE
Valley DUTTON
Occidental Road
116
Russian
River
ARMIDA
DE LA MONTANYA
MacPhail
Mill Creek Vineyards
D.
ER
ES
TS
ID
W
A
MIAN
LAG
UN
RD.
Flowers
Vineyard
& Winery
Mazzocco
Alexander
Valley
Vinwood Cellars
101
SSE
R
RD
.
1
Souverain, Cellar No. 8
LYTTON SPGS
IVE
T
E
BOH
LTO
N
Northern
Sonoma
ASTI
Amista
Nalle Ridge SIMI XAND
HAWKES
Jordan ER VALLEY
Sausal
Deux Amis Duchamp Grove
Street Stuhlmuller
Stonestreet
Wilson
MEDLOCK
AMES
Montemaggiore
White Oak
Forth
Everett Ridge
Johnson’s
Michael Bernard
Alexander Valley Vineyards
DaVero
Hanna
Alderbrook
Field Stone
Pasterick
OL
HWY
FU
TO THE
MENDOCINO
COAST
EK RD.
RE
AL
K HILL
RD
Y
W. DR
K
EE
CR
CH
Dry
Creek
Silver
Oak
YC
DR
D.
STEWART’S POINT
Wattle Creek
Pastori
Kachina
Frick
David Caffaro
J Rickards
Bella Vineyards
Pedroncelli
Preston Vineyards
Zachichi
CANYON Geyser Peak
RD
Palmeri
.
Yoakim Bridge Talty FORCHINI
Route 128 Winery
Amphora
Raymond Burr Vineyards
Meeker
Papapietro Perry
Local deLorimier
Göpfrich
Kokomo
MERCURY Terroirs
TRUETT HURST
Trione
Martorana
PETERSON
Clos
Unti
Michel-Schlumberger
Quivira
Rued FAMILY Francis Du Bois
Vintners Signatures
Passalacqua
Mounts
Teldeschi
Ford
Coppola
A Rafanelli
DRY CREEK
Trentadue
Lambert Bridge
Mauritson
DRY CREEK RD.
RD.
TO THE
MENDOCINO
COAST
SBRAGIA FAMILY
FERRARI-CARANO
DUTCHER CROSSING
Lake
Sonoma
Fritz
DUTCHER CR
EEK
D
WOO
RED
OGA
Rockpile
ER
BOISSET TASTE OF TERROIR
FERRARI-CARANO’S
SEASONS OF THE VINEYARD
KENDALL-JACKSON
STEPHEN & WALKER
TOPEL
Downtown Wine
Edmeades
Front Street Wineries:
• Camellia Cellars
Starlite
• Davis Family
Vineyards
• Sapphire Hills
• Holdredge
.
Hauck Cellars
Hawley Tasting Room & Gallery
Hudson Street Wineries
• Bluenose Wines
• Grove Street
• Owl Ridge
• Sadler-Wells
Gustavo • Rocking Z Vineyard
•
Thrace Teira
La Crema
Lake Sonoma
Longboard Vineyards
Manzanita Creek
Murphy-Goode
St. Helena Road
Optima
Winery
Pezzi King
Portalupi
Roadhouse Winery
Russian River Wine Co.
Seghesio
Selby
Thirty Four North Wine Merchant
Thumbprint
Knights
Valley
FOR
ES
T
RIV
PET
RIFIE
D
N
SIA
RUS
OLD
GO
NT
GO
ME
R
29
LE
Y
CU
TO
1
FO
RD
FF
49
7
16
8
60
12
20
15
80
20
30
15
BOD
EGA
Corda
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
HWY
D.
RR
LA
RO
B
PETALUMA V
AL
LE
Sonoma
Coast
116
Sheldon
Clary Ranch
RD
.
P
Kastania
Vineyards
101
Sonoma Valley
Port Works
WASHINGT
ON
ET
AL
UM
TO
SAN FRANCISCO
D
Golden Gate Bridge to Sebastopol
Sebastopol to Santa Rosa
Downtown Santa Rosa to Healdsburg
Healdsburg to Geyserville
TRAVEL TIME
MILES (Average) (Peak)
Travelling around Sonoma County
Tomales
Bay
VA
L
BURNSIDE
Adobe
Road
Winery
116
FRATE
S
Sable
Ridge
NGE
GRA
Kruta
101
CELLARS OF
SONOMA
RO
AD
Littorai
Wines
D.
LR
AH
ILL
GE
MAYO FAMILY
Kunde
Imagery
BR COHN
ARROWOOD
CLINE
HAWKES
Roche
Adobe Road
12
Moon Mountain
Hanzell
MOUNTAIN TERRACES VINEYARDS
DOOR
JACUZZI
VIANSA
121
Meadowcroft
Keating Wines
Schug
Bonneau Larson Family
ANABA
CHARLES CREEK
RD
12
121
NA
PA
ST
TO
VAL
L
EJO
Homewood
Winery
128
128
TO
LAKE BERRYESSA
AND
SACRAMENTO
TO
N
Nicholson
Ranch
APA
Los Carneros
Region
Parmelee-Hill
Kamen
Gundlach Bundschu
Tin Barn
Gofessel
MacRostie
NA
PA
Favero
Sugar Loaf
Ridge
State Park
Ravenswood
Roessler
Sebastiani
Eric K James
Bartholomew Park
Hwy 12 Winery
Westwood
Sojourn
LO
VA
LL
The Sonoma Enoteca
Buena Vista
VA
Robledo CELLAR Cave
LL
EY
Family
E
Clarbec
Paint Horse
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Little Vineyards
Valley of the Moon Winery
Petroni Vineyards
Robert Hunter
ERIC ROSS
MOONDANCE CELLARS
Gloria Ferrer
Caves & Vineyards
37
CHATEAU ST. JEAN
Kaz
Kenwood Winery
HKG ESTATE
Loxton
Wellington
Deerfield Ranch
Family Wineries
Benziger Family
Audelssa Estate
D.
VJB CELLARS
MAYO RESERVE ROOM
TV
AL
LE
YR
ET
Landmark
LEDSON RD.
ST. FRANCIS
N
HIA
PYT
Paradise Ridge
Muscardini & Ty Caton Cellars
Enkidu
12
San Pablo Bay
Keller
Estate
116
ST
AG
EG
UL
CH
NN
BE
Pavo Wines
MATANZAS CREEK
Bevan
Cellars
CALIS
Sonoma
Valley
Toad Hollow
Waterfront Tasting Room
• J. Keverson
• Christie
• Hart’s Desire
Williamson
H
RID
7T
HWA
Y
E.
H
FREESTONE VINEYARDS
GUEST CENTER
E.
8T
BODEGA HIG
E
Gourmet au Bay
DA
L
D
RN
RY
BU
OL
VIL
KE
LE
AL
UGH
TRO
R
FO
BONNESS RD
RA
M
WAT
ER
Y
ORANGE RD.
LA
.
RD

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