Grape tasting in Sonoma County
We took a little weekend getaway this weekend to beautiful Sonoma County for some wine tasting and R&R time! With more than 400 wineries, exquisite tasting rooms, jagged Pacific coastline, rushing Russian River and towering redwood forests, Sonoma is truly a wine lover’s dream.
We started our day of wine tasting at Williams Selyem Winery in Healdsburg’s Russian Rivery Valley. Tours and tastings are available to their Allocation List Members and their referred guests and joining a wine tasting here also entitles you to get on their mailing list (which ordinarily there is a waiting list for). The vineyard designates are extraordinary and it’s exciting to see how they vary and evolve from vintage to vintage. We took home a delicious 2013 Vista Verde Vineyard San Benito County Chenin Blanc, 2013 Unoaked Russian River Chardonnay and an amazing 2012 Block 10 Mass Selection Estate Russian River Pinot Noir. Yum!
Our next stop was a beautiful tasting room looking out into the beautiful vineyards of Benovia Winery, a family-owned producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel wines in Santa Rosa off the beaten path. Benovia farms three estate vineyards, including the famous Cohn Vineyard, totaling 71 acres. We loved the pinots here!
After our tasting, we headed downstairs to a beautiful table outside among the grapes as our fearless driver Woodie brought us the most amazing sandwiches from Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa that we enjoyed with (yet another) glass of fine pinot. I highly recommend the Calistoga Honey sandwich – Columbus maple honey ham with crisp bacon, fresh avocado, aged cheddar and honey mustard aioli toasted on a soft Dutch crunch roll…or create your own delicious monstrosity!
With tummies full, we headed to the Lancaster Estate in Healdsburg. We were taken into the beautiful cooling wine caves for a tour and were set up with an exquisite private tasting in the cave. The wine was delicious (especially the cabs) as was the enchanting atmosphere we tasted in.
Albeit pricey, a Lancaster Estate wine guild membership also includes a 3 night stay at the 6,000 square foot Proprietor’s House on the property that is blessed with captivating views of vineyards and surrounding hillsides that was built by the owner of Lancaster Estate that sleeps 10 people comfortably.
Our last tasting for the day was at Christopher Creek Winery, a small family owned winery located in Healdsburg. To be honest, by this point all the wines we were tasting were starting to all blend together but I sure enjoyed having my wine sitting poolside overlooking their rolling vineyards and creeks!
The final (and by far the most special) part of the day was stopping at Cooper’s Vineyard at J’s Winery to remember J’s beloved late winemaker Paul Cooper!
Woodie got us back to our Russian River cabin safely to finish off the night with some more wine and gourmet pizza. Perfection!