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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  April 2012 Trip Report

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Author Topic:   April 2012 Trip Report
posted 04-25-2012 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Yes,

Merriam is off Limerick Lane on Los Amigos Road which runs alongside Hwy 101. Not too far away.

There is a great paper map available FREE from wineroad.com


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 04-25-2012).]


posted 04-25-2012 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks D'...maybe you hadn't heard my news...we are planning a whole Napa day next trip. I know its shocking, but you Napa folks have convinced me that we were in the wrong places previously, so we're trying to be fair and give it another "go".

Scott, I am SO pleased that you enjoyed your Sonoma experience. I understand EXACTLY how you feel about the place as I have that same resonance in my own heart.

Hawkeye- Is Merriam near Limerick Lane?
I think I recall passing it...isn't it a fairly new place?

Seghesio is on our list for this fall, not only because we have missed them the last 2 visits but also because they make a stellar Rockpile wine. Is this Cortina Zin that y'all have mentioned a recent release?


posted 04-25-2012 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
This is why we try to go to both Napa Valley and the Sonoma area. Great wines and great views and great people in both, but a decidedly different experience...

Just enjoyed a Cortina Zin from Seghesio last weekend - thank goodness we still have a couple of bottles left because it was deeeelicious!

Hey Yes - I have a Merlot suggestion, but it's from Madrigal over in Napa Valley. If you find yourself in THAT area stop in and give it a try!


posted 04-25-2012 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
After visiting the Napa Valley several times, we finally made it to the Sonoma Valley. Spectacular, and although my wife prefers Napa, I would spend the rest of my days in Sonoma. Great running weather, cool and cloudy (but, unfortunately, the race was the day before). We headed north from Calistoga...
Hanna- tasting room with an expansive view. Bought a Bismarck Mountain zin and Christine Hanna's book, The Winemaker Cooks, which has been on my Amazon Wish List for awhile, but I hadn't realized who the author was.
Stryker-Sonoma- this was one of my favorite wineries of the trip. All of their wines bleed terroir. We are getting on their zin club waitlist. Bought a 2006 Cab.
My wife was starving so we headed to Diavola's in Geyserville for an outstanding pizza (great coffee shop next door as well). As we were staying at the Camellia Inn B&B in Healdsburg, we checked in and visited Seghesio. We have enjoyed their zins for many years, but didn't know that they made so many other wines. Bought a Cortina zin. This is the biggest winery we visited and it will be interesting to watch if quality can be maintained through the corporate buy-out.
Williamson- these folks have a tasting room in Healdsburg (along with a lot of other folks), but they do little food pairings with each of their wines, nothing fancy, but very engaging. Bought a Shiraz.
Stopped at the Zin restaurant on our walk back and decided to try a flight of zins at the bar. Lesson learned- sit at the bar and meet people who will likely be involved in the wine industry. We meet the hospitality director for Stonestreet (and his wife) and had a long and lively conversation.
We had to ditch my original agenda long ago, so on Tuesday we headed back out to the Alexander Valley taking the long way, driving through the Dry Creek Valley (next time).
Hawkes- I like this little place a lot! Definitely another wine club possibility. Bought their merlot.
Sausal- We had heard from a few folks that we absolutely had to try this and we are so glad we did. Bought a Private Reserve zin and a Century Vines zin.
All in all, although their are a few wineries and tasting rooms in the Napa Valley that will remain high up on my favorites list, something in the geology of Sonoma resonates within me... the spacious Alexander Valley with the bordering rolling hills. I sometimes feel "hemmed in" in the Napa Valley. So for the next visit, we would love to focus on Howell Mountain in Napa, and Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, with revisits to our ever expanding list of favorites. Thanks to all for your continuing contributions to the message boards.


posted 04-21-2012 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

Thanks for the great report. Pezzi King was a wonderful experience for us. We enjoyed the setting and the hostess. I am not sure that a tour is part of the visit, because we did not do a tour either.

Hi Yes,

I am not Damombo, but I will answer your question. We has a superb Merlot at Merriam, just south of Healdsburg. If I remember correctly, they had an excellent chard as well.



posted 04-20-2012 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for writing, D'.
Glad to have you back.
We love Dutcher Crossing, too...I think that their Cabs are as good as, if not better than, their zin..and they have a Maple zin, ya know .
We are thinking to put Pezzi King on our trip list, too. We had their wine at a ZAP event in Portland and really liked it.
We are short on Merlots at the moment...did you have any worth mentioning?


posted 04-20-2012 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Our third day started in Sonoma - we had breakfast in the hotel (The Lodge at Sonoma) and then drove north to the Dry Creek Valley. First stop was Ferrari-Carrano. Their gardens were gorgeous and in nearly full bloom. The tulips were beginning to fade, but still an impressive property. We went downstairs to their Reserve room and split tastings. Our friends really liked these wines and bought several. We were going to be having dinner at John Ash that evening, so we bought a white and a red to have with dinner. The gentleman pouring for us heard me say John Ash and said that he would call to tell them to waive the corkage fee since we were bringing Ferrari-Carrano wines - very nice!

Next stop was Dutcher Crossing. We had tried them for the first time on our last visit (April 2011). We had joined their club because we were so impressed with the wine. I had already warned my husband that we would be dropping most of our clubs when we got home from this trip - we have gotten carried away of late and need to be more sensible - but after tasting this time we decided that we can’t drop Dutcher Crossing The young lady pouring our wine was very personable and knowledgeable, and we all enjoyed the visit. Bottles of wine went home with everyone.

Lunch was in Geyserville at Catelli’s. Delicious, but not inexpensive. But a nice place with gluten free options, so we were happy.

After lunch, we had another fun drive - over to Pezzi King. The best part of the drive was the one lane winding road up to the winery. Quite a thrill! When we arrived, our hostess was just finishing up with another couple. It was cold and windy, so she suggested we taste in a small kitchen in the pool house. I thought that there was going to be a tour, but I think that the chilly, windy day meant that the tour was not an option. We tasted the current release wines and brought home a couple of bottles - a zin and a chardonnay. The views from the pool area were breathtaking. The winery has recently been sold to the Wilson outfit and the owners are moving to Carmel. I can’t imaging leaving a property like that! The Carmel view must be outstanding to lure them away from heaven

Next was Passalacqua. We visited there last year as well and enjoyed their zins. We enjoyed the wines this time, too. Came home with a couple of different zins and so did our friends.

We wandered into Healdsburg to check out two new (to us) tasting rooms. The night before, at dinner at the El Dorado Kitchen, we had tried a bottle of Selby Zin with dinner. Hadn’t heard of them before, so of course I was googling them during dinner. Found out that they had a tasting room in Healdsburg, so we thought we would check it out. They were remodeling their front room (the actual tasting room) so we got to hang out in the storage room and do our tasting there! A cheerful, fun woman poured for us and we had a great time - enjoyed their wines a brought a few home. Next we found Edmeades, next door but really kind of inside of Murphy-Goode. Our friend had tasted an Edmeades zin in Austin the week before and emailed me that it was very nice, so I googled them and found out where we could taste. Half of our group had thrown in the towel by this time, but the hubby and I and the one trooper friend tasted through the offerings of Edmeades - 6 Zins and a late harvest zin. Came home with a mixed case.

Time for dinner! So off we went to John Ash and had a wonderful, delicious meal with our Ferrari-Carrano wines and no corkage fee

On our last day, I had figured that most of the group would be worn out, so we took it easy. We had breakfast at the hotel and then strolled around the Sonoma square. At 11:00 we headed over to Deerfield Ranch. Tasted in the cave and enjoyed the experience, but didn’t need to bring home any of the wine.

We had a picnic at Ledson, but since it was chilly and windy, they let us come inside and use one of their rooms that had tables. We then had a private tasting and our host was terrific. He was a freshly minted sommelier and just wonderful. We tasted all kinds of wines and several barrel tastings. The group had a great experience and everyone took home wine.

From Ledson, we went to B.R.Cohn because we really enjoy their selection of vinegars and olive oils. We didn’t do a wine tasting, but got to taste a variety of vinegars.

Last stop of the trip was Viansa. We had breezed through there once before, but it was practically closing time so it was very rushed. We split tastings and I liked maybe half of the wines we tasted, but I really liked the variety of housewares they had! Found a couple of nice things to bring home that weren’t WINE!

We left wine country and headed toward Oakland and the airport. Dinner was at Skates on the Bay in Berkeley - always wonderful, never had a bad dish there. The group enjoyed the meal and the view and they all want to come back again to visit Napa and Sonoma.


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