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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  Sonoma Visit April 2014

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Author Topic:   Sonoma Visit April 2014
posted 04-13-2014 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Jim,
Bless you for posting! We get so little attention over here in recent months/years it can get depressing.
Love your visit list and would like to know more about Uptick as I have never heard of read of it that I recall.
Sbragia is not one of my favorites, but our presence there seemed to be interfering with he social plans of our server so perhaps on another day I'd have a different idea of them.
Love Dry Creek Vineyard but have not been in a while- Mariner is always sold out when we go, so I count you lucky to have gotten some.
I like their Chenin Blanc, but I have a soft spot in my heart for their Fume.
If you like co-op style tasting rooms, you would probably enjoy Hudson Street Wineries as well, its located next to Pezzi King's tasting room in town, and that is also a good visit.
Thanks again for sharing.


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posted 04-13-2014 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jkaiser20     Edit/Delete Message
We had time for about 1.5 days total in Sonoma area in our recent trip. We are somewhat seasoned veterans of the area and have our favorite, but I normally try to find something somewhat different for each trip. We flew into SFO, landing at noon, so I tried to find something on the southern end near Santa Rosa so we could taste on the first afternoon.

We ended up at Matanzas Creek first. A friend at work had listed them as one of his favorites so it wasn't fully blind. Nice property, and I bet the lavender fields are crazy later in the year. We did a simple tasting at the bar. Our favorite was their Merlot, and we brought a bottle home. The Pinot started good on the nose, but fell sort of flat on the palate. The sweet strawberries were not enough to bring it home. The Syrah was pretty good, not too overwhelming. We also took home some salt and soap.

Not far from there was Paradise Ridge (Santa Rosa one not the tasting room in Kenwood). Pure blind selection based on location and no appt. needed (though someone on this board might have mentioned it as well.) High up the hill with great views. The tasting room was empty and we had fun tasting a decent variety with. They had opened an '01 Zin the day before and he was motivated to let us try a taste because it was so good. Uh, sorry that bottle had gone bad during the night. He tried it and spit it and dumped it. But other than that the Zins were good, but nothing struck our fancy enough to buy. A couple more people showed while we were in there (all club members) and they were all friendly and we had some nice conversations. Would stop back by if in the area.

With tasting hours waning, we picked Uptick since it was real close to 101. That was a fun place. The worker was a nice guy and a local, so we had some good discussions about the general area, and he knew a lot about the winery. The wines were good, and he poured a glass of bubbly for us as well (end of the day special) that was real good. We rarely have any bubbles so can't say much about it. We really liked the Syrah and bought a bottle. They had a piano and some guy playing, so that was nice, and the TV had basketball on (march madness) which was an added feature. That wrapped up the first afternoon tasting.

Monday morning brought rain, but we were up and about early. Since we had extra time we drove up Dry Creek Rd. to see how low Lake Sonoma was due to the drought. Pretty rough. Since we had made it all the way north, we picked Sbragia as our first stop. We knew nothing about them, except I had read a bit about the backstory. That is important to me to know a little of the history of a place and the people. Had a nice tasting and were impressed with the Zin they were pouring and bought a bottle. The tasting room was pleasant, plenty of space and too much merchandise.

Next was a stop at Dry Creek Vineyard where we are members. We wanted to set up a tasting for the following Saturday when we would be back in the area. That done (plus of course a few sips of Mariner and Heritage Zin) we headed to Geyserville to complete a mission. Last trip during dinner at Zin (decent restaurant in Healdsburg but a little hit and miss on entrees) I had a Zin flight that included Gunfighter Eberle. Awesome. Had to call back the next day to verify the name. Found that they pour it at Locals in Geyserville. So we went and bought three bottles. Those bottles disappeared. It is a wonderful pepper loaded Zin, like Mazzocco used to do several years ago. So many Zins went to jammy messes that when find something with some spice (Robert Biale as an example) we try to jump on it. So we had firm plans to go this trip and buy 'more' this time to share with family. They had two cases left, which are now safely in our possession. We also joined their club, since the discount covered the shipping. We had also dropped Mazzocco last year so had some room in our yearly allotment.

After Locals we started our trek over to Napa Valley. We did hit Hanna on our way there. Sort of a standard tasting. Someone had a private tasting going on, and we benefitted from it by getting a taste of a couple reserve bottlings. Don't have much else to say about it, as we were just passing through.

We returned Friday late afternoon to Healdsburg, too late to hit any wineries. However, we did go to Mueller's tasting room in downtown (maybe I found this also mentioned here?) The lady working was very knowledgeable about the general area and we had fun talking about various wineries. The two cuvee Pinots we tried (Emily's and X) were interesting and vastly different. One was s subset of the other (can't remember which was which now). We ended up taking a bottle of Zin home with us (yes we like Zin, but Napa yielded a bunch of Cab and Merlot this trip already. Not much Pinot this time though from anywhere).

Saturday was our last day, and we only hit a couple as we wanted to spend a little time in the city before flying out early Sunday from SFO. We had an appt. at Dry Creek that was a lot of fun. We spent some time out in the vines discussing all kinds of things. We then spent a long time in the barrel room running through the whole range wine. We been in the club for several years, so always look forward to tasting the new vintages. And of course sometimes we are hesitant to pull the cork on a bottle at home when it is the only one we have, so these types of tasting are fun. Took a bottle of Chenin Blanc with us, one of the few whites we have.

After Dry Creek we only hit Porter Creek. We weren't super motivated to visit anybody else. Not really burned out or tired, just a little flat that day. Porter Creek (return visit) was packed. Of course, if you have been there you know that three people would make it packed. We tasted the full range of wines and visited with the chickens. Last time we were there we were impressed with the Viognier and the Pinot. However, nothing stood out this time. Fun time, nice people. Our kind of place.

OK, that wraps up the trip.



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