� Hyperlinks allowed for WineCountry.com advertisers only.
� Content intended to lead visitors to other specific properties may be edited or deleted.
� Posts we consider inappropriate will be deleted immediately.
  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  How to choose wineries to visit?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   How to choose wineries to visit?
yesilovewine
Member
posted 08-30-2014 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi and welcome to our (very slow of late) message board! How lovely to have a new name to meet and greet.
I can start with some ideas, but would like to know long you will be in the Sonoma area and an idea of your budget to give specific suggestions.
For your research, I always suggest that first time visitors look at the results of the Harvest Fair wine competition to get a feel for what wineries' product(s) are considered the "best" by the professionals. It helps find potential visits for your favorite wines as well as for ones you may like to try.
Then I suggest that you look at least one event calendar ( or more) to see what will be happening in the area so you can fit "other than wine" activities into the plan if you want. I recommend the one at winecountrythisweek.com just because I think it is the most comprehensive for the furthest time out, but wineroad.com and sonomauncorked.com also have good ones. I haven't used intowine.com lately but I heard they have improved, so you might try there as well.
Lodging suggestions may depend on the amount of time you have to spend in conjunction with the types of wine you prefer, in addition to costs; if you only have 2 days and LOVE Zinfandels, then you would probably want to stay in the north county....for example. Also knowing if you want a B&B or hotel, etc would help.
I can tell you for certain that the wine/food pairings at St. Francis, which is in the Sonoma Valley AVA, in the lower part of the county, has won numerous awards for their pairing experiences. They offer several, so I would highly recommend that you look there first. Mayo Family winery near Kenwood was one of the pioneers of this idea, and many people really like their version as well. In the north county, in Healdsburg there is a winery that has always offered "small bites" with their tastings..I want to say its Williamson, but I'm having a senior moment and this makes me unconfident , but I think that's right. Hawkeye has visited them numerous times and if you look through his posts you can verify.
Another option to consider may be to actually take a class in pairings, and there are some wineries that offer this...I believe I read recently that Chateau St. Jean is one, and it seems to me that The Crush Pad in the town of Sonoma ( now under a new name) has them as well.
In Napa, I know that Paraduxx tastings include small bite pairings, and that requires an appointment to taste there. Our experience was fun.
Please feel free to ask for more specifics as you consider certain wineries, and restaurants...we are a helpful bunch here and will love to "talk" with you

IP: 75.182.16.2

ww4wine&shoes
Junior Member
posted 08-30-2014 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ww4wine&shoes   Click Here to Email ww4wine&shoes     Edit/Delete Message
A friend and I will be visiting Sonoma, Napa and Lodi in mid October. We are very excited for our first time wine tasting in this area. I have been reading the posts on this site, the Napa site and other sites as well information. I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed. We drink many different kinds of wines. Most often Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zins & blends. We do the lighter whites when its hot and occasionally a Cab and Merlot. So as you can tell, we just really like wine. I am interested in the art of pairing food and wine but I am very new at the process. I would appreciate any tips on tastings, lodging, unique places to visit, etc. Thank you.

IP: 206.126.209.6

ww4wine&shoes
Junior Member
posted 08-30-2014 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ww4wine&shoes   Click Here to Email ww4wine&shoes     Edit/Delete Message
A friend and I will be visiting Sonoma, Napa and Lodi in mid October. We are very excited for our first time wine tasting in this area. I have been reading the posts on this site, the Napa site and other sites as well information. I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed. We drink many different kinds of wines. Most often Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zins & blends. We do the lighter whites when its hot and occasionally a Cab and Merlot. So as you can tell, we just really like wine. I am interested in the art of pairing food and wine but I am very new at the process. I would appreciate any tips on tastings, lodging, unique places to visit, etc. Thank you.

IP: 206.126.209.6

yesilovewine
Member
posted 07-30-2014 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I hope you enjoy both!
Would you please do the favor of writing a trip report when you get back? You've got some places planned where we haven't visited and I'd like your impressions.

IP: 75.182.16.2

bwillett
Junior Member
posted 07-30-2014 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwillett   Click Here to Email bwillett     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the tip on Keating. We'll be in the neighborhood, so we'll give it a try. Cornerstone looks like it might be an interesting stop even without the tasting.

IP: 165.189.29.68

yesilovewine
Member
posted 07-30-2014 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Found it- the name of the "place" is Cornerstone and the winery is KEATING, not keller.

IP: 75.182.16.2

yesilovewine
Member
posted 07-30-2014 06:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Sounds like a great plan.
And if you have time, stop in at the visitor center right by Schug- its in that funky artist garden/café/boutique shopping area just about 1/4 mile past the flashing yellow light as you drive out from Schug- and capture local maps that will help you navigate. I can't think of the name of the enclave, but its well known.
Inside, next to the visitor center ( well, across the path) is a VERY good winery. I believe the name is Keller. We had not one more space in our cases to take any home, but the Cabs we had there were truly wonderful. That was 3 years ago, and things change, but we heard of them from the winemakers in Sonoma Valley, so I feel that they will be a consistently good producer. It really wouldn't be out of your way to stop in...
Enjoy the trip!

IP: 75.182.16.2

bwillett
Junior Member
posted 07-30-2014 05:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwillett   Click Here to Email bwillett     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for your suggestions. They were very helpful.

After a week of reading websites and reviews, we've decided to spend a day in Caneros at Artesa, Schug, Robledo and Acacia. Then we're heading up to the Russian River Valley to Merry Edwards, Lynmar, Twomey and La Crema.

Thanks again for your help.

IP: 165.189.29.68

yesilovewine
Member
posted 07-22-2014 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I thought of something else for you to consider....
as you are starting out in Sacramento, had you considered going to the Suisun Valley or the wineries closer to Sacramento?
Quite a bit of good press about those areas in recent years; check archives of Sunset Magazine and Wine Spectator in particular.

IP: 75.182.16.2

yesilovewine
Member
posted 07-22-2014 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well Hello and welcome! What a great surprise to find a new poster here on the Sonoma board.
I will try to help you with resources, and then some personal favorites in your area of interest, but I'm just one voice and if others read this there will be lots of suggestions.
My first suggestion for folks looking for producers of a certain varietal of wine is to check out the recent results from the Harvest Fair. To me, its the easiest place to see who is producing what is considered "the best" of any wines that are made in Sonoma County. I don't always agree with the winners, but I always find good wine by looking through the list. You can use the Harvest Fair website, or the Press Democrat ( local paper for Santa Rosa) usually has the results in the archive of the wine section.
It sounds like you are going to be in the town of Sonoma, or the south part of the county, since you mention Schug as one visit for sure. Given that, I think that bestinsonoma.com may be a helpful resource, as would californiawineryadvisor.com. Each of these offers a list of wineries in the area with an overview of what they offer, contact information an such; and the CA Winery Advisor site includes user-reviews of many if not all of the tasting rooms .
We usually do "power" tasting when we go, just because our time is short and we are trying to educate ourselves, but I think that most of the other "regular" contributors would agree that 45 minutes to an hour is a comfortable amount of time for a general tasting. If you prefer to schedule something more personal, most wineries will tell you how long to expect their private tastings to take. I think that 2 general tastings before and 2 after lunch is reasonable. Now there are more places that are open past 5pm, so I suppose that 3 after lunch is possible.
So- Pinots and Cabs....south part of the county , so that also gives you Carneros.
In the town of Sonoma, R2 (Pinots)- the new venture by the Roessler brothers; Sojourn- for Cabs and Pinots; Westwood- not a personal favorite, but many like them.
OUtside of town, Keller makes excellent Cabs; Chateau St. Jean, in the reserve room, and I would send you to Hamel Family as well. Its near Kenwood, but I like their wine.

IP: 75.182.16.2

bwillett
Junior Member
posted 07-21-2014 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwillett   Click Here to Email bwillett     Edit/Delete Message
We're unexpectedly going to be in Sacramento for business, and would like to spend a couple of days in Napa/Sonoma. It's been 20 years since we were last there, so it'll all be new to us. I'm overwhelmed by the number of wineries and am not sure how to choose. We primarily drink Pinot Noir and Cabernet. How many wineries is it practical to visit in a day without being rushed? Are there any good resources to help select? We're case club members at Schug, so that will be on our list. Otherwise, we're starting from scratch.

I'd appreciate any advice.

IP: 165.189.29.68

All times are ET (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | winecountry.com | Privacy Statement

copyright Winecountry.Com

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.45c

1. Acceptance of Terms of Usage
Freerun Technologies provides a collection of online resources, including website/portals, bulletin boards and email services, (hereafter referred to as "the Service") subject to the following Terms of Use ("Terms"), which may be updated by Freerun Technologies from time to time. By using the Service in any way, you are agreeing to comply with these Terms.

2. Content
All postings, messages, text, or other material posted on, transmitted through, or linked from the Service, are the sole responsibility of the entity from whom the Content originated. Freerun Technologies shall have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to refuse or delete any Content that is available via the Service, for any reason.