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Please Recommend WIneries

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So Calif
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Please Recommend WIneries

I am going to Sonoma in a couple of weeks. I have never been there. I have been to Napa once. Please recommend 2-3 wineries in the following categories.

1-Grand Winery (something big like Sterling and Coppola in Napa)

2-Character (doesn't have to be big but something about the theme or decor gives it interesting character.

3-Good tasting wine. (maybe a boutique or small lesser known winery but has excellent wines).


Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

Sonoma County is vast. It would help if you would tell us the area of the county you will be visiting.

So Calif
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2. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

I plan on visiting the southern part of Sonoma closest to the San Francisco area.

united states
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3. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

For your "Grand" designation, Viansa, Jacuzzi and Ledson come to mind- the first 2 are in the Carneros district and the third is at the north end of Sonoma Valley, near Santa Rosa.

For interesting character, see if you can get a tour at Haywood in Sonoma. I'm not sure if they offer tours at the property, but it is full of rustic character and a lot of "modern" history to Sonoma wine making...and Peter Haywood is just the nicest guy you would ever want to meet.

Another place that I find interesting is Loxton Cellars. It is a very small production facility in Glen Ellen and would make an interesting study in contrast to the "Grand" places.

Little vineyards is also in Sonoma Valley and I believe is appt. only. They have a quaint facility right next to the BR Cohn property that includes a recording studio and a small studio accomodation. The owners and winemaker are musicians and they do hold performances on the property.

There are several interesting places in the Green Valley portion of Russian River valley that have great character- Sunce, DeLoach and Iron Horse have different specialties and different elements that I find interesting.

For good wines, well in Sonoma County you can find TONS of really good wine. Ledson winery offers the greatest number of wines as far as I know. They have over 70 on the tasting menu so its likely that you will find something that appeals to you. St. Francis has a fairly wide array of wines on offer as well...and though they are a larger production winery there are several wines there that you can only get on site or through wine club membership. Paradise Ridge also has an array of wines to offer and if you go to the main facility in the hills outside Santa Rosa you will be treated to a fabulous view of the area if its a clear day. There is also an interesting sculpture garden on site that you might enjoy. The smaller satellite facility in Kenwood is quite charming as well.

If you like the Rhone varietals, then you might want to stop at Cline. They also have a large propety that includes ponds, and aviary and the Mission Model Museum.

Omaha, Nebraska
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4. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

Second the vote on Loxton. Great port!!

Love Imagery and/or Benzinger.

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5. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

Ledson is very pretty and they have amazing wines there! We were at Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa this past March and enjoyed our time there, also. Right off of the Sonoma Square there is Sebastiani, which is one of the oldest wineries in the area.

Gundlach-Bundschu, Bartholomew Park and Buena Vista are also nice ones to check out right in the Sonoma area. For a nice meal, check out girl and the fig or Cafe La Haye.

Enjoy your time in the wine country! :)

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6. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

You've asked about Sonoma closer to San Francisco. That would put you in the southern Sonoma Valley. I would not recommend Viansa, but the fiew times we've taken clients to Cline, our guests have had a good experience and the wines are priced to sell. Fruit forward; balanced and they want to move the juice as they say. (smile) Further up the road, for a very fun experience is the Larson Family Winery off Millerick Lane. You can't beat it for wild west history. Think of the day when the largest rodeo west of the ole Miss was held each year on the property, and during the Depression, a little race horse with a big heart - named Seabiscutt would water and train enroute to the Tanforan race track south of San Francisco. The Larson Family Winery has so many different wines and affordable pricing you can't go wrong. And nearby for fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is the Schug Carneros Estate. Outstanding for a small boutique. For big, but with a great deal of personality, try Gunlach Bundchu right in the town of Sonoma. 150+ years of winemaking history all from the same family. There's no winery in California like it with such a sense of humor! Sonoma has become a target rich environment for wonderful tasting rooms and wineries that produce a great product - not swill. All, or many within walking distance and more within a five to ten minute drive. Do a little research and you can have a great time without being a nuisance to traffic! (smile) That'll get you started; closer to SF and we haven't even taken you to the Heart of the Sonoma Valley yet. Lin Durling

Edited: 21 July 2011, 02:59
7. Re: Please Recommend WIneries

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