Sonoma County has a diversity of wines that appeal to everyone – from the everyday wine drinker to wine connoisseurs. Stretching from the rugged coastline to the inland valleys, these wine tasting opportunities showcase classic Sonoma wine. Here are some of our favorite wine tasting experiences at the highest level.
2959 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Founded by one of California’s first woman winemakers, Merry Edwards has been producing wine since 1974 when she got her start at the mythical Mount Eden Vineyards in Santa Cruz. She was the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek and consulted the length the west coast until she started her own eponymous winery in 1997. After 40 years of dedicated hard work, Merry has been honored by induction into the CIA’s Vintner Hall of Fame, and awarded the James Beard Award for Best Wine, only the fourth woman to win such honors.
Her focus was always the Pinot Noirs coming out of Sonoma, including six single vineyards, a Chardonnay, a sparking wine, and a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. This bright white wine shines with jasmine and honeysuckle, bristling acidity, and the ability to pair with anything under a hot sun. Her regional 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot is floral yet masculine and a restaurant classic and a favorite for any sommelier in America. The real star here is the 2013 Klopp Ranch Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. This vineyard site is well known and Merry’s presentation is explosive in flavor and aroma. The nose is coated with cocoa and sarsaparilla, while toasted brioche and savory prosciutto dance on the tongue.
In the meantime, see Wine Spectator pay tribute to Merry Edwards below video.
2505 Geysers Rd, Geyserville, CA 95441
Skipstone Ranch is quickly appearing on many peoples radar. The estate is tucked in a hidden mountain valley high above the Alexander Valley. Owners Constance and Fahri Diner manage the 200 acre property with an affinity that Fahri, a native of Cyprus, gained growing up around tranquil Mediterranean olive groves. He has an instinctive connection to the property, and that is what attracted super star winemaker, Philippe Melka. Philippe consults for elite wineries around the world, and was drawn to the special potential of the terroir at Skipstone Ranch. Almost 30 acres of vines are situated in an amphitheater arrangement and produce two different and exceptional red wines.
Situated on the floor of the amphitheater, and directly on the Mayacama fault line, the 2012 Faultline Vineyard exhibits the exceptional potential of Cabernet Franc. Deep red fruit, dusty, silky tannins, and high aromatics illustrate the classic characteristics of this famed Bordeaux variety. Higher up on the slopes of the amphitheater, the terroir dictates a more firm version of Cabernet Sauvignon, and blended with Cabernet Franc, the 2012 Oliver’s Blend is intellectually stimulating. In reverse from the Faultline, the Oliver’s Blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, hints at leather, coffee dried herb and tobacco. Strong minerality and firm tannins coat the palate and cry out for an equally exquisite cut of steak.
4611 Thomas Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448
One of the most venerated wines in all of Sonoma County is Verite Wines. They select the best fruit from over 40 unique soil types throughout Alexander Valley, Bennetts Valley, Knights Valley and Chalk Hill AVA’s in eastern Sonoma. They are combined into three wines with high ratings and distinct characteristics. Together, La Muse, La Joie and Le Desir have earned a combined eight perfect 100 point scores from Robert Parker Jr! La Muse is crafted mostly from Merlot, in enumlation of the great wine from Pomerol. Le Desir is a reflection of Bordeaux’s Left Bank and is an opulant celebration of Cabernet Franc with a suede texture. Finally, Le Joie is molded into the style of Pauillac. It is structured from some of the best Cabernet sites in Sonoma County, and styled to be lush and textured.
These wine tastings can truly represent the best Sonoma County has to offer. But the can be difficult to acquire and arranging a wine tasting can be a challenge. If you want to experience the finest, we have a wine tour designed around serious wine collectors and can set you up to enjoy these rare fine wines.