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Sonoma Wineries – Part II

Sonoma Wineries – Part II

Sonoma County is a large and beautiful place. It stretches from the San Pablo Bay in the south, all the way up to Mendocino County in the north and inland to border the Napa Valley. With such a wide expanse packed with hundreds of wineries, it could take a very enjoyable lifetime to try them all! But we can help with a custom wine tour! These are a small handful of some of our go to places while wine tasting in Sonoma,

Chef Maria Belmonte VJB CellarsVJB Cellars
60 Shaw Ave
Kenwood, CA 95452
(707) 833-2300

Tradition is so important to Italian families, and the Belmonte family exemplifies this with their family business, VJB Cellars. They have shared traditional family made food and wine with the relaxed California lifestyle we all know and love. The family owned a cafe in Santa Rosa, and decided in the late 90’s to start making their own wine for the restaurant. The brothers made the first harvest in 1996 and Maria Belmonte’s food still charms the guests as her husband and sons were chat them up. Maria was born in Bonito, Italy where she learned to cook at home with her mother and grandmother. Her cafe won her legions of fans, and she continues to impress at the VJB Cellars two food outposts, La Cucina and the Red Rooster Kitchen. The Italian theme continues from the kitchen to the vineyards, as VJB Cellars produces stunning Italian grape varieties from Sonoma County. Our guests often gravitate to a rarely produced Nero d’Avola which features ripe cherry with deep flavors of plum with a bright and juicy palate when they are wine tasting at VJB Cellars.

Eric Flanagan Flanagan VineyardsFlanagan Vineyards
6860 Serenity Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 591-6860

Eric Flanagan was in the right place at the right time, and never forgot it. It was the early 90’s, and wine quality was exploding in Napa and Sonoma, a great time to be a consumer of Northern California wines. He didn’t grow up on a farm and his family didn’t own a winery or a vineyard, but Eric became fascinated by the differences in the same grapes from different places. He started wine traveling and eventually sipped on wines from Greece to New Zealand. Eric began his own wine journey with a 40-acre parcel in Bennett Valley in 1999. The 2013 Bennett Valley Syrah from this estate has a classic Rhone profile with fruit, bacon fat and a hint of white pepper. The briar and earth notes are backed up by a subtle oak spice note on the nose and palate. In 2011 he added a small Russian River Valley property, and in 2014, began to work with other premier growers all over Sonoma, including legendary spots like the Ritchie, Sangaicomo, and Sunchase Vineyards. Flanagan Vineyards is now becoming known for producing top wines from these and other top sites in Sonoma County.

Wine Tasting Sojourn CellarsSojourn Cellars
141 East Napa Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-7212

The team at Sojourn has a commitment to producing exceptional wines and make them available to wine lovers who feel as passionately as they do. For Sojourn, it starts in the vineyard where they search for California’s best vineyard sites. They apply natural wine making techniques to allow this hard work in the vineyard to shine through in the wines they make. The expert technique is best shown in the 2014 Gaps Crown Pinot Noir with 10% of the grapes being whole cluster fermented. This infusion allowed the textures and flavors to develop a complex character featuring dark cherry and blackberry with hints of baking spice and thyme. The wine tasting salon is luxurious yet still casual, and the staff are buzzing with enthusiasm. The winery was founded in 2001 as a collaboration by two tennis buddies who loved great wines and the good things that come with it, friends and food. While it started as a personal journey, it has now evolved into a first class boutique winery  dedicated to high-end artisan wines for people who know and appreciate such things.

Hear the team at Sojourn Cellars explain the special nature of the Sangiacomo Vineyard below:

Our private Sonoma wine tours can include a drive along the Pacific Ocean, through majestic redwoods and across fertile valleys. The perfect terrain and diverse microclimates make Sonoma’s wine country legendary. The wine is world class, and the service is home made hospitality. Let us take you to the places that make your Sonoma wine dreams come true!

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