Adobe Road Winery
6 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma, Calif. 94952
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Tasting Fees: $20-$45 per person
Wines Offered: 2016 Viogner, Dry Creek Valley; 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley; 2016 Chardonnay, Sangiacomo South Vineyard; 2016 Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap; 2016 Redline red blend.
Reservations: Walk-ins are welcome. Reservations are appreciated for groups of six or more.
Did You Know? Founder Kevin Buckler is also the owner and founder of The Racers Group, a top professional sports car racing team in the U.S., located in Petaluma. In his career, Buckler won one overall win and four class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, a win at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, the title of 2002 Porsche World Cup Champion, as well as wins at most of the major motorsports circuits in North America. The winery also features four wines in their Racecar Series—Redline, Shift, Apex and The 24—all blends made from top components from the vineyards and meticulously handcrafted by both the winemaker and the owner.
It’s not often you discover a winery that produces world-class wines from vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma counties. But at Adobe Road Winery, their competitive edge stemming from a history of exotic sports car racing along with relationships developed with local wine growers, gives them a high-speed advantage. Kevin Buckler, owner of the winery and The Racers Group (TRG) in Petaluma, knows what it takes to build a winning team. “In both racing and winemaking, if the racer and engineer, and the winemaker and the owner can collaborate well together, it makes for a fantastic partnership,” says Buckler. “It gives us a jump on the competition.”
His competitive spirit and passion for producing outstanding wines from grapes sourced from selected vineyards in the warm corners of Napa Valley, to the Dry Creek Valley and above and below the fog line in the Petaluma Gap, result in a diverse selection of fine wines, all available at their quaint downtown Petaluma tasting room.
In 2002, Kevin and his wife, Debra, started the winery following Bucklers 20-plus years as a professional racecar driver. After eight years in their Petaluma production facility—a stone’s throw to his TRG race company—the Bucklers opened their current tasting room in the Great Petaluma Mill. And with his newest vision in the works, Buckler purchased a 1-acre piece of property in the downtown waterfront and is planning construction of a 16,000-square-foot, two-story building on the riverfront, which will house a 3,000-square-foot tasting room, VIP party deck, corporate and banquet facility, BBQ grill and pizza oven. It will also serve as a museum to house and showcase multiple racecars and years of trophies and memorabilia. It will also include a replica of the 31° banking from the racetrack at Daytona Beach.
“Petaluma is on an uptick,” says Buckler. “It was my wife’s idea to open the tasting room in downtown Petaluma prior to the construction of our [new] project.”
At the cozy tasting room, winemaker Garret Martin stands among a backdrop of wine bottles, many dipped in blue, red or black wax seals to indicate its region. Red for Napa wines, black for Sonoma wines and blue for their special Sonoma vineyard, Blue Dog Vineyard, which produces one of their many award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons. His methods are simple, showcasing where the grapes come from and remaining respectful to their sites. “It’s about building genuine relationships with growers,” he says. And the wines express those thoughtfully selected from the most sought after wine regions.
Garrett pours a taste of 2016 Viogner, with fruit sourced from Mark Farmers vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. “It’s a great expression from a grape that’s different,” he says of the wine that fills an interesting and unique niche. Honeysuckle and floral aromatics along with a bright acid backbone make this wine perfect for pairing, or to enjoy on it’s own.
Next, we try the 2016 Chardonnay from the Sangiacomo Vineyards Kiser Ranch in Sonoma County. Receiving a score of 92 points from acclaimed Robert Parker, this Chardonnay offers a balance of cream and acidity, new and old used French oak and a long finish.
For a taste of Petaluma terroir, he pours a taste of the 2016 Pinot Noir from Roberts Road/Sangiacomo Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. The newest AVA, Petaluma Gap had for years in the past been plagued with the assumed reputation that grapes couldn’t grow there. But that’s simply not the case. “For traditionally warm-climate grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon growing in Petaluma Gap, I source from above the fog line as the grapes there get more sunlight per day,” says Garrett. “For cool climate varieties I source from the Petaluma Gap such as Pinot and Syrah, they can thrive below the fog line.” And his Pinot Noir proves his point. Using three clones from the vineyard, he blends new and old used French oak. Raspberry, floral and pepper notes harmoniously play together on the palate. “I want the oak to have a fundamental presence, but not overpowering,” says Garrett.
Finally, we taste the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Beckstoffer Vineyards Georges III in Rutherford, one of the most prestigious growing regions for Cabernet Sauvignons. “This puts us on the map,” says Buckler. “Andy Beckstoffer owns the most premier vineyards in Napa Valley. To purchase fruit, we were on the list a while, and our partnership has been strong with back to back 94 point scores from the Wine Spectator these last few years. We’re crafting a Cabernet on par with some of the best and most prestigious vineyards in Napa County and Northern California. This puts our little Petaluma Winery front and center.” A light and silky blend of tobacco and vanilla, blackberry and baking spices, this Cab packs a punch and is sure to be a memorable wine to share with friends. Visit the winery to taste for yourself all that Adobe Road has to offer.
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