Gracianna recently earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (for the second year in a row) for its intimate guest experiences. It placed second on the website’s List of 132 Things to Do in Healdsburg.
Traveling Westside Road, surrounded by acres of vineyards, you'll see Gracianna Winery’s bright red rooftop, a cheerful, welcoming sight. When we visited, owner Trini Amador greeted us warmly and led the way.
A short walk ended at the entrance to the tasting room, which had two doors on each side, both wide open. The center of the room has a long tasting bar. The theme of the winery comes together as the décor, bottle labels and buildings represent one thing—a large, golden box wrapped in a red bow. When asked what the image symbolizes, Trini explains the gift represents “all the things we are grateful for.” It’s something he learned from his great grandmother, who the winery was named after. Trini and his wife, Lisa, own Gracianna, with their son, Trini Amador IV, and daughter, Ashley.
We began our celebration with the winery’s 2009 Brut Rosé, its first sparkling wine. Its pink color comes from Pinot Noir grapes, which give it a light, crisp taste. The sparkling wine was released only one month prior to our visit, and it was already in high demand among tasters and wine club members.
The 2014 Gracianna Sauvignon Blanc, called Kiwi’s Blend, was next on the list. The wine was named for a family cat, which was named by some of Amadors' friends from New Zealand. The fun name given to the wine really represents its fruity flavors. Heavy aromas of mango and peach transition to a floral taste with a refreshing and long finish.
Next was the 2012 Chardonnay, called Suzanne’s Blend (after Lisa’s mother). This isn’t your typical buttery, oakey Chardonnay; instead, there’s a citrus flavor with a crisp finish. The citrus cuts the oak in the perfect way.
Gracianna’s Burgundian-style, fruit-forward Pinot Noirs offer a beautiful floral bouquet with just a hint of smokiness. The taste is delicate and fruity, and they pair great with food. (The Amador’s estate vineyard, the Mercedes Riverblock, has produced three limited vintages of Pinot Noir, with the 2013 being the most recent offered for sale through the tasting room.)
Our final tasting was of Zinfandel, which contains fruit from the Bacigalupi family. This is a very soft wine, with a lingering blackberry finish. Paired with dark chocolate, it was a wonderful way to wrap things up.
While finishing our glasses, we made our way outside to a beautiful patio with handmade wooden tables overlooking the vineyard. Hanging throughout the estate vineyard are a series of medallions, each of which belongs to one of Gracianna’s wine club members. Each medallion bears the member’s name and/or a saying of their choice, and is put on the vine of his or her choice permanently. The medallions let the wine club members be a part of the winery and makes the winery an intimate part of members’ lives, “forever intertwined.”
The Wine Club has three options: the Case Club requires members to buy at least 12 bottles twice per year; the Half-Case Club benchmark is at least six bottles twice per year; and the Quattro Club requires members to purchase at least four bottles twice per year.
From the patio we can see a large house with a matching red roof—the Amadors' home, which was designed by a noted Sonoma County architect and inspired by the family’s years of traveling the world. Making our way up the hill, glass of Zinfandel in hand, we approach the beautiful structure. Inside the home, a large open patio overlooks the vineyard, and art collected from around the world adorns the walls.
A winemaker dinner for club members is held there annually, an experience that involves a food pairing with each of the wines Gracianna offers. Along with this annual dinner, the Amadors host charitable gatherings (with gift themes) at the estate house. Gracianna offers such an intimate wine tasting experience to celebrate being with friends and family. Its delicious wines and open view from the tasting room are definitely worth a visit.
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