Great Tastes

Flowers Vineyards and Winery

Author: Karen Hart
Sep, 2019 Issue

Did You Know? Founded in 1991, Joan and Walt Flowers pioneered the growing of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the rugged coastal ridges of the Sonoma Coast to capture its spirit and wild beauty. Known as the “wilderness winemakers,” Flowers Vineyards & Winery began as a Chardonnay House. Over the years, it developed a reputation for its Pinot Noirs, but for winemaker Chantal Forthun, reintroducing their Chardonnays to guests is a passion project. “Chardonnay is a blank canvas,” says Forthun. “It lends itself to maximum transparency of the site where it’s grown.”

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Seven Stones

Author: Michael Barnes
Aug, 2019 Issue

Seven Stones Winery prefers the minor brush strokes of artfully-crafted wine. The winery refers to itself as a “jewel box winery,” meaning high-quality wines but small-production releases. All of Seven Stones’ wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, and the property itself is a blend of a private estate, art installation and winery.

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Russian River Vineyards

Author: Luke Straub
Jul, 2019 Issue

Did You Know? Russian River Vineyards’ origins date back to 1890. The site was used primarily as family farmland. In 1930, new owners took control and started to offer food at an eight-seat roadhouse restaurant. There was a ready clientele from travelers using a nearby railroad. The restaurant remains and is still used today to provide local cheeses, charcuterie plates and vegetarian options for wine tasters. The spirit of sharing freshly prepared hot food is still a tradition at the winery. Today, a brick oven is used to churn out pizzas on Sunday afternoons starting in June.

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Armida Winery

Columnist: Karen Hart
Sep, 2018 Issue

2201 Westside Road
Healdsburg, Calif. 95448
(707) 433-2222
Hours: 11a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except holidays

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Gamble Family Vineyards

Columnist: Karen Hart
Aug, 2018 Issue

Farming first isn’t just a platitude for Tom Gamble, the man behind Gamble Family Vineyards, located off St. Helena Highway in Napa Valley. It’s a philosophy and a way of life. A third-generation farmer, Gamble has been influenced by his ancestors since childhood. “My most lasting memory of childhood is dirt,” says Gamble.

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VML Winery

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
Jul, 2018 Issue

The drive along Dry Creek Road, with its picturesque vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley, is an experience in itself. An added treat to the region is VML—a whimsical winery nestled in the valley that is both playful and amusing and feels like a different land altogether.

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St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Columnist: Karen Hart
Jun, 2018 Issue

On a mild afternoon in the heart of Sonoma Valley, the first signs of spring are starting to show in the Wild Oak Vineyard, just outside the tasting room door at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. The hills are lush and green, and the vines are starting to bloom again. “We call it the ‘bud break’ on the vines—the birth of a new vintage,” says Katie Madigan, winemaker.

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Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery

Author: Karen Hart
May, 2018 Issue

Perched on the top of a hill in the Russian River Valley, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery offers an intimate wine tasting experience. The winery opened its new tasting room last summer after seven months of renovation and construction. The salon offers indoor-outdoor seated tastings in a modern, relaxed atmosphere where you can sink into the experience, learn about the fine art of winemaking and enjoy panoramic views of the forested valley below.

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Roots Run Deep

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
Apr, 2018 Issue

At the end of a long, tree-lined driveway on Kirkland Ranch Road in Napa Valley, Roots Run Deep Winery is an oasis. Set amongst more than 300 acres of the property’s own Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, as well as the original owners cattle that graze in the distance, the tasting room and lush grounds share a rural and refined ambiance.

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Gundlach Bundschu Winery

Author: Karen Hart
Mar, 2018 Issue

Gundlach Bundschu is located at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains, along the Napa-Sonoma border. Named “Rhinefarm” by its founder Jacob Gundlach, the 320-acre estate vineyard is situated on three appellations—Sonoma Valley, Carneros and Napa Valley.

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Trione Vineyards and Winery

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
Feb, 2018 Issue

Three generations, four decades and five ranches—the Trione family history runs deep in Sonoma County. Brothers Mark and Vic, with their father, Henry Trione, began vineyard development in the 1970s, farming the best varietals in the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. 

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Comstock Wines

Columnist: Karen Hart
Jan, 2018 Issue

Located on Dry Creek Road, Comstock Wines is a family-owned boutique winery that opened its doors for business in 2015 and is gaining a reputation for its elegant wines. Comstock is passionate about producing mostly single varietal wines, sourced from the finest Sonoma County grapes to showcase the true essence of the growing region.

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Benovia Winery

Columnist: Karen Hart
Dec, 2017 Issue

Driving through the entrance of Benovia Winery on a warm autumn afternoon after the wildfires, you’d never guess this part of the country was making news around the globe 15 days earlier. The sky is wide and blue, the grapevines lush and golden, and the sweet smell of harvest lingers in the air. 

The last of the 2017 vintage was harvested a week before wildfires, and the three proprietors of Benovia are grateful for that, but this harvest season was bittersweet.

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Markham Vineyards

Author: Karen Hart
Oct, 2017 Issue

Located along St. Helena Highway, Markham Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, established by Jean Laurent, an immigrant from Bordeaux, France. Laurent came to California seeking gold during the rush, but instead found his way into the winemaking business.

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Schug Carneros Estate Winery Sonoma

Columnist: Karen Hart
May, 2017 Issue

Schug Carneros Estate Winery
602 Bonneau
Sonoma, Calif. 95476
(707) 939-9363

Hours: Open Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tasting Fees: $10 for five people or under
Wines Offered: 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley; 2014 Carneros Chardonnay Estate Grown; 2015 Pinot Noir, Carneros; 2013 Carneros Pinot Noir, Estate Grown; and the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Heritage Reserve. (Subject to change.)
Reservations: Required for groups of six or more; call
(800) 966-9365
Picnics: In the courtyard 
(Starting in late April, Fri.-Sun. only.)
Pets: No

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Corner 103 Sonoma

Author: Sarah Treseler
Jan, 2017 Issue

103 W. Napa St.
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 931-6141
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tasting fees: $20-$40
Wines currently offered: sparkling rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, red blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Cuvée blend, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Appointment necessary: Yes
Picnics: No
Pets: Service dogs only.

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Heibel Ranch Vineyards, Calistoga

Author: Alexandra Russell
Dec, 2016 Issue

Heibel Ranch Vineyards
1458 Lincoln Ave., #12
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 341-3351

Hours: Open Thurs. through Mon., noon to 5 p.m.; or daily by appointment
Tasting fees: $15 per person, two different options (waived with qualified purchase)
Wines offered: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lappa’s and Captain Bubba (red blends) and Etzio (Zinfandel dessert wine)
Reservations: See hours above
Picnics: No
Pets: Yes

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La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, Windsor

Author: Alexandra Russell
Special Wine Issue, Nov, 2016

La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard
3575 Slusser Rd.
Windsor, CA  95492
(707) 525-6200

Hours: Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tasting fees: $15-$65 depending on tasting experience chosen
Wines offered: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Rosé, late harvest Gewurztraminer
Reservations: Required for VIP experiences, including vineyard tour, picnic lunches and cheese-and-wine pairings; walk-ins welcome for signature wine flights
Picnics: Yes
Pets: Yes

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Capp Hertitage Vineyards, Napa

Author: William Rohrs
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2016

Capp Heritage Vineyards
1245 First Street
Napa, CA, 94559
(707) 254-1922
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tasting fees: $20 for 6 tastes; waived with a two-bottle purchase
Wines offered: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec Rose, Muscat, Sangiovese, Merlot, Barbera, Meritage, Cabernet Sauvingon
Reservations: Not required
Picnics: no
Pets: Yes, on leashes

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Trinchero Napa Valley, St. Helena

Author: Christina Julian
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2016

Trinchero Napa Valley
3070 N. St. Helena Highway
St. Helena, 94574
(707) 963-1160
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Tasting fees: $30 to $95
Wines offered: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Petite Sirah
Reservations: Suggested for VIP experience
Picnics: No
Pets: No

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Ace Cider Company, Sebastopol

Author: William Rohrs
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2016

Ace Cider Company
2064 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA, 95472
(707) 829-1101
Hours: Fridays only: 1-5 p.m.
Tasting fees: $10 for all nine ciders
Ciders offered: Nine ciders, including limited releases
Reservations: Available, but not required. Walk-ins welcome
Picnics: Outside seating available
Pets: Yes

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Patz & Hall, Sonoma

Author: Sarah Treseler
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2016

The Sonoma House at Patz & Hall
21200 Eighth Street East
Sonoma, CA 95476
Phone: 707-931-2440
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Monday by appointment. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tasting Fees: $30-$75, depending on experience chosen.
Wines Currently Offered: Six single vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.
Reservations: Required
Picnics: No
Pets: No

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Casa Nuestra, St. Helena

Author: Alexandra Russell
Oct, 2016 Issue

Casa Nuestra

3451 Silverado Trail North
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-5783
Hours: Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tasting fees: $30 for five wines
Wines offered: Changes seasonally. Summer 2016: Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Meritage and Tinto (red blends)
Reservations: Required
Picnics: Wine club members only
Pets: No

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Ledson Winery, Kenwood

Author: Sarah Treseler
Sep, 2016 Issue

Ledson Winery and Vineyards

7335 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, CA 95409
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tasting Fees: $15 to $47, depending on experience chosen.
Wines currently offered: Ledson makes 70 wines and tasting selections vary widely based on customer preferences.
Reservations: Required for private tasting and groups of six or more.
Picnics: Yes. Gourmet sandwiches and snacks available for purchase in the marketplace, no outside food please
Pets: Yes

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The JCB Tasting Salon and Atelier by JCB, Yountville

Author: Alexandra Russell
Jul, 2016 Issue

The JCB Tasting Salon and Atelier by JCB
6505 Washington St.
Yountville, CA
(707) 934-8237
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tasting fees: $30-$50, depending on experience chosen
Wines offered: The JCB collection of Napa Valley wines is featured in three distinct flights: the Premium Collection, the JCB Touch Interactive tasting and The Surrealist flight
Reservations: Recommended for the tasting experiences and required for parties of eight or more
Picnics: No (hampers are available to take-away from Atelier)
Pets: No

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