The peacock has landed in Healdsburg, n’est-ce pas? The newest JCB Tasting Salon has opened on the Plaza in downtown Healdsburg, the latest outpost of wine-soaked ultra-lounges designed by French wine impresario Jean-Charles Boisset, and the only such of his salons in Sonoma County that’s not secreted away in a wine cellar.
The latest tasting room to open in Sonoma County presents great views in two ways: visually, a near-unparalleled view of the sweep of Alexander Valley vineyards rolling out to the west, and historically, into the beginnings of this important Sonoma County wine growing region.
There’s something new about Ferrari-Carano’s most recent vintage of dry rosé wine: a tiny logo in the bottom corner of the label that reads, “Sonoma County sustainably farmed grapes.”
With the balmy climate, the world-class wines, and the farm-to-fork food culture, Sonoma County can understandably be mistaken for the Mediterranean. In fact, when it comes to wine, Sonoma County stands up to southern French culture quite nicely.
The hot new wine term to know, “garrigue,” didn’t just pop out of the scrubland and brush of southern France yesterday, but fair to say, it’s a relatively new addition to many a wine lover’s lexicon.
It may be after Labor Day, but there’s one more chance this summer to pack up the lawn chairs and sunscreen and post up on the lawn at Rodney Strong’s 2018 Summer Concert Series.
For the first time, this summer I attended two in this series, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun and easy it was — it’s like a big backyard garden party at a friend’s house, but your friend is Rodney Strong Vineyards.
The town of Graton is tucked away in Green Valley a half mile from the main road from Sebastopol to the Russian River, but once you find one-block-long downtown Graton you can’t miss its welcoming new cornerstone business, the fortuitously located and comfortably appointed Bowman Cellars tasting room.
Slowing down and savoring experiences is a key value in visiting Wine Country, and there’s no better way to explore and experience the vineyards and lands of Sonoma County than on a bicycle.
There’s more to those photos of cheerful cyclists on a quiet country lane, handlebar baskets stuffed with bottles of wine and loafs of bread, than just a photo shoot idyll: the opportunities to combine wine tasting with a bicycle ride are darn near idyllic in many corners of Sonoma County.
When I ask Dee Rued where the crisp, lightly fruity 2017 Sauvignon Blanc that she’s just poured me comes from, she can point to a block of vines just over yonder, beside the crush pad.
That’s not unusual in Dry Creek Valley, an enclave of almost exclusively family-owned wineries that, like Rued, have launched their own brands to show off the best of the vineyards they’ve farmed for generations, and are more likely than not the folks behind the bar, too.