Wine Road is an association of wineries and lodgings in northern Sonoma County’s Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys which was founded over 30 years ago. It began with a mere nine wineries and today’s membership is over 150. This was the 20th Anniversary of Winter Wineland Weekend with over 140 participants.
Typically, when crafting a tasting itinerary, I would choose some of the high visibilty wineries or those that are generally not open to the public. This time we opted not to drive very far from our starting point and essentially visited wineries in the West County area and a few on Olivet Road. Not only had I never been to any of these wineries I knew nothing of most of them. This is a cooler growing region so we were primarily tasting Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
What a delightful day it was – relaxing, the weather sunny, warm and beautiful (I had to keep reminding myself that it was January!). We weren’t disappointed and enjoyed all of our choices. I loved Red Car – this was only a tasting room and I am not sure they have an actual winery – not only were the wines good, I was pleasantly influenced by their branding and their labels. The best decor was Hook and Ladder with t-shirts from different fire stations hanging from the ceiling not to mention the vintage fire truck out front. Now that I have experienced this quieter approach to a big event, I highly recommend that you try it.
Several wines were purchased and I chose the non-wine purchase route this time: a bottle of yummy hot sauce as a benefit at Hook and Ladder and a blue pottery bowl from artist, Peggy Parr, at Harvest Moon. I did say I wanted to visit new wineries this year – Life is good!