Although many people out there are ignoring the news these days (with good reason), you have no doubt heard about the fires in California over the last few weeks. While there is little doubt in my mind that climate change has played a major role in the increase in both frequency and intensity, this post is not about that.
Instead, I would rather focus on the fact that despite the fact that the Kincade fire was the largest in Sonoma history, the wineries there are open and ready for business (and visitors!). A couple of days ago, a friend of mine at Trione Winery in Geyserville alerted me to a pretty cool promotion that is currently in effect.
Many wineries in Sonoma are now offering $5 shipping on all cases ordered through November 22. Click on the photo below and you will be taken to the wineroad.com site for the list of participants.
There are some really great wineries on that list! Here are a few of my favorites:
ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards–I visited Betsy and Bill Nachbaur for the first time this last fall, and they are growing some of the more interesting varieties in the Valley. Their Medley is a blend of 60 (!) different varieties, and is fantastic.
Cast Wines–Another winery I visited for the first time this fall and I was impressed with the winery itself as well as the wines. Jack and Ann Seifrick produce a number of fantastic wines (the Zin and Petite Sirahs are fantastic), but their sparkling wines might just be the best in Sonoma.
Collier Falls–Barry Collier is likely the nicest guy I have ever met. Word on the street is that he is looking to sell the winery and retire to Florida. If you like big, powerful Zins, grab some before they are gone!
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery–A fixture in Dry Creek Valley for decades, the winery suffered a big blow two years ago when Don Carano, the winery’s founder passed away. The winery, of course, continues and is perhaps known for its rich Chardonnays and fantastic Cabernets.
Frick Winery–Bill Frick is one of the more remarkable people I have ever met and it is not because he is one of the few people in wine that makes me feel small (I think he is 6’7″ or 6’8″). He makes some of the best Rhone varietal wines in Dry Creek (his Grenache, Syrah, and Grenache Blanc are favorites) and he is a one-man show: farmer, winemaker, tasting room manager.
HANNA Winery–I only met Christine Hanna once and it was not at the winery, but rather at a lunch at Blue Hill at Stone Barn in New York State. All the wines were fabulous, but the Sauvignon Blanc really stood out for me.
Joseph Swan Vineyards–If you are a Pinot Noir fan and you never have had a Pinot from Joseph Swan, you should be ashamed of yourself. For chrissakes, one of the more popular clones planted in Sonoma is named after Joseph Swan.
Martorana Family Winery–Another winery that I visited for the first time this Fall. Gio Martorana is a force of nature (and an avid mountain biker) and makes some beautiful wines. My favorite? Might be his red blend: Mozzafiato.
Moshin Vineyards–To quote Joe Walsh: “Ain’t ever been there, they tell me it’s nice.” While I know very little about the Moshin story, I do know that they make some fantastic Pinot Noirs.
Nalle Winery–I visited with Doug Nalle a few years ago and he might have the coolest vineyard in Dry Creek with old, bush-trained Zinfadel vines in somewhat sandy soils. He also makes some of the most age-worthy Zins you can find anywhere.
Pedroncelli Winery–The Pedroncelli family has been making wine in Dry Creek Valley for over 90 years. Whoa. And they make some of the best value wines not just in Dry Creek or even Sonoma, but all of California. Known, perhaps, for Zin, their Wisdom Cabernet, at $36, might be the best under $40 Cab I have had.
Rued Vineyards–Another venerable Dry Creek producer (now on their sixth generation in the Valley!) that I visited a few years ago. Wonderful value in their wines and I particularly like their Sauvignon Blanc.
Trione Vineyards & Winery–The winery that inspired this post (actually it was their tasting room manager Jess Poshepny Vallery), I have stopped by the winery several times to try the Chardonnay and the Henry’s Blend–both stellar.
Wilson Winery–The Wilsons are controversial for some, but they have also suffered more from the Kincade fire than perhaps anyone else on this list, losing their Soda Rock Winery in the fire. If you love your wines big and bold, try some from Wilson. While winemaker Diane Wilson might be slight in stature, her wines certainly are not.