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Trip Report Part 2-Sonoma Wineries

Old Jun 27th, 2002, 09:45 PM
  #1  
deb
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Trip Report Part 2-Sonoma Wineries

Please see my report on Napa Valley posted as Part 1.
Sonoma County
Be sure to get a free copy of the Russian River Wine Road map (free everywhere, or get it online before you go). It’s the best map of the area and has all the times and phone #’s for each winery. All of the following were free for tastings.
Viansa- Tour busses in front, so we should have kept going! Italian style wines. Large gift shop with overpriced jars of mustards, etc. Crowded.
Hop Kiln- Fun place, cool building, reasonably priced good wines (Some are available cheaper at Trader Joes).
Davis Bynum- Skip it. The guy doesn’t even speak to you when he pours the wine (friends had the same experience).
Rochioli- They close early and we missed it, but heard from several people that the wines are very good. Next time!
Amphora- by appt. only. Rick Hutchinson is a terrific guy and I suggest calling him for a private tasting. Very unassuming place and we had a blast eating biscotti and dumping our wines on the floor. Got to taste from his barrels. Ordered futures from him and bought the Zin to take home. He is a very small producer and sells out quickly.
Pezzi-King- Fabulous picnic area! Waterfall, gazebos, view, plenty of room, nice people. Highly recommend for lunch break. Bought several bottles. Good deals on Zin & Pinot.
Preston- Interesting Italian style wines. They were remodeling, so things were a bit crazy. Picnic area.
Ferrari-Carrano- went to see the beautiful gardens. Heard people comment that the tour is good. Fairly crowded and this wine is readily available at home, so didn’t taste. Nice gift shop.
Meeker- Linda, you were right… Cynthia is an absolute hoot. She gave us all kinds of recs for restaurants. The building is an old bank right in Geyserville. Bought several bottles. Yummy and reasonably priced. Don’t miss.
Stryker- only opened for a few weeks- gorgeous building. Nice place
Sausal- Highly rated wines, very reasonably priced. We were the only people there and the wines were very good, esp. Zin and Sangiovese.
Field Stone- This was one of our last places and it’s all a blur, but we bought a couple bottles of wine, so I guess it was good!!
Martinelli- A quick stop at the end of the day. Nice little shop and good Chardonnay.
Had a fabulous time. Thanks to all the Fodorites who offered suggestions. It was a big help.



 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 05:52 AM
  #2  
linda
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Hi Deb!
Well, you did a lot in short time. SO glad you did Meeker! We have been enjoying them for special occasions since our trip. My favorite is their 4 Kings.
We also enjoyed a private tasting with Rick in his cellar overlooking the beautiful countryside. Isn't he great? Is he still seeing the gal in Vegas? ;-)
Looking forward to our futures this winter as well! So, when is your next trip? Where did you stay? Cheers!
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #3  
deb
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Linda,

Love the 4 Kings and wish we'd bought more! Don't know about Rick's GF, but saw the pics of all the women stomping grapes in his cellar. Very funny.
We stayed at SF Park Hyatt, Yountville Inn, and BW Dry Creek. I wrote a hotel report, too. I'll send it back to the top so you can find it.
Thanks again for all the good advice.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 04:14 PM
  #4  
oeno
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What is a 4 Kings? Always read wine reports for good info- have never heard of this brand or the winery. Thanks
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 06:14 PM
  #5  
linda
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Help me here Deb, I don't have a bottle in front of me. (or a frontal lobotomy)
Each Meeker wine carries a personal trademark by the vintner. One of them has his handprints in acrylic paint on the bottle. 4 Kings, as I remember, is his "favorite hand" blending of 4 varieties of grapes.All I can say is -it is fabulous. It's tough to find Meeker anywhere outside of CA. For about $25/ bottle, you have a wine that's equal to if not better than one 5 times the price.As you know, some of the small wineries only make so many cases, sell it, and that's it. They don't rely on mass marketing and advertising. They don't need it and they know it. Word of mouth, awards, etc. afford them the means to keep producing at their pace. Just be prepared to buy,tote and ship when you visit!!
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 08:50 PM
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deb
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I'm quoting from the Meeker handout:
1999 4 Kings Proprietary Blend- $38
"From the first sip to the last quaff, this is one seductive wine. Cherry, sour plum, currants, toasty oak, cocoa spice and more show up on the palate. It expands through the mid-palate to a finish as persistant as a telemarketer and longer than your eccentric uncle's stories."
The bottle says it's a blend of Cab,Cab Franc,Merlot and Petit Verdot (4 noble grapes, thus the name 4 kings).
Good stuff! You might try to order it on line.
 
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 09:47 AM
  #7  
joey7
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Deb,
Thanks a lot for the report. We are going to wine country in September and this really helps!
Can't wait!
 
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 02:28 PM
  #8  
Sandy
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Deb,
Great trip reports! I will be sure to refer to them when planning my wine country trip. Thanks.
 
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