Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves are operated by husband-and-wife team, Scott and Lynn Adams, who acquired the Zinfandel vines planted in 1915, formerly known as Lily Hill Estate in Dry Creek Valley. The main focus of Bella Vineyards is Zinfandel and Rhone varietal wines. Tasting the wines is a great experience in Bella’s wine caves, nestled under Lily Hill vineyard, affording a view of the barrel storage and winemaking led by winemaker Joe Healy. Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves strive to produce wine with rich textures and fruity notes, drawing out the complexities of their century-old vines.
Iron Horse Vineyards is an independent estate and family owned winery offering exceptional tours and tastings throughout their working acreage. Three generations of the family live in Green Valley on the winery, where they practice micro-farming under the expert guidance of Daniel Roberts, PhD aka: Dr. Dirt. The winery practices sustainable farming, which they define as a holistic effort to protect and nurture the environment, the community and natural resources. Iron Horse Vineyards consists of 39 blocks that are individually farmed and harvested separately. The tasting room sits atop of undulating hills overlooking the vineyards where guests are invited to taste Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Brit Rosé.
Iron Horse Vineyards, Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA, USA, +1 707-887-1507
In 1977, winemaker Joel Peterson was one of the first wine proprietors to produce the infamous Merlot. Ravenswood had a sordid start producing small batches of Zinfandel, which expanded to Merlot, Shiraz, Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Sourcing grapes from different vineyards in the region lent itself to a non-sedentary winery lifestyle. Ravenswood was before its time in that it was perhaps the first pop-up winery, not finding a permanent ‘home’ until it landed on Gehricke Road. Currently, Ravenswood offers wine enthusiasts the Single Vineyard Designate, County Series and Vintners Blend.
Ravenswood, Gehricke Road, Sonoma, CA, USA, +1 888-669-4679
This West Sonoma winery nurtures wine that is procured in cold climates, such as Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Red Car Winery is a small production operation that relies on the natural acidity of weathered grapes and gravity flow. These natural resources help the winery to produce complex, aromatic wines with body and finesse. Founded by winemakers Carroll Kemp, Mark Estrin and Richard Crowell, Red Car is a romanticised tribute to the electric trolley cars that ran throughout Los Angeles from the late 19th century through the early 1960s.
Red Car Wine, Graton Rd, Sebastopol, CA, USA, +1 707-829-8500
Available by appointment only, Copain Winery is perched on a hill in the Russian River Valley, where guests are invited to share an informative yet informal tasting experience. The wines at Copain are crafted to accompany the celebration of food, family and friends. Winemaker Wells Guthrie is known for producing Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, all of which are available to taste and to purchase. Don’t miss the farm-to-table tasting, which consists of a selection of Copian’s five wines paired with local artisan cheeses and small bites.
Copian Winery, Eastside Road, Healdsburg, CA, USA, +1 707-836-8822
Looming above Alexander Valley Stonestreet Winery sits at the pinnacle of the Mayacamas Mountains, encompassing 5,100 acres of land at 2,800 feet above sea level. The height of this winery yields single vineyard offerings with distinct character, like Cabernets, Chardonnays and Rieslings. The Director of Winemaking, Graham Weerts hails from South Africa and knows how to produce wine from a rugged landscape, while Stonestreet’s female winemaker, Lisa Valtenbergs oversees the process from fruit ripening to cellar production. Take a tasting trip up the mountains to the Alexander Estate, or stay in the lowlands at the store in downtown Healdsburg.
Stonestreet Winery, Hwy 128, Healdsburg, CA, USA, +1 707-433-9463