Sip Sonoma County!

I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Sonoma County, California this past March. After visiting Rodney Strong Vineyards for a few days to experience their Master Blender Experience, I had an extra day to sip some wonderful Sonoma County wines!

I started the day at Martin Ray Winery where I tasted through some outstanding whites, reds, and of course… rosé. Martin Ray was a pioneer in California winemaking who produced wines that were 100% varietal. The winery produced wine from 1942-1972 under the namesake label, and twenty years later 1,500 cases were discovered by Courtney Benham. Courtney resonated with the wines and decided to buy the brand in 1990. Years later it’s still one of the oldest wineries in the heart of the Russian River Valley, producing exceptional wines at various price levels. Today, Courtney and Winemakers Bill Batchelor and Lindsey Haughton are dedicated to the brands ideology of making “wines of place”, by sourcing and growing grapes to make wines from several of California’s most renowned AVA’s.

Want to know more about the wines I tasted? Click HERE!

After a beautiful tour of Martin Ray and lunch, we headed to Kokomo Winery in the Dry Creek Valley. Erik Miller is the owner and winemaker of Kokomo, naming it after his hometown; Komoko, IN. The winery produces over a dozen different varietals and focuses on terroir driven wines from three distinctive appellations: Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys. This is a comfortable laid back winery where you will find a friendly staff, great wines, and a relaxed atmosphere to sip, savor, and enjoy Sonoma. Here you will find wonderful wines as well such as the Muscat Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir. I very much enjoyed their Grenache Rose as well as the Zinfandel, which were both very expressive of the diverse terroir in this region.

After a wonderful afternoon sipping at Kokomo, it was time to head to dinner at Pedroncelli Winery. Pedroncelli Winery hosted us for dinner, where I got to meet Julie (Pedroncelli) St. John and Ed St. John. The Pedroncelli family is dedicated to producing fine wines, and spending the evening with such warm and welcoming people was a one of a kind experience.I had the pleasure of tasting some fantastic wines, while admiring the old vine Zinfandel, which I fell in love with in Sonoma. There’s something so incredibly alluring about the old knotty vines that produce zinfandel, and here in the Dry Creek they are abundant and beautiful.

Want to know more about the wines I tasted? Click HERE!

If you’re seeking a great weekend getaway, Sonoma County is full of great restaurants, wineries, and warm hospitality. A day trip exploring wineries is just what you need to relax, unwind, learn a little, and drink a lot! 

 

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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