Touring Sonoma Grape by Grape
“Sonoma has become a hot destination for Pinot Noir, with the county boasting many of California’s leading wineries for the grape. Spread over three regions, they draw upon a range of terroirs and bottle Pinots in a variety of styles.”
“The area is home to Pinot stars Marcassin and Kosta Browne, standard-bearers such as Dehlinger and Rochioli, and many more standouts, including Arista, Auteur, Donum, Merry Edwards, Patz & Hall and Siduri.
“Pinot thrives in Russian River Valley, Carneros and Sonoma Coast. Known for its lush redwood trees and foggy weather, Russian River generally produces plump, rich and fruit-forward Pinots. Trees are rare along the windswept rolling hills of Carneros, where the wines are generally sleek, crisp and elegant. Sonoma Coast bridges those two regions and is the largest and hardest AVA to define, a sprawling patchwork of microclimates and soil types. The terrain ranges from gentle slopes to isolated mountaintops, with the best vineyards at the highest elevations producing Pinots with an appealing earthiness and a dense core of tannins and acidity…”
Wineries to Visit: Pinot Noir
“… Even if it weren’t producing some of the top Pinot Noirs in Sonoma. Arista would be a destination for its distinctive tasting room. The cottage, with its steep roofline and surrounding Japanese garden, would look at home outside Tokyo. Founded by the McWilliams family in 2002, Arista produces nearly a dozen Pinots, as well as Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Gewürztraminer, and a varying selection is offered in three different tasting options. Savor a glass as you sit by the fireplace or wander among the streams, waterfalls and moss-covered stones of the garden…”