Last weekend my parents, aunt and uncle, and Sam and I visited the Russian River Valley just north of San Francisco in Sonoma County for a day of wine tasting. We are incredibly spoiled to live just an hour away from the world-renowned wine producing regions of Napa and Sonoma. Though I’m no veteran wine aficionado, I have learned that a visit to Napa and Sonoma is not simply about the wine—-it is about the rolling hillsides, the knotted oaks, the great spreads of green grass, and the bright wildflowers. This is the terroir or the land, and in winemaking, the land plays an immensely important role in producing distinctive wines because it imparts subtle characteristics to the wine. To put it plainly: you can take the wine away from the land, but you can’t take the land out of the wine. Thus, in this post, I offer you not critiques of this or that wine or winery, but photos of the land from which these wines were wrought.
We visited four wineries:
- Merry Edwards Winery (Owner/Founder Merry Edwards is one of the first female award-winning winemakers in the region; free tastings)
- Iron Horse Vineyards (Specialize in sparkling wines; they have two tasting flights of 5 different sparkling wines)
- Dutton Estate (This was the least interesting of the four, though their Pinot was well-liked)
- Lynmar Estate (Lovely gardens, beautiful facility, pizza oven; make a mean Chardonnay and Pinot Noir)