POSTED ON June 17, 2015 | IN Russian River Valley, Russian River Wine Country - Sonoma Cty. | BY Joe Becerra
MacRostie tasting room

The MacRostie tasting room as seen from Westside Road

MacRostie Winery and Vineyards on Westside Road

After 28 years of making very fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Sonoma Valley, Steve MacRostie finally has his dream tasting room and Pinot Noir winemaking facility.  It is a beautiful piece of vineyard property located on scenic Westside Road that runs along the Russian River. There are many beautiful attractions along this road, and the MacRostie Estate House adds another element of splendor to the area.


Steve MacRostie – wine pioneer in California

Early on in his career, Steve established himself as pioneer winemaker with his tantalizing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Steve began making wine in 1974 and soon became interested in producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in a true Burgundian style –  fresh, crisp, and food friendly. In 1987 he established his MacRostie label and began producing wine in Sonoma Valley. He sought out vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region that provided the terroir ingredients of fog and cooling breezes. His main winemaking facility is in a warehouse-style building in Sonoma Valley. The opening of the MacRostie Estate House in the Russian River Valley marks a new era in Steve MacRostie’s winemaking career.

MacRostie tasting room

MacRostie Estate House

What a wonderful spot to enjoy Chardonnay and Pinot Noir! We visited the Estate House last week. As we walked toward the entrance, the doors opened and we were greeted with a delightful glass of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. This is standard for all visitors who arrive at the tasting room. What a very nice welcoming touch. Beautiful vineyard views of the Russian River Valley surround the tasting room.  Besides the welcome glass of wine, there are two other features seldom found in a wine tasting experience. Wine tasting at MacRostie is sit down, elegant but not over the top. One can sit outside on the terrace or in the main area at tables or on a relaxing chair or sofa. The server comes to you and explains the wine. The staff goes through some serious training, so a tasting is very educational. A second added touch is a side-by-side comparison of wines. There are two glasses at each table setting, sometimes three depending on the tasting. This gives wine country travelers the ability to compare two wines of the same varietal made from different vineyards or in a different style.  We tasted the Russian River Valley Chardonnay alongside a vineyard Chardonnay, the Wildcat Mountain Vineyard.  In the Pinot Noir category, we enjoyed the Russian River Chardonnay and the Goldrock Ridge Vineyard from Annapolis on the Sonoma Coast.  The side-by-side tasting is a great way to educate your palate and to discover the subtle differences in two wines.

MacRosite seated wine tasting

Outdoor wine tasting with fantastic views of the Russian River Valley

The MacRostie Estate House also has a separate small winemaking cellar equipped with state-of-the-art winemaking equipment. This is where Pinot Noir will be made from the 2015 harvest of their Russian River Valley vineyards. These days Steve takes a secondary role in the winemaking, tending to more of the vineyard management and business aspects of the winery.  The main winemaking duties belong to Heidi Bridenhagen, who handles the majority of the winemaking duties.  Steve says he appreciates the fresh ideas that the young people he hires bring to his winemaking methods.

To get to the MacRosite House, take Mill Street under Highway 101. Mill Street becomes Westside Road. Drive for about nine minutes on Westside Road and look for the winery on the right.  Take it slow and enjoy the beauty of this area of wine country.  The MacRostie House is open daily from 11am to 5 pm. Reservations are recommend especially on weekends.

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