This is a guest post by Stephanie Friedman, the direct-to-consumer manager at Gary Farrell. I heard through the grapevine about this very interesting wine tour at these three Russian River Valley wineries. Stephanie agreed to give readers of Wine Country Getaways the lowdown on the Ultimate Russian River Wine Experience.
Ultimate Russian River Wine Experience: Benovia – Gary Farrell – Dutton-Goldfield
In the heart of Sonoma County, down the main stretch of highway and along the windy backroads of the renowned Russian River Valley, you can discover some of the most beautiful vineyards producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Vineyards so breathtaking in landscape, you can’t help but slow your car down well below the speed limit to snap a quick pic, and wonder where you can find the wines produced from these incredible sites. Well, wonder no longer … The Ultimate Russian River Wine Experience will lead you to them.
Three esteemed wineries have teamed up to offer the ultimate Russian River Valley tour and tasting experience: Benovia, Gary Farrell and Dutton-Goldfield. Three names are known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, each a gem in their own right, yet even better when combined as a day-long, best of the Russian River Valley itinerary.
The day begins with a morning tasting at Benovia Winery, at a rustic ranch house nestled in the midst of their estate vineyards. With the home-style feel comes impeccable hospitality, and of course, exceptional wine. This small winery was built by a family of people who eat, drink and breathe a passion for making something special, and it’s felt throughout the entire tasting of co-owner/winemaker Mike Sullivan’s handcrafted single-vineyard selections, which are known for their exquisite balance and purity of flavor.
After working up an appetite, guests head west to Gary Farrell Winery, a Russian River Valley pioneer perched high on a hillside with a million dollar view overlooking the foggy riverbank. Here, a behind-the-scenes winery tour awaits, highlighting Gary Farrell’s incredible 30+ year history and hallmark winemaking style, one of beautiful balance, elegance and sense of place … a legacy that winemaker Theresa Heredia is both respecting and evolving with her own outstanding thumbprint. After the tour, guests are seated in the winery’s new private salon to savor a tasting of highly-acclaimed single vineyard wines accompanied by an artisan box lunch.
The afternoon warms up out toward Sebastopol, where Dutton-Goldfield offers guests the option of two fabulous wine and food pairings, crafted by certified Sommelier Nicole Kosta. For charcuterie lovers, the winery’s signature “Beast & Pinot” pairing is the highlight, featuring exquisite Pinot Noirs paired with artisan meat selections. Or, a more traditional option of single vineyard wines and local artisan cheeses is offered. No matter what the choice, the incredibly knowledgeable staff makes the experience both educational and fun.
One day, three wineries, lunch and “beast” pairings … the Ultimate Russian River Wine Experience lives up to its name! Reservations can be made by contacting any one of the wineries – $125 per person, and transportation is offered additionally with 15% savings from Beau Wine Tours for URRWE guests.