Top 11 Sonoma Wine Tasting Finds
California Winery Advisor
By Allison Levine
When visiting Sonoma, where does one get started wine tasting? As a region, Sonoma County encompasses more than fifty miles from Carneros in the south to Cloverdale in the north. It is home to seventeen American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Some are wellknown such as Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, to name a few, and others are lesser known such as Moon Mountain, Fort-Ross Seaview and Green Valley. Sonoma is home to the state of California’s oldest commercial winery, Buena Vista, as well as the oldest continuously operating family winery, Gundlach Bundschu. And, there are more than 425 wineries on almost 60,000 acres. That means there are a lot decisions to be made before you start a Sonoma wine tasting adventure.
Unlike Sonoma’s neighbor to the east, Napa, where there are wineries located off of the main highway, many of the wineries in Sonoma are spread throughout the valley. So where do you begin? It is easier to find some of the bigger known wineries in the county, but seeking out small and medium sized boutique wineries is what I prefer to do. Here are eleven Sonoma wine tasting finds that are worth a visit throughout the valley.
Inman Family Wines (www.inmanfamilywines.com):
Inman Family Wines has been producing wine since 2000. Owner and winemaker Kathleen Inman organically farms 10.45 acres at her Olivet Grange Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River. Producing 3000 cases of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris, the wines are elegant and subtle. These are not big ripe wines but rather wines with low alcohol, high acidity and perfect to pair with food. The Inman tasting room is located at the winery in the vineyard. Inman’s focus on sustainable winemaking translates to the winery which is made almost entirely from recycled materials. Tastings are available Thursday through Sunday by appointment only. And, if you are looking for somewhere to stay, Inman offers a three bedroom, one bathroom farmhouse on the property with the motto of “bed and get your own breakfast.”