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Wild Hog Vineyard

Wild Hog Vineyard is at the headwaters of Wild Hog Creek (from which the winery derives its name) 45 minutes west of the small town of Cazadero. At 1400 feet elevation and 5 miles from the Ocean east of Fort Ross, the vineyard avoids most of the summer fog. The climate of the coastal range, in conjunction with our farming practices, helps to produce intense flavorful grapes.far off the beaten path, which, in my opinion, makes the place all the more special. There is no way anyone could find this place on his/her own. (You have to meander for miles on a narrow dirt road.) If you are one of the few people fortunate enough to do an actual tasting at this small, informal winery, you likely will meet the proprietor, Daniel Schoenfeld, a warm, kind-hearted gentleman, who obviously is passionate about wine-making. (He, quite appropriately, self-describes his line of work as a "labor of love.")

Blackstone Winery

“Sonoma County is one of the most fabulous places in the world to live and make wine,” says Gary Sitton, Blackstone's winemaker. “There’s no place like it. The immense diversity—from the coastline to the mountains, valleys and rivers—still leaves me in awe. For me, tapping into this range of growing conditions is fundamental to making beautifully expressive wines.”

Sapphire Hill

A newly discovered gem with an enthusiastic staff serving great pinot noir, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon. A step up in wine tasting with a small cheese plate made a huge difference. It was a pleasant surprise and complemented the wine naturally. Comfortable and personal tasting room did not take away from the point of wine tasting.

Clos Du Bouis

Clos Du Bois seemed to make a very little effort to hide the corporate image with big buildings and parking lots marked 'Corporate visitors only'. Still they make a very decent selection of table wines, especially at their pricing. Have you been to Costco lately? While I have yet to purchase a bottle of Clos Du Bois it has been served to me a number of times visiting friends. My goal is to make a trip to try their higher end wines and their flagship "Marlestone" and their old vine carignane.

Maboroshi Wine Estates

The winery's portfolio includes the Maboroshi Estate Pinot Noir, Spring Mountain York Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and a Los Carneros Chardonnay. Some Pinot Noir grapes are sold to DeLoach for a vineyard-designate bottling. The Maboroshi wines are sold on the website.

Freestone Vineyards

Pondering Freestone's tasting room, we weren't completely sold on the idea of spending $10 on a few sips of wine, but we decided to at least scope it out. It was surprisingly quiet on a Saturday afternoon, and the tasting room staff seemed excited to have a group of 6 appear. They offered us a private tasting room where we could all sit comfortably, and even offered us plates and knives to dig into our Wild Flour spoils while we tasted. Um yeah...we like this place already. With Freestone Vineyards and Wild Flour as next door neighbors, you've got the perfect one-stop-shop for a sampling of Sonoma County's bounty. Make the most of it: get some Fougasse, and trot over to Freestone for the perfect pairing.

Sable Ridge Vineyards

Sable Ridge Vineyards released its first wine in 1996 but is clearly on the fast track and becoming something of a cult favorite among its fans. Sable Ridge wines have twice been named Salute to the Arts Peoples' Choice Winery in the annual Sonoma celebration.

Mayo-Murdick Wines

Very relaxed casual winery that seems to be frequented by locals. Just my thing. It's just off the main road so there's no huge building and immaculately groomed grounds. The tasting room isn't done up in an particular way (not like some places that have a french/italian/etc theme). But the people who work here are friendly and the wines are decent. The normal tasting is only $6.

Ledson Winery & Vineyards

It was a good trip to Ledson, the estate was impressive, and they have a deli market, which was just right when I needed a small bite between wineries. I enjoyed the tasting here, for $15 6 wine tasting, I think the lady ended up giving us 8 or 9 wine. She was generous and knowledgeable. Asked for something really "earthy", the 2004 Cab Franc was a good one. Took a few bottles home.


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