Thursday, July 26, 2007

Santa Rosa Garagista

I've used the term garagista in previous posts to describe small wineries that operate in facilities that are slightly larger than a garage. Siduri and Novy Family Wines of Santa Rosa can be called a large garagista as their wines are produced in a pretty good sized warehouse.

Siduri is a small Pinot Noir producer that sources grapes from throughout California and from Oregon. Tucked away in an office park not far from the airport in Santa Rosa, Siduri produces some of the most highly regarded Pinot in the state. The same warehouse facility is used to produce Novy Family Wines. Novy makes wine from Rhone and other varietals.

Siduri is owned by Adam and Dianna Lee. Novy Family is a partnership of Adam, Dianna, and other members of Dianna's family.

A visit to the Siduri/Novy Family warehouse lasts about an hour. You'll sample wines from both wineries, tour the warehouse, and learn a bit about the challenges of being a small producer. If you are willing to forgo the agricultural setting of many tasting rooms and take yourself to an industrial park, you will not be disappointed. The wine is good and the tasting experience is entertaining and informative.

If you would like to include a visit to Siduri/Novy Family on a private tour of the Russian River Valley, I would be pleased to make the arrangements for you. Feel free to call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sparkling Wine with a View

Standing on a hill top, tasting sparkling wine, and gazing out over the Russian River and Green Valleys is a nice way to spend some of your time in wine country.

Iron Horse Vineyards is a family-owned, estate winery that produces both sparkling and still wines; although, it is better known for its sparkling wines. The winery is located in the Green Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area), a wine region that is surrounded by the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.

To visit Iron Horse, you will travel down the narrow Ross Station Road near Forestville and then climb to the top of a hill. Here you will find an outdoor tasting room that affords views of the nearby valley vineyards and distant Mt. St. Helena. The tasting area is nothing fancy, just some wood planks on top of old wine barrels. Supposedly three distinct flights of wine are offered: a sparkling wine flight, a regular flight of still wines, and a reserve flight of still wines. However, on my recent visits, the staff poured generously from all three flights and failed to collect the tasting fees when wines were purchased. Since pours are generous and you are likely to taste many wines, you might want to share your tasting with a companion.

Iron Horse is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The winery is located at the end of Ross Station Road, which is a small road that intersects CA 116 between Sebastopol and Forestville. If you don't want to hassle finding Iron Horse, take a private, wine country tour. For more information, call me at (866) 326-4237 or e-mail me by clicking here.