Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Italian Varietals in Sonoma Valley

Some wineries have their tasting rooms located away from the actual winery. Wineries do this because their facilities are too far away from the usual tourist routes; the county will not issue a permit for a tasting room at the actual winery; or they lease, rather than own, production facilities.

VJB Vineyards and Cellars has a tasting room on Sonoma Highway (Hwy. 12) in Kenwood that is open to the public daily. They also offer sit-down tastings at their estate, which is just off Sonoma Highway, a couple of miles north of the tasting room.I had a chance to stop by the tasting room on a quiet day recently and found the staff to be friendly and knowledgeable.

VJB produces wine from both traditional Italian and French varietals. I enjoyed their Barbera during my visit. They also produce Prosecco, an Italian-style sparkling wine, and Tocai Friulano, a white wine. Their Italian-style red wines include Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Anglianico, and Primitivo. Their French varietals include Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Syrah. Finally, they produce a Zinfandel (red, not pink).

VJB is a good stop on any visit to the Sonoma Valley. You'll get to taste wines that are not commonly available in an enjoyable environment. If you would like to take a private Sonoma tour that includes a stop at VJB, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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