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John Lasseter Opens Winery in Glen Ellen

Lights, camera, action! After a few secret previews, John Lasseter has finally rolled out the red carpet for his new tasting room in Glen Ellen, opening it to the public for the first time with a special post-Thanksgiving tasting party that went all weekend long.

The even better news is that regular tasting hours are being set, meaning we can all soon get in to see what the fuss is about.

So what is the fuss? Lasseter Family Winery is owned by that John Lasseter, best known for his creative work with Pixar and Walt Disney on blockbusters like the $525-million-grossing Monsters, Inc., (yes, that was him picking up his Hollywood Walk of Fame star last month). For more than a decade, he has been quietly growing grapes at his 27-acre property tucked in the slopes southwest of Dunbar Road and Hwy. 12. In 2009, he built an actual winery on the site, though it has been closed to the public for tours and tastings.

Lasseter Vineyard

Now, by appointment only, we can sip and sample his award-winning Bordeaux and Rhône varietals in blends of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

Too, from what I hear, the Lasseter family’s state-of-the-art, eco-friendly winery is something to behold. Designed by Jessie Whitesides of A-Squared Studios in Santa Rosa and built by local Molofsky Builders of Glen Ellen, it features artsy touches like a stainless-steel fermentation tank turned into a luxurious outdoor lounge, and a vintage steam train, the Marie-E, chugging its way through the Syrah vineyard.

All aboard....

Details: Lasseter Family Winery, 1 Vintage Lane, Glen Ellen, 707-933-2814, lasseterfamilywinery.com.

Tip: Don’t wait for the Marie-E train; reserve your ride to and from the winery with a Pure Luxury limousine or Town Car.

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