At Pure Luxury Transportation, ongoing training is important for our staff in order to provide our clients with first hand knowledge about the varied experiences to enjoy in Northern California Wine Country. Recently, members of our team set out as guests on one of 8 unique experiences as part of Reserve Sonoma Valley presented by Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers. Reserve Sonoma Valley offers behind-the-scenes visits to local wineries. Each experience included a Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers host, chauffeured transportation provided by Pure Luxury, lunch, and an adventure like no other!
Once on board the Pure Luxury Executive Van, our Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers host, Taylor, was quick to provide us with the plan for the day along with information about Sonoma Valley. The first winery we visited was the historic Madrone Vineyard Estate – Valley of the Moon Winery. We were welcomed by our host, the knowledgeable and charming, Nancy. After a tour of the newly remodeled Tasting Room, we made our way out to the patio, then out to the vineyard before settling back down in the Tasting Room for our tasting.
We tasted a 2010 Barbera, Sonoma Valley, Estate Grown that is only sold at the winery. It was perfectly acidic and more complex like a Merlot. We also tried a very special The Bough wine. This was the darkest of their wines. It was a blend of 40% Malbec, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Syrah, 6% Merlot, and included a hint of Barbera. It was amazing! The final wine of the morning was a 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel, Window Block. The Window Block is the smallest, most concentrated block with old vines between 75 and 130 years old. There were only 100 cases made.
Our next stop was St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Our visit began with a 2013 Viognier, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley. Our host, Elliott, began our tour of the vineyard which led us to a perfectly chilled bottle of 2012 Chardonnay, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley. This Chardonnay won the Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Next we were seated at the outside patio with a view of the Wild Oak Vineyards. Our seated tasting began with a Library Wine, 2011 Red Wine, Carlo Santo. Next we were treated to a collection of Zinfandel Library Wines and a 2012 Port, Sonoma County.
The third stop of the day was at Beltane Ranch. Here, we were met by proprietors Alexa Wood and Lauren Benward Krause. Historical, beautiful, charming, are three adjectives that immediately spring to mind. This working ranch is also a bed and breakfast. After a tour of the ranch house, an 1892 Victorian, we were invited to a seated tasting and lunch outdoors surrounded by views of the valley, and, the ranch’s gardens.
Our first wine was a 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc that took Gold Medals at the Orange County Fair and Sonoma County Harvest Fair. We were next treated to a taste of a pre-release of the 2013 Estate Sauvignon Blanc. As we began to enjoy our lunch, we were also able to sample the incredible estate olive oil. Next up was 2012 Estate Zinfandel, another Gold Medal winner at the Orange County Fair. The final wine was 2011 Estate Fume Bob. You’ll have to visit for a firsthand account of the great story behind this crisp, delightful wine.
The fourth and final stop of the day was at Canihan Family Vineyards. After initial calls of greeting from the chickens patrolling the driveway, we were greeted by Proprietor Bill Canihan who led us into the barn. The back of the barn was open so that we could enjoy the view of the surrounding vineyards.
The first wine we sampled was Canihan Chardonnay. The first vertical tasting we were treated to was of the Exuberance, Sonoma Valley 2010 Pinot Noir along with Canihan, Sonoma Valley, Pinot Noir from 2011, and 2012. We tried a vertical tasting of Canihan’s Exuberance, Sonoma Valley Syrah from 2009 and 2010. Both were incredibly smooth and flavorful.
Reserve Sonoma Valley is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure in Sonoma Valley and our team was thrilled to take part in such an amazing day!
Contact Pure Luxury and allow our team to assist in planning your Sonoma Valley wine tour and experience exceptional world-class wines for yourself.