Drink dessert first! It’s a popular saying at Sonoma Portworks, located in downtown Petaluma. The tasting room has a charming, welcoming feel and invites visitors to stay for more than just a tasting. The walls display unique pieces of art crafted by portmaker Bill Reading, such as a sign made from wine barrels and wire sculptures depicting the pouring of port. Have a glass of your favorite port and help complete the jigsaw puzzle.
Pioneers in Port
Bill and Caryn Reading are port pioneers and bring a fun, informative approach to port. If you stop in for a tasting, you will most likely encounter either one, or both! During your tasting, they’ll walk you through the making of the port and the flavors you may experience, and they’ll also suggest foods that pair perfectly with what you’re tasting.
Portmaker Bill Reading
How it’s Made
Before tasting, Caryn took us for a tour of their production facilities to show us how the port is made. Grapes are pressed by foot, then aged in recycled barrels, some for up to 12 years!
The great thing about Sonoma Portworks is that they are not afraid to experiment and try different style wines, which results in an unique selection of wines. Their Maduro Reserve Tawny Port is aged for over 12 years- the result is an incredibly smooth, amazingly aromatic wine. The Aris Norton Port is made with America’s oldest premium grape, the Norton Grape. While pouring this wine, Caryn went into the fascinating history of the Norton Grape and it’s removal during the Prohibition.
One of a Kind Ports
Of course, you can’t leave without tasting their signature port, the Deco Port, which has essences of dark chocolate. Over 20 years ago, Bill and a winemaker friend added dark chocolate to a glass of port, and the Deco Port was born. Not only is the port incredible, but the artwork on the label is stunning as well!