On day 3 in wine country, we decided to venture away from Napa and visit some places in Sonoma. I found driving through Sonoma a lot different than Napa. Napa is very open and airy. The wineries in Sonoma felt much more hidden away. We only went for tastings at two wineries, but they were both amazing.
The first place we went was Matanzas Creek Winery, which I thought was the most gorgeous vineyard I saw all trip.
In addition to wine, Matanzas Creek is known for their lavender gardens. It wasn’t blooming during October, but the fall colours in the gardens were still beautiful.
Another view of the gardens at Matanzas Creek.
The winery offered a wine and cheese tasting on the deck, which had a lovely view.
Each wine came with an artisan cheese and accoutrements.
First there was the 2012 Helena Bench Sauvignon Blanc, served with Foggy Morning Nicasion Valley Cheese and yuzu jelly. The crisp wine (which we bought a bottle of) went really well with the fresh, slightly tangy cheese.
Second was the 2010 Journey Chardonnay, served with Cowgirl Creamery’s Mount Tam – a lovely triple cream – and fennel & raisin compote.
Third was the 2008 Jackson Park Merlot, served with Fiscalili Farmstead’s Cheddar and grape & mustard seed chutney. This cheddar was amazing – sharp and crumbly.
Fourth was a 2006 Sonoma County Syrah, served with Cypress Grove Creamery’s Midnight Moon and fig & red onion marmalade.
Before we moved on to the 5th planned wine, we also got to taste their Journey red which was exceptional.
The last wine was the 2009 Denouement. I’m not really a fan of dessert wines, but this was okay. It was served with a lovely lavender truffle – I could have eaten a whole box of those, they were so good.
We then went to Ravenswood, which is a pretty large winemaker whose wines I’ve had before. They’re mostly known for their Zinfandels, and their motto is “No wimpy wines”.
In addition to their normal tasting, they were also offering a tasting of their single-vineyard Pickberry wines. I really liked all the Pickberry wines, especially the older vintages.
That wrapped up our trip to California wine country, and next we were off to Monterey.