With over 130 wineries to choose from in the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek, Healdsburg and the Alexander Valley, I decided that De Loach Vineyards was the perfect starting point for the Sonoma County Winter Wineland two-day event. Every January, scores of wineries in Sonoma County open their bottles and barrels for the Winter Wineland festival.
I was warmly greeted by De Loach Vineyards staff and a rather hairy, but very friendly, snow creature at the event check-in. Banded with a blue wristband and armed with an official Wine Road glass, I was ready to hit the wine trail! First stop — De Loach Vineyards.
The De Loach Vineyards tasting room was festively decorated, and the staff was bracing for the weekend crowds. Tastings were set up in three different areas in the winery, with an opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the wine makers. The smell of fresh fococcia bread with carmelized onions filled the room.
Five amazing wines were offered for tasting. Two Chardonnays shone brightly — the 2010 OFS Chardonnay and the 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Both well-balanced with stone-fruit flavors, aged gently in oak.
Two fabulous Pinot Noirs were poured ~ the 2010 Van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2012 Russian RIver Valley Pinot Noir plus one Zinfandel, the 2011 Russian River Valley Zinfandel. The winemaker for Van der Kamp Vineyards was on hand to interact with guests and pour his gold medal wine, rated 92 points by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
The grounds at De Loach Vineyards are lovely, especially in the spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom. Bring a picnic lunch or become a Winemaker For A Day where you learn how to blend Pinot Noir wines and create a custom label and foil for your very own bottle. Weddings and special events are also held on the property overlooking the gardens and vineyards. I absolutely love De Loach Vineyards’ library Pinot Noirs and am thrilled to be a wine club member here! www.deloachvineyards.com