Woodenhead‘s tasting room is somewhat tucked away on River Road in the Russian River Valley, yet once discovered, it will become a favorite haunt. Commanding views atop the hill rival the extensive array of Pinot Noir and Zinfandel on the ever-changing tasting menu.
The funky, dimly lit tasting room resembles a mountain chalet, complete with big raw hewn beams, a massive stone fireplace and an inviting outdoor deck that boasts one of the best views in the valley.
” Our wine is handcrafted from a hard labor of love in tune to the natural rhythm of the land, the water, the air, and the seasons. Small and unique lots are our goal, ultra premium wine is the result.”
Most of the Woodenhead wines are unfined and unfiltered, preserving the true character of the California fruit. Very little manipulation is done to the wines, keeping them pure and simple. As each wine is produced in small lots, the tasting menu changes frequently.
Immediately, I was drawn to the 2011 Pinot Noir, Humboldt County, reminiscent of walking on the forest floor, bounding with spice, black pepper, black cherry and mulberry.
Another favorite was the 2011 Mendocino Ridge, redolent with aromas of strawberry, cherry, white pepper, and earthy notes of conifer and star anise. And, the 2012 Pinot Noir Kent Berry Vineyards from the Santa Cruz Mountains was over-the-top, packing a punch with brambly dried raspberry canes, lush cherry and fennel, with aromas of leather and tobacco.
Woodenhead also features Syrah, Sparkling wines and many Zinfandels from Mendocino, Anderson Valley and Russian River, all on par with the Pinot Noir star lineup. www.woodenheadwine.com