When in Russian River Valley wine country, I like to start my wine tasting adventures along sleepy Olivet Road. Only a few minutes from the Santa Rosa airport, Olivet Road meanders between River Road and Guerneville Road, and is, somewhat dare I say, “undiscovered”. A small collection of artisan wineries serendipitously line Olivet Road, producing everything from Sparkling Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
First stop is Harvest Moon Estate, where the good times definitely roll! Winemaker and Owner Randy Pitts is frequently on hand to zealously greet guests and pour his award-winning cool climate Zinfandel. Less conventional but more approachable than some winemakers, Randy is known to “sabrage” a bottle of bubbly now and then, much to the amusement and surprise of the assembled wine devotees.
The atmosphere at Harvest Moon is always fun and relaxed and the tasting menu is quite diverse and literally “over the moon”.
Wet your whistle on the bubbly 2013 Estate Dry Sparkling Gerwurztraminer, a peppery 2011 Pitts Home Ranch Zinfandel or if you’re feeling “a little Randy,” try the 2014 Randy Zin, a zippy blend of Zinfandel and Sangiovese.