Thought I’d share my favorite Top 10, most fun, top notch wineries along Russian River’s highly touted Westside Road. If you’re new to Russian River Valley and love artisanal Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon, I highly recommend planning a few days wine tasting on Westside Road. Starting from the far west end of Westside Road, moving toward Healdsburg, here are my top 10 picks for 2021 ~ Cheers!
1. Moshin Vineyards – One of my all-time favorite wineries at the far west end of Westside Road! Look for the giant metal hummingbird hovering over the treetops to guide the way to the tasting room. Moshin is always fun and funky, with unique local art displayed in the tasting room. There’s a wide range of of small production wines available for tasting, including sparkling wine and a great line up of Pinot Noir. Friendly wine hosts engage with the guests and are eager to share their stories.
2. Porter Creek Vineyards – No trip is complete without a visit to Porter Creek. The dollhouse-like tasting room holds about six people comfortably but long-time wine host Jonathan will always make room for more. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines are meticulously crafted by winemaker Alex Davis, who studied viticulture at the Université de Bourgogne before taking the reins at the family winery. Other varietals produced include Viognier, Syrah, Zinfandel and Carignane.
3. Thomas George Estates – Plan ahead and reserve a cave wine tasting or take a wine safari aboard a vintage Pinzgauer to the top of Baker Ridge vineyard to revel at the panoramic view. Enjoy an estate four course picnic lunch, complete with a select bottle of estate Pinot Noir. Thomas George was originally a hop kiln in the 1920s, later owned by the late wine pioneer Davis Bynum who planted some of the first Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Grenache Noir in Russian River Valley. Truly a spectacular property with gorgeous lush gardens and towering trees, and of course, a wine cave.
4. Landmark Vineyards at Hop Kiln Estate – Heading toward Healdsburg at a hairpin turn, you’ll find the historic Walters Hop Kiln. Built in 1905 by a crew of Italian stonemasons, it represents the finest existing example of its type, consisting of three stone kilns for drying hops, a wooden cooler, and a two-story press for bailing hops. In the late 1890’s, the property was a stagecoach stop. Here you’ll find mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Grenache and Pinot Gris. Now corporate-owned by Landmark, the ambience is still rustic and worthy of a quick stop to grab a glass and marvel at the restored hop kilns.
5. MacRostie Winery & Vineyards – Hands down, some of the best views along Westside Road, looking out to Mount Saint Helena and the Mayacamas. One of the newer wineries, MacRostie, is always packed to capacity, so reserve days ahead. The tastings are seated and not rushed, with great individual interaction with entertaining and knowledgeable wine hosts. Guests are greeted with a cold glass of Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc, depending on the season, and escorted to a view table. Side by side tastings are common with the many single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Can’t say enough about MacRostie ~ it’s top of the list for me! [Read more…]