Tag: Deerfield Ranch

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For our first full day, we knew we’d be getting a late start since we actually drove up from Danville (~1 hour) that morning. We didn’t let that dampen our spirits though, so we quickly got to work searching for our first target, Schug. As I said to the team there, Schug “basically sponsored our last Christmas (in that our family consumed about 2 cases in total of it during a few day span)” and so it was an obvious first choice. From there, we moved on to Madrone based upon the fact that my wife’s cousin’s boyfriend (follow that?) used to work on the grounds there and in the lab testing fruit/wine acidity levels. After Madrone, we went back to a prior favorite (Deerfield Rach), and closed the day by heading to Imagery (a wonderful recommendation from an old colleague of mine).

I’ve put some reviews, a blurb about each, and some pictures below. Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday:

  • Schug
    • Wine Score: 7/10
    • Property/Tasting Room Score: 6/10
    • Schug was a pleasant surprise for our first winery. We knew the nationally distributed stuff was good, and were hoping to get some “even better” wines there. They didn’t disappoint, and that ended up being the first wine club my wife joined!
  • Madrone
    • Wine Score: 6/10
    • Property/Tasting Room: 7/10
    • Madrone was a recommendation from a prior employee who was at our Thanksgiving meal. The wine was good, with one or two knockouts, and the somewhat-central location made it an easy stop on our way to some of the more remote vineyards.
  • Deerfield Ranch
    • The scores for this one are still consistent with our last review. The only two downsides to this trip to Deerfield were 1) there was a big tour group there so it was rather crowded, 2) the price of the Old Vine Zinfandel rose nearly $20 since our last trip! It’s our favorite wine, though, and we ended up joining the wine club, so it obviously wasn’t that regrettable…
  • Imagery
    • Wine Score: 7/10
    • Property/Tasting Room: 8/10
    • Imagery was a really cool spot. We joined the club, enjoyed the wines, and loved the concept. The vineyard has a huge art collection, and gives each vintage its own original art label. The wines were very diverse, and we enjoyed tasting some wines we’ve never heard of. Many of them are totally uncommon for that area as well (e.g. Lagrein, Mourvedre). Would definitely recommend!

Til Next Time,

Michael

 

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The patio at Cast

On the second day, we went around a lot of the wineries up on Dry Creek Road – which is still most likely my favorite area in all of wine country.

Day 2… Five Wineries in Kenwood/Dry Creek Rd/Sonoma:

  • Deerfield Ranch (Kenwood):
    • Pros: Convenient stop if you are planning to “head North” and get up into RRV or Dry Creek Rd, best “old vine” Zinfandel I’ve ever tasted, a real hidden gem with great staff
    • Cons: More of a “cellar”/cave feel – so you lose a bit in terms of views
    • Fun Fact: The Old Vine Zin is sourced from the grapes right out in front of the property
    • Overall Score: 8/10 – definitely worth a stop
  • Ferrari Carano (Dry Creek Rd):
    • Pros: Still one of my favorite wineries due to the notoriety and ability to source locally, absolutely stunning grounds, very nice cellar/barrel area as well as a great “VIP” tasting room
    • Cons: Most of the wines are already distributed nationally, tours require advance reservation, the winery as a whole is a bit more commercial with lots of non-wine products in their gift shop (which takes away a bit from the ambience)
    • Overall Score: 8/10 – definitely worth a stop
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The grounds at Ferrari-Carano

  • Cast (Dry Creek Rd):
    • Pros: Definitely the “biggest surprise” as it totally exceeded expectations based on a local’s otherwise typical recommendation, fantastic wines, unique blends you don’t find everywhere, a magical patio atmosphere that has a tremendous view, good snacks accompany the tasting
    • Cons: Unless someone else tells you about it, you’d never have heard of it or even know it was there
    • Fun Fact: The Petite Syrah comes from the grapes right out in front of the patio
    • Overall Score: 9/10 – this place is awesome and I can’t wait to go back
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…that point in the trip where I get real artsy…

  • Dutcher Crossing (Dry Creek Rd):
    • Pros: Very nice grounds, awesome design aesthetics/logo and integration of the big bicycle
    • Cons: Gift shop/tasting area is a bit commercial, similar to Ferrari-Carano
    • Overall Score: 8/10 – definitely worth a stop
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The entry to Dutcher Crossing

  • Sbragia (Dry Creek Rd):
    • Pros: Elevated property yields nice views of Dry Creek Valley, good crackers available during tasting
    • Cons: Nothing terribly memorable about the wines, the shop, the staff
    • Overall Score: 6/10 – not overly memorable; I’d say “skip it”

Til Next Time,

Michael

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