We all have big goals in the new year. Whether it’s cutting down on coffee(oof, good luck), being better about saying “no” to things, or not hitting snooze in the mornings, many of us have a goal or two we’ve set. Here at sonoma.com
, we’re working on drinking more.
Let’s clarify that. Drinking more thoughtfully! Did you know you can help the environment with a glass of wine? In the past ten years, many wineries throughout California wine country have committed to making significant changes in their grape growing and winemaking practices.
Known for its cool climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Sonoma’s Russian River Valley is home to many eco-friendly wineries. They are changing the wave of viticulture by using biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods to bring us the highest quality of wines. Let’s explore some of the green stops you can make in 2017!
The Benzinger tram tour takes visitors on a full tour of the biodynamic estate.
Benziger Family Winery
1883 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
For almost 30 years, Benziger has been devoted to producing exceptional wines through its approach to natural farming. Having transitioned from conventional to biodynamic farming practices in 1995, Benziger was officially certified as a biodynamic farm in 2000. One year later, their flagship wine, Tribute, was the winery’s first Certified Biodynamic release.
Enjoy these masterfully crafted wines from the tasting room, with views of the beautiful grounds. Or, sit back, relax and enjoy sophisticated Pinot Noirs and flavorful, full-bodied Bordeaux blends in the newly renovated library. This tasting also includes a special taste of an estate library vintage.
Experience the unique Biodynamic Tram Tour. You will get an inside look at their biodynamic vineyards, barrel caves, and more.
A biodynamic farm with an emphasis on rare grapes and diversity in their wine offerings.
Imagery Estate Winery
14335 Hwy 12
Glen Ellen, Ca 95442
Sister winery to Benziger, Imagery is renowned for crafting amazing wine from uncommon wine varietals. Certified as a biodynamic farm almost twenty years ago, the wines are bold and expressive; capturing the essence of the winemakers unconventional approach to exploring the obscure. The uniquely styled winery, which features an onsite art gallery, is a welcomed complement to Imagery’s portfolio. Reserve an umbrella-shaded picnic table to enjoy your feast alongside a bottle or two of wine.
All label art must include a likeness of the Parthenon (or section there-of) replica on the Benziger Estate. Sometimes the Parthenon is smack dab in the center of the art piece, while other times it’s nested so deeply that it takes six hawks to find it.
A holistic winegrowing approach: nurturing the soil, respecting the native ecosystems and always working to reduce the environmental impact.
Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estates
4155 Wine Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Committed to a holistic winemaking approach, Michel-Schlumberger believes in crafting exquisite wines that are beautifully balanced and embody the character of the vineyard’s dynamic landscape. Nurturing the soil and supporting the estate’s native ecosystems result in the production of high quality wines and the vitality of the land. Tours and tastings are available by appointment only. Savor your wines in the salon or take in breathtaking views from the terrace. In their firm belief that great wines deserve great food, try the cheese and charcuterie platter, which features local cheeses, artisan salami, and other delicious bites.
For bubbly lovers, make sure to sip on their sparkling wine offerings: a Sonoma County Blanc de Blanc and Sparkling Rosé.
They’re all about fresh, organic and homegrown. The honey and eggs are available for purchase in the tasting room.
Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery
11400 Graton Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Specializing in limited production Spanish-styled Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, Marimar Estate Vineyards have been organically farmed since 2003. They are CCOF certified and biodynamic. They embrace the belief that crafting superb wines is a result of maintaining a balance between nature and the vineyards. Their mission for a healthy vineyard yields the estate’s high quality grapes.
Take in Spanish culture in their Catalan-styled winery. The reception area is decorated with antique furniture and equipment from Catalonia. It includes a professional kitchen and spacious dining room. With a variety of tasting options available, the tapas wine pairings are guests’ favorites.
The tour of Marimar’s cellar features a chance to select a wine from her private library to accompany your tapas plate.
The pond at Merry Edward’s Meredith vineyard supports a myriad of wildlife.
Merry Edwards Winery
2959 Gravenstein Hwy. North
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Home to one of California’s first female winemakers, Merry Edwards Winery is known for its Russian River Pinot Noirs. For many years, the winery has been a pioneer for sustainable farming and winemaking. From reduced water usage with drip irrigation, to solar paneling and the use of natural corks, Merry Edwards drives the “green” movement from the vineyards to the glass. Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, sample Merry Edwards’ beautifully handcrafted wines in their state-of-the-art tasting room, or book a more formal experience for a behind-the-scenes look.
There is no charge for the tasting, but you will not be able to resist leaving without a few bottles.