Ledson Overdelivers in Sonoma Wine Country Experiences

  • Lodging
  • by HANA-LEE SEDGWICK
  • on OCTOBER 25, 2020
  • 643
  • 0
Photos courtesy of Ledson
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It’s true that Sonoma County has no shortage of places to sip world-class wine, take in panoramic views, and sleep soundly each night — the options are, quite frankly, seemingly endless. However, if you’re looking for a seamless way to experience all of these things and more, the Ledson family has you covered with their winery, hotel, and vineyard experiences.

History

Ledson Castle

Steve Ledson is the fifth-generation Sonoma farmer and winemaker behind Sonoma’s iconic Ledson Winery & Vineyards, as well as the Ledson Hotel, Zina Winery, and Mountain Terraces Winery and Vineyard.

In 1989, Steve Ledson’s company, Ledson Construction, was about to break ground on a spec house and vineyard property in Sonoma Valley when a partner in the project suddenly pulled out. Convinced it was the perfect place for a home and vineyard, Steve jumped in to take on the project himself, planting a 17-acre vineyard and designing a 16,000-square-foot custom French-Normandy structure originally envisioned to be his family’s residence. After realizing the home was better suited as a winery and tasting room, the Ledson “Castle” was reimagined and six long years later, in 1999, Ledson Winery & Vineyards opened its doors to the public.

Wine and Hospitality

The Zina Lounge

Over the years, Ledson Winery has earned critical acclaim for its wide variety of estate wines, but the family’s legacy doesn’t stop there. The Ledson’s other wine and hospitality endeavors include the much-loved Ledson Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel on the Sonoma Plaza, and its social lounge, The Zina Lounge, where guests can sip wines from the family’s Zina Winery label. Most recently, Steve Ledson established Mountain Terraces Winery and Vineyards, a dramatic 125-acre property on the western slopes of the Mayacamas, dedicated to growing and producing cabernet sauvignon.

Experiences

Though each Ledson property offers a unique slice of Sonoma County, one thing you can always expect is the same welcoming, personalized hospitality they’ve become known for, where you’ll leave feeling like part of the family.

Ledson Winery & Vineyards

With its coffered ceilings, sweeping staircases, cathedral-style windows, and mosaic inlays, Ledson Winery is certainly a memorable place to sip wine in Sonoma Valley. To experience this stunning property, make an appointment for a tasting outside in the beautiful Oak Grove overlooking the vines. From the classic tasting experience, featuring a variety of current release wines, to private tastings that include seven of Ledson’s top scoring wines, each of Ledson’s tastings offer a deep dive into the winery’s history and reveal the family’s dedication to producing handcrafted estate wines. When visiting, be sure to check out the on-site gourmet marketplace, where you’ll find a variety of local olive oils, mustards, and picnic-ready sandwiches, along with gifts and other keepsakes. Reservations are available for parties of 10 or fewer.

Ledson Hotel & The Zina Lounge

Situated on the historic Sonoma Plaza just steps from Sonoma’s many restaurants and shops, Ledson Hotel blends Old World charm with modern amenities for a memorable stay in Wine Country. Six spacious, grand rooms come complete with in-room fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and plush bathrobes, while each guest room offers its own unique personality and room name. In fact, Steve named each room after significant members of his family, paying tribute to the multiple generations of Ledsons that have called Sonoma County home.

Downstairs you’ll find the hotel’s popular lounge, The Zina Lounge, carrying on the hotel’s tradition of honoring history and family. Named for Steve’s ancestor, Zina Hyde Cunningham, who settled in Sonoma County in 1865 to grow grapes, this regal, inviting space features a bar, lounge areas, fireplaces, and an outdoor sitting area overlooking the Sonoma Plaza. Open by appointment between 10:30 am and 6:00 pm, The Zina Lounge is the only place to sample Zina Winery’s artisanal small-lot Sonoma wines, made from grapes grown in the Russian River, Anderson Valley, and Mendocino regions. All wines, including sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel, and petite sirah, are available to enjoy by the glass, bottle, and flight, with optional cheese plates to accompany a tasting.

Mountain Terraces Vineyard & Guest Houses

Soaring 2,000 feet above sea level, Mountain Terraces is a stunning vineyard in the coveted Moon Mountain AVA, dedicated to growing cabernet sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties. Here, the extreme elevation, sun-drenched days, and cool nights provide ideal conditions for growing structured mountain fruit, resulting in wines that are rich, powerful, and loaded with character.

While allocation memberships* to this exclusive estate are harder to come by if you’re not already a Ledson Winery Club Member, anyone is welcome to experience this striking estate in person. Vineyard tours are available by appointment, allowing visitors the opportunity to explore the vineyard and estate up close and personal via an All-Terrain Vehicle.

This comprehensive ATV tour kicks off with a picturesque ride throughout the property, winding through the vines as you learn about the different blocks, microclimates, soil types, root stocks, and clones, as well as the family’s commitment to sustainable farming practices. Afterwards, you’ll sit down to savor a gourmet picnic lunch while taking in the incredible views of the entire Sonoma Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. It all promises to be a day you’ll remember for years to come. Reservations can be made by contacting Ledson Guest Services at 707-537-3823 or tastings@ledson.com.

If waking up to vineyard views is what you’re after, the Ledson team can make that happen, too. The vineyard is home to the Mountain Terraces Guest Houses, available for overnight bookings. Stay in either the one-bedroom cottage or the two-bedroom, two-bath house — each equipped with a full-kitchen, fireplace, and comfortable living spaces — and prepare to be mesmerized by the sweeping views of the vineyards and mountainside each day and night. Though somewhat secluded, The Guest Houses make for an idyllic retreat in Wine Country.

Mountain Terraces Guesthouse Cottage

*MOUNTAIN TERRACES MEMBERSHIP:

Wine club members of Ledson & Zina Hyde Cunningham Wineries, long-term friends of the Ledson family, and guests referred by local partners are eligible to apply for a Mountain Terraces membership. Members receive an allocated annual shipment of Mountain Terraces wines.

Be sure to check out the Mountain Terraces Vineyard Video to learn more about this exceptional place.


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Author

Hana-Lee Sedgwick

Hana-Lee Sedgwick is a writer and editor based in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Specializing in all things wine, food, and travel, her work regularly appears in publications such as Santa Barbara Magazine, The Tasting Panel, and Edible. Whether for work or play, she never tires of exploring California wine country. Follow her on Instagram at @wanderandwine or visit her blog, wanderandwine.com.

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