Wineries are turning up the heat on summer fun. Here are a few tasting rooms and terraces to while away a summer’s day.
Featured: Flowers & Vineyards Winery
Joan and Walt Flowers have been growing wine grapes on the rugged Sonoma Coast — the “outer reaches,” as they like to say — since the early 1980s. Known for steep elevations and the influence of coastal fog, the vineyards in this area grow exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Flowers’ Camp Meeting Ridge vineyard rises to 1,450 feet in elevation, and the Sea View Ridge vineyard is even loftier, reaching 1,875 feet.
A few miles inland at the House of Flowers tasting room along Westside Road, reserve the Flowers Flight ($55) for a guided tour of the coastal estate wines, or Bottles & Provisions ($75) which comes with seasonal bites from the on-site full kitchen. This spring, Flowers will be pouring its 2020 Sonoma Coast Rosé, made from 100% Pinot, which shows with fresh citrus on the palate along with nectarine and stone fruit.
4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg, (707) 723-4800, flowerswinery.com
Amapola Creek Winery: With winemaking icon Richard Arrowood as a consultant, Amapola Creek still remains a small, family-owned winery renowned for its organic Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, the red Rhône-style Cuvée Alis (named for Arrowood’s wife), and the Monte Rosso Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel. This month, the one-on-one outdoor tasting of five wines ($40) will feature 2017 vintages of Cabernet and Cuvée Alis. 392 London Way, Sonoma. (707) 938-3783, amapolacreek.com
Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery: This organic and biodynamically farmed estate in Russian River Valley welcomes visitors with a seated patio tasting of five wines ($25), as well as a wine and tapas tasting ($55). Owner Marimar Torres is originally from Spain, and she and daughter Cristina focuses on Spanish varietals like Albariño and Tempranillo. “People have heard about our Albariño, and they seek us out year-round to experience it,” says manager Alice Hunter. “We generally offer it as the first taste of the flight.” The winery is hosting a casual tennis tournament and lunch on May 22 ($110) to celebrate the release of its 2020 Rosaleda Rosé of Pinot Noir. 1140 Graton Road, Sebastopol. (707) 823-4365, marimarestate.com
Saini Vineyards: Four generations of the Saini family have been farming in the Dry Creek and Alexander valleys for more than 100 years. Their label launched in 2008, with Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and rosé. “We’ve added three different Zins and a Grenache, and this year we’ll also be releasing a 100% Sangiovese,” says partner Laura Saini. You can choose to taste in the vineyard, and this month you can add a charcuterie platter for $25. 2507 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. (707) 433-8477, sainivineyards.com
St. Anne’s Crossing: Choose from over a dozen single-vineyard bottlings of Zinfandel at this spot in the heart of Sonoma Valley. “We’ll also definitely be pouring our 2020 Maggie’s Sauvignon Blanc this month, along with some new releases,” says manager Barbara Russack. “On Mother’s Day, which is a favorite of our staff, we plan to offer a small token of appreciation to every mom and will have two sparkling wines to choose from for the starting pour.” Tastings are $25. 8450 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. (707) 598-5200, stannescrossing.com