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The perfect summer sip: The newly released Three Sticks 2018 Casteñada Sonoma Coast Rosé holds its own with spicy and creamy foods, featuring flavors of strawberry and honeysuckle. Made from mainly syrah and grenache, with a blend of marsanne, grenache blanc, and viognier, this rosé is uniquely versatile. (The 2017 rosé was named one of the best in Sonoma County.) With only 180 cases produced, this wine can only be found at the Three Sticks tasting room (reservations required) in the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe in downtown Sonoma, or at one of the winery's many pop-up events.
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At Three Stick Wines in Sonoma, try the Food & Wine pairing ($85), which features five wines and bites from El Dorado Kitchen on the Sonoma plaza. Monday - Friday only. 143 West Spain, Sonoma, threestickswines.com
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Two for the price of one: Red Car Winery's 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir is made with grapes from two cool-climate appellations, Sonoma Coast and Mendocino Ridge. A blend of strawberry flavors and a hint of lemon thyme, pair it with a summer salad made from local vegetables. Try it in Red Car's newly renovated Sebastopol tasting room -- they recently hosted a painting party during which wine lovers and aspiring artists could paint with rosé wine, along with chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah.
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At Red Car Wines in Sebastopol make sure to check out upcoming events, like a Forest Bathing excursion, which allows participants to explore the Sonoma Coast wine region and take a meditative walk through Zephyr Farms Vineyard, led by a local Certified Forest Therapy Guide. 8400 Graton Rd, Sebastopol, redcarwine.com
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An artful bottle: A collaboration between husband-and-wife team Kent and Colleen, a winemaker and an artist, Eric Kent Wine Cellars' 2018 Sonoma Coast Rosé is a celebration of good craftsmanship inside and outside the bottle. Each wine label from this Windsor winery has its own distinctive look; the rosé label was created by artist Yellena James. Leading off with cool-climate pinot noir and a blend of syrah and grenache, it has a dark reddish hue and a nose of watermelon, followed by ruby red grapefruit, white pepper, and savory spices. Book a tasting through Grand Cru Custom Crush ($35 per person). 1200 American Way, Windsor, erickentwines.com.
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A rosé that almost didn't make it: Reeve Wines in Healdsburg usually sources grapes for their rosé from Mendocino County. Last year, however, due to the destructive Mendocino Complex Fire, they had to make a last-minute change and finally found a vineyard located in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The result, their 2018 Bybee Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir, remains list-worthy -- it combines pinot fruit characteristics of red berries and vibrant spring flowers.
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At the Reeve Estate & Tasting Room in Healdsburg choose between making a tasting by appointment, seven days a week, or book the villa with friends or family for a relaxing, gastronomic stay, featuring a pool and Dry Creek Valley views. The winery is also known for its pop-up events, like this upcoming farm dinner. Join their mailing list or wine club to be the first to hear about events. 4551 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, reevewines.com
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Petaluma meets Southern Sonoma Coast: Brick & Mortar makes two kinds of rosés - one cultivated in the cool, windblown Petaluma Gap appellation and one made from Sonoma Coast syrah grapes. Their 2017 Sonoma Coast Rosé brings an aroma of white cherry, kaffir lime and red apple and has a juicy, fresh palate of red raspberry and fennel flavors. The winery is not open to the public, but they welcome requests to visit their Healdsburg winemaking facility, as well as tour their vineyards in Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, and on the Sonoma Coast. $40 per person. brickandmortarwines.com.
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Small but mighty 1: Anthill Farms, recently featured among our top picks for boutique Sonoma wineries, make their wines at the custom crush facility Punchdown Cellars in Santa Rosa. Their limited-release Sonoma Coast rosé is one of the reasons they stand out. A blend of pinot noir and syrah grapes, made with a combination of saignée and free-run juice, it makes for an easy-to-drink wine with aromas of wild strawberry, orange peel, and intense spices. Available online through mailing list. anthillfarms.com.
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Small but mighty 2: Another rosé from a small Sonoma County vintner, La Pitchoune Winery’s 2018 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is made using the traditional saignée method, exclusively utilizing grapes from their own vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. Once fermented, the wine is aged in neutral French oak for six months. The winery hosts private barrel tastings, allowing guests to sample wines that are aging. $25 per person. lapitchounewinery.com.
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A touch of pink in the Russian River Valley: Flowers Winery in Healdsburg specializes in Sonoma Coast pinot noir, chardonnay and rosé. Their 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir is a burst of fresh orange, lemon zest, and rose petals with hints of strawberry and grapefruit. This July, the winery is opening a new tasting room in the heart of the Russian River Valley, with sprawling outdoor gardens. Pair a glass of rosé with the Sonoma County grazing board featuring Cowgirl Creamery’s signature cheese Mt Tam, orange marmalade, honey, and Journeyman Meat Co.’s handcrafted salumi. 4035 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, flowerswinery.com.
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A rosé to rock your world: Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma ("gun bun" to those in the know) draws a crowd each summer for their Huichica music festival and easy-to-drink Sonoma Coast Rhinefarm Rosé. This pink wine has a lively acidity with fresh flavors of strawberry, Rainier cherry, and watermelon, and pairs well with live music on a big lawn or by the vinyl player in your own backyard.
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At Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma experience the Underground Tour, which takes you into the winery's caves and includes a wine flight. $45 per person, reservations required. 2000 Denmark Street, Sonoma, gunbun.com
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