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Scribe, Sonoma | @scribewine: If you don’t know about Scribe by now, you really should. Whatever you think of their occasionally divisive wines, there’s no doubting the brand has ushered in a new era for Wine Country visitors. With a rotating calendar of pop-up dinners from top chefs, a fervently engaged wine club membership, and restrained but chic offsite events, the Scribe crew rethought the tasting room model in a way now echoed throughout Wine Country. 2100 Denmark St., Sonoma, 707-939-1858, scribewinery.com.
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Consistently listed among the "hippest" wineries in Wine Country, Scribe has developed a cult following. Celebrities like Amy Schumer and Ayesha Curry flock here to sip wine on the patio. Members of Scribe's "Viticultural Society" can pick up wine shipments during "pick-up parties." (Courtesy photo)
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Sophie James Wines, Petaluma | @sophiejameswine: Run by husband-and-wife team James and Sophie Gray, Sophie James is as much about the story behind the brand as it is about the wine. Through videos and photos, Sophie shares her young family’s experiences at their mountaintop home. Views from sunrise walks, hilltops peeking out from a sea of low-lying clouds, and decadent tablescapes from luxe events pepper the winery’s Instagram account. Members of Sophie James' invitation-only "Tribe" are happy to pay for a taste of that experience. 3200 Sonoma Mountain Rd, Petaluma, sophiejameswine.com.
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Sophie Gray used her innate understanding of Instagram to build a quickly growing audience for Sophie James Wines. “I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, they love our story. They love watching us live our life up here. They are interested in the wine, and Instagram is helping us,’” Sophie says. “… What’s interesting is that when you’re allowed to get creative, you figure it out.” (Photo by Chris Hardy)
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Ashes & Diamonds, Napa | @ashesxdiamonds: Like the rest of the wine brands on this list, Ashes & Diamonds’ wines could stand alone, but what fun would that be? A stunning midcentury tasting room design, an owner with a background in the music industry, and a focus on hosting cultural pop-ups all make this Napa winery an exciting place to see and be seen. 4130 Howard Lane, Napa, 707-666-4777, ashesdiamonds.com. (Emma K. Morris / Ashes & Diamonds)
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With its zig-zag roof, living room-style tasting spaces, and colorful, cool furnishings, Ashes & Diamonds feels more like Palm Springs than Napa Valley. The winery offers tours paired with multi-course meals prepared by in-house chefs. (Emma K. Morris / Ashes & Diamonds)
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Jolie-Laide, Sebastopol | @jolielaidewines: An extremely small-production Sebastopol winery with a hip, artistic bent, most readily seen in the artists they feature on their labels. Also known for their spunky Instagram presence, and a penchant for creating irreverent Jolie-Laide brand T-shirts for friends and fans alike. jolielaidewines.com
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The French term "jolie laide" translates into "pretty-ugly," and is used to describe a person who is unconventionally beautiful. Commonly perceived imperfections like crooked teeth or a bump on the nose are embraced under this notion. As the literary critic Daphne Merkin put it, jolie laide is "a triumph of personality over physiognomy, the imposition of substance over surface."
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Belden Barns, Santa Rosa | @beldenbarns: Like many of the labels on this list, Belden Barn’s focus centers more on providing an experience for their clientele, be it an on-premises scavenger hunt set up for young ones or simply an afternoon walk through the vineyard. 5561 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa, 415-577-8552, beldenbarns.com. (Photo by Adam Decker)
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After a tasting in the historic Belden barn, guests are invited to explore the estate vineyards, glass in hand. The Wishing Tree, located in the middle of the vineyards, allows couples and friends to make a wish together. According to winery owner Lauren Belden, many wishes for marriage proposals come true here. (Photo by Vance Jacobs)