Russian River Valley Recommendations
I'm taking a trip up to the Russian River Valley on Tuesday. Looking for recommendations for:
1) Lunch (nothing fancy: maybe sandwiches, salads?)
2) Any wineries you'd recommend visiting. I have an appointment at Siduri. Have been to a number up there that I've liked. But I'll take any suggestions. Pinot and Zin are my favorites.
I'll recommend Iron Horse just south of the Russian River. They have some excellent single vineyard Pinots, as well as great champagne. The winery itself is on a hill, and the vibe is casual. Their harvest parts was a lot of fun.
Graton is south of Iron Horse and has a cutesy upscale diner/polenta place in the middle of the one block that is downtown. Pretty good polenta there....
Wilson, Unti, Nalle, Bella, Gopfrich! All outstanding, family run wineries. You must check out Wilson and Bella for the big, beautiful zin! I like Nalle's zin too but they may already be sold out. Unti does some interesting Italian varietals as well - absolutely top notch. Gopfrich is literally a one man show and he is a sweet guy with some wonderful wine. Hopefully his Cab is ready. Seriously "Napa quality" cab with a few gold medals to prove it (surprisingly inexpensive around 40.00). All but Wilson and Bella will require a res. Though I've walked in to all of them on a Saturday.
This is where is go in Sonoma and I don't think there's much pinot in that area given the hot climate. I love to hear where other people find their Sonoma pinot though. I'm headed that way at Thanksgiving.
I second Bovolo! I ate there when I visited just so you know that dine in is an option. Went for lunch and had a delish prosciutto sandwich and then went back for breakfast the next day. Really great home made granola with local yogurt and honey.
Though a picnic at Preston would be nice and it's near all the places I recommend above. It's a neat place to check out and the guy at the tasting room, Robert (white hair and beard), is the nicest guy. If you do a search for Preston, you'll find more info.