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Best Russian River Valley Winery?

I'll be in Yountville/Napa in mid-April with my family, and I'd like to learn more about producing Pinot in the Russian River Valley. Is there a winery in the area specializing in Pinot Noir that's not to be missed? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. I like the PNs from these producers in the RRV, but the RRV is not near Yountville/Napa. That area is more for Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot:





    3 Replies
      1. re: baron45

        Is Duttongoldfield the same as Dutton Estates? I remember Dutton Estates was worthwhile for PN too. This list will come in handy for me and my husband! Thanks!

        1. re: rln

          They are 2 different wineries, but there are 2 brothers: one operates D-G with another partner, and DE is run by the other brother.

        1. re: jlfoodie

          I second De Loach. I remember that as a highlight at a past RRV trip.

          Harvest Moon is also an interesting stop. They have ice wine, which is unusual for the area. They have a Pinots.

        2. If you are in the RRV, try to get an appointment at Merry Edwards.
          While you are in Napa, I suggest Patz and Hall

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chef Mabuse

            Second the Merry Edwards suggestion - excellent wine and nice people.

          2. I love, love, love Martenilli Winery on River Road...just North of Santa Rosa. They have a good selection of great pinot's.



            1. Thanks for the suggestions. I know that RRV and Napa aren't all that close, but I'm coming from the east coast, and even an hour drive doesn't seem all that ridiculous compared to the cross country plane ride!

              What about any wineries not to miss in the Napa/Yountville area?

              1 Reply
              1. re: aburkavage

                Check out this report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6104...

                In terms of Napa wineries, it would help if you mentioned what kind of wine you like, both stylistically and in terms of varietal. There are lots of good places to taste Cab, Merlot, Franc, or blends on Spring Mountain, which lies between Napa & Sonoma counties.

              2. I am also going to the Russian River, and have been looking at the following wineries:
                Porter Creek
                August West

                I have an appointment at Mary Edwards and Seduri and plan to go to Rochioli, so basically I can only add about two more from the list above.

                Any help would be awesome!

                6 Replies
                1. re: rachel12

                  August West is in San Francisco.

                  Hanzell is a very interesting and historic place, but they charge for tours and tastings.

                  My recommendations from your list would be Lynmar and Hartford as both have great facilities and very good wine. However, if you are interested in seeing some vines planted in 1953 and are not put off by the cost and inconvenience (to the east of Sonoma), I'd investigate an appointment at Hanzell.

                  1. re: Paul H

                    That was incredibly helpful! I looked up where Hanzell is located, and I think its too for this trip. Your advise has helped me widdle-down my list significantly. From the suggestions, I think Lynmar and Hartford are my best best. I'm specifically looking for awesome Pinot producers (more in the Rhone style), hopefully that might help narrow it down a little more.

                    Thanks for all the help!

                    1. re: rachel12

                      Aburkavage,Paul, Rachel,

                      August West for many years shared a property with Freeman (about which Paul H has written). Sandler (good zins) was also on this property. It's still a fine place to visit. This entire thread is on Freeman, and there are more mentions on the Wine Board. Do a search.

                      Speaking of which, do a search on the wine board for RRV Pinot. Lots of specific recommendations and wine descriptions from some folks who have
                      phenomenal palates.

                      I adore Hanzell so visit if you can. Though agree Hartford and Lynmar are good spots. Especially if Lynmar is serving food. Article here about that:

                      Merry Edwards is very, very good, offering a good number of single vineyard Pinots, and Siduri (correct spelling) is interesting though not at all tops in Pinot
                      (my feeling is that some of his Pinots are flawed with Brett)..

                      Dutton-Goldfield is excellent.

                      Rachel, Pinot is not made in the Rhone region, so surely you must mean Burgundy. It's difficult to find true Burgundian-style Pinot in this country (probably Oregon is best) but what you can find is true fruit-forward Pinot, being sure to differentiate that from Pinot as Syrah (Pinot so super-ripe it has lost its Pinot-ness). Perhaps you can identify more precisely what kind of Pinot you prefer and then we can make recommendations based on that.

                      1. re: maria lorraine


                        You're post was incredibly helpful. I have done a good amount of searching on the wine board as well as the San Francisco board, both of which were wonderful in making my list of prospective vineyards more concise.

                        I wish I could make it over to Hanzell the feed back thus far has been amazing, but at least I have something to look forward on another visit :)

                        I am sorry I wasn't more clear about the Rhone/Pinot issue. I do realize that pinot is not from the Rhone, I was using that more as a descriptive on a style of wine (i.e. trying to avoid the fruit forward pinots you mentioned). Sorry for the confusion.

                        In regards to vineyards I enjoy, I love Failla's wines, and Rochioli makes some lovely pinots.

                        Hopefully this will help everyone out.

                        Thanks again :)

                  2. re: rachel12

                    I have very much enjoyed the wines at Porter Creek and the tasting room is definitely funky. Lynmar is great architecture and very good wines. Woodenhead has nice views but poor wine. Pellegrini does good more moderately priced wines.

                    1. re: SFDude

                      I went to Porter Creek with a group of friends and had a wonderful time. The wines were nice and I loved the ambiance :) Thanks for the heads up on Woodenhead!