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Feb 16, 2011 04:44 PM

unusual or little known wineries in Sonoma

I have some out of town friends visiting this w'end, probably on Sunday, who really like their wine, especially red, though prefer old world style. We know all the main name wineries in Sonoma area and I was hoping people could direct me to some lesser known ones - examples of the type I'm looking for would be Loxton or Wellington in Glen Ellen or Rafanelli (though they are pretty well known despite being small) or Merry Edwards before she opened the new winery. I'm thiking of checking out those on 8th St East in Sonoma but I know many may only be open on certain days/times. Ideas?

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    1. re: steve h.

      good idea - any info on the new winemaker who came onboard a couple of harvests ago and what style they like to make

      1. re: sonomajom

        They are concentrating on pinot noir although they are also "experimenting" with a sparkler. Their high-end pinots are very good.

        Call ahead for a reservation and a private tour. The estate is drop-dead gorgeous as is the tasting room. The cave was dug by hand. There's a stunning private room there that you can rent for fancy occasions. The main buildings are made from stone that was imported from China's Three Gorges Dam project. Very impressive.

        Keller is a Mexican industrialist and antique car buff (Pebble Beach Concours) He spared no expense in building this winery.

    2. Is Dutton-Goldfield too well known?

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfe

        in terms of what I'm looking for yes - I'm leaning towards places that are not on the lists and are more likely to be staffed by the winemaker or family . but thanks for responding - if you hav eother ideas in line with above they are definitely welcome :)

      2. Freeman. Without a doubt. Freeman.

        3 Replies
        1. re: whiner

          thanks - sounds interesting. I've just been on their site and there is no info I can find about visiting/tasting. Any idea how that works? I'll give them a call but thought I'd ask since you're obviously familiar with them

          1. re: sonomajom

            Yes. Tastings are by appointment only. It is exactly what you are looking for. The cave is beautiful, too.

            1. re: whiner

              I would add a P.S. that I have been there many times in the past 6 years or so (since before the cave was built) and it is a easy winery to miss as it is more or less a rural barn on a redwood-heavy curvy road. They give good directions, just keep alert.

        2. is Clos du Val (NOT du Bois) Sonoma or Napa? my geography across bridges and tunnels was never good (and I was never driving)

          1. Schug for Pinot Noir. Not tiny but smaller family-owned winery.