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unusual or little known wineries in Sonoma

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sonomajom Feb 16, 2011 04:44 PM

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. steve h. RE: sonomajom Feb 16, 2011 05:55 PM

    Keller Estate Winery.

    2 Replies
    1. re: steve h.
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      sonomajom RE: steve h. Feb 17, 2011 08:42 PM

      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
        steve h. RE: sonomajom Feb 18, 2011 07:01 AM

        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. wolfe RE: sonomajom Feb 16, 2011 05:59 PM

      Is Dutton-Goldfield too well known?

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfe
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        sonomajom RE: wolfe Feb 17, 2011 08:41 PM

        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 :)

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        whiner RE: sonomajom Feb 17, 2011 05:22 PM

        Freeman. Without a doubt. Freeman.

        3 Replies
        1. re: whiner
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          sonomajom RE: whiner Feb 17, 2011 08:49 PM

          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
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            whiner RE: sonomajom Feb 17, 2011 10:05 PM

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

            1. re: whiner
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              whiner RE: whiner Feb 17, 2011 11:23 PM

              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. hill food RE: sonomajom Feb 17, 2011 10:07 PM

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

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            chowtogo RE: sonomajom Feb 17, 2011 10:18 PM

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

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