Archive | January, 2014

Joseph Swan Vineyards

18 Jan

The Joseph Swan Vineyards is an interesting piece of history and an example of a winery that is a winery first and a tasting room second. Located 20 minutes west of Santa Rosa, Swan is in a cluster of wineries that make up the western cluster of Sonoma wine country. To the east are the wineries around the town of Sonoma (and towns of Glen Ellen and Kenwood); to the north are the wineries around Healdsburg and the Michelin-starred restaurants around that area. Sebastopol and Forestville feel a bit more off the beaten path, less geared for tour buses and bachelorette parties. It still has a couple world-class places, like Merry Edwards and Iron Horse. But it still feels like an area where the business is farming not marketing.
Continue reading

A Parklet in the Mission District

9 Jan

Spotted on Valencia Street in the Mission District in San Francisco. A cute little parklet on the sidewalk. Why not?

Continue reading

Tin Barn Vineyards – Beautiful Wine in a Storage Facility

8 Jan

Tin Barn is one of a a funny group of negociants working out of warehouses on a side street a mile or so off the main square in Sonoma. It would be easy to pass up, since there is none of the beauty of viewing the grounds of one of the big estate vineyards. But Tin Barn makes some very good wine and can be a fun experience.

Continue reading

RIP Roessler Cellars

2 Jan

I’ve neglected to post a series of some of my favorite places in Sonoma. So, sorry, but these are a couple years old or more.

I’m starting with one of my favorite wineries – the since-sold Roessler Cellars. The old website is gone now, but there’s still some reviews of their efforts.

The Roessler brothers set up their business as negociants, buying juice from vineyards around the state (and Oregon). Their wines were incredible values, using premium fruit bottled in small batches and sold for $25-$55. They secured great contracts from some of the very best American Pinot vineyards — the Shea vineyard in Oregon, Clos Pepe in the Central Coast. The appellation blends were particularly great value — $25 for blends from the Anderson Valley or the Sta. Rita Hills.

The Roessler brothers sold out to the Hall family of Napa in 2010. Strangely, the Halls changed the name to Walt Wines, changed winemakers, and raised prices across the board. Nice.

Anyways, this post is an ode to the old Roessler experience, one of my favorite wine tasting experiences anywhere.

Continue reading