- Wine Tasting
- Bay Area/Livermore
- Lodi Area
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Visiting Alderbrook Winery in the cool, crisp days of autumn is an almost storybook experience. As you approach the stately white farm house with its inviting wrap-around porch you almost expect to see a pleasant, grandmotherly lady standing there waiting to dispense hugs and lead you to the tasting bar or to a spot warmed by crackling and fragrant logs burning in a rustic fireplace. And while the hugs may be missing, the staff in the Alderbrook tasting room provides an old-fashioned heart-felt welcome, and eagerly presents a tasting menu from which to make your choices. A small tasting fee of $5 allows the selection of any four wines from the main menu that features three Terlato wines and four Alderbrook.
Once a year the folks at Alderbrook throw a wonderful party for their friends. Set just in time for the holidays, The Alderbrook Holiday Open House starts serving special wines, and Perfect Bites prepared by the winery chef from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. Cost of the event is free for club members and just $10 for guests. And everyone carries home a sparkling logo glass as a souvenir.
There are three clubs: Cellar Key Club which sends a mix of two white, two red or one bottle of each to members six times a year, the Confluence Club for those who prefer red wine only, and the Club Z for the serious Zin drinkers.
Of particular interest to Zin lovers, for a small $5 fee, is the extraordinary Zinfandel flight of four single vineyard Zinfandels.
The Terlato family with Anthony at the helm, though relatively new to the Dry Creek Valley had noticed almost half a century earlier that Sonoma County was producing some wines that he thought had promise. So, in 2000, when Alderbrook's owners approached Terlato's firm, Paterno Wines International for assistance in revitalizing the winemaking program, Anthony and his sons, John and Bill, welcomed the opportunity and developed a long-range plan to produce world-class wines under the Alderbrook and Terlato labels. In 2001 the Terlatos purchased a majority share in the family winery, making capital investments in both the vineyard sources and the physical plant. The tasting room was renovated and positioning of the gift items, spotlighted in special displays around the room became even more attractive. In browsing the shelves be sure to pick up a bag of Chocolate Covered Blueberries. The staff unanimously describes them as irresistible.
In the spring and summer months, guests are invited to picnic under colorful umbrellas on a luxurious lawn adjacent to a young vineyard. If the idea of a picnic is a last minute thing, the staff will happily arrange to get foods and utensils to make a picnic possible. Gregg Lamer, director of retail operations is also planning some food and wine tasting seminars for next year and will be posting his plans on the website: www.alderbrook.com. There is, however, a lot to do and enjoy right now at Alderbrook Winery, 2306 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg. Tasting room hours are 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily. For further information, call (707) 433-5987.
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