A group of ravens is called “an unkindness” or “a conspiracy,” but you won’t find any unkindness or conspiracies at Ravenswood Winery. This place is all about fantastic Zinfandels (and other wines) and comfortable, unpretentious hospitality.
Located just a few miles as the crow, er raven, flies from the historic Sonoma Plaza, this winery is a must-stop for any Zinfandel fan.
Founded in 1976 by Joel Peterson (I had to steal this description of Joel from their website – it’s just too good!), “The rakish raconteur, provocateur and revolutionary whose erudition and down-to-earth enthusiasm make him the stylistic trendsetter who helped make Zinfandel the runaway phenomenon it is today,” this iconic winery is still producing world-class Zinfandel and other wines and serving them up with characteristic flair. You will arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend, probably toting some delicious wines with you out the door.
From the outside, the tasting room looks like a slightly eccentric, rich old hippy’s home – it’s a barn-like structure made of stone and warm brown wood that sits atop a small knoll, overlooking the vineyards. You’ll go up a curving flight of stone stairs and see people picnicking and drinking wine outside at the oak-shaded wrought iron picnic tables. The overall vibe that surrounds this place is happy, comfortable and friendly. Ravenswood is dog-friendly, kid-friendly and just friendly in general.
The happy, unpretentious vibe continues inside the tasting room. It is large and airy, with lots of windows letting in the warm Sonoma sunshine; there are two long wooden tasting bars in connecting rooms that are usually full of happy visitors and busy staff members and there is a wonderful array of wine-related gifts available.
Let’s talk about the wines. I had to steal this quote from their website as well, because it embodies the essence of Ravenswood’s wines so well – “From our flock of Single Vineyard Designate wines, as unique as the individual vineyards they’re from and the people who farm them, to the County Series wines that capture the spirit of California’s best growing regions and the popular Vintners Blend bottlings sourced from vineyards throughout California, we strive to put what we pick from the fields right into the bottle. Unadulterated, unapologetic, unfussy, unwimpy.”
Gotta love that!
I tasted a handful of wines during my visit and loved every single one. Take my advice and experience Ravenswood Winery. You’ll be glad you did!
Douro River Cruise hosted by Joel Peterson
Sun, May 12, 2019 - Sun, May 19, 2019
Venue: Portugal and Spain
Enjoy a Seven night Douro River cruise from Oporto, Portugal, down the Douro River to Vega de Terrón (Salamanca), Spain, and then back to Oporto.
Fares From $3,894 Per Person.
Contact: Food and Wine Trail 800-367-5348
TOURS & TASTINGS
Artisan Cheese Plates
A sumptuous pairing of local, artisan cheeses ($25) can be added to any tasting
(serves two). Relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the gorgeous view from the outdoor lounge. Delicious!
Barrel Tastings, Winery and Vineyard Tour
To get the full flavor of Ravenswood, go right to the source – walk through the Old World vineyards to see the vines up close and learn firsthand about the unique viticultural practices at Ravenswood! Wend your way back to the barrel room for a sneak peek of “what’s to come” and sample the wines straight from the barrel. One tour daily at 10:30am, $30 per person, group tours by appointment only. Reservations are requested at www.ravenswoodwinery.com or call (707) 933-2332.
Looking for an exquisite library tasting? Founding winemaker, Joel Peterson, has opened his personal cellar to us for an opportunity to taste Ravenswood wines over the decades. $60 per person | Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. by appointment only. For questions or to make reservations visit www.ravenswoodwinery.com or call (707) 933-2332.
Blend Your Own Unwimpy Wine
Feeling daring? Perhaps you too have an inborn sense for how to craft a classic, California field blend. Perhaps you’d like to learn the tricks of the trade? This is the place for the novice blender or the most seasoned wine drinker to learn the art of winemaking! Call Peter and sign up for the Blending Seminar. Create your own perfect mélange of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane, then take your masterpiece home in a 375ml bottle to impress your friends and family! Daily at 10 a.m. $75 per person | Reservations are required. Team Building/Large Group Blending Sessions are available by appointment. For more information or to reserve a space, visit www.ravenswoodwinery.com or call (707) 933-2332.
Private Tasting with the Senior Wine Educator
An exclusive tasting experience designed by Senior Wine Educator, David Miles.
David will guide you through a tasting of small-lot, Single Vineyard Designated Zinfandels complete with a history from each vineyard. It’s a wonderful learning experience in a fun and casual atmosphere. 10:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. | $50 per person | Reservations are required. For questions or to make reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 933-2332.