An Italian Villa • Classic Food and Wine Tasting • A Pasta Company • Pizza • Gelato
One of Sonoma County’s most beautiful wine regions is without a doubt Sonoma Valley. Driving the Highway 12 corridor, rolling hills of vineyards flank both sides and the Mayacamas to the east provide a stunning backdrop. On this route, there are many wonderful tasting rooms and beautiful wineries scattered about the tiny towns that dot this landscape, but one of the most impressive wineries of all is VJB Cellars in Kenwood.
Visit the Italian Villa
VJB Cellars has much to offer wine lovers. The family-run winery always provides a warm welcome for all guests, and you instantly feel like you’ve stepped into an Italian villa with its beautiful stone architecture, classic piazza—fully equipped with a fountain—and downright delicious collection of Italian wine. The hospitality staff at VJB Cellars is one of the friendliest in the county, and you will most certainly see members of the family bustling about, chatting with guests and pouring wines in their elegant tasting room.
Enjoy Classic Food and Wine Pairings
Inside the tasting room, VJB brings Italy to life with its Italian varietal wines, full-on deli stocked with imported cheese, salumi and other artisanal food products from Italy, as well as an espresso bar. Outside on the piazza, the Red Rooster Pizza brick-oven quickly roasts authentic pizza, and there’s even a chocolate/gelateria (gelato shop). In addition to all of this amazing food, wine and Italian goods, the matriarch of the family/Executive Chef—Maria Belmonte—also makes and sells her own homemade pasta and sauces under the name Kenwood Pasta Co.
Kenwood Pasta Co.
Maria’s incredible pasta and sauces are the perfect pairing for VJB wines, and pair particularly well with some of the brand new releases: 2016 Estate Sangiovese, 2016 Estate Montelpuciano and 2016 Sagrantino. Each of these expressive Italian varietals are crafted in small quantities and in a traditional manner with neutral/low oak influence; they are full of fresh fruit flavors with bright acidity that is the perfect accompaniment for tomato sauces. Enjoy a tasting or glass (or bottle!) on the piazza, and order one of the deli’s pizzas or pasta dishes and you’re in for a real treat. You can also check out Maria’s pastas and sauces at the brand new Kenwood Pasta Co. retail space, which will also feature kitchen and entertaining items! The shop is set to open Labor Day weekend.
Pizza—On the Go!
If you’ve been a longtime fan of VJB’s Red Rooster pizza, then you know how exciting it is that the family has purchased a 1951 Ford Pizza Truck and will be taking their pizzas on the road! The truck will be available to rent for private parties, corporate events and even winemaker dinners at home. For more information about hiring the Red Rooster Pizza truck, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707)833-2300.
Another Reason to Love VJB
Another fabulous varietal that Italian wine lovers will recognize is Negro Amaro, and VJB’s 2015 Negro Amaro just won the Gold Medal at the LA International Wine Competition! This is certainly not the first medal VJB wines have won, and when you taste their incredible collection of wines you will understand why. The craftsmanship and quality of each varietal shines in the glass, and each varietal retains Italian authenticity with a sun-kissed California flair.
Visit VJB Cellars in Kenwood and plan to spend at least a couple hours there, because you’ll fall in love with the family, hospitality, wine and food, and it will be hard to pull yourself away!