Last Saturday, our friend grower/owner of Sonatera Vineyards, Debbie Friedenberg, told us about Siduri’s  annual holiday open house in Santa Rosa.  Siduri is a producer of multiple highly acclaimed, single vineyard designate Pinot Noirs. Adam and Dianna Lee, the owners of Siduri, are an inspiration to a lot of up- and-coming boutique wineries, such as ours.

The wines came from (in geographical order) Sonoma Mountain’s Van Der Kamp, Amber Ridge, Hirsh Vineyard, Sonatera, Sonoma Coast, all the way down to Santa Lucia Highland’s Pisoni. Impressively, many of the tables were staffed by the vineyard growers themselves, such as Sonatera and Van Der Kamp.  This gave us an opportunity to ask detailed questions about the vineyards and find out what makes them unique.

The wines were all outstanding with the vineyard and appellation differences clearly coming thru in the wines.  Unfortunately we had to rush through the tasting as we had only an hour to spare but it was a great opportunity to try Pinot from some of the best vineyards of California (and one from Oregon) side by side.

I was thrilled when Dianna Lee, dressed in black with a royal tiara on her head due to the theme of the open house, took me on a private tour of the barrel room for a barrel tasting of the 2008s.  First, we chatted a bit about our respective kids.  It is hard to believe Dianna and Adam are raising three young kids while running such a phenomenal winery.  Then we talked a bit about the wines we make and started tasting her 08s. First was the 08 Sonatera (Debbie Friedenberg and Marne Coggan’s  vineyard.) Although it is just three months old, a baby wine that just finished Malo, it is already off to a great start with great aroma, color and fantastic mouth feel and flavors. Not a surprise, given that the 07 single vineyard Sonatera we tasted on the floor was our favorite.

Since I also make Santa Lucia Highlands, Dianna was very kind to let me try a couple of the Santa Lucia Highland barrels from Garry’s and Pisoni’s vineyards. Now we have a reference point for greatness.

It was very gracious of Debbie to introduce me to Dianna and for them to spend some time with me during the hectic open house. Thank you to you both!

Next time you are near Santa Rosa, give Siduri a call to schedule a visit, you will not regret it, especially if you are a Pinot fan (or a Dallas Cowboys fan as you will appreciate the Wine Tank names.)

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