For Father’s Day we went wine tasting (and why not when you live in Wine Country, surrounded by more than 200 wineries?) We’ve spent a lot of time exploring other areas of Sonoma County like Dry Creek Valley (with wineries like Armida and Fritz) and the Russian River Valley (with wineries like Hanna and Balletto). Recently we’ve moved to north east Santa Rosa, so we thought we should check out the wineries closest to our new home. So we spent the day exploring the Sonoma Valley / Kenwood area. We started our day at Chateau St. Jean and then had a lovely time at Kunde Winery, followed by a relaxing picnic. To finish off our day, we left behind the glam tasting rooms and manicured gardens of our first two stops and headed just down the road to Loxton Winery.
Loxton winery has absolutely nothing for sale except wine. There are no branded t-shirts. No coasters, olive oil sets or cookbooks for sale. There are no elegantly planted gardens, although there are some chairs and a picnic table set in the shade of an oak tree from which you can take in the lovely views of the vineyard and the Mayacamas mountains in the background. The tasting room is actually also the wine storage room, so you’ll do your sipping next to the barrels. It’s all very kicked back and relaxed. And free. The way all the tasting rooms in Sonoma County used to be. It was a lovely change of pace from our first two stops (even though we’d enjoyed them too).
We tasted the:
2011 Sonoma White (Sonoma Valley) $16 – 100% Chardonnay with almost no new oak, this white wine was a fruity, easy to drink start to our tasting.
Sonoma Reds – Lot 5 (Sonoma County) $16 – This is a blended red wine with Syrah, Zinfandel, and a little Pinot Noir. It hasa small bite and a finish we weren’t crazy about, but overall it was an easy to drink good light summer wine.
2008 Zinfandel – Hillside Vineyards (Sonoma County), $25 - We didn’t find this Zinfandel fruity or jammy enough for our taste. It was a simple, light, drinkable red wine.
2008 Syrah – Cuvee Ellen, (Russian River Valley), $28 – A little hint of spice. Not too exciting.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – McGraw Vineyard (Sonoma Valley), $28 – This wine just wasn’t bold nor fruity enough for us.
2009 Port (Sonoma Valley), $28 – A sweet end to our tasting and a highlight of the wine we tried. A bottle of this came home with us.