About the Regions | Wine Tours | Recommended Wineries
A stay at the Vintage Towers Bed & Breakfast Inn wouldn't be complete without visiting some of the more than 200 wineries in and around Sonoma County and Mendocino County. We truly are located at wine country's crossroads in the most picturesque grape-growing region in California. As you can see from the map at the right, Cloverdale sits at the top of Sonoma's premier wine growing regions: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley. And, just to the West of Cloverdale is the wonderful Mendocino wine growing appellation: Anderson Valley.
About the Wine Regions
Alexander Valley's renaissance as a wine country region began quietly in 1956 with a single vineyard, the first new vineyard to be planted in the area in nearly two decades. Vineyard development accelerated in the 1960's and 1970's, with new grape varieties and modern viticultural techniques restoring Alexander Valley 's reputation for exceptional grapes. Today, within the valley’s 76,000 total acres, there are a variety of microclimates supporting a substantial range of grape varieties. While Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme on the gravelly terrain of the valley floor, the Alexander Valley also produces notable Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Dry Creek Valley
Nearly 6,000 acres of vineyards now carpet the Dry Creek Valley , providing exceptional fruit to more than 25 wineries. Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc continue to be the region's best known wines, but Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Valley have each established reputations for distinctive quality. The lush vineyards that extend from the valley floor to the hills signal the real allure of the region: a deft blend of climate, soil and exposure that produces grapes of singular quality and character.
Russian River Valley
Vineyards in the Russian River Valley vary in size, from small family-owned farms, with fewer than 25 acres, to larger ranches. Vineyards continue to share the land with farms devoted to sheep, goats, cattle, apples, berries, market gardens, nursery products, Christmas trees, and other animals and crops. The wines of the Russian River Valley are easy to describe: crisp, rich Chardonnay; soulful, fruit-filled Pinot Noir; soft, full-bodied Sparkling Wine; round, aromatic Pinot Gris; deep, complex Cabernet Sauvignon; spicy, red berry Zinfandel.
Only fifteen miles long, this beautiful valley is home to a unique group of wineries producing excellent wines. The planted acreage in the Anderson Valley consists primarily of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and White Riesling. Blessed with a temperate cool coastal climate, Anderson Valley is classified in viticultural terms as a Region One growing area. This designates it as the coolest climate in which grapes may be commercially grown with any success. The combination of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights and mornings allow the grapes from this region to mature slowly and to develop to the height of their varietal character.
Sonoma County Wine Tours
Your hosts, Don and Mary Stuart, are very knowledgeable about each Sonoma and Mendocino wine region. They would be happy to set up private winery tours for you and provide you with tasting passes, maps, and insider tips if you’d like to explore the wineries on your own. If you'd prefer to leave the driving to someone else, contact one of the following wine tour companies to customize a tour to your tastes and desires:
California Wine Tour 800-294-6386
Vine Rover Tours 707-838-1405
Healdsburg Wine Tours 707-433-6090
Wine Country Chaffeur 707-217-7957
Big Red Engine 707-857-3099
Recommended Sonoma and Mendocino Wineries
- In the Alexander Valley — Alexander Valley Vineyard, Chateau Souverain, Clos du Bois, Fieldstone, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Hanna Winery, Kendall-Jackson Winery, Lancaster, Silver Oak Cellars, Simi Winery, Stryker Sonoma, White Oak.
- In the Russian River Valley — Belvedere Winery, Christopher Creek, Davis Bynum, DeLoach Vineyard, Foppiano, Gary Farrell, Hop Kiln Winery, Iron Horse, J Wine Co., Korbel Champagne Cellars, Limerick Lane, Rabbit Ridge, Rochoili, Rodney Strong.
- In the Dry Creek Valley — Alderbrook Vineyards, Armida Winery, Bella, Camellia Cellars, Ferrari-Carano Vineyard, Dry Creek Vineyard, Frick, J. Fritz Winery, Gopfrich Winery, Lake Sonoma, Lambert Bridge Winery, Mazzocco Vineyards, Michel-Schlumberger, Mill Creek Vineyards, Passalacqua, Preston Vineyards, Quivira Vineyards, Raymond Burr, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Unti Vineyards, Wilson, Yoakim Bridge.
- In the Anderson Valley — Goldeneye, Navarro, Brutocao Cellars, Londer Vineyards