Family of Friends Newsletter

Red Wine, Pinot Noir, wine writing, wine review, Russian River Valley

DeLoach Pinot Noir vs Three Sons Cuvee (Wine Review)

By Scott Butterfield | August 9, 2022

Although they are based in west Santa Rosa, DeLoach has every right to call themselves a Russian River Valley winery. Sure, they also source fruit from the Sonoma Coast, North Coast and Northern Sonoma AVAs. But it is the Russian River Valley AVA they chose to use on their label. The part of Santa Rosa they’re in is incredibly diverse in terms of soil types. In fact, there’s more variation here than in all of France.…

Sonoma Wine Club Event at SF Giants v Chicago Cubs

Cracker Jacks and Wine (Sonoma Wine Club Events)

By Harris Miner | August 9, 2022

In keeping with our mission of building community through wine, on Sunday, July 31st we organized a trip to the ball game for our Inner Circle Wine Club to see the San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park. We reserved a private box just off first base in the infield for a fun, unpretentious wine tasting and Cracker Jacks afternoon. 

Our club members are definitely ready to get back out in the world because tickets sold out in 2 hours after we posted it on our …

wine, wine review, wine tasting, red wine, pinot noir

Acacia Pinot Noir vs Halleck Vineyard (Wine Review)

By Scott Butterfield | August 4, 2022

If Pinot Noir were an animal, it’d be a chameleon. There seems to be no other grape that takes on its environmental surroundings quite like this highly-adaptable varietal. Preferring a cool climate, this thin-skinned grape is legendary for its versatility. It can be used to make white, red, rose, and sparkling wine of tremendous quality. 

Pinot Noir Wine ReviewsCarneros Pinot Noir from Acacia WinerySonoma Coast Pinot Noir Hillside CuveeVideo Pinot Noir Wine Review

The historic home for Pinot Noir is in Burgundy.…

Ross Halleck and Caroline Styne

Food and Wine Pairing: Sonoma Whites & Pinots at AOC

By Scott Butterfield | August 3, 2022

The Los Angeles Wine Writers’ Group recently attended a special food and wine pairing at AOC, the restaurant featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s “50 hot tables” and on Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Wine List.” It’s credited with pioneering the small-plate tapas dining experience on the west coast. A.O.C. is helmed by Caroline Styne, a lifelong restaurateur and master sommelier. It features her inspired and adventurous by-the-glass selection paired with a casual yet innovative small plates menu.…

small wineries, wine tasting, wine experience, red wine, white wine

7 Best Small Wineries in Sonoma 

By Scott Butterfield | July 27, 2022

The best small wineries in Sonoma are boutique wineries – those which make less than 5000 cases annually – are more high touch than high-tech. These places are labors of love. Wines are hand-crafted with exceeding attention and care. There’s freedom to experiment here with different styles and varietals. An approach that looks to expand your palette instead of stultifying it.It’s less about the glitz and glam. There’s no mass-production assembly line or corporate sponsorship. In fact,…

Catapult Vineyards at sunrise in the Petaluma Gap AVA

Impact of Climate Change on the Petaluma Gap AVA

By Eric Schwartzman | July 20, 2022

Petaluma Gap AVA wines are said to have a bit more balance and refinement because the wind hardens and thickens the grape skins producing more tannins, which render the feeling of texture in your mouth. The microclimate produces wine with a combination of freshness, refinement and elegance with more intensity from the tannins. 

But like the rest of the Bay Area, the Petaluma Gap climate is changing. At the Golden Gate Bridge, sea level rose 9 inches between 1854 and 2016 as a result of melting land ice and the thermal expansion of ocean water.…

Docks at Bodega Bay

Wine Tasting Near Bodega Bay: Top 8 Tasting Rooms

By Scott Butterfield | May 3, 2022

It’s now the perfect time of the year for wine tasting near Bodega Bay. This amazing area lies on a San Andreas Fault line, roughly 20 miles as the crow flies from Petaluma, about 30 minutes on the highway from downtown Petaluma to The Links Golf Club at Bodega Harbor, which rests at the southern opening of the bay.

If you’re flying in, book yourself into Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS) which is right in Petaluma,…

Wine Festivals Reopening Post Lockdown

Wine Festivals: 2022-2023 Calendar

By Scott Butterfield | April 21, 2022

After a two-year lockdown, life is finally opening up again. So we scoured the web to put together this endemic 2022-2023 Wine Festival Calendar. It features 11 California Wine Festivals, including 4 in Sonoma and Napa, and 2 in Santa Barbara. Plus Nantucket, Oregon, and Colorado wine festivals, and a wine festival reopening in France. The Dana Point Wine Festival is happening too close to our publication date, so we opted not to cover it.All the festivals serve food,…

Sebastopol Wine Tasting Experience at Halleck Vineyard

By Ross Halleck | April 14, 2022

For more than 20 years, we’ve been hosting Sebastopol wine tasting experiences at our estate. We’re just inland from the majestic Sonoma Coast about 20 minutes from Bodega Bay or 15 minutes from the Barlow. Our Sebastopol wine tastings aren’t held in a traditional visitors center or hospitality tasting room. Rather, we welcome you and your dog if you have one, into our home. We have indoor and outdoor seating and a sweeping view of our vineyard,…