Benziger Family Winery is just that a family winery – still run by the family that founded it in the 1980’s, some of whom you will probably encounter when you visit as three generations are as active in the winery as they are in their community (Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, CA).
In the beautiful rolling hills of Sonoma Mountain, Benziger is a destination with something for everyone – take a self-guided walk through their biodyanmic® garden, enjoy a picnic lunch with a bottle of Benziger wine (on weekends you might get a wood-fired pizza) or visit their tasting room. But at Benziger you can expect more. A novice can get up close and personal with a vineyard on a Biodynamic® Vineyard Tram Tour or a wine enthusiast can go behind-the-scenes with the Benziger Partners Estate Wine Tour & Exclusive Wine Tasting, but for the true pinotphile (Pinot Noir fanatic) the only option is the Pinot Experience.
Our host, Nick, began with a bit of West Rows Chardonnay to warm up our palates and then moved to the Pinot Noirs each of which was perfectly matched with a canapé. These wines included the Signaterra Bella Luna Pinot Noir from the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) and three Pinot Noirs from the de Coelo vineyard (outside Bodega) in the Sonoma Coast AVA – Terra Neuma, Quintus and Arbore Sacra.
There is an ever increasing movement toward balance in Burgundian grapes (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). Producers, especially along the Sonoma Coast of Northern California, are seeking a different direction with their wines, both in the vineyard and the winery. They are focusing on balance and an expression of terroir. These producers exhibit more restraint (less manipulation) in the cellar and talk about finish versus big taste. This Renaissance of style is becoming one of the hottest topics in the wine world and is displayed in the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs from Benziger. The three Sonoma Coast wines have the distinct Pinot Noir mouthfeel and exhibit different subtleties in flavor and finish all based on vineyard block and clonal blend. For those who appreciate the subtle nuances these wines can provide, this is the experience for you.
No Benziger tour is complete without an understanding of their commitment to the land and farming – every wine comes from a vineyard that is third-party certified as sustainable, organic or Biodynamic®. They call it character and conscience – wine that tastes good and is good for the environment. For an explanation of the differences between sustainable, organic, and Biodynamic® see the Benziger Green Farming webpage. We toured the Sonoma Mountain Biodynamic® Discover Trail, a self-guided walk through a bio-dynamic environment with information on biodynamics in a lush garden.
Benziger has won many awards with its wines including 2011 Winery of the Year at the San Diego International Wine Competition where their wines won four platinum awards and one silver; 2012 Best Sonoma Valley Winery; and numerous individual wine awards on their extensive collection of wines sure to please any palate.
Benziger Pinot Noir Experience
$40 per person/$30 for Wine Club Members
11am & 2pm daily
Reservations require 24 hours advanced notice. If your date or time is not available, or for groups larger than 6 please contact us at 707.935.4527.
Benziger Family Winery:
1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 | (888) 490-2739
Click here for driving directions
Open daily from 10am – 5pm
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