We truly are blessed, living in West Marin and Sonoma. Our ranch is right on the border between the two counties, and we get to experience all the richness of this beautiful land—including the amazing wines that Sonoma and West Marin produce! Today we are taking a look at the wineries of Sonoma and Marin that honor the terroir, or essence of the land where the grapes grow. Wineries that focus on terroir tend to be smaller, family-run places, much like us. They also tend to practice sustainable farming techniques, which not only creates a better product, but also preserves the land for years to come. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that is also the philosophy we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts, too! So without further ado, here are just a few of our local Sonoma favorite wineries and the wines that we love to pair with our pasture raised veal:
Also straddling the west Marin-Sonoma country border, McEvoy Ranch is most well known for their highly excellent Italian-style olive oils from olives grown and pressed right on their property. We love drizzling it in salad dressing or even using it to quickly cook a few veal cutlets. But they also grow a variety of grapes on the property, and the wines they produce at the very essence of our micro-region! All of the wines are delicious with our succulent veal, or our delicious goat for that matter, but we are especially partial to the Montepulciano to pair with any of our tomato-based recipes.
As the oldest continuously running family-owned winery in Sonoma County, Gun Bun (as it is affectionately known), has a special place in our heart. They’ve been living and working on their lands for generations, just like we have! Their wines are really well-made, and very food friendly. We recommend the Mountain Cuvee (a red blend) or the absolutely-not-sweet-at-all Gewurztraminer, both of which pair beautifully with our veal or goat. Plus, how fun is it to try to say Gundlach Bundschu Gewurztraminer to your dinner guests?!
Right next door to Gun Bun is the hipster darling of the SF social scene, Scribe. While we don’t know much about that lifestyle, we DO know that Scribe makes highly excellent, small production wines that are particularly vibrant. Now, a lot of their wines are allocated for their club members, but if you can get your hands on any of their Rosés or Pinot Noirs, we think you will be very pleased. Food-friendly for sure, these wines are also great for just sipping on the porch on a warm summer evening. Now THAT sounds like a good idea!
And the winner for kookiest and most interesting winery produced in Sonoma or Marin counties has to be Sean Thackery. These wines are totally unique and speak so purely of the terroir of west Marin, that we just can’t get enough. They can be purchased online or in really nice wine shops that focus on small producers, but there are never very many bottles produced, so they can be tough to track down. Any time you see his name on a label, go ahead and snap it up!
Front Porch Farm
One of our fellow San Rafael Farmer’s Market vendors, Front Porch Farm, is truly a diversified estate! They offer everything from flowers to fresh produce, to milled grains and flours, to olives, even heritage breed pork and lamb! Plus, they make their own estate wines. Located up in Healdsburg, their farm is expansive and lovely, and dedicated to growing small quantities of heirloom products—and we love them for that! Pick up some flowers for your dinner table, maybe a pound or two of ripe heirloom squash, and a bottle of their easy-drinking summer sipper—Rosé! It pairs beautifully with our lighter veal preparations and makes an excellent aperitif if you fancy something delicious before dinner.
What do you think of our favorites? I’m sure we have missed some Sonoma or Marin wineries you love—let us know your favorite and we might include it in a future post!