Six Sigma Ranch publishes a catalog of hand-sorted, gently crushed, and award-winning wines. Imbibers can grace their glasses with the bright-eyed and silky-tailed 2008 Michael’s Vineyard sauvignon blanc (a $20 value), awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and the spicily oaked 2006 cabernet sauvignon (a $42 value), which earned silver status at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition last year. These two wines, along with a Bordeaux-style 2007 cuvée pique-nique, exhibiting coquettish red fruit layered with earthbound cabernet franc notes (an $18 value), join forces to create the well-balanced assortment included in today’s Groupon. Shipping is available for an extra charge, but buyers are welcome to pick up their purchase and enjoy a free tasting at the Stage Coach Stop tasting room, where erudite oenologists and sometimes-sippers gather to practice glass harmonica ditties and show off their macramé goblet holsters.
Mutt Lynch Winery owner Brenda Lynch loves wine and dogs, so it makes sense that her winery seamlessly integrates these two interests. Both Dog Fancy and Wine Advocate have praised Brenda for her dog-friendly winery, where canines and their owners can tour the facilities and sample several tasty wines. Cleverly named varietals range from the 2009 Merlot Over and Play Dead to the 2007 Portrait of a Mutt Zinfandel, while series include the limited production "mbf"—man’s best friend. Not only does Lynch oversee the winemaking process, she also donates a portion of the proceeds of every bottle to support local animal rescue organizations.
Michael Draxton has studied and mastered both winemaking and grape-growing for more than 25 years, including tenures with several well-known brands. In partnership with winemakers Randy Meyer and Ronald du Preez, the trio turns glistening grapes into a catalog of limited-run vintages at Draxton Wines. Inside the winery's rustic tasting room, visitors rest their elbows on a the marble bar top as servers pour glasses, sometimes straight from the barrel. The tasting room also features a wide window into the production facility so guests can calmly wave goodbye to grapes as they're transformed into Draxton's award-winning varietals.
At J Vineyards and Winery, no reservations are required; simply walk into the modern, art-laden tasting room and taste the winery's vast variety of fine wines, many of which hail from the Russian River Valley, an area known for its lush, fully matured grape trees. The five-wine tasting allows sippers to traverse the wine spectrum, dancing from reds to whites straight on through to the sparkling conclusion. In the event that a particular varietal or sparkling beverage catches your tongue's attention, feel free to purchase a bottle to bring home and raise as your very own.
If you're going to open another place to drink wine in Sonoma County, you better have a unique idea. Luckily Jennifer Merletti Penrose did. Sure, she had experience managing a local winery, but her father was in the retail industry, globetrotting for products and fashions to present to Rodeo Drive boutiques and affordable pieces to resell at Los Angeles swap meets. So, she combined the two industries with Looking Glass, a designer boutique where shoppers can also sip on glasses or flights of champagne. The studio has included a diverse mix of designers that includes everyone from Tom Ford to Whetherly, and the rotating selection of champagnes is hand-picked by the owner of Traverso Fine Foods. You can drop by the boutique anytime to shop and sip, and even rent the space for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and lessons on what hangers look like.
The inspiration behind thumbprint cellars' namesake was a happy accident, albeit a messy one. In his college years, Scott Lindstrom-Dake would bottle his own vintages in his garage and sign them with a pen that his wife and business partner, Erica, bought him. The pen began to leak one night, and in his attempts to stem the flow of golden ink down a bottle, Scott left a thumbprint on its surface. Now more than 20 of the winery?s products showcase the print in a rainbow of colors, recalling the work of Andy Warhol during his short-lived career in criminal justice. At the downtown tasting bar, patrons sidle up to the sine-wave bar for pours of those vintages, pairing them with bites of local cheeses and meats.