I tell them to drive and explore. I tell them to sit at a bar or restaurant and talk to the locals … to get lost on winding roads and stop in at places that interest them.
I tell them to do these things not just because they express the beauty of the area but also because the truth is that Sonoma is kind of like France … it’s pretty hard to get wrong.
One of the great things about living in the moment is the promise of the surprise that each new moment can potentially bring with it.
Now I really don’t know why I’m waxing on so philosophically when all I really want to say is that I was driving along one day, happened into Dutton-Goldfield for a wine-tasting and discovered a new winemaker that I absolutely love.
Maybe it’s because of the randomness of it all or maybe it’s because I know that any proper adventure in Sonoma is filled with such discoveries, but essentially I think I just want you to understand that this is how you unlock Sonoma County’s treasures.
You experiment knowing that there are few bad choices to be made. End of story. That said, back to Dutton-Goldfield … which is a prime example of a very good choice.
Known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Dutton-Goldfield has only been around since 1998, but the winery’s vintages have far more gravitas than its years might suggest. The tasting room may seem bright and very modern in comparison to its peers, but the wines show distinction and maturity.
I was especially impressed by the Burgundian quality of Dutton-Goldfield’s 2010 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, which is uncharacteristically and refreshingly dry with notes of citrus, apple and pear.
Most interesting however was the 2011 Chileno Valley Vineyard Riesling and the 2011 Green Valley Vineyard Gewurtraminer, the product of two grape varieties that don’t often rank high on my personal list of favorites, but were without question among favorites at Dutton-Goldfield.
Further proof that, in Sonoma Wine Country, you should always expect the unexpected.
Be spontaneous because there is magic in that in Sonoma. Sometimes because of our lives elsewhere, we think we can schedule fabulous, but it doesn’t really work that way in these parts.
Like so much of life in Sonoma County, amazing discoveries like Dutton-Goldfield happen organically.
Don’t take my word for it, just try it and see for yourself.
Find out more about Dutton-Goldfield at www.duttongoldfield.com.