Explore the Sonoma Valley wineries that are growing more than just grapes.
The rich bounty of deliciousness grown and raised here in Sonoma Valley extends well beyond the vineyards. So we’ve assembled a short list of wineries that bring the incredible flavors of the Valley together with their wines. Think of it as a farm to tasting table approach.
RAM’S GATE WINERY
Conventional wisdom might say that a primary role of wine is to complement food. But the founders of Ram’s Gate Winery had a different narrative in mind when they planted the Four Farmers Culinary Garden on a small parcel next to their estate vineyards. For Jeff O’Neill, Michael John, Peter Mullin and Paul Violich (yes, four farmers), a primary role of food is to complement wine. The fresh, seasonal produce they harvest goes into Farm-to-Tasting Room pairings that celebrate the full bounty and beauty of Sonoma. The thousands of bees living alongside the garden not only pollinate the crop, but also produce a delicious honey that has become a Ram’s Gate member favorite. Chef Taylr Behnam puts it best, “This produce, and the dishes that result, are as terroir-driven as the wines that pair with them.”
ST. FRANCIS WINERY & VINEYARDS
When the team at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards tells you it’s all about farming, they’re not just talking about grapes. Sure, they tend ever 400 acres of Certified Sustainable estate vineyards. But St. Francis has also become well known for delicious, locally sourced food. Their two-acre Estate Garden is just a few steps from the kitchen. From the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grown there, Executive Chef Bryan Jones adds a homegrown flavor to a wine and food pairing that was voted #1 in America in 2013 by Open Table diners. Currently, St. Francis offers a program called Sonoma Tastemakers, hosting a different Sonoma County artisan food producer every month for a unique and fascinating wine and food experience.
STONE EDGE FARM ESTATE VINEYARDS & WINERY
Chances are, when Colby Eierman was growing up on Sonoma Mountain, his parents never had to beg him to eat his vegetables. Today, he oversees the gardens at Stone Edge Farm. If, that is, you can call them gardens, because the whole 17 acres of property at Stone Edge play into the culinary vision here. Beside the one-acre vegetable garden, there are olive and fruit trees and raised beds all around the vines. Even the ancient Valley Oaks that frame the landscape come into play. Flour made from their acorns goes into a German-style spaetzle. From Colby’s harvest, Chef John McReynolds creates seasonal menus that showcase the more than 100 varieties of organically grown produce. Those recipes and more come to life beautifully in a lavishly illustrated, award-wining, coffee-table style cookbook, available online or at the winery.
Stone Edge photos by Leslie Sophia Lindell