Wilson Artisan Wineries
An Amazing Array of Award-Winning Wines!
A Woman And An Old Tin Barn Started It All…
Back in 1993 when Ken and Diane Wilson purchased the old tin barn on Dry Creek Road (one of the oldest structures in the Dry Creek Valley) that houses their original winery, nobody could have predicted the massive success that would soon follow. Diane Wilson is a very talented winemaker, and her distinctively spicy, fruit-forward Zinfandels took the wine world by storm. That’s how it all started. Diane is still crafting her signature Zinfandels and other delicious wines as well at Wilson Winery, but now she has a little help. She and her husband Ken have a few more wineries, too, all of which are producing award-winning wines and offer unparalleled hospitality for their visitors.
Pedal To The Medal!
For the last five years Wilson Artisan Wineries have consistently produced more gold medal winning wines than anyone. If you want to taste an amazing array of excellent wines, pedal your bicycle, drive your car, or better yet, have a limousine escort you to any or all of the Wilson Artisan Wineries!
Nine Distinctive Wineries –
North, South, East, West and In Between!
Wilson Artisan Wineries is now comprised of nine award-winning wineries. What these wineries all have in common is outstanding, multiple-medal-winning wines, all served by friendly, knowledgeable staff in beautiful, comfortable, unpretentious tasting rooms. You will feel at home at any of these wineries – that’s the common vibe.
Starting in Mendocino County at the northern extreme is Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in the town of Philo. Because of the cool, foggy climate in the Anderson Valley, Greenwood Ridge is known for delicious Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling, as well as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the warmer ridge top. This winery’s architecture alone is worth checking the place out – it was built in 1980 by an architect who was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. Colorful banners fly above a set of hip-yet-rustic redwood buildings, set against the stunning backdrop of vineyards stretching up the Mendocino Ridge. The wines are, of course, amazing.
The next winery south in Mendocino County is Jaxon Keys Winery. Located just outside of Hopland, which is a much warmer region than Anderson Valley, Jaxon Keys is known for producing robust red wines, balanced white wines and distilling world-class brandy. This winery is surrounded by 1250 acres of estate vineyards and Jaxon Keys Winery’s visitors center is a lovingly restored Victorian Farmhouse that was built in 1880. Cheeses, crackers and other picnic fare are available for al fresco enjoyment on the picturesque covered veranda.
The delicious diversity of this wine group continues as you enter Sonoma County and start heading south. deLorimier Winery, located in warm Alexander Valley, is known for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Primitivo (a cousin of Zinfandel) and more. The landscaping surrounding the winery is natural and minimalist – native grasses, plants and large local boulders compliment the weathered wood shingles and green roofs of the winery and tasting room. Tables and chairs are scattered all around the picnic areas that surround the buildings.
The tasting room is large and airy, with open-beam ceilings, dyed cement floors and lots of windows to let in the Alexander Valley sunshine. A private tasting room sits just off the main room and is available for use by appointment.
Mazzocco Sonoma Vineyards and Winery is located in warm Dry Creek Valley and is a Zinfandel-lover’s dream. The building that houses the visitor’s center is a tall, rustic, barnlike structure with lots of windows to let in the Sonoma County sunlight. The landscaping surrounding the building is artistically minimal – vineyards are the main focus around the winery.
The picnic area at Mazzocco is one of the best in Sonoma County – several umbrella-studded picnic tables dot the manicured lawn and comfortable groupings of outdoor couches and chairs are carefully arranged around the patio.
Wilson Winery is next, as you head south through the Dry Creek Valley and is a paradise for Zinfandel fanatics. The winery is surrounded by lush, green lawn, which is partially shaded by tall oak trees. A handful of wrought iron picnic tables are artfully placed about the shaded patio, inviting visitors to stay a while and enjoy the gorgeous, sweeping views of the surrounding Dry Creek Valley.
Heading east through the warm Alexander Valley, Soda Rock Winery specializes in Bordeaux varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Zinfandel, Primitivo and Chardonnay. Once inside the large, airy tasting room and lounge, with its exposed brick walls and redwood beams, you almost expect to hear the chink-chink of spurs as cowboys and farmers mosey up to the long antique bar for a drink. A row of comfy barstools are lined along the bar. You’ll want to relax and stay a while.
Heading west, your first stop will be Pezzi King Winery, located by the Russian River, just outside of downtown Healdsburg. Pezzi King is known for crafting outstanding Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon from estate vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. The tasting room is located only a half mile from the Healdsburg Square in the historic Roma Station. There are ten other wineries in this location, so you may make a full day of it at this stop if you wish!
Matrix Winery is located on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley. Because this is a cooler region, Matrix specializes in Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The winery and tasting room are housed in a rustic, barnlike building, surrounded by tasteful landscaping. Oak and redwood trees shade the general area and a wisteria-covered arbor shades the picnic area, inviting visitors to stay and sip a while. The patio’s panoramic view of the Russian River Valley is breathtaking!
St. Anne’s Crossing Winery is the easternmost of the Wilson Artisan Wineries outposts. Located in the warm Sonoma Valley, just outside the sleepy town of Kenwood, St. Anne’s Crossing specializes in Zinfandel, Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The cozy tasting room has a fireplace where you may warm yourself on cool days and a shaded picnic area in back, where you may relax and enjoy a picnic amidst the grapevines.
Visit any or all of these outstanding wineries and tell them, “The Wine Wench® sent me!” I’m sure it will be a delicious adventure! For more information, visit www.wilsonartisanwineries.com.