Category — Winery Visits
B.R. Cohn Winery
Located right on highway 12 in the Sonoma Valley (between the city of Sonoma and Santa Rosa) B.R. Cohn epitomizes the old adage about “wine, women, and song…” It was founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn, long time manager of the Doobie Brothers and a driving force in the west coast music industry. They focus on ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon but also produce Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Port.
Their tasting room is located in an expanded early American style house; which had originally been a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop. It’s open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. (Tours are available by appointment only!) The interior is dominated by a magnificent “L” shaped mahogany bar and presided over by a group of attractive, friendly wine devotees. Outside, there’s a patio and picnic area with stunning views of the Olive Hill Estate Vineyard (from which they produce our personal favorite of their “cabs). They also make and sell world-class olive oils and flavored vinegars at the winery.
Scattered around the grounds are wonderfully eclectic pieces of sculpture created by Patrick Amoit and inspired by Bruce’s vintage car collection. Behind the tasting room there’s a four thousand seat amphitheater built for musical events; the proceeds of which generally benefit children’s charities and youth organizations. Two of the most popular are the “Charity Car Classic” held in July and the “Fall Music Festival” which takes place in early October. Both have featured such standout music performers as the Doobie Brothers (themselves), Huey Lewis and the News, Willie Nelson, Three Dog Nite, Los Lobos and Taj Mahal (just 2 name a few) and coming in early October, Journey and the Doobies entertain over the weekend in the 23rd annual BR Cohn Charity Event. Yea to Bruce….
If you attend one of their special events, you’ll be blown away by the highly charged yet still laid back party atmosphere. But even if you can’t attend one of the “fests”, be sure to stop by just to try the wines. You won’t be disappointed with them either!
B.R. Cohn Winery
15000 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, Ca
800-330-4064 ext. 124
September 1, 2009 View comments
“Grigich” as it is most commonly known is located right on highway 29 in Rutherford. CA; the heart of the Napa Valley. It was founded in 1977 when Miljenko (Mike) Grgich partnered with the Hills Brothers coffee family. Prior to that Mike had gained international acclaim when (as the wine maker at Chateau Montelena) his 1973 chardonnay was chosen over all the fabled white burgundies of France as the “finest white wine in the world” at the now famous Paris Tasting Competition of 1976. In 2008, Mike celebrated his 50th harvest in the Napa Valley and was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame.
In addition to a world class chardonnay, the winery also produces a crisp Fume Blanc, spicy Zinfandel, complex Cabernet Sauvignon, lush Merlot and a very limited production dessert wine called “Violetta”. It’s named for Mike’s daughter, Violet, who now along with his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, oversee the wine making and run the “day to day” operations. They now own all their own vineyards and label each wine as “Estate Grown” thus guaranteeing a steady supply of fruit and consistently high quality.
Their tasting room has been called one of the “most personable” ones in the Napa Valley and really consists of two separate facilities. At the larger of the two, for a nominal charge you can sample five of their current releases. Or, for a higher fee, you can enter their plush “wine library” and taste three of their special selection top end wines. The facility is open everyday except for major holidays from 9:30 to 4:30. Barrel tastings are held every Friday except during harvest; but then, visitors can “stomp” grapes (if they’d like). The Napa Valley Wine Train also makes a stop at Grgich and passengers are treated to a special tour and tasting.
Grgich Hills is definitely a “must see” in the Napa Valley!!!
Grgich Hills Estate Winery
1829 St. Helena Hywy
May 1, 2009 View comments