Sonoma Trip with Geoff and Sabrina

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Sonoma Trip with Geoff and Sabrina 1

Over the weekend, we decided to head up to Sonoma again to use our Sonoma Passport. ( This trip we chose to go to Alexander Valley and try out 4 wineries: White Oak Winery, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Mazzocco and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

We made the trek with our friends Sabrina and Geoff, who let us know that some wineries honor complimentary tastings with a Visa Signature Card. Pretty cool! Let’s try some wine..

Our first stop was White Oak Winery (, whose tasting menu included eight wines, ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay through two reserve red blends, and finishing out with a dessert wine. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc had a bunch of fruit flavors such as peach, lemon, guava, crisp pear and apple. It was pretty fun. Neil thought the 2009 Napa Syrah was nutty, a little tannic, and reminded him of cherry cordials. Then, at the end of the tasting we were given wine filled chocolates with the dessert wine. Yum!

In order to continue a wine filled afternoon, we figured we should have our picnic lunch. The lunch of roast beef, prosciutto, and salmon sandwiches with veggies and cheese was a great way to prepare ourselves for the next place! We were able to eat right next to the vineyard and enjoy the sunny afternoon.

Alexander Valley Vineyards, , was just down the road and offered us the Estate Tasting & Reserve Tasting. The tasting began with a dry Gewürztraminer, that was spicy with nice aromas. They produce a Pinot Noir, which we both enjoyed and decided to purchase for our final Pinot-Vember wine. Their 2007 Big Barrel Syrah scored big with us also because it had the “I want to live in it” smell for Neil and I enjoyed the smooth flavor. Towards the end of the tasting, Scott, our wine guide, gave us a taste of the Cabernet Franc, which wasn’t on the menu, but was very flavorful.

Mazzocco ( was our next stop. The first wine, a 2012 Chardonnay, caught me by surprise because I was totally reminded of Double Bubble bubble gum. ( This was the only white they were pouring for tastings, and the other wines were either Zinfandel or Zinfandel blends. Their wines were mainly from single vineyards and were named for them. Neil’s favorites were from Seaton, Sullivan and West Dry Creek Vineyards. I agreed that they were nice and picked out a prune flavor.

Our final winery of the day was Coppola Winery,, where we tasted wines from their Family Flight. After starting with their Chardonnay, Susan gave us a bonus pour of the Russian River Viognier, nice and fruity. That day they were pouring the Director Cut Pinot, which we enjoyed more than the Coppola Pinot from 11/9. ( Our tasting finished out with the 2012 Votre Sante Chateau Red, that I noticed to be tannic and smooth. Neil found it to be earthy and dry, but kind of boring. We walked around their movie museum for a bit before heading out to dinner.

Another fun day of tasting in Sonoma. The vineyards looked a little different since it was autumn, but still beautiful. We were also excited to be able to notice the different aromas associated with each type of wine. Now we can say, “ smells like merlot, or Pinot, etc”. Our Sonoma Passport expires at the end of the year, maybe we can come back out around Christmas?

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