This is just another story of me discovering Sonoma wines. There are just so many — the adventure will never end (that’s a good thing in my book). Balletto is a name I’ve hard around in my world of wine chatter, but have never had the opportunity to taste. So when I found this reasonably priced Chardonnay at the local grocery store, I thought — well, why not?
Located in the heart of downtown Healdsburg is a casual, fun, if not a bit hipster, tasting room: Banshee Wines. It’s basically a Sonoma Valley startup by three friends from various sectors of the wine industry. Well, their collective knowledge has cultivated some of the most notable new wines — new wines with an Old World refinement. Banshee Wines Marine Layer Pinot Noir displays such maturity, speaking exclusively of the vineyards’ time and place in Sonoma, that you’d think the winemaker had decades of traditional training.
During my last Sonoma wine country trip, I stayed right in the heart of downtown Healdsburg. With loads of restaurants, tasting rooms, and boutique shops, it’s an absolute delight for all the senses. But I’m telling you right now, if I lived in town, Banshee would be my hangout spot. And that seems to be the general consensus at this quirky, casual, albeit a bit hipster, tasting room and lounge in downtown Healdsburg.
And what can you expect from winemaker Noah Dorrance? Well today I bring you a Sonoma County Pinot Noir that fits right in with the cool-kid vibe of Banshee.
During my latest tour of Sonoma County wine country, I got a sneak peek at the new winery and tasting room for Flanagan Wines. They’re a boutique business that is certainly booming at the moment. After tasting a full line-up of their current releases, I can say from experience that this success is absolutely due to the fact that each bottle contains a specific vineyard’s story.
Once Upon A Time, there was a Merlot from Bennet Valley Vineyard…
I feel like Kunde is one of those big family names that has now become synonymous with Sonoma County wines. And it’s no wonder, since the Kunde’s have been harvesting grapes in the area for over a century. But despite their well-known name and prosperity, the Kunde Family Winery is still, in fact, a family winery, run by 4th and 5th generation Kundes. And as such, each wine is an estate-grown and 100% sustainably farmed. Maybe that’s why this seemingly simple Chardonnay provides not just depth of flavors, but depth of soul.