It all started in January 2018. A friend and I attended the WineRoad’s Winter Wineland event. To this day it is still one of my favorite passport events. Due to the time of year, the crowds seem smaller, the attendees seem to be more focused on the wine than a social outing, and it’s nice to escape the snow at home.
It was on this trip that my friend wanted to specifically explore wineries in the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley. At the time the Russian River Valley – and all of northern Sonoma County was completely new to me. It was an area I had wanted to visit for a few years due to my love of Pinot Noir. But I became obsessed with this little itty bitty AVA almost immediately and it was because of a single bottle of wine – the 2013 Sedition by Jigar. I still remember that first sip. We looked at each other and knew we were experiencing something very special. Some of this wine needed to go home with us – even at a $75/bottle price tag. Because of the event, they were offering some amazing deals on the wine so we took home a case – and almost immediately regretted not getting a case for each of us!
Back at home I began researching and stalking the wineries in the Green Valley on my own. I found that my local wine shop carried Dutton-Goldfield’s 2014 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir. It was just as magical. It took me an entire year to get over to the Dutton-Goldfield tasting room where my obsession grew. I now had an instant appreciation for small production, single vineyard pinot noirs – especially those from the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley.
On my next visit, I got a lot more strategic. I mapped out a few more wineries and made appointments. Most of these guys are so small that you don’t just walk into them. It takes a bit more work and planning and coordination, but it’s worth it!
Some of my favorite Green Valley wineries include:
Patz & Hall (their Chenoweth Vineyard Pinot rocks my world which is where the grapes come from for the Sedition – no wonder I like it)