Tag Archives: Russian River Valley

Voyager Estate Masterclass 2013

For the fifth year in a row, Margaret River producer Voyager Estate hosted a masterclass in Melbourne and other Australian cities to benchmark new releases of some of their wines. This was my second time at this event; one of my first entries on this blog spoke about the first time back in September of 2011, just before I left for my trip. The exercise is designed to show sommeliers, buyers and media that Voyager is very confident about the quality of their wine against exceptional examples from around the world. Showing even more hubris, they do this against their three key wines; chardonnay, shiraz and a cabernet/merlot blend. That’s serious chutzpah.

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This is more like it (Chalk Hill & Russian River Valley, California)

Driving up through the Sonoma Valley towards Santa Rosa, it was good to be out of the Napa Valley. Not that it wasn’t nice, it’s just wall to wall vines and a winery every 250m. Being out in Carneros and Sonoma Valley was a return to terroir, with actual site selection for planting and smaller, more understated wineries and tasting rooms. It isn’t until you continue North into Sonoma County you realise how beautiful this part of California is, and although it is as busy as Napa from a tourism perspective, the roads aren’t chock-a-block with cars as the region is more spread out, with larger sub-regions. The sub-regions of Sonoma are the Russian River Valley (home of pinot noir and chardonnay), Dry Creek Valley (home of zinfandel and petite sirah), and Chalk Hill and Alexander Valley (home of everything else).

Rodney Strong Vineyards

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Filed under Winery Visits