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Life By The Glass

Carefully Curated. Completely Engaging.

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Sonoma-Cutrer’s 40 Year Legacy

California pioneer Sonoma-Cutrer celebrates 40 years of history in the heart of the region’s Russian River Valley this year. For four decades, Sonoma-Cutrer has brought together passionate, imaginative talent whose winemaking honors Burgundian traditions while highlighting California ingenuity. 

“I could not be more proud and humbled to be part of Sonoma-Cutrer. I am honored to carry the brand’s storied legacy and inspired by the great winemakers before me to maintain the consistency of style through its 40 years,” said Mick Schroeter, Sonoma-Cutrer Head Winemaking Director. 

Winery highlights showcasing its Burgundian tradition and California innovation, past and present, include: 

One singular focus: One of the first wineries in the US to embrace single variety – Sonoma-Cutrer was founded to be singularly focused on producing consistently high-quality Chardonnay — and only Chardonnay.

After perfecting Chardonnay, time for Pinot Noir: Years later and in keeping with Burgundian winemaking traditions, Sonoma-Cutrer released its first Pinot Noir in 2002.

Six unique vineyards: The Cutrer, Les Pierres, Vine Hill, Owsley Ranch, Shiloh and Kent. Each offers a unique terroir of rock, ash, nutrients, and moisture levels.

Grand Cru Barrels: Since the early 1990s, Sonoma-Cutrer has partnered with the Gauthier family to purchase and mill wood in France, as well as coopering partners, Remond and Rousseau.

Women at the Helm: Today, at Sonoma-Cutrer, women not only produce first-class wines, they also manage many aspects of the vineyards and the winery. 

Sustainability Matters: A leader in the region’s sustainability efforts, the “Certified Sustainable” stamp on each label reflects the winery’s long-term commitment to adopting environmentally-friendly measures.

Consistency Above All Else: During Sonoma-Cutrer’s 40-year history, there have only been three Directors of Winemaking: Bill Bonetti (1981-1990), Terry Adams (1991-2010) and Mick Schroeter (2010-present).

 

This year’s Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker’s Release, the 40th Anniversary Chardonnay, represents a historic collaboration between winemakers past (Bonetti and Adams) and present (Schroeter and Morrison). The blend pays tribute to the winery’s mastery of the single grape varietal and arrives in May 2021. 

“Bill, Terry, Mick and I knew how unusual it was to collaborate with a small group of winemakers whose singular focus was or still is making the best Chardonnay,” said Chardonnay Winemaker Cara Morrison. “It was an unforgettable experience that cannot be replicated, which makes it an honor to dedicate this blend to Bill Bonetti for his Chardonnay vision that we will carry on. We look forward to sharing this incredible wine come spring.”

#40YearsOfCutrer

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The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Wins at the 2021 North Coast Wine Challenge

Sonoma-Cutrer was awarded Best of Show Red Wine, out of over 600 wines in the category, for the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir at the 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge.

Sonoma-Cutrer has been making Russian River Valley Pinot Noir since 2004, yet it is still considered to be the winery’s “best kept secret.”  All four of our Pinot Noir  wines are produced in our separate Pinot Barn winery on the property in a very delicate and labor intensive winemaking process.

The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a true classic Russian River Pinot Noir, the wine expresses aromas and flavors of lush red and black berry fruit. As you swirl the wine in your glass, you will open up scents of vanilla, baking spice, licorice, dark chocolate and black tea with just a hint of earth. On the palate, you will find the wine to be elegantly structured with fine grain tannins that add to its intensity. Sumptuous black cherry flavors mingle with the balanced acidity to make this a deliciously enjoyable Pinot Noir.

 

“While Mick was telling me the good news, I couldn’t help but feel this great joy and began to think of all the people who during that harvest were working hard to make the best Pinot Noir; and that’s what we say and do every single harvest! I feel privileged and happy to have such an excellent and dedicated team and of course great quality grapes.”

Zidanelia Arcidiacono, Pinot Noir Winemaker

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Sonoma-Cutrer’s Sustainability Story

Winemaking

Sustainability is an integral part of life at Sonoma-Cutrer. Watch our winemakers discuss our ongoing initiatives that led to our winery being designated as a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

 

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The 2014 Grand Cuvée – Best of the Best – 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge

 

Sonoma-Cutrer is well-known for Chardonnays, but our winemakers are always exploring artistic and innovative ways to showcase the unique terroir of our Russian River Valley. Recently, two of our varietals made big news in California’s wine world.

 

Both the 2014 Russian River Valley Grand Cuvée and the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir were awarded exceptional honors in the 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge. 

 

The 2014 Russian River Valley Grand Cuvée was awarded Best of Show Sparkling, Best of Sonoma County AND the top prize at the competition – The Best of the Best. Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvée is the first sparkling wine in the history of The Press Democrat’s North Coast Wine Challenge to be awarded this top prize. 

 

The Grand Cuvée truly highlights the artistry and innovation of our winemakers, and the unique terroir of our vineyards. This wine was first introduced as a part of Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker’s Release Program. Each year, Sonoma-Cutrer introduces a new limited production wine that focuses on a new offering with a unique story as part of the program. When the decision was made to introduce a sparkling focused on Sonoma-Cutrer’s two varietals – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,   our winemakers consulted with Sonoma County’s premier sparkling house, Korbel.  The Sonoma-Cutrer team then proceeded with making their own unique version of sparkling.

 

The Sonoma-Cutrer winemakers held back some cases of the original release so they could experiment with a Late Disgorge version. This wine was allowed to age on the lees for an additional year. It was disgorged in May 2019, after almost four and a half years en tirage at the winery. The wine was then bottle aged an additional three months prior to release. 

 

This Our 2014 sparkling wine is delicate; fine beads rise up through your glass as the wine is poured. Fragrant aromas of red apple and pear are complemented with hints of hazelnut, brioche bread, mineral, and Meyer lemon notes. On the palate, apple fruit, nut, and light strawberry flavors are balanced with Sonoma-Cutrer’s signature acidity. The additional lees aging has added a beautiful layer of richness and complexity to the overall palate structure. The wine is only available for sale in the winery tasting room or at sonomacutrer.com.

 

Sonoma-Cutrer was also awarded Best of Show Red Wine, out of over 600 wines in the category, for the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

 

Sonoma-Cutrer has been making Russian River Valley Pinot Noir since 2004, yet it is still considered to be the winery’s “best kept secret.”  All four of our Pinot Noir  wines are produced in our separate Pinot Barn winery on the property in a very delicate and labor intensive winemaking process.

 

The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a true classic Russian River Pinot Noir, the wine expresses aromas and flavors of lush red and black berry fruit. As you swirl the wine in your glass, you will open up scents of vanilla, baking spice, licorice, dark chocolate and black tea with just a hint of earth. On the palate, you will find the wine to be elegantly structured with fine grain tannins that add to its intensity. Sumptuous black cherry flavors mingle with the balanced acidity to make this a deliciously enjoyable Pinot Noir. 

 

“The cool thing in this year’s competition is that no one has taken two sweepstakes awards before. I couldn’t swipe the smile off my face. It’s so wonderful to win locally and there’s nothing better than winning in your own backyard.” 

Mick Schroeter, Winemaking Director

 

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“I absolutely love this (Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvee) Sparkling wine and now I know many people agree!  What an honor to receive such praise from our respected peers, especially with our first sparkling wine. Let the bubbles flow. 

At Sonoma-Cutrer we say, ‘do one thing and do it very well.’ We first only made Chardonnay until we felt we mastered the style, then after 20 years we started making a Pinot Noir and now we have stepped out to make a little Sparkling wine. What wonderful news from our peers that our Pinot Noir and Sparkling are loved as much as our Chardonnays.”

Cara Morrison, Chardonnay Winemaker

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Chicken Piccata

Recipes

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Pasta with Salmon Caviar

Recipes

4 main or 6 first-course servings.

 

Salmon or trout roe is delicious and much more affordable than sturgeon caviar.  It adds a delicate crunch to this luxurious pasta dish.  The Rosé of Pinot Noir would be a beautiful visual and flavor match.

 

1-pound bucatini or other long pasta such as spaghetti

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 cup crème fraiche plus a little extra for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dried)

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into 1/2-inch ribbons

4 ounces salmon caviar 

1/4 cup chopped chives

 

  1. Bring a large pot of salter water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat.
  3. When the foam subsides, add the minced shallot, and cook over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, stirring.
  4. Add the crème fraîche, parsley and tarragon. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and season to your taste with pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and toss well. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the smoked salmon and three-fourths of the caviar and toss gently.
  7. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with the remaining caviar, a little crème fraiche and chopped chives.

 

 

Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash: chefjohnash.com

 

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July 12th – July 25th*
Pair the bold, deep spice notes of the 2018 Owsley Pinot Noir with sweet, fresh milk flavors of the Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese and the rich, creamy 2019 The Cutrer Chardonnay with the salted caramel finish of the Point Reyes Bay Blue Cheese.

*Ground shipping only. Not valid for HI and AK. State ship laws apply. Valid only on the Red, White and Blue Set. Wine and cheese will arrive separately. Cheese will be shipped directly from Point Reyes.

Exclusive Offer for PressDemocrat© Readers!

Best of Show Red Wine Winner ~ 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge

2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

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Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Case

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*Case (12-bottle) offer pricing is$84, plus shipping included. State shipping laws apply. See site for details. Offer expires July 31, 2021. Excludes club member pricing. Only valid on Russian River Valley Pinot Noir case (12-bottle) purchases. Excluded HI and AK.

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