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  • 4401 Slusser Road
    Windsor, CA 95492
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Life By The Glass

Carefully Curated. Completely Engaging.

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Bottling a Century of Winemaking Expertise


Since Sonoma-Cutrer’s establishment in 1981, only three select individuals have held the revered role of Sonoma-Cutrer’s Director of Winemaking: William Bonetti, Terry Adams and Michael “Mick” Schroeter. Sonoma-Cutrer’s winemakers must have the unique talent of balancing the art of winemaking with the science behind the crafting of our highly-acclaimed wines. Each of our winemakers are innovators in the field, pioneers who have not only established and sustained the uncompromising standards at Sonoma-Cutrer, but also influenced the wine industry at large.

This year’s limited-production Winemaker’s Release held special meaning when we realized our unique opportunity to invite all three of these masters to collaborate on an exclusive offering.

This year, Bonetti, Adams and Schroeter, have come together to craft the second in our Winemaker’s Release series aptly named Legacy. Every year, a handful of the very best barrels are set aside to create Sonoma-Cutrer’s Founders Reserve Chardonnay, our most distinctive Chardonnay. These three winemakers performed the honor of selecting the barrels to produce our most exclusive and historic vintage of this wine that has ever been crafted – Legacy. Founders Reserve Legacy is only the second wine to be produced in our Winemaker’s Release series.

When the winemakers came together for their blending session, the mutual respect shared among them was palpable. As they progressed through selecting the wine, the winemakers tasted and weighed in, discussed adjustments and fine-tuned the blend. Just a few rounds later and all three winemakers set down their glasses and exchanged a knowing glance. Without a word, they knew they had reached a unanimous consensus – this is the one.

We shouldn’t have been surprised by how seamless the collaboration was. After all, these craftsmen set the standards for Sonoma-Cutrer wines and defined the characteristics found in each of our Chardonnays.

Founders Reserve Legacy is the culmination of nearly a century of collective winemaking expertise. Each bottle is infused with a shared devotion to the craft and enduring passion for Sonoma-Cutrer.

Order a bottle of this limited-edition Winemaker’s Release today to own an exclusive piece of Sonoma-Cutrer’s history.

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Trends in Chardonnay


California Chardonnay has traveled a storied journey through the decades, from The Judgment of Paris wine tasting in 1976, when a California Chardonnay beat out four French white Burgundies, to the heavy oak and butter-laden styles of the nineties that led to the unfair backlash dubbed ABC (Anything But Chardonnay).

Throughout all of the fads, from butter bombs and big oak styles to crisp, fruit-forward unoaked varieties, Sonoma-Cutrer has stayed the course. Our unwavering vision has always been the same: produce the best Chardonnay possible by combining Old World craftsmanship with New World innovation.

From the beginning, our terroir-driven Grand Cru approach has married traditional Burgundian winemaking methods with state-of-the-art technologies to produce elegantly structured Chardonnays that are deeply rooted in a sense of place.

So what does that mean, exactly?

For one, it means that barrels used at Sonoma-Cutrer are made of fine French oak that we handpick from forests in the heart of France and then have crafted into barrels at generations-old family-owned cooperages in Burgundy.

It also means that innovation has always been part of the equation. Take, for example, our cellar. Rather than digging into a hillside, we removed an entire hill in order to create the perfect cave-like conditions for aging, then reconstructed the hill around our 20,000-square-foot cellar.

This meticulous approach infuses our wines with subtleties and nuance not always found in Chardonnay. In Sonoma-Cutrer’s early days, when many popular California Chardonnays were anything but complex, this refined style was rather revolutionary.

Today, Chardonnay is finding its way back into the spotlight once again as more winemakers embrace food-friendly styles that balance fruit and oak, much like our own Chardonnays. And whether it’s a trend or more of a movement (though it certainly feels like the latter), the current emphasis on more elegant Chardonnay is one we embrace.

No matter what the future holds for the world’s most popular grape, we’ll be right here making our Chardonnay the way we always have – in our own uniquely Grand Cru style.

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Sonoma-Cutrer Winery Tour and Tasting

Join blogger WearyChef as she details her tour and tasting at the Sonoma-Cutrer winery!

Read more here.

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Summer in Sonoma County

Along with long days, endless sunshine and ideal picnic conditions, the summer months offer a perfect opportunity to celebrate the region’s agricultural bounty.

At the wineries, the grapes are plumping up under the summer sun in anticipation of the fall harvest. Patios and picnic tables countywide invite visitors to sip wine alfresco well into the balmy evenings.

Stock up on picnic fixings at one of many local farmers markets that are in full swing throughout the summer. Browse bins brimming with just-picked fruits and vegetables as you enjoy live music, peruse handcrafted goods and snack on fresh-baked sweets.

Want to get a closer look at where all of that gorgeous produce is coming from? Pick up a free map from the nonprofit Sonoma County Farm Trails and customize an agricultural adventure based on your interests. From family farm tours and fields of lavender to fresh-pressed olive oil and busy honeybees, you’ll be inspired by the county’s offerings.

Do your cravings lean more toward cheese? Hop on the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail to meet local cheesemakers, tour farms and, of course, get your fill of cheese tastings. You can even sign up for a class to learn how to make your own cheese.

Wherever your Wine Country adventures take you this summer, be sure to stop by Sonoma-Cutrer. Enjoy a crisp glass of Chardonnay on the patio and soak up the sweeping views from the newly renovated tasting room. Festive events throughout the summer include Full Moon Croquet featuring food, wine and live entertainment.

We look forward to seeing you in Sonoma this summer!

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Inside the Tasting Experience

This summer, Sonoma-Cutrer opened the doors to newly expanded tasting rooms where a variety of wine tasting experiences are now offered. Whether you’re a longtime Club Cutrer member or a casual visitor who’s new to Sonoma-Cutrer, you can customize your visit to suit your preferences.

The breezy new space brings the picturesque Russian River Valley into the tasting room, with oversized café windows and doors that open onto the lovely terrace overlooking the pristine greens of the croquet court. At the heart of the tasting room stands an elegant island bar. Unique to Sonoma-Cutrer, the marble bar features cropped edges and a chevron pattern that pay homage to the winery’s logo.

Belly up to the bar, grab a spot by the café windows or settle into an umbrella-shaded table on the terrace for a casual tasting that includes a game of croquet. You can also opt for a more in-depth guided tasting that features a flight of four wines. For a more personal experience, make a reservation online for a private hosted tasting in one of the intimate new tasting salons. For the first time, hosted tastings now include a Pinot-only option that showcases the winery’s award-winning Pinot Noirs.

The cozy new salons are also an ideal place for a grand tasting of six of Sonoma-Cutrer’s most exclusive offerings. From limited production single vineyard wines to Founders Reserve offerings from the Winemaker’s Release series, you’ll sample Sonoma-Cutrer’s finest offerings.

Want to extend your experience beyond the tasting room? Go behind-the-scenes at Sonoma-Cutrer with a tour that lets you walk among the prized vines and take a peek into the production area and barrel cellar.

On weekends you can add a culinary element to your wine tasting with the Savor & Share Food Experience. Sample wine, cheese and small bites paired by celebrated Wine Country chef John Ash.

Whether you’ve planned your trip around an in-depth tasting experience or wander in for a sip of Chardonnay, we look forward to sharing a glass with you in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Visit us and discover what makes Sonoma-Cutrer wines unique—and stick around for a quick game of croquet.

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Meet the Leading Ladies of Sonoma-Cutrer

This April, Zidanelia Arcidiacono (better known as “Z”) joined the Sonoma-Cutrer family as Assistant Winemaker of Pinot Noir. As fate would have it, it’s not the first time she has worked with Cara Morrison, Chardonnay Winemaker, and part of the Sonoma-Cutrer family since 2005.

After gaining experience early in their careers by working harvests across the globe, a deeply rooted passion for wine led both women to Sonoma-Cutrer, where their paths first intersected in 2007.

Cara hired Zidanelia as her first Harvest Enologist, a position she created to run a variety of experiments on everything from winemaking techniques to the materials used in processing. Not only was the job a valuable learning experience for Zidanelia, the women formed a professional bond that would last for years to come.

Though Zidanelia had experience in wineries from Argentina to France, Cara was the first female winemaker that she ever worked with—a refreshing collaboration for both women. Zidanelia credits Cara with challenging her, helping her grow and giving her the tools she needed to be successful.

Throughout her years working in the winemaking industry, Cara has seen a trend toward more female winemakers. She recalls some words of encouragement from one of her own early mentors, Susan Lueker, when working her first ever harvest: As the two fellow “cellar rats” carried heavy buckets up the stairs, Susan turned to Cara and said, “We can do anything the guys can do … it just might take us a little longer.”

When it came time to hire someone to head up Sonoma-Cutrer’s expanding Pinot Noir production, Cara immediately thought of Zidanelia. Her experience as Winemaker for Fetzer Reserve Wines and Little Black Dress made her a perfect candidate.

The supportive professional relationship between these two talented winemakers speaks to the spirit of collaboration that defines the Sonoma-Cutrer family. Zidanelia has always been drawn to the winery’s team environment, where the lines aren’t drawn between Pinot Winemaker and Chardonnay Winemaker.

At Sonoma-Cutrer, everyone is involved in each other’s projects—which elevates the end results every time. The benefit of this mutual trust and respect is, quite simply, better wine all around.

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