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  • 4401 Slusser Road
    Windsor, CA 95492
  • Open Daily 10am - 4pm
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Life By The Glass

Carefully Curated. Completely Engaging.

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Orange and Ginger Soup

Recipes

This brightly colored soup is delicious either hot or chilled.  You can punch up any of the flavor elements to your taste.

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Focus on Chardonnay

Sonoma-Cutrer  Leads Three Decades Reunion of “Focus on Chardonnay”

The World’s Finest Old World and New World Chardonnay Producers Come Together to Share Winemaking Expertise During Finale Reunion

Four times over the past three decades, an intimate group of French and American winemaking masters have come together to divulge in the tradition, expertise and secrecy of all-things-Chardonnay. Gathering in Meursault, the quaint village in the heart of France’s Burgundy region, 14 of the world’s finest Chardonnay producers traveled near and far to join the culmination of “Focus on Chardonnay.” The highly regarded event paid homage to decades of convention and camaraderie as the art of Old World and New World winemaking united once again.

A tradition since 1986, the invitation-only event takes place at a different winery each year, where French and California winemakers participate in various meetings, seminars and activities focused on issues that impact the winemaking industry, from climate change to vineyard terroir and from production methods to winemaking culture. As it has for all previous Focus on Chardonnay events, Sonoma-Cutrer,  known for producing world-class, handcrafted Chardonnay in the esteemed Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, was the ‘guest host’ of the finale reunion. The events took place at Domaine Matrot, one of the oldest estate-bottled wine producers in Burgundy, with seven other French winemakers and six California winemakers in attendance.

Sonoma-Cutrer has played an important role at each Focus on Chardonnay reunion, as it is one of the few California wine producers to practice both Old World and New World winemaking methods. Chardonnay is a resilient grape varietal grown in many regions around the world; Old World Chardonnay refers to wines that are typically produced in the classic grape-growing regions of Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc.) and employ meticulous, time honored and terroir-focused production techniques. New World wines are produced virtually everywhere else, often employing innovative vineyard and winemaking practices with a fruit-forward lens. A leader in premium California winemaking, Sonoma-Cutrer’s commitment to ‘Grand Cru’ methods of traditional Burgundian winemaking are paired with California innovation to provide a perspective that is unique among the world’s acclaimed wineries.

This year, Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaking Director Mick Schroeter focused on the brand’s acclaimed Les Pierres Vineyard, its bold movement into screwcap testing and closures, and a special tasting of three of its library wines.

The most highly anticipated portion of the Focus on Chardonnay event was the time capsule wine tasting. After 15 years locked in a temperature-controlled vault at Sonoma-Cutrer, the group of winemakers tasted the collection of storied 2000 vintages, rediscovering a past era of Chardonnay. The aging wine labels and closures told a story of time, both in visual and liquid form. Sonoma-Cutrer’s V’00 Les Pierres Chardonnay offered surprisingly delightful lemon and lime aromas balanced with the vineyard’s classic minerality, bright acidity, creamy mouthfeel and vibrant citrus fruits on the palate.

Events concluded with a celebratory dinner, where guests  tasted various Chardonnay offerings alongside exquisite French dishes, shared personal stories, and above all, enjoyed one another’s company.

“I felt this incredible sense of camaraderie between all of us, in that over the course of the years of Focus on Chardonnay, we all have the same goal – producing great Chardonnay,” said Sonoma Cutrer Winemaking Director Mick Schroeter. “It’s not a competitiveness, but rather each of us respecting our own terroir, and the creation of the wines giving us a sense of place.”

As the noble French Philosopher of Taste and Moderator of Focus on Chardonnay Jacques Puisais said, “You can’t talk about the wine, the wine talks to youthe wine does not talk to your neighbor, it talks to you.”

A full list of attendees include:

  1. Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, Russian River Valley
  2. Ramey Wine Cellars, Russian River Valley
  3. Peter Michael and Morlet Family, Knights Valley, Oakville
  4. Grgich Hills Cellar, Napa Valley
  5. Patz & Hall, Sonoma Coast
  6. Sanford, Sta. Rita Hills
  7. Chateau de Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse
  8. Domaine Louis Carillon et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet
  9. Domaine Bernard Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet
  10. Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet
  11. Pierre Morey and Morey-Blanc, Meursault
  12. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Vosne-Romanee
  13. Domanie Daniel-Etienne Defaix, Chablis
  14. Domaine Matrot, Meursault – 2017 Host  
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Grilled Lamb Pork Chops with Pomegranate Molasses and White Beans

Pomegranate molasses is readily available in Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. Pomegranate molasses, also referred to as pomegranate syrup, is a tart-sweet reduction of pomegranate juice with the consistency of maple syrup. Used in the cuisines of the Middle East, India, Armenia, and Georgia, pomegranate molasses varies in taste, color, and viscosity by region.

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Bucatini All’ Amatriciana

Named after a town in central Italy outside of Rome, Amatrice was in the news in August 2016 for a devastating earthquake that leveled this beautiful old village famous for its iconic pasta sauce al’ Amatrician. Many restaurants and chefs around the world have been serving this dish since then as a way of fundraising for earthquake victims. It’s a simple preparation but with amazing flavor. I’m using bucatini here, a long pasta with a hole in the middle, but spaghetti or any other pasta that you like works fine.

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Slow Cooked Salmon with Red Wine Sauce

Baking salmon at a low temperature ensures that the fish will be very moist since most of the delicious oils and moisture aren’t lost.

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Sea Scallops with Brown Butter, Capers, and Lemon

This recipe depends on getting the best scallops available. Diver scallops (which are also known as dry pack) are those that are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. As a result the texture is meatier and they sear or grill beautifully, as opposed to those that have been soaking in a brine solution which is usually laced with tripolyphosphate and which encourages the scallop the soak up the water.

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Gain access to rare vintages, the Winemaker's Release Collection, VIP events and more! Members receive up to 30% off all wine purchases.

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Sonoma-Cutrer’s top priority is always to protect the health and wellness of our guests and employees. Our team has been actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, especially as it relates to Sonoma County, CA. We have decided to suspend all tours and tastings at Sonoma-Cutrer beginning March 14, 2020.

As we all navigate through this dynamic situation, our goal is to further minimize risk to our valued guests, employees and the potential spread of the virus to their families and communities. While we expect this disruption to our tours and tastings to be temporary, our closure will remain in place until this health emergency subsides and officials declare it safe to resume normal activity. 

In the meantime, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. You may contact our tasting room at (707) 237-3489 or [email protected]. For wine club questions, please call (707) 237-3498 or email [email protected]. We will be checking our phone messages and emails daily.

Additionally, you may find information as it pertains specifically to Sonoma County, CA at sonomacounty.com/coronavirus.

Exclusive Offer

Russian River Ranches 4-Pack
$99 & Shipping Included*
Code: SipChard

Discover Sonoma-Cutrer’s iconic Russian River Ranches Chardonnay with our signature citrus acidity and a nicely balanced long, flavorful finish.

*Valid only on this 4-bottle set of 750ml Sonoma-Cutrer wines using the link provided.  No substitutions or exceptions. Ground shipping only. Excludes HI and AK. State shipping laws apply. Offer valid August 1-31, 2020.  Excludes other promotional offers. Cannot be combined with club member discounts Limit one 4-pack per order.

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