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  • (707) 237-3489
  • 4401 Slusser Road
    Windsor, CA 95492
  • Open Daily 10am - 4pm
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Why Chardonnay?

For over thirty years, Sonoma-Cutrer has been dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in our wines, specifically Chardonnays. Behind this almost singular focus is a story about serendipity, place and the pursuit of perfection.

In the early 1970s, after sampling a particularly memorable Bordeaux at an auction in Paris, Sonoma-Cutrer’s founder returned to America with a mission: to produce a wine that was Old World in its quality and elegance, yet thoroughly California in its expression. This pursuit ultimately would help usher in an era of world-class California Chardonnays. First, however, he had to find the right setting.

At the time, vineyard property was expensive in Sonoma Valley, where Cabernet grapes reigned supreme. Planted on the only piece of affordable property he could find (part of which was rock quarry), the first year’s Cabernet vines failed spectacularly, falling prey to the foggy, cool microclimate. Though disastrous for Cabernet, the climate, the founder would soon discover, was a perfect match for Chardonnay, making Sonoma-Cutrer one of the earliest producers of Chardonnay fruit in the Russian River Valley.

An admirer of the rigorous craftsmanship that defined Old World methods of winemaking and realizing that grape growing was a much more complicated undertaking than he had initially imagined, the founder decided focus only on a single varietal until he reached what he considered to be perfection. What began as a strategic decision to focus on Chardonnay gradually consolidated into an unwavering commitment to and ongoing love affair with the often underestimated varietal.

Known as the ubiquitous grape because it’s relatively easy to grow (it’s the #1 most produced grape in the world), California Chardonnay, though vastly produced, has not historically been a particularly diverse wine, with most flavor profiles fulfilling the ‘bold, buttery, oaky’ stereotype. From our earliest days, however, Sonoma-Cutrer’s Old World winemaking techniques and our Grand Cru philosophy to winemaking- combined with the microclimates of our vineyards have enabled us to present a different view of Chardonnay to the world, revealing the world’s most commonplace grape to be capable of surprising range and nuance.

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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.

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