In today’s heightened awareness toward the environment it isn’t enough to make good wine. It is also important for a winery to be eco-friendly. Imagine how remarkable it would be to combine sustainability with great wine and a fun tasting experience. Sonoma Valley's Deerfield Ranch Winery does just that.
The first thing that you notice upon arriving at the property is the wetlands teeming with birds. They have restored 22 acres as part of the original Kenwood Marsh and they have deeded it to Sonoma County to guarantee that it continues to serve as a wildlife habitat. Giraffe sculptures guard the marsh and the wildlife.
When Deerfield Ranch set out to build a winery they chose to build wine caves, which in addition to offering a great tasting experience for guests, provides significant energy savings in a short period of time. Cooling a winery and keeping wine stored at the right temperature requires a significant amount of energy.They have also installed a bio-reactor in order to recycle and reuse water from wine-making for irrigation purposes.
Wineries typically use lots of water and energy to produce wine. Of course there are many ways to be environmentally conscious: organic or biodynamic farming, recycling, composting, water reuse, and creating your own energy to name only a few. Deerfield Ranch Winery is doing their part to minimize their carbon footprint, a worthy endeavor.
Deerfield Ranch wines are low in histamines and sulfites, the substances that are often linked to headaches. It is safe to say that drinking their wine helps to maintain a clear head. All of these efforts are important but the wine has to be of good quality. I was about to find out if their efforts at being green created a better wine.
Wine tasting is held in the beautiful caves. Guests are seated at individual tables surrounded by art. I was lucky that owner P.J. Rex was available for my tasting. We began with the 2012 Checkerbloom Rose (of Syrah). It was bold yet refreshing and dry rather than sweet, a perfect warm weather wine. The wine is named for the endangered plant species Checkerbloom depicted on the bottle, which grows in only two locations: Kenwood Marsh and Knight’s Valley. When you purchase this wine, proceeds go towards the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society and the marsh restoration where it grows.
Next we tried the 2002 DRX a Meritage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec. This is a vineyard select and barrel select wine aged 42 months in oak and another three years in the bottle resulting in a balanced yet complex wine with rich black fruit flavors.
The 2008 Cove Zinfandel tasted of brambly dark fruit. It is part of their collection of wines grown organically and sustainably, created in partnership with Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS). These wines were named for and crafted with the creators of the Academy Award winning documentary, The Cove which exposed heinous dolphin fishing practices by unscrupulous fishermen. The collection includes three unique, hand-made wines: 2007 Cove Cuvée, 2007 Cove Syrah, and 2008 Cove Zinfandel. Half of all the proceeds from the sale of The Cove Wine Collection are donated to support OPS and their protection of the marine environment.
The 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was a silky Bordeaux blend with hints of blueberries. The final wine in our tasting was the 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel, dry farmed from Dry Creek Valley. It was elegant tasting of dark fruit. Deerfield Ranch has created a win-win, making great wine and being a good steward of the environment, truly something to celebrate.
Details: Deerfield Ranch Winery is located at 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452. They are open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
27th Annual Wine Country Film Festival September 25 – 27, 2013. Deerfield Ranch is hosting the opening night movie in their wine caves. Click here for more information.
Sonoma Valley Crush September 27 – 29, 2013: Get your hands dirty helping with harvest at one of 17 participating Sonoma County Wineries including Deerfield Ranch. Click here for more details.
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About the Author: Karla is a LEED Accredited Professional and the author of several travel columns covering wine, food, horse racing, and exotic car events, as well as undiscovered travel locations. Discover more from over 400 travel articles of places to explore.
©Karla Erovick 2013 article, photos