There are so many examples of true family operated wineries producing fantastic small-lot masterpieces that they could fill an entire book. But when it comes down to actually paying them a visit, it’s become another story.
The current state of touring these truly family-run wineries has been steadily trending from what was once “just drop by” to what is now “we have an outlet in town, taste it there”. Needless to say, this situation has become somewhat frustrating to those of us who dig a more personal wine buying experience.
Of course, there are always compromises. The trick is to find small family-run wineries that feature small tasting rooms on the property. Granted, they have to be large enough to be able to finance a tasting facility and still small enough to offer limited production wines. This limits the options quite a bit.
But the search is worth it. In addition to offering a small-venue personal tasting experience, there is also the potential for distinctive flavors available from special vineyard blocks tucked away in spots skipped over by high volume producers. Adding this in makes the list that much smaller…
Pile on in a desire for affordable wines and things get even more limited. But one gem who has pulled this off year after year is Field Stone Winery.
Maybe it’s their underlying philosophy, or simply the way it worked out, but Field Stone has kept the same tasting room ambience, wonderful variety of wines, and great prices for at least the past 7 or so years. They are a welcome stop on Highway 128, right on the border between Alexander Valley and Knights Valley with small sign out by the road.
The tasting room is right on the front part of the barrel room in a partially underground building that’s nicely tucked away in the surrounding vineyard property. It all says, “slow down, enjoy the country, and experience new flavors”.
Examples of distinctive character can be found in their Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Sangiovese, and Petite Syrah. The list goes on, but these are sure bets, going from lightly refreshing right on to tooth-staining depth.
Good news for Arizona buyers: They ship here anytime! Just get on the web page or call. They even have a “Zonie” or two on staff who understand what our hot weather does to wine and will arrange deliveries accordingly. Salute!