Just off the picturesque Dry Creek Road outside of Healdsburg is a winery that is the pride of Reno. Don and Rhonda Carano are both from Reno with continued vested interest in the city as owners of the Eldorado Hotel. They are also the founders of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery.
Rhonda's love for gardens is manifested as a warm and stunning welcome to visitors. The paths through the gardens are irresistable and make the first glipse of the Chateau on the hill worth the delayed anticipation. Ferrari-Carano is one of the most spectacular wineries in Sonoma County in both landscape and architecture. The experience can only be outdone by a visit to the Loire Valley. But rather than Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, the varietals are more Bordeaux, Burgundian and Tuscan.
The Classic tasting includes a Sauvignon Blanc as a Fume, that is, oaked. Its aromas are tart apple and green grass with hints of vanilla. The Merlot is lush with woody, cherry-berry aromas. The Pinot Grigio is both earthy and mineraly. The Siena is a beautiful blend of 65% Sangiovese with some Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is well integrated with aromas of earth, oak and tangy cherries. They make a popular dessert wine that is a chocolate-infused Zinfandel. It really does taste like a chocolate covered cherry with a dusting of cocoa.
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery tasting room is open daily from 10am to 5pm. They are located at 8761 Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg. www.ferrari-carano.com