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Just Over the Hill in Wine Country; Foppiano Vineyards

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Family owned for over 100 years, and now run by the 6th generation, Foppiano Vineyards looks and feels more like a grape farm than a winery. It is homey, welcoming and completely unpretentious. With 160 acres in Russian River, the tasting room may be simple, but their wine is serious.

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“We love Petite Sirah,” is the motto and driving force behind this charming, family-run winery. Petite Sirah is gentically related to Durif, a vitis vinifera grape originally from the south of France. It has since been adopted by America and thrives in Sonoma. Foppiano makes a Lot 96 that is a blend of 75% Petite Sirah, with 15% Zinfandel and 10% Carignan. It is a medium-bodied wine with aromas of almonds, vanilla and red fruit with a clean finish. Foppiano's Estate Petite Sirah has chewy tannins with flavors of dark fruit and chocolate. Foppiano also makes some lovely Pinot Noir using the Dijon clone. It has bright, crisp cherry flavors and some light pepper with a lingering, earthy finish. Their Sauvignon Blanc is refreshing with tastes of pink grapefruit, lime zest and lemon grass.

Foppiano Vineyards is located in Healdsburg. Their tasting room is open from 11 to 5. www.foppiano.com

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