By Alexa Chipman April 9, 2017
If you are tired of seeing pinot noir and chardonnay as wine tasting options, and are looking for original varietals like Tempranillo, malbec or viognier right here in Sonoma County, Imagery Estate is the place to be. The atmosphere is casual and fun, with couples laughing over games in the large, beautiful picnic area surrounded by vineyards and an orchard, and lively hosts ready to converse during a wine tasting flight. It is family friendly—there were well behaved children enjoying the sunny lawn areas while I was there, and a festive feel to the grounds.
Members of their wine club have access to a sleek modern patio area and private tasting room, which is usually crowded with Imagery Estate enthusiasts eager to try the latest offerings. Whenever I stop by, there is an animated buzz to the property that puts a spring in my step; their combination of cottage garden, cheerful creekside lawn, and guests ready to have a great time produces an atmosphere that is euphoric. When I am exhausted after a long day, ten minutes on the property has me running around playing cornhole and laughing with friends, my burdens lifted. During the summer, they have wood fired pizza on Sundays.
Their regular wine tasting is $15. There is also a seated tasting available at certain times during the day, with reservation, but it is much more fun to squeeze in at the wine bar and join the conversations.
Muscat Canelli 2016
This delightful white wine was impressive enough for me to purchase several bottles, which I was privileged to have signed by the label artist, who was present that weekend—Colin Talcroft, a local monoprint collage artist from Santa Rosa. The aroma is light of fresh cut grass followed by a sharp citrus taste with early blossom floral finish that lingers on the palette. It flows well, without sweet syrupy taste.
Aleatico Rosé 2016
Based on the Italian grape, it has a subtle strawberry and raspberry aroma. The flavor is pleasantly soft and dry, slightly bitter, and rather insipid for a rosé. It is a quiet wine, and would be lovely with lighter food or fish courses.
From their Russian River vineyard off Occidental Road, it has an intense blood orange aroma, luscious cheddar flavor and after notes of hibiscus for a pleasant finish.
Tempranillo Upper Ridge 2014
This is a wine of the deep redwoods, filled with a woody aroma, satisfying wash of bark and dark berries in the flavor, and bite of ashes and campfire smoke. It is a rich, powerful red wine that I would recommend on its own.
As a member of the wine club, I have tried a wide range of their offerings, from a heady barbera to White Burgundy, and there is a consistency to them that I appreciate. You can depend on Imagery’s club shipments to have a variety of intriguing and delicious wines. With an energetic, welcoming environment, they are a must visit winery for anyone wine tasting in Sonoma County.