This weeks’ post is about an awesome tasting room just off the Sonoma plaza called Three Sticks. The tasting room is actually housed within the historical Adobe building and provides several great areas for tastings. Three Sticks is owned by Bill Price who is a pioneer in the industry and owns several wineries and vineyards inclusive of the acclaimed, previously reviewed Durell vineyard (Fun fact: His ex-wife owns Dunstan, home to the harvest party we attended last month). The winemaker, Bob Cabral, is a legend in his own right having just left a long tenure with Williams Selyem where he made his mark crafting exquisite, highly rated wines. How Bill stole him away from WS is a mystery, but good work man!
The Adobe space is amazing and fairly non-descript on the exterior. Walking up to the old building there isn’t much in the way of signage, but if you look closely enough, you will see a small plaque signaling that you have arrived. Head through the front door and the friendly staff will escort you to your tasting venue.
There are several different venues for tasting. Inside the main building is a somewhat communal tasting table and the back building has a beautiful large table for private library tastings. All of the indoor areas are incredibly decorated with amazing furnishings that are both exotic and classic Sonoma at the same time. My favorite venue, however, is the courtyard area. This area is sprinkled with foliage, fountains and great little couch/table/chair settings. There is even a fire pit for those cooler Sonoma days. Inside or outside? You decide!
This trip we decided on the courtyard tasting, but on our first visit, my wife, brother in law and I chose the library tasting in the back building which consisted of a tasting through 8-10 wines ranging in age from 2-15 years. A truly unique experience complete with charcuterie plate and surprise bottlings not on the list. Oh and its family friendly! My son really enjoyed the fountain and fire pits outside and thank god for that as the tasting could have taken a turn for the worse if not for those distractions. Imagine Godzilla stomping on those skyscrapers, but this would be a toddler kicking over wine bottles and trashing thousand dollar lamps.
Ok, back to Three Sticks…The next choice you have to make is whether you would like to do a full tasting or simply sit back, relax and order a bottle or two from their list. We chose the latter. Once seated the staffs brings you water and a menu of todays’ available wines. This place is known for its Pinot and Chardonnay so we had to try some of the specialties. We started with the 2014 Gap’s Crown vineyard Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. This was the perfect starter wine as it is light, yet well balanced and structured. The fresh, ripe fruit mouth on this wine was a perfect compliment to the heat of the Sonoma afternoon.
We then jumped to the Durell. If you have read my previous posts then you know that I love me some Durell and this wine was no exception! The 2013 expression from this vineyard is full bodied, structured, rich and fruit forward. Darker to the eye than the Gap’s Crown and much more complex, in my opinion. You can generally tell a Durell Pinot and this one had all the dead giveaway characteristics. Just a fabulous wine from this iconic property.
What a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. I hope you all get the chance the next time you head to the Sonoma area. Please note that the tasting room is appointment only so be sure to call ahead as they do book up. Luckily, my wife and I were visiting Sonoma with some friends of ours who are members so we got preferential treatment with booking the appointment, etc. Thanks Marc and Allison! Cheers.