A Wine Adventure

Arrowood Vineyards & Winery
Glen Ellen, California

When Richard Arrowood and his wife and business partner Alis opened Arrowood Vineyards & Winery in 1987, Richard wasn't ready to quit his day job. After all, he was working as wine master at Ch�teau St. Jean Winery, a position he had held since the winery's beginning. Richard and Alis built a picturesque winemaking facility in the style of a New England farmhouse on a hillside just south of Glen Ellen. Alis ran the new winery while Richard fulfilled his obligation to Ch�teau St. Jean. In 1990, Richard was able to put all his energy into their shared enterprise.

Richard first intended to focus solely on reserve-quality Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. But his adventurous spirit, along with a dedication to crafting wines from Sonoma County's finest vineyards, led him to expand his portfolio to include limited quantities of Merlot, Viognier, Pinot Blanc, Late Harvest White Riesling, Malbec, Syrah, Gew�rztraminer, Ros�, and a few special reserve wines.

Arrowood wines are produced using grapes sourced exclusively from Sonoma County. Richard uses a "non-interventional" approach, doing as little as possible to the wine and simply enhancing what nature provides. He judiciously applies oak aging where needed. His goal is to make wines that speak to the flavors of Sonoma County's diverse vineyards.

Judging from the press these wines have received, he has succeeded. Wine critic Robert Parker Jr. bestowed 93 points on the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard, and 95 points on the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, R�serve Sp�ciale. He also called the 2004 Syrah, Russian River Valley, Saralee's Vineyard, "difficult to resist" and awarded it 91 points in his Wine Advocate magazine.

A decade ago, Richard and Alis added a bright, cheerful Hospitality House and Visitors Center to complement the original winery building. The tasting room has a wraparound veranda, encouraging guests to wander out and admire the beautiful countryside where the grapes that go into Arrowood wines develop their distinctive flavors.

What To Buy:
གྷ Chardonnay, Sonoma County Fresh, pure, lightly toasty, apple, peach, baking spices $30
ཀ Syrah, Russian River Valley, Saralee's Vineyard Ripe plum, white pepper, spicy $40
ཁ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County Plums, cassis, currant, vanilla, earth, toast $50
ཁ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard Dark, cassis, earth, leather, blackberries, anise, toasty oak $70

Contact:
707.935.2600; Fax: 707.938.5947
arrowoodvineyards.com
PO Box 1240
14347 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Tasting Room Open Daily 10-4:30

Getting There :
Directions are available on the website or by calling the winery.

 

 

This story originally appeared on Touring and Tasting