Russian Hill -- A Love of Pinot Noir and Syrah Try these elegant, textural wines at a tasting room known for its view. And don't forget to pat the winery dogs.
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Russian Hill Estate
Russian Hill Estate overlooks a magnificent vista replete with vineyards— and a solitary hop kiln that often peeks out over the low-lying afternoon fog. Guests who have just tasted a flight of Russian Hill wines love to settle into a chair on the patio and enjoy an impromptu picnic while they absorb the view.
It was this coastal fog, along with the area's rich alluvial soils, that first attracted founders Ed Gomez and Ellen Mack to the Russian River Valley in their quest for the best place to grow and create world class Pinot Noir and Syrah. Not only did they seek land to farm exceptional estate grapes, they also wanted to build their own winery to have full control of both vineyard and wine production in order to produce the wines they envisioned.
Ed and Ellen's nephew, Patrick Melley, co-founded the winery with them in 1997 and has worked with them every step of the way. He's a self-taught winemaker with a strong background in restaurant management. He has a particular love of Pinot Noir and Syrah and has a talent for recognizing the effects of microclimates and soil types on the flavor nuances of these varieties. In the winery, he believes in minimal, gentle manipulation to maintain the grapes' suppleness.
"One thing we hear over and over about our wines is that they all have a very rich mouthfeel," says Patrick. His wines receive a good deal of points and praise, and one truth holds for them all: they are elegant, textural wines that express their place of origin.
Fog, or no fog, the winery's tasting room is known for its view and the opportunity it gives guests to taste great wines while taking in some of the Russian River Valley's most beautiful countryside. Guests often linger to talk about wines with the owners, pat the winery dogs, and compliment the wines of Russian Hill Estate.
WHAT TO BUY
'08 Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir Blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, nutmeg, licorice, tobacco $32
"08 Tara Vineyard Pinot Noir Morello cherry, vanilla, blueberry, cinnamon, allspice $46
"07 Top Block Syrah White nectarine, citrus, jasmine, blueberry, plum, leather, nutmeg, vanilla $32
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–4 Dec–Feb Closed on Sunday
4525 Slusser Rd
Windsor, CA 95492
Picnic grounds, scenic view, private tastings by appt, pet friendly, sustainable farming practices