Sonoma County’s wine-country spans more than a million acres from the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Coast Range, it is truly an amazing and beautiful place to visit. Lately, it’s become increasingly famous for its premium wines, sharing the pedestal with Napa Valley for luxury cult collectibles.
But in Sonoma County, you’re just as likely to stumble across extraordinary wines being crafted out of a backyard setup, which creates an intimate setting in which to enjoy what each vineyard has to offer. Often, it will be the actual winemaker who’s filling your glass, with his or her faithful winery dog sitting nearby. We love that!
Bella Vineyards and wine caves are one of our favorites for some obvious reasons… like their name. You’ll find it at the end of West Dry Creek Road, a narrow, winding county road that curves along the remote hillsides, north of Healdsburg. What really makes Bella a special place to visit for two little pups though is that the tasting room is inside the barrel cellars, within giant caves dug out of the hillside. It’s nice and cool inside, especially on a hot summer day.
The Unleash the Beast Tour will take you deep into the wine caves, where you will learn the science and art of aging wine. Your guide will take you through a sensory station and reveal Bella’s dark secrets as you savor their wines, finishing up with their monster zinfindel, affectionately named, The Beast. To bad pups like us can’t drink wine, it sure did look like everyone was enjoying it.
According to Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate, Bella “hit pay-dirt in 2012”. Parker points out that the 2012 Barrel 32 is “about as good as zinfandel can get.” Bella was also selected as one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wineries of 2013!
Bella Vineyards cherish’s Sonoma County’s rich history by focusing on using the best fruit from some of the most sought-after vineyards. Lynn and Scott Adams and their family run the winery and are dedicated to handcrafting small lots. The wine makers believe in balance – blending complexity with opulence, nuance with boldness and mind blowing with distinctive.
The winery is located on Lily Hill, where the first vines were planted over 100 years ago by Italian immigrant Adamo Micheli and his young son, Angelo. Angelo and these young vines grew up together and he continued to watch over the land with his own children for the next few decades. Today, Lynn, Scott and their family watch over the vines and are lucky enough to have the soil and the sunshine as a regular part of their days.
My Dad told us that wines here are just delicious with amazing length and texture to complement the fruit and structure, whatever that means. All we know is that they create wines that are mouth filling and memorable based on all the ooh’s and ahh’s we heard in the tasting room, plus they a super dog friendly.
Sounds fantastic right? It really was and we hope to run into you on OUR next visit to Bella, so you can see for yourself what we’re raving about. Oh and here’s a tip, bring a picnic lunch and stay awhile after your tour. It’s really nice to relax and play on their tree shaded lawn while you soak up the picturesque beauty of Dry Creek Valley!
Hope to see you soon!
Love, Bella and Lola!
Bella’s Big Adventure is the story of two Little Golden Retrievers whose travels take them all over the country. They visit places they’ve has always wanted to see and make friends along the way.
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