My recent wine country vodka adventure at Hanson of Sonoma was an introduction to organic vodka made from California wine grapes. You may have seen Hanson’s line of flavored vodka on store shelves, they are currently distributed in over 20 states and are becoming popular with those who prefer their vodka neat or in a cocktail. After tasting several flavors and enjoying a refreshing Strawberry Gingerade, I’m jumping on their bandwagon.
Hanson’s tasting room opened less than a month ago just off Sonoma Highway, roughly ten minutes southeast of the city of Sonoma. The facility is an old brewery that has been beautifully remodeled to provide plenty of space for visitors (including bar stools!). Walk-ins are accepted, though I recommend making an appointment online. Two types of tastings are offered – six favors of vodka or a three flavors followed a mixed cocktail of your choice. I chose three flavors and a cocktail, a very refreshing Strawberry Gingerade (photo). Tours with tastings are also available.
Unlike most winery tasting rooms, vodka tastings fall under different permit rules that specifically restrict the amount of beverage that can be poured. If tasting with a friend, order different flavors and share. Hanson offers a tasting flight of their standard vodkas plus any seasonal offerings currently available, e.g. Espresso and Boysenberry. If your tasting flight includes a cocktail, choices include a Martini, Strawberry Gingerade, Cucumber Gimlet, Mandarin Greyhound, Kicking Moscow Mule and Mango Tango.
Hanson uses natural products to infuse the different tastes into their vodkas, creating a smooth sip and that even those who don’t regularly sip vodka can enjoy. I tried the Ginger, Cucumber and Mandarin and found each flavor authentic and enjoyable. Each bottle retails for about $30.
Add a Hanson of Sonoma wine country vodka adventure to your next Sonoma County or Napa Valley visit. Hanson of Sonoma – 22985 Burndale Road, Sonoma, CA 95476