Anaba Vineyards and Winery wine educator Joel

Excellent Anaba wine educator Joel on the pour.

The Anaba Vineyards & Winery tasting room sits on the northwest corner of the busy intersection of Highways 121 and 116, a spot just a few miles southwest of downtown Sonoma known as the “Big Bend.” If you’ve driven west from Napa or southern Sonoma toward the Russian River Valley or coastal Sonoma County, chances are good that you have passed through this intersection.  As a Wine Adventurer, I’ve passed by many times, but in early November decided it was time to stop and check out this western Carneros tasting room.

Anaba Vineyards & Winery takes its name from the anabatic winds that flow over the Carneros AVA like a rocket on warm summer days. These winds originate around San Pablo Bay, north of San Francisco, where the morning fog fills a bellows of cool air that will be blown inland as the sun rises. The winds gain velocity as they jet upwards, tracing the elevation of the rolling hills of southern Sonoma and Napa Counties. On hot summer days, the winds often reach speeds over sixty miles per hour and continue flowing at that rate until well past midnight. Warm anabatic winds contribute to conditions that make Carneros an excellent region to grow world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In addition to influencing the quality of most of the fruit used by Anaba in their wines, the winds also power much of the winery’s operations. A 45 foot wind turbine produces enough energy to operate the tasting room, offices and vineyard pumps.

Enter the Anaba Vineyards & Winery tasting room from Bonneau Road on the south. There is plenty of parking, either directly in front or around back. The structure is a converted 100 year old farm house with a cozy tasting room inside and a nice tasting patio outside. On the day of my visit, the clouds were thick overhead but the air was warm enough to taste on the patio. The patio is very comfortable and looks out onto adjacent vineyards.

The tasting flight (see menu photo below) offered samplings of Riesling, Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, plus a choice of two dessert wines. Most of the fruit is sourced from Sonoma County vineyards, though the very good 2012 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir ($46) is from grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County (Anaba Vineyards producer’s notes). The flight was a good representation of Sonoma County wines.

Stop in at Anaba Vineyards & Wine during your next Sonoma County wine adventure.

Anaba Vineyards & Winery

60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma, CA 95476

Tasting Room open daily, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm