Ravenswood Winery

3.75/4

18701 Gehricke Road , Sonoma, CA 95476

(707) 933-2332

About This Winery

“No Wimpy Wines!” is the battle cry at Ravenswood, as they make full-flavored varietal wines that are accessible — in terms of both character and price. Zinfandel is their flagship wine. Like many wineries, Ravenswood started out small, making limited-release
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“No Wimpy Wines!” is the battle cry at Ravenswood, as they make full-flavored varietal wines that are accessible — in terms of both character and price. Zinfandel is their flagship wine.

Like many wineries, Ravenswood started out small, making limited-release cult wines, and grew in terms of philosophy, style, and volume. Ravenswood winemaker and founding partner Joel Peterson produces up-front, fruit-forward, consumer-friendly wines that “belong on the table — not on a pedestal or in an ivory tower.”

The rock-walled tasting room is tucked into the hillside off a country road. There is an offbeat, quirky feel to the place; the staff as well as visitors can taste a range of wines and have some fun. Two tasting counters host the adventurous as they taste their way through the extensive list. The winery produces more than 40 different wines including 15 Zinfandels, six Merlots, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Petite Sirah, Bordeaux blends, Rhone-style blends, and a few whites.

Ravenswood sources their grapes from many regions including Napa, Amador, Lodi, Mendocino, and Sonoma. Like many large wineries, they also purchase finished wines and blend them. By choosing one wine for ripeness, one for tannins, and another for acidity, an expert negociant can create a beautifully balanced wine from less-than-great juice.

To make these full-flavored wines, Ravenswood does not sterilize their juice with sulfur. They also use native vineyard yeasts that have a broader range of flavors and aromas. During fermentation, they allow the temperature to get very warm to extract all the color and flavor possible from the grapes. They leave the wine in contact with its skins for weeks, not days, after which it is aged in small
French-oak barrels.

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Winery Information

Hours: Open daily 10 to 4:30 pm
Tasting Fees: $8 with glass, $15 with glass on weekends
Price Range: $15 to $40 per bottle
Established: 1976
Vineyards: 15 acres
Production: 1.3 million cases

Amenities

  • Gift Shop

Ambiances

  • Casual & Relaxed
  • Off the Beaten Path
  • Resort Like

Wine Types

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Syrah

Winery Map

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Reviews

4/4
4/4
3/4
4/4

An amazing variety of zinfandels here. Unfortunately, one of our favorites, the Monte Rosso, is no longer produced by Ravenswood. The tasting room is spacious with a friendly staff. You'll probably spend a lot of time here. They also have wines of several other grapes, including merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, cabernet franc; many of them available exclusively from the winery. You can probably find Ravenswood wines at your local grocery or wine store, but at the tasting room you'll be able to find wines that aren't distributed. If you're looking for good quality value wines, then Ravenswood is a must stop on your trip. You can find great buys in the range of about $10-30.

3.75/4

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