While I realize it’s odd to live in wine country and not drink much wine, that has been my story for the last few years. For one reason and another, wine just hasn’t agreed with me. But with my sister in town from Hong Kong, I decided to push the boat out and visit Scribe Winery, a spot in Sonoma I’d heard a lot about. And it turns out the timing was perfect to check out Scribe’s new-this-season patio.
The Hacienda at Scribe Winery is a gorgeous grand old house at the end of a palm tree-lined driveway. Having survived the 1906 earthquake and—despite many years of neglect—it has been resurrected and revived in an entirely unique way. More on that later. Even on a sweltering hot day, I can imagine sheltering inside from the rain on a winter’s day.
The patio, on the other hand, is a lovely, shady place to sit on a hot summer’s afternoon. There are comfy sofas, and tables with benches – so be sure to specify which you want when you make your reservation (which you need to do to visit). The tastings, which cost a pretty penny at $60, include a series of light dishes made by guest chefs and the menu varies week-to-week. When we visited, the chef-in-residence was Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse.
First off, we were greeted at check-in with our first tasting: a 2016 Rosé of pinot noir, which turned out to be my favorite wine of the day. Once seated, we were brought our first bites: almonds, olives and garden cucumbers. (All somewhat thwarted by my recent braces. Sigh.)
Next up was a yummy grilled lamb polpette with green coriander and pita – nice and soft! – served with a crisp 2016 Estate Riesling.
Sungold tomatoes and little green beans with basil, mint and shallots, along with a Scribe garden salad and flowers also arrived at the table. All were fresh and crisp and didn’t take over from the wine itself. Along the way, a 2014 Estate Chardonnay magically appeared too.
The feeling and design of the entire place is off the beaten track. It has an organic, natural and original look, which could easily have felt hackneyed and already done, yet somehow it manages to be unique. Partly it’s the juxtaposition of the brand new, huge, metal and glass patio doors, against the original bowed, wood-worm pitted stained glass windows.
And in part, it’s the fact that little glimpses of the house’s past have been allowed to shine through, while being shored-up. Go visit – you’ll see what I mean.
Our wine tasting ended with a 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir and a bowl of fresh icebox-cold Satsuma plums with Scribe ground cherries.
Of course, no trip to a winery is complete without a souvenir, so we brought a couple of bottles of the 2016 Rosé of pinot noir home with us.
If you have a special occasion to celebrate, or you’re feeling flush and want to enjoy the dog-days of summer, then put Scribe Winery on your bucket list, you won’t regret it.
Scribe Winery is at 2100 Denmark St. Sonoma. Tel: 707.939.1858 for reservations.