Tucked away in an unassuming warehouse-looking building, Red Car Wine Company is another gem on Highway 116, specializing in Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, and a knock-your-socks-off Rosé.
Once again, we need to set the scene. About a year ago, two WineBirds and their DogBird left the cozy confines of their condo and headed up north in the pouring rain. LadyBird had to attend a meeting at our summer park, leaving LordBird & the dog to their own devices.
A few hours later, the meeting was over, and Jonathan arrived to pick Annie up, gushing about a new winery he had stopped by and how we needed to go there and oh, by the way, he had joined the club (are you seeing our pattern here?).
Off the three of us went back to visit Red Car Wine — the second visit of the day for two of us. Jonathan was greeted with a hearty hello, Luca with a nice scratch of his ears, and Annie with a selection of several of their tasty, and complex, Pinot Noirs.
Red Car sources most of their wine from the true Sonoma Coast; vineyards on the upper reaches of Sonoma County, lining the Pacific Ocean. This presents a unique climate — cool, foggy, and consistent. The wines are complex with layers of red fruit, earth and minerals supported by a well-defined acidic backbone. A great Pinot is not cheap — and Red Car is no exception. The care taken in wine making and overall quality are reflected in the price — but you will not be disappointed.
Additionally, Red Car produce excellent Chardonnays — The Ritchie vineyard Chardonnay is a different beast than Montelena or Rombauer (both pretty darn good). Bright and intense up front with rich, creamy flavors of butter and toast on the end. Red Car’s vines have to work harder and dig deeper to thrive, producing a more complex experience.
Red Car also offers a Syrah and a Roussanne that are both some of the best California takes on Rhone grapes that we have come across.
Later that year, we visited the winery again and were introduced to their Rose. The 2015 is, hands down, the best Rosé we tasted last year. They’ve already released their 2016, and it is another great one — the perfect summertime drink, this year with hints of grapefruit. This is a serious rosé and the price reflects that — we’ve found specials occasionally on our summer visits to the tasting room.
What to Try
Jonathan Says: Platt vineyard Pinot Noir, Rosé, or the Roussanne.
Annie Says: Rosé! Followed very closely by Zephyr Farms Vineyard Pinot Noir
Red Car Wine Company
8400 Graton Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
10am – 5pm daily
20$ Tasting Fee
Dogs welcome on patio