The last stop on the Highway 116 tour, for a little bit at least, is a true standout. Tucked behind the trees just outside of Forestville is Russian River Vineyards, a lovely spot to watch the sunset, enjoy a taste or three of wine, and perhaps get a bite to eat.
RRV is unique in the area in that it is open until 8pm each day! This came in handy recently as we were heading home from our cabin, not quite ready to end the weekend. Lucky for us, not only was RRV still open, and serving dinner, but it is dog-friendly as well. The tasting “room” is an outdoor hidden forest, surrounded by redwoods and overlooking a (currently unplanted) vineyard. You can sip in comfort on one of the couches, around an outdoor fire pit, or while playing cornhole.
While you cannot do a tasting in the restaurant, you can order a full meal in the tasting area — a win win! We had never had their wines, so were happy we could get the full experience.
We had a wonderful pourer for the day who took us through a full flight, plus a few extras while we ate. All the while a live musician played in the background, adding to the ambiance.
RRV focuses on pinot and does it well. Our favorite was the Appian Way with intense cherry flavors and zippy acidity. We were also excited to try some of RRV’s more offbeat options like the Charbono, an Italian grape that is gaining a following in California. RRV also makes a decent peppery zin with a picture of a doggie on the label and a promise to donate 10% of the purchase price to the humane society.
RRV is a great way to wind up your day — be it the end of tasting or just from meandering around the area.
What to try:
Jonathan says: Charbono
Annie says: The Pinots are great!
Russian River Vineyards
5700 Hwy. 116 N.
Forestville, CA 95436
20$ Tasting Fee