Sojourn Cellars - Cozy Cottage off Sonoma Plaza
The paths that lead to successful wineries are many, and add the color to this passion for discovering unique artisan wineries that we all share. The founders of Sojourn started their journey on the tennis courts of Sonoma where "Love" wasn't just a tennis score, it was what they both shared for local wines. Although renown for their Sonoma Pinot Noir, Sojourn was started in 2001 with the desire to produce limited quantities of premium Cabernet Sauvignon. From their first hundred cases of Cabernet, sold to friends and family, they began to build relationships with premier wine growers in the area and branched out into making Pinot Noir and Chardonnays.
Soon the accolades began to flow in as their dedication to extraordinary wines continued to turn out award winners. Today, their wines are primarily sold through their members list and to select restaurants and wine shops. But there are bottles to be had at the tasting room and often on the web site shortly after the releases.
Sojourn describes their wine making style as "minimalist" and "New World Wines with Old World sensibility", and I have found that the wines follow this playbook fairly consistently. Ripe, luscious and rich in fruit, they are never over the top, always nicely balanced with layers of flavors. In general, their wines are made to be enjoyed immediately, but as indicated in my review of the 2015 Riddle Vineyards, they age well and continue to show bright flavors, balance and depth 5-10 years in.
The tasting experience is intimate and comfortable. Snuggled into a cozy cottage on the edge of the Sonoma Plaza, you'll enter the repurposed front room to find two elegantly rustic dining tables set with wine glasses, menus, note pads and bread sticks. Pleasantly lit from large windows at multiple sides of the room, tasting is done at communal tables which always leads to pleasant conversations along with the wine tasting.
With the pandemic, Sojourn also reclaimed their front lawn to create an outside tasting area so that folks could continue tasting safely - now that a bit more social distance is part of the tasting experience.
The wine ambassadors guide the tasting through the wide range of Sojourn wines starting their excellent Chardonnays - Rosé when they have it - then several of the current release Pinot Noirs and finishing up with the Cabernet Sauvignon which has been getting better and better every year. Their recent Cab releases were rated 95+ points.
Toppers and revisits for comparisons are the norm at Sojourn. And there's usually some additional selections the ambassadors add in. The descriptions are informative and non-salesy.
Amanda leads the crew and has been with Sojourn for many years. It is really special when it all comes together - the people, the wines and the setting.
Given the intimate experience, tasting reservations are required. Tasting flights are $45 per taster. They also offer virtual tastings, although I have not tried this tasting experience. Reservations are available here:
Photos// Sojourn Cellars