By Alexa Chipman Feb. 4, 2017
Sweeping vineyards and lavender surround Matanzas Creek Winery, set amid rolling hills of moss and oak trees with a cheerful creek running down the property, forming miniature cascades. The architecture is designed to fit in with its environment, primarily of wood and stone, with small seating areas scattered throughout to enjoy the scenery. They are set up for a fun summer afternoon, with bocce ball court and cornholes, the popular game of tossing bean bags at a target.
The gift shop is carefully curated, with helpful wine accessories such as the Menu Breather Decanter, which allows you to aerate an entire bottle of wine, then easily pour it back into the bottle, lovely cheese sets, wine pairing recipe books, and a wide array of lavender products created by the winery from their gardens. If you need to buy the perfect gift for a wine lover, they are a great place to look, and the prices are reasonable.
Matanzas Creek is primarily known for their sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and merlot. I chose to try their wine and cheese pairing flight, which was $25 and well worth the experience.
2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Knights Valley Helena Bench
It had delicate notes of smoke and fruit in the aroma, with a mineral bite to it on the finish; adding the soft cheese allowed a gentler, more refreshing flavor.
2013 Journey Chardonnay
On its own, I did not find it remarkable, what brought out the flavor was adding orange honey glazed almonds, which blossomed the wine into a luscious nutty flavor.
2013 Cabernet Franc / Malbec – Sonoma County
The nose had a strong berry aroma that was delightful, I could have smelled it all day! The wine itself was unfortunately extremely tannic, but the cherry jam pairing complimented the flavor for an intense combination.
2012 Merlot – Bennet Valley, Jackson Park
I am not a fan of Merlot, and this wine changed my rather biased opinion. It is smooth with a beautiful earthiness to it without that odd aftertaste that many merlots suffer from. It was definitely my favorite of the flight, leading me to also try their 2012 Sonoma County merlot. You can taste anything on their wine list, because they have a Coravin Model 8 available, which can pour wine without opening the bottle, rather a nifty tool to have around!
A quick fifteen minutes from the freeway through quintessential Sonoma County landscapes, this quiet little winery is well worth visiting, especially if you love red wine and are tired of endless pinot noir.