"Sonoma's On A Role

  by Fred McMillin


"No matter what grape variety you mention, somewhere in Sonoma someone is lovingly tending it, and usually with a zeal approaching fanaticism."

...Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast

"It's possible to taste Sonoma's greatness in wines that truly typify regional character. This is what sets Sonoma apart from all other wine regions in California."

...Dan Berger, Wine Enthusiast

"Sonoma County, being about twice the size of Napa County, stands on the threshold of becoming the leader in quality wine production. [Sonoma production currently exceeds that of Napa by 30%.]

...Prof. John Baxevanis, Wine Regions of America

The Rest of the Story

We reviewed the growing importance of Sonoma in my last S.F. State wine course, and rated a number of medium priced bottles. These were the top six.

Six Sonoma Sizzlers

6th  -  '95 Chateau Souverain Merlot, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, $16.50
5th - '96 Alderbrook Chardonnay, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, $12.50
4th - '95 Chateau St. Jean Merlot, Sonoma County, $18
3rd - '95 Rosenblum Merlot, Russian River Valley, Lone Oak Vineyard, $20
2nd  -  '95 Alderbrook Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, $16
Winner - '87 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, From my cellar. .no price.


The Name Game There are many Sonomas...the city, the county, the mountain, the creek, the valley. Legend says the name came from the local Indian word for "many moons." Hence, Sonoma Valley, the Valley of the Moon. However, Prof. Erwin Gudde wrote that while the moon origin is the more romantic, the "nose" version is more authentic. The Indian word for nose was "sonom." The Indian chief of the village had a prominent proboscis, so the Spanish missionaries called the region (in writing) by the chief's nickname, Sonomas, 20 years before the town was founded.

-See these Winedays for more:


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