Nestled in the rolling hills of Sonoma County sits Foppiano Vineyards, a 160-acre family estate in the acclaimed Russian River Valley. Cool morning fog and warm summer days create the ideal microclimate for grapes, and Foppiano has been growing high quality fruit since 1896. Winemaker Natalie West specializes in five elegant varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, and the signature bottling: the bold and opulent Petite Sirah.
As Sonoma County’s oldest continually-owned family winery, Foppiano has supplied Northern California with wine for over a century. It survived Prohibition in the 1920s by selling home winemaking kits. Foppiano is also proud to be a founding member of the Russian River Valley AVA.
Picnic grounds, sustainable farming techniques, vineyard tours, wine club discounts, gift shop
“Our family’s approach to winemaking is simple,” says Louis M. Foppiano. “We start in the vineyards and carry through to the wines that are on the table.”
Visitors to the winery’s tasting room are treated like family. In addition to the current releases, guests can sample older vintages of Petite Sirah, and stroll in the sustainably farmed vineyards with a glass of Foppiano wine. Those who have visited before often pack a lunch, select a bottle of wine, and then enjoy a slow paced meal among the vineyards in the picnic area.
The 2008 Estate Petite Sirah is a full-bodied red with blueberry, blackberry, and dark chocolate flavors. The well-structured tannins produce a long, silky finish with fruit to the end. The Russian River Valley is known for its Chardonnay and Foppiano’s 2009 vintage is a soft, medium-bodied, lightly oaked wine bursting with ripe pear, green apple, and orange blossoms. The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc contrasts this richness as a crisp, food-friendly wine, lively with acidity and loads of citrus fruit. Conveniently located just south of the town of Healdsburg on Old Redwood Highway, Foppiano Vineyards offers a glimpse into winemaking history. Grapes have grown here over a century and it’s a pretty good bet that a Foppiano will be tilling the same soil 100 years from now.