To my mind, Sonoma is the cooler, boho sister to Napa. It’s the place where you can visit a gorgeous estate for a multi-course food and wine pairing, buy some cheese at a funky creamery, hit a taco truck for an afternoon snack and end the day with a fantastic meal at a big red barn. I did all of those things and more on a week-long visit to the region, hosted by the incomparable team at Jordan Winery.
The Chateau at Jordan is like a mini-Versailles: grand in stature with old-world luxury décor. Completed in 1976, just in time for Jordan’s first harvest, the property houses the estate’s wine production facility as well as an extensive guest hospitality space, with a kitchen, dining room and wine cellar. Founders Tom and Sally Jordan were the first to offer a whole wine experience in Sonoma. Groundbreakers, they succeeded and then some.
The guest experience continues today with Tom and Sally’s son John as CEO of the winery. Jordan produces a chardonnay, a cabernet sauvignon, and a proper French champagne available only at the winery. There are ample ways to sample wine at Jordan, from vineyard hikes on the 1200 acre property to tastings paired with dishes prepared by executive chef Todd Knoll, with produce from the estate garden.
I was treated to an overnight stay at the estate – a privilege usually reserved for Jordan Estate Rewards Members. Want to feel like a 21st-century king or queen? Save up your points and book into one of Jordan’s three guest suites. Sky-high wood-beamed ceilings and heavily curtained balcony doors begged to be thrust open with a “Good morning, Your Majesty” inviting me to forget my mere mortal life for just a couple of days.
Jordan recently completed a $1 million remodel of the property, including a renovation of the guest suites, which retains the original vision for old-world luxury lodging while bringing the amenities and bathrooms in line with the most elite hotels in Europe.
There are 18 wine regions in Sonoma County. We explored three of them: Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. There is so much wine in Sonoma that it’s easy to forget that the region produces other things. It’s no surprise that olives and grapes tend to like the same growing conditions… and what’s better with wine than some crusty bread dunked in EVOO? Estate olive oil is produced at several wineries, including Jordan. Everything you need to complement your Sonoma wine adventure is just down the street and if you’re not a wine drinker, cheese and olive oil tastings are equally decadent.
Bricoleur Vineyards recently announced that James Beard Award-winning chef Charlie Palmer is joining them as a culinary advisor. The vineyard's 40 acres produces a spread of varietals from chardonnay to cabernet and estate olive oil.