It always amazes me that if I hop in my car and drive thirty-five minutes from my home in Marin County I can be in the country. And it’s such lovely country. Wine Country. Indeed it is “Eye Therapy.” A mini-vacation for all my senses but initially my eyes soak in most of the glory.
When you enter Sonoma Valley, on the right hand side of the highway you pass the Ram’s Gate Winery “Gate.”
The winery opened about a year ago and I have passed it many times and hadn’t really noticed the barn on the hill.
This time, with Juliette at my side, I decided to stop and discover.
Words usually come quite easy to me but I am having trouble finding the right words to describe this place. I could say, “country charm meets urban chic,” or “contemporary interpretation of rustic charm permeates a sophisticated sense of time and place.” But these phrases don’t really describe the experience we had at Ram’s Gate.
Yes, the architecture is lovely and really is a new interpretation of an old barn. The furnishings are modern, bold, and comfortable.
The vistas in every direction are glorious and there is so much to look at, both inside and out, that we had trouble deciding in which direction to begin our little sojourn.
Tables were full with young, urbanites and the bar space was limited with crowds buzzing around this extraordinary place.
You see, at this winery they not only have wine tastings but also serve small plates all afternoon long.
It is really not lunch and it is not a wine tasting. I am not sure what “it” is but “it” is lovely. We nibbled on cheeses and a charcuterie platter plus a lovely sea bass and risotto rounded into small balls.
I had a glass of sparkling brut from the North Coast.
Juliette decided on a fleet of wines, a sampling of four of Ram’s Gates wines: a Chardonnay Carneros, a Chardonnay Ulises Valdez Diablo, a Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County, and a Pinot Noir Sngiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard.
It was difficult to take “it” all in. The charm, the wine, the food, the sunshine, the trendiness, the beauty, the choices.
It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Even with the buzz of trendy urbanites, the dazzling countryside eased us into peaceful bliss. Or perhaps it was the wine.
We left happy. We left a little bit hungry. And we left knowing we would return to this little oasis so close to our homes.
Next time we might choose to try a picnic. You see, Ram’s Gate will pack you a picnic and send you on your way to explore their estate, with wine, cheese, cured hams and salamis, and of course a blanket to sit on. It seems that the Ram’s Gate owners have thought of everything!
The mysterious “it” of Ram’s Gate Winery is of course sharing “it” with people you adore.