More Than Wine: Allison's Story
I am not a sommelier. I can’t distinguish between an aged Cab or a young Pinot. I can’t describe tannins or length or legs. I have visited vineyards and tasted wines in Italy, France, South Africa, New Zealand, Washington, Oregon and California, and I remember the views, the ambiance, and the conversation more than I do the liquid offerings. For me wine is about the social and cultural experience that comes along. I enjoy sharing a bottle or three with friends, feeling the mood unwind, the connections deepen, and the laughter intensify. This is why I drink wine, and this is why I love visiting Stonehouse Cellars.
I have visited Stonehouse Cellars many times over the past five years; it is my favorite place in the Bay Area to unplug and unwind. My kids love running in the vineyard and looking for frogs in the pond. I love the fresh air, slow pace, bright stars at night, and I especially love that my husband cooks elaborate meals there. I have watched the grapes grow, witnessed the passion that Greg, Jimee, Jake and the team pour into the wine making process, and I have grown to appreciate the love and labor that goes in to a bottle of Stonehouse Cellars red. It is more than a weekend getaway or winery; there is a special, grounding energy about “The Ranch” that draws me up there as often as I can.
Over the course of a relaxed afternoon and seated at a long table overlooking the vineyard and the hills in the distance, about ten of us tasted over 30 different blind wine experiments. The wines were made at different fermentation temperatures, with different grapes, in different barrels, and more. Some were delicious and some were indistinguishable from the next. Jake and Greg remained quiet while we tasted, allowing us space to form our opinions on which we liked best, and then later they revealed the history of each wine with an unassuming, and open-minded description. No experience or knowledge was required to enjoy every minute of this.
Stonehouse Cellars is a place to leisure with friends and family and escape the hustle of the Bay Area. It is unique, and is the antithesis to corporate Napa wineries with tour buses parked out front. Greg, Jimee, Jake and the team are eager to show you what they have created and share their experience with you. It worth the drive and, like me, you’ll never want to leave.
-Allison Phillips, Bed & Barrel Guest