Alice Rousseau Warnecke Sutro and Eliot Edmonston Sutro
cordially invite you to join them for an inaugural
Sutro Wine Co. Vineyard Tour and Nature Walk
at Warnecke Ranch
on March 30th, 2017 at 10AM
This marks the launch of an series of complimentary tours through Spring and Summer, that will eventually be reserved for Wine Club Members only.
Special access to a 100 year old family owned and operated private ranch should wet the appetite of any curio-seeker. An oddity amongst wine country's prolific tasting opportunities, this one doesn't include the wine. Visitors are encouraged to make their way to Healdsburg where Sutro Cabernet or Merlot can be purchased by the bottle at Oakville Market or Valette. The Sutros hope this curated vineyard hike attracts like-minded adventurous tourists seeking authentic experiences over car-based wine trips that leave you full of drink but severed from the land. have elected to connect with their wine followers in this way to attract the type of wine appreciator who truly seeks an authentic experience. Not to mention, they refuse to be handicapped by the ever-growing timeline required to open a tasting room. Wine club members will also be privy to unique intimate happenings offered through the year. These idiosyncratic happenings will engage the visitor in Sonoma County with Warnecke Ranch always as the departure point, and Alice as the intrepid curator and guide.
The tour commences at a historic grange that you may well be familiar with if you've driven down Chalk Hill Road - it has the appearance of a saloon and is perched at the foot of the historic landmark Chalk Hill. Walking straight out through the 40 year old vines that give us Sutro's award winning Cab, one embarks on a leisurely 45 minutes "legacy hike" following the path outlined by Alice's grandfather when he was first shaping the property to entertain his high profile architectural clients in the 1970s (this being the architect whose stand out project was the eternal flame for JFK). The path begins by winding up Chalk Hill to a site of meditation, and the return path, in a double helix, takes you back down the hill without retracing your steps. By the way, the top of Chalk Hill is the "four corners" of Wine Country: this is where four (sub) AVAs are drawn from. Next, the path edges towards a cliff, on side is Chalk Hill AVA and sloping towards the Russian River, on the other side is Alexander Valley: and the Terraces that bring us Sutro's Merlot. The Cliff walk ends at a breathtaking River overlook, poised on a rock at the first big bend that the Russian River takes before heading West through the rest of wine country to Jenner. Standing here, you have the sense that there has never been another soul in this spot and can never be again. You could stretch your hands north along the river into Mendocino redwood forrests and West towards the ocean and beyond, embracing in between the warm expanse of diverse Sonoma County. Tingling still from this sensation, the path then brings us back down to earth, towards the lake that is the heart of this private watershed. Winding along its banks, the wildlife corridor is alive, leading up to the art studio, home to Chalk Hill Artist Residency. The arts non profit that the family founded in 2010 in honor of JCW's artistic career. The residency also honors Alice's uncle Roger Warnecke, an artist living with schizophrenia. This concludes the tour, all narrated by the effusive Alice who says that if she had to pitch her wine in a closed room she'd rather die anyway. If you are lucky, the tour may be extended to visit the vineyard offices, meet her aunt the manager, and stroll through the architectural archives housed nearby that encompass 3 generations of Bay Area architects, such is the family legacy in this area reaching deep into the city by the bay, beyond their 100 year old property along the Russian River. Or a quick stop off at the family guest house that houses a collection of art by the family members and (so I'm told) a number of outrageous parties throughout the year.