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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bennett Valley, Sonoma County

Fans of California wine have probably experienced several of Sonoma County's grape growing regions. Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley are all pretty well known. There are a bunch of smaller appellations not so well known, like Bennett Valley.

Bennett Valley sits between the Sonoma Coast
and Sonoma Valley appellations

The floor of Bennett Valley sits higher than the surrounding valley floors. To the west are Taylor and Sonoma Mountains that block some, but not all, of the cool marine air rolling in from the coast during the growing season. Bennett Valley is mostly about Syrah, but there is Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and a few other varieties planted. There are 650 acres of vineyards, about 1% of Sonoma County's total.

Syrah from a small Bennett Valley producer

Matanzas Creek is the only winery with a tasting room in Bennett Valley (there are only two other wineries). More info from Bennett Valley Grape Growers.

Photos of Bennett Valley from late October
Click on any to enlarge