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Sojourn Cellars ~ Highly rated Pinot Noirs & Cabernets

22 Jun

This weekend (June 24-25th) our tasting will be featuring Sojourn Cellars.  We have been planning this tasting for awhile now and cannot wait to open up this weekend’s wines.  Sal has been holding on to vintages for a couple years now so this is going to be fun.

Plato said “Life is but a sojourn. Enjoy the best of it.” Craig Haserot (wine taster) and Erich Bradley (winemaker) are two buddies who met on the tennis courts of Sonoma and decided to take Plato’s advice and formed Sojourn Cellars in 2000. They started in 2001 with the release of 100 cases of Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and by 2004 they added Pinot Noir to their production lineup. Sojourn remains today a boutique artisan producer of Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon wines sold on allocation to their mailing list members and a select group of restaurants, retailers, and distribution partners.

Their handcrafted wines have won considerable praise from the wine press. Known for their critically acclaimed wines, Sojourn has distinguished itself by offering excellent, high-end, products that are also a good value and by delivering their wines to customers through a buying experience that also displays the accessibility, authenticity, and care that have become trademarks of their winemaking process.

Craig Haserot is the man behind sales, management and promotion of the Sojourn Cellars label. He is an ex-computer software salesperson who decided to move to Sonoma County after the crash and pursue a new career. He began playing tennis at Maxwell Farms Regional Park where he struck up a friendship with Erich Bradley. Both had a passion for wine, especially Pinot Noir, and soon they were talking about launching a winery together.

Erich Bradley is a native Californian from the San Francisco Peninsula who became intrigued by wine when his family bought a 26-acre ranch in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon complete with an 8.5-acre vineyard and a 500 case winery. As part of the sale, the Bradleys were taught winemaking. Erich later studied winemaking at UC Davis and viticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College and was mentored by winemakers Richard Arrowood of Arrowood Vineyards & Winery and David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellars. In 2003, Erich became the winemaker for Audelssa Estate, a winery at Mountain Terraces Vineyard in Sonoma Valley, where he still makes wine today. He produces a Mountain Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon for both Audelssa Estate Winery and Sojourn Cellars. In 2007, he became winemaker for Hop Kiln and HK Generations wines. Erich’s wines have garnered widespread acclaim among both the press and consumers.

Sojourn fruit is sourced from properties that have the capacity to produce wines of distinction, thanks in large part to unique and specific combinations of soil, climate, and exposure.  Farmed by growers who share Sojourn’s commitment to low crop yields and high quality, the fruit is sorted extensively in the field throughout the growing season as well as in the winery post-Harvest to ensure that only the most sound, perfectly ripe fruit makes its way into fermentation tanks.

Winemaking is very hands-off, using whole berry native fermentations in small open-tops, hand punch-downs, basket pressing, no pumps, unfined and unfiltered.  All Sojourn wines are fermented and barrel-aged in small lots and attended to when necessary by hand from the vineyard to the bottle to best manage tannins and mouthfeel and to preserve the maximum amount of personality and soul.  The wines are made at the Audelssa Estate Winery in Glen Ellen, California.

 So what are we going to be tasting this weekend?

  • ’09 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 91pts Wine Spectator
  • ’08 Rogers Creek Pinot Noir, 90pts Robert Parker
  • ’08 Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir, 91pts Robert Parker
  • ’09 Sangiacomo Pinot Noir, 94pts Wine Spectator
  • ’08 Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, 90pts Robert Parker
  • ’07 Spring Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon, 90 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

$24 tasting (1.5oz pours of all 6 wines)

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