We had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Reserve Room at Ferrari-Carano winery in Sonoma with our friends who are wine club members, and I was super impressed with the VIP treatment we received. We had a private table and a personal server who was super knowledgeable about all of the wines being poured.
The Reserve Wine menu is no joke — there are lots of different wines on there — but he knew about every single one. That’s pretty impressive. I’ve been to lots of big commercial wineries (you know the type: they make a ton of different varietals, wines, etc.), and Ferrari-Carano is no different. But what really makes their tasting room stand out from the rest is the knowledge of their employees. I know quite a bit about wine but I felt like I came away having learned something.
The wines here were surprisingly good! I didn’t expect much but I was impressed, especially with a varietal I rarely drink: Chardonnay. Their whites were stellar across the board. The reds were hit-or-miss but were mostly hits. Since my friends were club members, we were able to use their card for a significant discount on the 2 bottles we purchased.
Note that there are two different tasting bars and experiences at the winery. Upstairs adjacent to the gift shop is the standard tasting room. You stand at the bar and taste their everyday type wines. A very steep, long staircase leads you down to the Reserve Room tasting where you can sample some really delicious “best of the winery” wines. I would highly recommend the Reserve Room tasting (it costs more but I think the experience is well worth it). The basement Reserve Room is one of the nicest wine tasting atmospheres I’ve seen anywhere in Sonoma or Napa.
The winery’s gift shop is really nice, with lots of super cute wine themed souvenirs and useful household items. This would be an amazing place to shop for gifts for any wine lover. I saw about 100 things I wanted to buy! None of the prices seemed to be marked up either.
The winery grounds are also show-stopping, with gorgeous landscaping, sweeping vineyard views, babbling brooks, fountains and grassy spaces. Bring your camera.