Friends, Barbara and Greg DiPaolo, had been told by Gary Farrell Winery, and subsequently told me, of a newly opened winery and tasting room in the Dry Creek Appellation. De La Montanya Winery and Vineyards is located on Foreman Lane, underneath the Westside Road Bridge at Felta School Road.
I arrived in mid-afternoon and was greeted by both owners, Dennis and Tina De La Montanya. Another couple were finishing up a purchase and then I was treated to a tasting of their 2000 RRV (Russian River Valley) Viognier, 2001 RRV Viognier, 2000 RRV Chardonnay (not yet released) and 2000 RRV Pinot Noir.
The 2000 Viognier was wonderful and had been rated 4 1/2 stars in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's weekly wine scoring. I found the 2001 also to be quite nice and together I believe the quality of these wines to be similar to others in the county that I have tasted at twice the price.
The 2000 RRV Chardonnay, which Dennis "mistakenly" opened, has not yet been released. I found this to be a very good Chardonnay coming from the same general area of the appellation that holds Sonoma Cutrer and Saralee Kunde's vineyards.
The 2000 RRV Pinot Noir was lighter in color and taste than most Sonoma County Pinot Noir's that I have tried. However, I liked this style as it reminded me of the Sancerre Rouge (also Pinot Noir) that I had also liked in Paris in the late Spring of 2002.
After the tasting, Dennis gave me a tour of the premises. The tasting room is beautiful having extraordinary slab granite counters, dark wood and copper fixtures. The view out the tasting room windows is of the maturing grapevines in Summer and will, no doubt, be of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in Autumn, Winter and early Spring. Dennis and Tina indicated to me that each varietal will be produced in the 90-150 case range and ultimately the winery will have 3 labels and a maximum (projected) production of 1,500 cases.
The grounds surrounding the winery are lovely, if new, and a few landscaping touches are still in the works. This will be a good spot for a picnic when all is complete.
The website is linked below. There are no road signs as of yet directing you to the winery. Tastings are Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 4:30pm and weekdays by appointment.