Treasure in the Sonoma Mountains

We have driven down Bennett Valley Road dozens of times never knowing Coursey Graves was just above us. Sitting high off the road the winery, facilities and a private home are nestled into a mountain of rock and craggy oaks that are part of the Sonoma Mountains.

We went to visit just a couple weeks ago. When we reached the winery we were greeted with amazing contemporary architecture that clearly was designed to appreciate its surroundings and jaw dropping views.

Close in there are gorgeous flowering gardens, an idylic pond, and incredibly inviting outdoor tasting areas.

We began the tasting with a tour of their extensive cave system. Our host, Joanne Foley-McDonald armed herself with a battery of flashlights as the electricity cut off just as we arrived. Deep in the cave we stopped to barrel taste the 2021 Coursey Graves West Slope Syrah. Even as young and still barreled, we found it to be amazing.

Winemaker, Cabell Coursey utilizes imported Italian terracotta eggs in some of his wine making. We found the amphorae alongside a new egg created by a potter in Oregon State. Coursey is not using the new eggs but I thought it interesting to mention and show a picture of it as this is the first American made clay egg (right photo) I’d ever seen.

Our tasting started off with a 2017 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast followed by the 2019 Syrah Estate, Bennett Valley. We had some great local cheeses, nuts and fruit to pair with these. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley came next along with the 2019 BME Estate Blend, Bennett Valley.

Coursey makes wine from his own coastal vineyard, Spring Hill here as well. His Works and Days wines offered during our visit were 2019 Pinot Noirs.

The exceptional wines along with a wonderful host and an amazing property were the perfect ingredients for a spectacular visit.

Thank you so very much Joanne.


2 thoughts on “Treasure in the Sonoma Mountains

  1. What an fascinating discovery. I vicariously enjoyed every step of the visit and will hope to see this lovely property in person when we travel to Sonoma. Thank you for this eye (and taste)opening experience. Francis

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