Everything about this family-owned, modern winery is luxurious. The picturesque driveway gives ample views of a stunning, Gould Evans-designed tasting room, patio and event space—though the real view is from said patio, wine glass in hand, overlooking the vineyard, then the rolling hills and watercolor mountains beyond. An attentive and knowledgeable staff member (perhaps one of the Hamel brothers themselves) offers pours during a walk through the main building, then back into the spotless wine cave. There's also a small garden producing a bit of what will end up on your tasting plate. The wines here are primarily from Bordeaux varieties, though perhaps the most surprisingly tasty bottle is Hamel's estate sauvignon blanc, labeled with the Hamel family's personal mascot, a badger, borrowed from the University of Wisconsin, the alma mater of three generations of the Hamel family.
How to visit: Two tour options are available Thursday through Monday at 10am, 1pm and 3pm. The four-wine flight Estate Experience includes a tour of the estate house, winery, caves and vineyard, lasts 1.5 hours and costs $60 per person. The Reserve Experience includes everything in the Estate Experience, plus a combination of reserve wines, barrel samples and library vintages, as well as a selection of small bites, cheeses and charcuterie. The Reserve Experience is 3 hours and costs $100 per person.
In short: Renowned architecture; stunning views; family (and Badger) pride
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15401 Sonoma Highway