A superlative view, exotic botanical garden and exquisite wines provide the triple crown that leads so many tour operators to Robert Hunter Vineyards. The tour is by appointment only and begins with a walk through the Hunter Family’s impressive gardens, overlooking the expansive 42-acre vineyards. The hardscape was designed by the late Thomas Church. The gardens were officially designed by the late and renowned Thomas Church, but Ann Hunter has also added over three semi-truck flatbeds of rare plants. Tour Guide Kurt Hemenway will give you the history of the Vineyard, the family, the estate and the winemaking process, which is now run by Robert Hunter III.
The history of this estate begins with art model and famed sugar heiress Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, who was known for her parties and entertaining luminaries from the movies and music industry of that era, including Bing Crosby. She was also known as a great philanthropist, and for her charity auctions, raising money for war-torn France, Belgium, and Romania in post World War I Europe.
A retired banker, Bob Hunter began planting the Hunter Farms vineyard in 1973 and the current 42 acre vineyard is planted to the following varieties (from most acres to fewest acres) Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. Known as the smallest champagne house in California, their méthode champenoise Brut de Noir is among the finest bubbly you’ll find. All their wines are limited release and only available at the vineyard to guests and Wine Club members.
Your tour will culminate in a relaxed tasting on their canopied patio, where you will have the opportunity to taste their acclaimed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the bubbly.
15655 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. (707) 996-3056 •roberthunterwinery.com
Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak