(Written by guest author, Nyk King). I have been all over Sonoma County from tasting room to tasting room and there is one place that stands out in my mind as being the pinnacle of the Sonoma County wine experience. That tasting room is Ferrari-Carano, which is located at the north end of Dry Creek road. The tasting room has you in awe before you can even finish parking your car. There are huge swinging iron gates at the entrance.
After you follow the road down to the parking lot, you will walk up the long path to the tasting room — but only if you don’t stop at their well-known gorgeous gardens. There gardens are filled with statues, ponds, waterfalls, and many beautiful flowers. Once you have wandering through the gardens, you will make your way up the path to the tasting room that looks like a huge Italian mansion surrounded by more statues, fountains and flowery. Also, don’t forget to pet the nose of their famous bronze pig statue for good luck.
Upon entering the tasting room you will notice the mounds of merchandise and the wine bar to your left that has large arching windows looking over their vineyards. They also have a large locked wine library with tons of vintage Ferrari-Carano wines. The tasting room is very commodious and accommodating, but this is just the general tasting room.
They also have a second tasting room below called the Enoteca Lounge that you can find through a staircase at the northeast side of the tasting room. You will travel down a few flights of stairs before reaching the lower level where there is a huge barrel room that they use for dinner parties and other events. They also have a large flat screen TV downstairs with comfortable seats to watch it.
If you hook around to the left you will find a host standing at a podium much like a host at a restaurant. The host will then walk you into the second tasting room that looks more like a restaurant with high bar stools, and tables. The wine bar is on the west side and there is a huge wine cellar on the north side of the room, which is the owner’s personal wine cellar. The ambience and vibe of this tasting room is very relaxing and friendly, because you feel like you’re just out to lunch or dinner with friends. Not to mention the fabulous wine that they have downstairs that is not distributed to the broad market. Also, the staff there is extremely friendly. I was helped by Vern who was very knowledgeable and hospitable.
All in all, Ferrari-Carano has got the whole package, from the gardens, fountains, and multiple tasting rooms. If I had friends visiting from out of town this would be the place I would take to impress them in our beautiful wine country.