There are alot of stuffy wineries around us that don’t make me feel welcome. But I’ve discovered a few that have a rarified combination of great wine and great staff who make me feel smart for hanging out with them and drinking their stuff. Obsidian Wine Company is one of these. When we first visited their tasting room at Cornerstone Sonoma, I made clear that I prefer red wines. As I left that day, having joined their wine club, with my initial bottle purchases, Tasting Room Manager Douglas Thompson slyly observed that all my purchases were white. I liked the guy, but after he skewered me like that, I liked him more. Theirs is my favorite Chardonnay and I was excited to learn I had driven past their vineyards in Carneros to get to the tasting room.
Since then, I’ve visited their vineyards in Carneros and Lake County. Well, I’ve done more than just visit. I’ve hiked past piles of obsidian rock and enjoyed freshly-made paella in their Lake County vineyard after helping to harvest saffron in a field nearby. And I’ve ridden through their Carneros vineyard on horseback with Sonoma Valley Trail Rides and twice picked grapes for their second harvest event. Every winery I visit pitches me to join their club, but these guys went the extra mile by offering amazing adventures. Like the cruises of the Sausalito waterfront we’ve enjoyed aboard the Freda B Schooner, and on Oakland’s waterfront aboard the former USS Potomac presidential yacht along with the staff of the San Francisco Baykeeper advocacy group. I was impressed to learn that Obsidian donates all the profits from its Rosé for the Bay wine to Baykeeper, and that it used to be the only rosé served at the Hog Island Oyster Company restaurants. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the time Obsidian took us to the Hog Island oyster farm for a tour and slurping… err, tasting of their Chardonnays paired with both fresh and charbroiled oysters.
Their next adventure–which is open to members and non-members alike–is the Gulyás Fest on December 3, 2023 where they will serve homemade Hungarian goulash made in an enormous copper pot using a recipe from the mother of two of the winery’s owners with wine barrel samples and library wine selections in the production warehouse near downtown Sonoma. I’ve attended the last 2 of these annual events and will be there this year. Details at https://www.obsidianwineco.com/Adventures/Gulyas-Fest. Gosh, those Obsidian folks keep us wine club members so busy that we barely have time to drink their wine at home. Well, some of the photos that I’ve posted below show that’s not true.
But don’t take my word for it. Visit the Obsidian Wine Co. tasting room in the Cornerstone Marketplace of Sonoma, 23564 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476. They will waive the usual $30 per person tasting fee if you mention “Hiddenbrooke” when you visit them any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday between 11am and 5pm. When you visit, be sure to allow extra time to visit the incredible Sunset Magazine gardens there described at https://www.cornerstonesonoma.com/gardens/