There’s no better way to spend a summer weekend in the Russian River Valley than at the Annual Russian River Valley Passport (formerly Passport to Pinot)!
Visit more than 30 acclaimed wineries and enjoy world-class wines, including limited and early releases, as well as locally crafted foods and unmatched hospitality. This tasting experience will have you discovering the rugged beauty of the valley and the region’s most celebrated wineries, unique artists and hidden gems. The Russian River Valley Passport weekend offers ticket holders exclusive experiences throughout the weekend at participating wineries, many that aren’t open to the public. A Saturday night VIP barbecue at Gail Ann’s Vineyard in the heart of Russian River Valley will allow a limited number of ticket holders to mingle with the winemakers and growers over smoky summer fare.
2015 Participating Wineries
ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards – Bacigalupi Vineyards – Balletto Vineyards – Benovia Winery – Bucher Winery – The Calling Wines – Camlow Cellars – Carrozzi Vineyard – Cartograph – Christopher Creek Winery – D’Argenzio Winery – Davis Family Vineyards – DeLoach Vineyards – DRNK Winery – Dutton Estate – Dutton-Goldfield – Ektimo Vineyards – HANNA Winery & Vineyards – Hartford Family Winery – HKG Estate, Hop Kiln Vineyards – Inman Family Wines – Joseph Swan Vineyards – Kobler Estate Winery – La Crema Winery – Lauterbach Cellars – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards – Merriam Vineyards – Mueller Winery – Nunes Vineyards/St. Rose Winery – Russian River Vineyards – Sonoma-Cutrer Winery – Thomas George Estates – Via Giusti Wines – Viszlay Vineyards – VML Winery
Grapes have been growing in the Russian River Valley since the early 1800s when the Russians migrated out of Fort Ross to begin agriculture in the area. But real winegrape production was in force by 1876 and over the next 20 years the Santa Rosa Wine Company, Martini & Prati, Korbel Champagne and Foppiano Winery were in operation. As with all wine regions in the United States, Prohibition saw the closure of most wine operations and it wasn’t until the late 1960s that Russian River Valley saw significant wine production again. Cool climate grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were planted and Russian River Valley grew to become a force in the wine industry.
The climate of the Russian River Valley is ideal for cool climate grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The valley is warm during the day for sugar production and the intrusion of the cooling fog from the Pacific flows through the Petaluma Gap and the Russian River channel to cool off the grapes at night. Then the fog dissipates in the morning. This natural air conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season. The Russian River Valley has a complex geological structure due to the collision of the North American plate and the Pacific plate. The uplift of the ancient seabed provides the sandstone that is the basis of the Goldridge loam soil. The water flowing off the Sonoma Mountain range carries in the eroded volcanic material creating vast areas of clay in the center of the appellation. And the alluvial materials from the river itself formed the river benchlands.
With over 15,000 acres of grapevines, the Russian River Valley is famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But you will also find Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer grown here as well as smaller quantities of other grapes.
For more information:
- Russian River Valley Winegrowers
- Russian River Valley Passport