Patz & Hall Winery Review
Address: 21200 8th Street East Sonoma,California 95476.
Phone Number: 707-265-7700
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Mon 10:00-4:00 and by appt.
Region: Sonoma Coast AVA, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley AVA, Los Carneros AVA, California
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Review Date: 2/21/2016
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses, and Heather Patz, who combined their experience in enology, winemaking, and wine sales and customer service to create a premier wine brand and tasting experience. Beginning with their first offering of 300 cases of chardonnay, Patz & Hall has grown into a 40,000-case production winery focusing on chardonnay and pinot noir from revered vineyards in cool-climate areas such as Sonoma Countys Carneros, Sonoma Coast, and the Russian River Valley, as well as a few wines from Mendocino County and the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County. Most of the case production is comprised of three larger-production wines, the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, which are more readily available outside of the winery. This allows Patz & Hall to feature a number of small-production, single-vineyard wines for the Sonoma House guests and Salon Society (wine club) members.
The Sonoma House, where tastings occur, was indeed once a spacious home that was purchased in 2012 and redesigned to become a first-class tasting and event facility. It is a large, beautifully designed space that offers indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a clubhouse for private events.
Patz & Hall offers three tasting options, including the Salon Experience ($60 per person), the Tasting Bar ($30 per person), and the monthly Patz & Hall Growers Series ($75 per person). My industry friends and I, first-time visitors, opted for the $30 Tasting Bar experience, which includes tastes of two chardonnays and two pinot noirs. However, as part of a mutual referral plan between wineries, and because the wines were already open, we were able to taste three each.
We were seated at the bar and our host, Dan, led us through the tasting. He was professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. The wines we tasted included the 2013 Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay (Mendocino County), the 2013 Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay, the 2013 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay (both Russian River Valley), the 2013 Gaps Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast), the 2013 Bootleggers Hill Pinot Noir, and the 2013 Burnside Vineyard Pinot Noir (both Russian River Valley). These wines are not shy. The chardonnays, all of which go through 100% malolactic fermentation and are produced in varying percentages of new French oak, are full-bodied, as well as powerfully aromatic and flavored. The Pinot Noirs are robust, spicy, and mouth filling. All of the wines are unfiltered, unfined, concentrated and terroir-driven, each showcasing intense fruit from their cool-climate vineyard sources.
With our glass of Burnside Vineyard Pinot Noir in hand, Dan led us on a tour of the outside seating area and clubhouse. Always the consummate host, he offered to take our photo in a picturesque location with perfect lighting. On our way back to the main building, he allowed us to linger a bit outside before closing time. We sat in an empty seating area talking, taking in the end of a beautiful afternoon. We ended our tasting with one last splash of the Bootleggers Pinot Noir and quiet conversation about what a lovely experience we had at Patz & Halls Sonoma House.