Castle Vineyards: Sonoma’s Royal Secret

As a young girl, I had always dreamed about being a princess inside a castle full of beautiful surroundings and lovely wines.

Well, okay….maybe not the wines so much, but you get the point.

At Castle Vineyards in Sonoma, California, their small, quaint tasting room gives meaning to the word “royalty”. Why, you ask? It’s simple: The folks at Castle really know what they are making and selling and it shows. From the employees to the tasting room and of course, the wine itself, Castle knows how to make one feel like royalty.

My first experience and knowledge of Castle started one late February afternoon. I was in Sonoma for the weekend enjoying the sites and sounds of the Olive Festival, which is an annual celebration every December through February in Sonoma.

My entourage and I set off to taste some wonderful local wines and we shopped, sipped, and succumbed to Sonoma’s small-town charm and appreciation for new faces.

As we approached Spain Street past town center, we walked a ways until we came across a very appealing and charming cottage-type building. A sign that read “Castle Vineyards” hung in the front, welcoming us in for a complimentary wine tasting.

Feeling like we had stumbled upon a mysterious, hidden treasure, my group and I happily accepted the invitation and walked immediately up the cottage-style porch and opened the door.

The place was packed. There were tables all around, but only two were open. I admit, and have mentioned before, Castle’s quaint little tasting room leaves little square feet for socializing, but once you’re lead to a table to taste the indulgent wines you soon forget how small the place really is.

The employees, or, for lack of a better word, hostesses, were surprisingly educated in every single sip of wine they poured into our glasses. Giving a brief, yet informative description of each variety of wine we sampled, we were instantly familiar with the style, taste and fragrance described by the hostess. We even learned a thing or two about history of the area courtesy of the hostesses, who effortlessly let each fact roll out of their mouths like it was second nature.

We took our time sampling the wine and enjoyed pleasant conversation in my little entourage. We felt like we were home, like we had finally landed upon a genuine wine maker in Sonoma who really, honestly cared about making the average, or even novice, wine connoisseur comfortable and familiar with what Castle was all about. There was nothing generic about Castle Vineyards. These people were truly the heart and soul of Sonoma’s ever-growing wine community.

I’m almost reluctant to share my little treasure, my Sonoma Castle. I almost want to keep it to myself purely so I feel I have a safe haven, a place to relate to whenever I want to feel important and indulge in pure premium Sonoma bliss. I feel, however, that I also need to share my newfound love and inform the general public about what they are missing. What a dilemma….

That dreary late afternoon in Sonoma, my group and I left Castle Vineyards tasting room feeling fulfilled. I left with my special treasure, a bottle of 2003 Syrah Port from Los Carneros, which was my absolute favorite of the six wines we sampled. The hostess that I purchased it from told me to enjoy it, and I happily told her I intended to do so.

To feel like royalty is a rarity these days. Sonoma plays host to a variety of vastly different wineries, all targeted toward different walks of life. But, the next time you feel unimportant, run-down, or just like you need a little pick-me-up, check out Castle Vineyards in Sonoma, California. You may enter as a regular Joe or Jill Schmoe, but you’ll leave feeling like the King/Queen of the World!

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*Castle Vineyards is located at 122 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

Tasting room phone number is: 707.996.1966 ext. 106  Open daily 10 – 5

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