Ross Valley Winery
Marin County Winery
343 San Anselmo Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960
|Phone #||(415) 457-5157|
|Pricing||$ $ $ $ $|
|Rating||* * * * *|
More Wineries in Marin:
Ross Valley Winery Wine Tasting Tours, Hours & Prices:
Daily 1pm - 7pm (closed Monday)
Ross Valley Winery Wine Tasting Notes
[UPDATE - WINERY CLOSED] We are sad to report that the Ross Valley Winery shut it's doors for good in early Summer 2010. They will be missed.
We stopped in this storefront tasting room in San Anselmo one rainy afternoon after hiking up in Point Reyes. Paul, the owner and winemaker, was behind the bar pouring wine for some folks who were already bellied up to the bar.
Paul set us up with glasses and poured us a taste of his Sauvignon Blanc. At first we got the impression that Paul was kind of grumpy. I don't know if it was in his delivery, or what, but he reminded me of a curmudgeonly uncle. But he did greet people as they came in from the downpour, saying, "Sorry about the rain... come on in, folks."
After he had said this a few times I said jokingly, "Yeah, Paul... why don't you do something about this rain?"
Without missing a beat he said, "Sure, I'll do something about it for you... I'll take you in the back and stuff you in a wine barrel." He looked at me with a smirk. "No more rain."
From that point on I was Paul's biggest fan. Along with Paul's wine apprentice, Kerry Kirkham, Ross Valley Winery makes some good wine, and at good value.
For example, when the economy hit bottom, Paul, and Ross Valley Winery, was there for you. He came up with a inexpensive wine called Recession Red. He calculated the price everyday by selling it at .1% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He could have easily sold this wine for $20+ a bottle, but instead was selling it at $12 or $13, and as low as $8 one day. An excellent value in hard times. (Don't try to find it because it's sold out. He's currently selling Recovery Red, the price being .15% of the Dow Jones).
The small tasting room and gift shop doubles as a events area for art openings, fundraisers, and special winemaker dinners (only offered to club members). And speaking of wine clubs, Ross Valley has one of the most fair winery clubs we know. You get charged one price, the same price, every shipment, so there are no surprises. None of this arbitrary fluctuation that you find with other winery's clubs, where one shipment will be $50, and the next will be $100. Paul is a straight up guy with straight up wines.
In the shop you'll find some of your usual wine schwag, as well as prints of some of the designs Kerry does for the wine labels. During the holidays, watch for Paul's Port and chocolate combo packages.
In addition to the usual varietals, Ross Valley also features some unusual suspects, like mead, port, and a their Vin de Noix, French for "wine of nuts", a digestif. And, most recently, Ross Valley winery won a bronze medal at The West Coast Wine Competition for the K Aperitif, one of the first wines Kerry developed.
Paul has been making wine since the 1970's, begun selling his wine in the 80's and 90's, and finally opened the tasting room in San Anselmo in 2001.
If we could name a "home team" winery, this would be ours. Paul and Kerry always make us feel welcome, like we're visiting old friends or family. It's like Uncle Paul is making some good wine up there, eh? Lets drop in and and check on the new batch.
We like most of Paul's wines, but we really love his Zinfandels. But most of all, we enjoy supporting Paul, a local winemaker and wine lover.
Quick Photo Tour:
The entrance to the winery is on San Anselmo Avenue, right on the main drag, in downtown San Anselmo. There are several place to grab lunch or dinner just a few steps from the winery.
Here is an example of wines offered for taste. A vast selection of reds. You can see the Recovery Red, an inexpensive wine developed for the down economy. The price is .15% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, (while supplies last).
The space is also used for special events, including art openings and winemaker dinners, (offered to club members). The glass doors lead to the winemaking facilities in the rear of the building.
Ross Valley Winery Wines
|90||2006||Red||Zinfandel||Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel|
|89||2005||Port||Zinfandel||Sonoma County Fermez la Port|
|83||2005||White||Sauvignon Blanc||Anderson Valley Sauvignon Blanc|