Benziger Family Glen Ellen Winery Tour & Tasting, Sonoma Valley

A very pleasant tour through their “Demeter certified Biodynamic” vineyard and extensive new eco-Cellars. We also witnessed the start of the crush and their new super duper optical grape sorting camera-laser machine.

There is an interesting desplay at the entrance to the vineyard with explains their BioDynamic philosopny which takes an originally organic ethos to a new level through all aspects of the business (

The wines we tasted were:

new 2012 Signaterra “West Rows” Chardonnay

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We tasted this sheltering from the sun under a tree in the vineyard – more like a Sauvignon Blanc than a traditional Oaked Chardonnay, this was a crisp drop with a hint of Melon nose. $32.

2012 Signaterra “La Reyna”Pinot Noir

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Light, cherry fruit with a hint of spice. €49

2011 Oonapais Sonoma Mountain Red

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Names after one of their plots this had tints of Leather and Coffee. $49

2013 Frank Johnson Sauvignon Blanc

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A typical ‘agrume’ Sauvignon Blanc: Lemon, Lime and Apple orchard. $26

2011 Winemaker’s Bend

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A blend of 6 varietals from the various plots, more leather and coffee with a plum nose. Lesley’s favourite. $42

2011 Signaterra “Three Blocks” Cabernet Sauvignon

The star for me: black fruits with a dry finish and great mouthfeel. $49.





Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc NV

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I thought this looked interesting sitting there on the shelf in Dunnes. The green tinted glass bottle suggested a delicate sophistication and the Yosemite Blvd origin added romance. It had a gold medal so someone must have cared for it and it was right on my €10 price point!

No so, a flabby, non descript bland table wine with a distinct lack of Citrus and none of the zing, zest and zebedee spring of a Sauvignon Blanc.

It turns out the Medal is a Generic award –  the vineyard entered a load of wines into the awards and this medal celebrates that it received a recommendation for paying their entry fee into the awards