Ferrari-Carano, a 70-acre estate in Healdsburg and part of the beautiful Dry Creek Valley appellation of Sonoma, is the Stark Insider winery of the week. I’m pleased to provide this photo tour of the grounds, which features a striking tasting room, and expansive, ornate gardens.
When I think of wineries across Napa and Sonoma that I’ve visited over the years my mind conjures different images and memories.
V. Sattui reminds me of fresh cheeses, and picnicking with friends, enjoying a summer breeze.
Artesa reminds me of modern art, Pinot, and stunningly expansive views of the Napa Valley.
Ehlers Estate reminds me of relaxation, a noble cause, and paella (one of my favorite reasons to drop by to pick up club wines!).
Coppola (Rubicon) reminds me of Dracula, Italian estates, and olive trees.
And Ferrari-Carano, founded by Don and Rhonda Carano, reminds me of a French, or Italian Villa. I’d go so far as to say something about the Tuscan Sun, but I think we’ve heard that one before. Oh: and Ronald Reagan (see photo below!).
The gardens here are worth the visit alone. Started innocently enough in 1987 by gardener Rhonda Carano, the initial planting I’m told took 16 months. Today, there’s a constantly changing array of color schemes and plantings. Spring may be best of all, as 10,000 tulips and daffodils take center stage.
Once you’ve caught your breath, pinched yourself, you may even realize that – yes – they do make wine here. Several in fact, including Fumé Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, among others. My favorite, and the one I’d recommend you try if you do visit is the Tré Terre Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). In a word: marvelous.