Next stop on our trip was La Crema wine tasting room in downtown Healdsburg. This is a spacious and well appointed tasting room. You’ve read my blogs about the various La Crema chardonnays so you already know that I’m partial to them. But visiting the wine tasting room is always a treat, especially if you are a wine club member.
The very first time that Gary and I visited La Crema in October 2015, I was duly impressed with the royal treatment. Upon arrival, Gary mentioned that I write a chardonnay blog and was looking for the perfect chardonnay. Lisa, the wine tasting room lead, quickly took over and lined up a side by side tasting of every chardonnay they had open that day. My favorites were the 2012 Nine Barrel, the 2013 Russian River Valley, and the 2012 Arroyo Seco chardonnays. We joined the wine club that day and went home with too many bottles to count!
The next time we returned in March of this year, as wine club members, we were escorted to the members only lounge in the back of the tasting room, and invited to sit down in the comfortable living room style seating. The convivial Shelby served us several of their premium wines, while expertly describing the origin of each one.
And on this trip, we were lucky enough to meet up with Lisa again. Well, actually, I called the winery ahead of time and made an appointment for a special tasting of the 9 Barrel Wines, La Crema’s top of the line series of wines, and thankfully Lisa took the call. I’m now the editor of the Sacramento Lifestyle Magazine, so I was on a mission to write an article on exceptional wineries and wine tasting experiences. But my “secret mission” was to taste the best of La Crema’s chardonnays again.
Upon arrival, Lisa hugged us both and led us back to the special “9 Barrel Library Room.” I have to admit, I’ve never been greeted in such a friendly manner by a wine server before. But, what the heck, this is part of the experience. La Crema staff take great pride in not only being knowledgeable about their wine, but by being super hospitable as well. They are all eager to ensure that their guests have an excellent experience.
The 9 Barrel wine tasting showcases the best of the winemaker and the best of the La Crema wines. To create these magic potions, the winemaker selects the best from nine different barrels to blend together the perfect wines. This is not a blend of varietals, but rather the best of the Russian River Valley chardonnays and pinot noirs. In addition, we were able to taste some of the other premium wines including the Saralee chardonnay, made from grapes that come from the highly prized Saralee vineyards, a place famous in Sonoma County. Lisa says “Happy grapes come from that vineyard.”
La Crema is now in the process of building a beautiful new wine tasting room in the heart of the Russian River Valley, a short distance from Healdsburg. When I know more, I’ll share the news on my blog. I can’t wait until opening day!