Enjoying the wines and gardens at Ferrari Carano in Sonoma County
If you enjoy experiencing a slice of Tuscany, gorgeous gardens and sampling delicious wines, then head out to Ferrari Carano winery in Sonoma County, California. The best time frame to enjoy the winery is during the spring to late summer when the gardens are in full bloom with gorgeous displays of flowers, plants and colorful garden rooms to enjoy. Even though the wine tasting is one of the best experiences when visiting Ferrari Carano, the world-renown gardens are also a big draw for their stunning year round displays and colorful presentation. Rhonda Carano’s love of gardening shows with the 5 acres of manicured to natural gardens which really shine during the spring to fall.
The gardens at Ferrari Carano
Entering the estate feels like you are coming to a Tuscan villa except you are transplanted to Sonoma wine country – ornate Tuscan colors and architecture, a dramatic iron gate entry impress right from the start and it gets even better after you park the car and start your pleasant walk through the grounds of the estate. It’s almost hidden finding the entrance to the display gardens, but you enter through a small iron gate off the main entrance from the parking lot. Once inside the enclosed garden walls, you are transported to a lush and inviting water garden fronting a gazebo that welcomes you to sit and enjoy some of the views as you slowly view the gardens unfolding before you. It seems like every square inch of the garden grounds is planted with so many colorful annuals and perennials and they are all blooming at the same time.
An inviting gazebos welcomes you to sit and enjoy the views
You continue down the winding path through leading you through inviting garden rooms that welcomes you instantly including a rose-filled garden, a rock garden and then a water garden blooming with spring time perennials. It’s all well maintained and so well presented – almost like a little jewelry box just unfolding slowly in front of you when you are walking past and absorbing every little detail. Eventually you exit the walled garden and enter the walkway to the villa. Fronting the tasting rooms are panoramic views of the vineyards complete with rolling hills, cypress lined walkways and an extravagant fountain display that somehow fits alongside the rows of vineyards. All this visual eye candy excites the senses, and now there’s more in store when you enter the tasting rooms to explore the wines of Ferrari Carano.
Another sitting gazebo area this time fronting roses in bloom
There are many beautiful gardens rooms to explore, take your time and savor the moment, it’s all here to enjoy and relax in the gardens.
The grand entrance to the tasting rooms
Tasting Ferrari Carano wines
Villa Fiore tasting bar
As you enter the tasting rooms, it feels like you are entering a someone’s private estate – of course you enter directly into a large tasting area facing the vineyards with a variety of wine displays and promotional items from the winery for sale. The tasting rooms have two areas for tasting some of the estate wines: an upstairs tasting area called the Villa Fiore tasting bar and in the cellars, the Enoteca cellar tasting bar to taste enjoy finer varieties offered covering Select, PreVail and Tresor wines. At the upstairs tasting room you can taste up to four wines for $5 from their classics to their dessert wines.
Here are some of my favorites that I had a chance to sample taste from the extensive varieties available to taste.
2013 Ferrari Carano Sauvignon Blanc – a tasting of this wine delivered a creamy and delicious texture, full bodied for Sauvignon with nice fruity flavors that reminded me of summer stone fruit. From the notes, these grapes are mostly grown in the Alexander valley and aged in French oak barrels.
2012 Ferrari Carano Chardonnay – This chardonnay comes from the three main vineyards in Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and Russian River. A nice creamy white with crispy and acidic taste with fruit flavors, I love the full body of the wine and the nice oak and earthy finish. I can almost taste a nice seafood dish paired with this chardonnay.
2012 Ferrari Carano Pinot Noir – The Pinot noir is aromatic and rich in flavors that remind me of the earth, oak barrels and summer fruit. A nice lingering and smooth finish and with nicely balanced flavors. This is a taste I could definitely enjoy a whole glass instead of a taste. The wine notes show the wines hand harvested and selected, pressed and then aged in oak barrels for 10 months to finish malolactic fermentation.
2010 Ferrari Carano Zinfandel – a rich robust taste bursting with flavors and smooth finish. I can easily taste summer berries and other stone fruits. The nice buttery finish was also quite pleasant and left me want to try more of this delicious wine.
Enoteca cellar and wine bar
Downstairs at their enoteca wine tasting bar, I took a quick look at their downstairs cellar which is dark but brilliantly lit with these gorgeous chandeliers. You can taste the limited release and reserve wines at the bar, a choice of 4 tastes for $15 which is refunded with an $80 wine purchase. Wines available for tasting include select Chardonnay, Tresor or PreVail wines. Legend has it that if you touch the bronze boar’s snout in front of the tasting room entrance, you will have good luck which is not the case for this 1,300 pound boar that wrecked havoc on the vineyard grounds and met its demise with one ear of sweet corn.
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More details if you do visit the winery
Address 8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Hours 10-5pm no appointment necessary
Tasting 4 wines $5 Tastsing 4 wines $15 for Select, Tresor or PreVail wines
Food and wine tasting pairings is available and offered through reservation
Winery tours by appointment only to find out more visit here
Hope you enjoyed the gardens and tasting write up for Ferrari Carano in the Dry Creek Valley. If you enjoyed reading this post, please do share it with any of the social media buttons on the post, thank you.