Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Free tastings at Williams Selyem’s new Russian River winery

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 3:29 pm in Corkheads.

Williams Selyem's new Sonoma winery

How’s that for a great recession headline? It’s true. Williams Selyem, producer of some of the world’s most iconic and coveted small production pinot noir and chardonnay, has opened a new, 33,000 square foot winery off Westside Road in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County.

Even better, they offer free tastings. Yes, free. The tasting consists of three to six wines. Typically, two of the wines are only available in the winery, and the others are dependent on the time of year and availability. In general, their wines are sold through a list and are allocated two times a year on a first come, first served basis.

So you may not be trying that 100-point pinot, but all of their wines are produced using artisan methods and a proprietary yeast. They lack fining and filtration, and are glorious in my opinion.

What’s not glorious is the Williams Selyem List. It’s been in place ever since the early 80s and consists of about 20,000 people to date. To take advantage of the free tasting and tour of the new facility, which includes a new bottling line and barrel room, you need to sign up on the website, and naturally, there’s gotta be a wait.

But I’ve been relatively assured that if you sign up online you shouldn’t have to wait too long to book your free appointment. Let’s hope by Christmas.

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