At the northern end of the Route 116 territory, in Graton near Sebastopol, is a lovely new tasting room for Bowman Cellars. This warm, sunny day was the perfect setting for our first visit. From our very first glance, the thoughtful and artistic approach to design was apparent. Before we went in we sampled some fresh-off-the-grill grilled cheese sandwich bites from an Airstream trailer set up as a food truck. It was paired with Bowman’s lovely Russian River Valley Chardonnay. A great first impression of the winery.
We walked past the umbrella-covered patio tables to reach the tasting room. Once inside, we saw a number of separate tasting settings, from a standing bar to banquette wrapped tables. There were enough attractive alternatives that it took some time before we decided which choice to make. We were greeted by tasting room manager Amanda and took our place at the copper-topped tasting bar. We were quite taken by the tasteful interior design (especially the pendant’s unique lighting), spending time taking it all in before we gathered our senses and began our tasting flight.
Amanda told us that the tasting room had opened in February 2018, and had already sold out on their Rosé. Producing about 1,200 cases a year, club members were already looking forward to next year’s Zinfandel release. The wine club (called the Bowman Collective) comes in two sizes, labeled VI and XII because of their associated bottles per shipment. Membership also includes exclusive access to parties and special events and VIP service in the tasting room.
Amanda poured a silky smooth Pinot Noir and a rich Cabernet Sauvignon that had a Zinfandel outlook on life. These were both wonderful introductory wines for Bowman Cellars, perfectly harmonious with the interior design that made every tasting spot something special. We can’t wait to return to Bowman Cellars to taste the new Zinfandel when it is released. Fine wine and fine design go very well together!