The Taste of Route 116 was in full swing. It was time to explore a new winery: Furthermore Wines!
After our check-in tasting at Balletto Vineyards and getting reacquainted with the good people and fine wines at Taft Street Winery, we were ready for our first visit to Furthermore Wines. After a few minutes driving along the country roads, we drove into the large parking lot of Furthermore and found a spot enjoying the shade of tall tree. As we walked toward the winery, the feeling of déjà vu was strong. We knew that we had never tasted Furthermore Wines before, but we were equally certain that we had been to this property before, during a Taste of Rt 116 event. A mystery was afoot.
We checked in with the reservation desk and were give our choice of seating. There was a large, shaded table with a panoramic view of the facility and vineyard and a nice break from the breeze, so that was an easy selection. Wine guide Mary Jane welcomed us and set the three of us up with wine glasses and their tasting flight menu. Pinot Noir is the centerpiece of the Russian River wine scene and it certainly showed: all three wines were based on Pinot Noir. We settled in and prepared ourselves for a new winetasting experience as we chatted with Mary Jane and learned a bit about the winery. We needed to solve this mystery.
We learned that the winery had previously been known as the Graton Ridge Cellars and is now owned by Bob Zeches and Chad Richard. The new owners had dramatically increased the outdoor seating, including a spacious gazebo and a large area under an enormous tree with tables and even a bocce court. The vineyard looked very much the same, although the dog that used to love fetching tennis balls while we sipped was no longer on duty. Mary Jane started our tasting with their 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir. Served very cold, we enjoyed the bright and fruity flavors and surprisingly long finish. This was a rosé with character!
We next tasted their 2017 Graton Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir. This was a classic RRV Pinot, with slate aromas, gentle layers of dark fruit, and punchy tannins on the finish. Our final taste was our favorite of the entire flight: their 2017 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir. This one came home with us because of the nicely balanced plum and forest floor notes and restrained tannins on the finish. A lovely wine in every respect! Tasting complete, it was time to roam around the property a bit. The gazebo was full of happy people and we could hear live music, so we wandered that direction. We found two musicians calling themselves “Tom and Johannes” putting on a wonderful show, covering rock tunes going back decades. Their Eagles and Don Henley covers were particularly fun! We found out that this was their very first gig, and based on what we heard they will be getting a lot more work! If you are interested in reaching out to them, leave a comment and we can send you their phone number by email.
We had one more winery on our reservation list, so we thanked Mary Jane, purchased our Pinot and set off. One more tasting was just down the street!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?