When Sonoma’s Benovia Winery began in the Russian River Valley fifteen years ago it was with the goal to craft stunning wine through hard work and determination, bringing people together to share a glass, recognizing that the effort put in makes the result that much tastier. Over the past fifteen years owners Joe Anderson, Mary Dewane, and Mike Sullivan have poured their hearts and passions into the creation of elevated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the most prized vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including their Russian River estate vineyard, Martaella (named after Mary and Joe’s mothers.)
Any winemaker and vintner knowns that though the wine world may seem romantic, it is some of the hardest work you can do. It is, after all, farming. But, anyone who watches something grows from root to stem to fruit to harvest, the resulting product is almost like your baby as you have tended it with care, passion, and dedication.
This past weekend Benovia Winery celebrated its Crystal Anniversary, honoring the work, and enjoying its rewards, including a stellar sparkler that was introduced into their offerings just a few years ago.
From 100% Chardonnay fruit grown on their Martaella Estate, Benovia Winery Blanc de Blancs Russian River Valley Sparkling Wine ($50) leaps from the glass with floral, orchard fruit, and fresh cream aromas. From heirloom Chardonnay clones, the small production, traditional method sparkler captures the essence of rich Russian River fruit, highlighting notes of golden apple, ripe Asian pear, orange blossom, and fig. The fruit subtlely marries with blanched almond, creamy custard, and a touch of focused minerality. Though the sparkler is rich, there is a lovely layer of freshness and acidity, enhanced by that crushed stone mineral note with a delicate, elegant finish.
Congratulations to the whole team at Benovia. I have had the chance to visit the winery a few times over the years. Gary and I had one of our favorite tastings with them just over seven years ago, not long after we were married. We loved it then and it has been a joy to see the winery continue to grow with well-deserved success. We raise our glass to you!