Let me make this perfectly clear: I have nothing against Cabernet Sauvignon. While our own personal wine journey has taken us primarily down the Zinfandel and Rhone paths, we definitely recognize Cabernet’s place in the pantheon of great wine grapes. Most of our wine trips tend to focus on our favorite varietals, but we have no aversion to expanding those choices. So when our friends gave us a certificate for a tasting at Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery we were happy to do just that.
Stone Edge Farm actually owns three vineyards – Stone Edge, Mount Pisgah and Silver Cloud, which are managed organically by the renowned Phil Coturri.
The Stone Edge Vineyard property at the base of Sonoma Mountain was acquired by Mac and Leslie McQuown in 1995. The property has the distinction of having been owned by Nicholas Carriger, who came to Sonoma from Missouri in 1847. When he planted here, he became the first American to grow wine grapes in Sonoma Valley.
Mac McQuown had his own distinction, not only as a very successful businessman and entrepreneur, but also in the wine industry, having been a founder of both Chalone and Carmenet wineries.
Winemaker Jeff Baker, who was also a partner at Carmenet, joined the McQuowns with his Mount Pisgah Vineyard in the Mayacamas Mountains. Eventually they formed Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery in 2004.
The Silver Cloud Vineyard is in the Moon Mountain District just north of the Mount Pisgah vineyard, up in the Mayacamas Mountains where Sonoma County borders Napa County. The tasting room is on the Silver Cloud property and it is aptly named, being at a high elevation seemingly close to the clouds. It’s a long, winding and narrow road; they recommend you hire a driver. Please don’t go all the way up there without making an appointment first.
Karen and I had plans to head into Napa (more on this in a future article) so we chose that morning to pay Stone Edge Farm a visit.
We parked and were met by Philippe Thibault, Stone Edge Farm’s Director of Hospitality, who gave us a tour of this amazing mountain property and led our tasting.
Stone Edge Farm makes three wines: a Sauvignon Blanc a Bordeaux blend called “Surround” and their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon.
We tasted the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc [actually an 80/20 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon], two vintages of the Surround blend [2009 and 2014] and the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.
My impressions were that these wines are designed to showcase the fruit but to not overpower the palate. Sometimes wines are referred to as “food wines” because they just don’t stand on their own and need food to make them work. That was not the case here. The wines all drank beautifully on their own but the experience was definitely enhanced by the charcuterie that was provided.
The Cabernet Sauvignon in particular made a special impression. I am not one for complicated tasting notes, but I did comment specifically about the mouthfeel of this wine, the way it magically spread across my tongue and then dissipated. I actually said “…like a cloud” before I remembered we were at the Silver Cloud Vineyard.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the name is Stone Edge Farm. The entire operation is built around sustainability and includes 16 acres that are organically farmed just west of downtown Sonoma. There is a 30-seat private dining room called Edge where their culinary director pairs the Stone Edge Farm wines with seasonal dishes.
Just to wrap up – Thank you so much Philippe Thibault for being such an engaging host. This is definitely a winery to check out when you are looking for an elevated experience, both in location and in wine. But remember: Make an appointment!
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.