Driving on the Sonoma Highway just north of Kenwood, it would be virtually impossible to miss seeing St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, even if you weren’t looking for it. After all, how many other wineries have a 28-foot tall bear standing guard over their tasting room?
The Bear is a sculpture created by Sonoma County artist Bryan Tedrick, who is also responsible for two other large sculptures on Wilson Artisan Wineries properties – the Coyote at Wilson Winery in the Dry Creek Valley and Lord Snort, the giant wild boar at Soda Rock Winery in the Alexander Valley. In addition to its massive size, what contributes to the Bear’s uniqueness is that in addition to being constructed from recycled materials from various sources as is Bryan’s wont, some of the steel used came from the remains of the Soda Rock tasting room which was destroyed in the 2019 Kincade fire.
But the Bear is not the only thing that’s special about St. Anne’s Crossing. The property itself has a rich history. The Wilsons acquired the winery in 2012, which was the original site of St. Francis Winery and later Blackstone Winery. Chris Barrett, the winemaker at Pezzi King from our previous article, also makes the wine here. And remember that we mentioned awards? Well, read to the end of this article for some big news – and no peeking until you get to the end!
Tasting Room Associate Hailey Unger did a great job in tasting us through several of the St. Anne’s Crossing wines:
2020 Los Chamizal Pinot Noir – 100% Pinot Noir from the Los Chamizal vineyard in the Sonoma Valley AVA north of town of Sonoma. Delicate nose with hints of cherry notes. Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
2020 Estate Merlot – 100% Merlot from the estate vineyard that was planted in the 1970s in the Sonoma Valley AVA. The vineyard was right behind us as we enjoyed our tasting. Great depth and a lingering smokiness on the finish.
2019 Five Saints Red Blend – Sonoma County, from Dry Creek and Sonoma Valley AVAs. A blend of the five major Bordeaux red varietals: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Fragrant white pepper on the nose and an abundance of stone fruit. Medium to long finish.
2020 Shumahi Primitivo – 100% Primitivo, Sonoma Valley AVA. The vineyard is located in the hills near the town of Glen Ellen and is named for the vineyard owners’ German Shepherd dogs – Schultz, Max and Heidi. Dark, ripe fruit notes with an effortless, elegant finish.
2020 Bacigalupi Zinfandel – 100% Zinfandel, Russian River AVA. Touch of cranberry on the nose and brimming with satiny, buttery notes. Full mouth feel and a long, sustained finish.
2020 Five Valleys Zinfandel – 100% Zinfandel, Sonoma County (includes Rockpile, Los Chamizal and Bacigalupi vineyards, among others). Deep purple/blue fruit. Classic Zinfandel – huge and steady on the long finish. Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
2020 Rockpile Zinfandel – 100% Zinfandel, Rockpile AVA. White pepper on the nose, licorice notes, sense of finesse, long, luscious finish. A great example of why we love Rockpile! Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
2020 Los Chamizal Malbec – 100% Malbec, Sonoma Valley AVA. Awash with ripe black cherry notes and a hint of cocoa on the very long smooth finish. We saved the big news on this wine to the end: It was the Red Sweepstakes Winner at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition! Check out this interview of winemaker Chris Barrett by Barbara Russack, DTC Sales Manager at St. Anne’s Crossing to learn more about this wine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeKHdKVtBF8&t=29s.
Kudos to Chris, Barbara and the entire St. Anne’s Crossing team including the bear and many thanks for taking such great care of us. The group of Wilson Artisan Wineries always delivers great wines and great experiences too.
St. Anne’s Crossing Winery
8450 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood CA 95452Michael and Karen Perlis have been pursuing their passion for wine for more than 30 years. They have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show them the way and after a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as they possibly could, they had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Michael and Karen do their best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers.