“First impressions are lasting” is an expression definitely befitting Ram’s Gate Winery. As the inaugural winery along highway 121, gateway to Northern California’s wine country, Ram’s Gate is not only conveniently located (about 30 minutes from Golden Gate Bridge), but also an impressive example of what the area has to offer. After tasting wines and relaxing on the property, you will either be well satisfied and content to call it a day, or it will entice to see what lies beyond down the road, or even over hills and into another valley.
Walking through the entranceway of Ram’s Gate you cannot but be struck by the stunning landscape that is Sonoma and serves as their immediate surroundings. It’s rolling hills, with cattle and sheep sharing the terrain along side vineyards. The design of the winery is such that whether you are relaxing and tasting indoors or at their outside seating, you have nearly 360 views of the lush Carneros landscape. It’s hard to believe you are just minutes from the city, and you are engulfed in stunning countryside vistas. Inside, the visitor center is elegant, yet comfortable, with a design motif that deftly combines traditional, rustic and modern. You have a choice of tasting at a large bar area, or with a reservation you can sample the wines at a nearby private table. Just outside the tasting room is a generous covered patio area, complete with large, cushioned Restoration Hardware-esque chairs and sofas and a duel sided fireplace. If you feel like stretching your legs, guests are welcomed to walk parts of the property.
The Ram’s Gate wine list is made up of lovely selection of several types of wine including Sauvignon Blanc, NV Sparkling Brut, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Late Harvest Zinfandel. Guests can enjoy either wines by the glass, bottle and the choice of two flight menus with food pairings. Being the first winery along the way, is probably a blessing or a curse for Ram’s Gate. For some visitors short on time or eager to get their wine tasting started, they may stop in without a second thought, but for those unfamiliar with the relatively new winery and determined to get to the more popular establishments along highway 29 in Napa Valley, will more than likely sail right passed. Whether you’re going as far as Napa Valley or as close as Sonoma, Ram’s Gate Winery deserves more than a drive by. Go in and enjoy the views and wines.