SOURCE: La Crema

Jackson Family Wines

July 28, 2016 09:00 ET

La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard Set to Open on August 1

Interactive Visitor Experiences Highlight Passion for Burgundian Varietal Exploration

SANTA ROSA, CA--(Marketwired - July 28, 2016) - La Crema, the acclaimed producer of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from cool-climate, coastal appellations, today announced the opening of its new Estate at Saralee's Vineyard on Monday, August 1. Situated atop a grassy knoll, overlooking the storied vineyard in the heart of Sonoma's Russian River Valley, the new home of La Crema will be a hub of wine education and culinary exploration, featuring interactive guest experiences and an engaging environment where visitors can enjoy all that is La Crema.

"This new estate is the ultimate expression of La Crema. It's much more than a tasting room -- it's a lifestyle destination that will allow us to provide the elevated guest experience we've always wanted to," said Caroline Shaw, chief marketing officer for La Crema. "Each detail was specially designed to engage with visitors, from longtime fans to new consumers, and keep them coming back again and again."

Visitor Experience

After undergoing an extensive renovation, the historic barn that sits adjacent to Saralee's Vineyard has been reimagined as the heart of the visitor experience. Here, guests are offered an inside look at La Crema's passion for new world Burgundian varietal exploration through a trio of signature tasting flights. Each flight is priced at $15 and can be enjoyed inside at the main bar or out on the barn's expansive patio:

  • Chardonnay Flight: A variety of La Crema Chardonnay selections, including limited bottlings
  • Pinot Noir Flight: A variety of La Crema Pinot Noir selections, including limited bottlings
  • Best of Both: An exploration of La Crema's most prestigious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offerings

The La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard also offers a robust selection of VIP experiences, which incorporate private tours of the estate's sprawling, picturesque grounds and exclusive access to private tasting areas within the barn. VIP options are available by appointment only:

  • Saralee's Tasting Vineyard Tour ($65 per person): A unique private tasting led by a personal concierge, this experience allows guests to tour the estate via golf cart. Then taste each vineyard-designated wine La Crema produces from the site, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir Rosé. For an elevated experience add on a picnic basket lunch or wine and cheese paring.
  • Picnic Basket Lunch ($50 per basket): A perfectly-paired picnic lunch for two, which can be enjoyed atop the knoll or elsewhere on the estate grounds.
  • Wine and Cheese Pairing ($35 per person): A lesson in the fundamentals of wine and cheese pairing, this educational experience expertly pairs local artisan cheeses with La Crema wines.
  • Nine Barrel Tasting ($40 per person): A private exploration of La Crema's rarest, most acclaimed selections, held in the cellar room on the lower level. The tasting concludes with a sample from the winery's very limited Nine Barrel series.
  • North to South Flight ($35 per person): During this insider's look into La Crema's various growing climates, guests will explore wines from the best cool-climate growing regions in California and Oregon -- from the Russian River Valley to Carneros, from the Willamette Valley to Monterey -- and learn about regional differences from a personal wine educator.
  • Vineyard Select Wines ($30 per person): A relaxing experience during which guests enjoy the estate's private VIP areas and indulge in wines that showcase La Crema's most coveted vineyards.

Estate History

The new estate has a deeply-rooted history in the Sonoma County community. Saralee's Vineyard was planted in 1989 by the late Saralee Kunde and her husband, Richard, both well respected for their community contributions. Under the Kundes' careful tending, the site developed a reputation for producing some of the finest grapes in California. The cool climate, varied terrain and diverse soils provide an ideal growing environment for a wide range of varietals, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. La Crema currently produces four wines from Saralee's Vineyard -- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rosé and Gewürztraminer.

The site's historic four-story barn dates back to 1900 and has been transformed to accommodate a variety of different uses over the years, housing everything from hops to horses. It was most recently repurposed by Richard and Saralee into their family home, which they playfully dubbed "the Barn."

"There is a great synergy between the history of the property and its former owners and La Crema's values," Shaw continued. "Not only did Richard and Saralee cultivate a world-class vineyard, but they also used the property to foster a sense of community in Sonoma County. La Crema will continue that legacy through new experiences and events that bring together wine, community and family, with a uniquely La Crema twist."

Renovation Design

Conceptualized and designed by San-Francisco-based architectural design firm BraytonHughes Design Studios, the overarching goal of the renovation was to preserve the historic elements of the barn while modernizing and refiguring the interior. The bottom two levels have been reimagined to encourage a sense of discovery with a variety of spaces for guests to taste and explore La Crema. The upper two levels have been updated, but still retain much of the character of Richard and Saralee's former home. The end result is a magnificent wine country estate with a strong connection to the land, the wine and an enduring sense of place.

The La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard will be open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information or reservations, visit www.lacrema.com/russian-river-estate. The La Crema Healdsburg Tasting Lounge will also remain open for visitors daily from 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

About La Crema

Beloved artisan winery La Crema was founded in 1979 as La Crema Viñera, meaning "Best of the Vine." For more than 35 years, the family-owned and operated winery has focused exclusively on cool-climate coastal appellations, where ocean winds and fog allow grapes to ripen slowly on the vine. Winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas continues to use boutique, time-intensive techniques to produce distinctively balanced and elegant wines. La Crema combines consistent high quality and elegant flavor with a modern cosmopolitan personality. For more information, visit www.LaCrema.com.

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