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Wine | Aperture Cellars: New Tasting Room Soon & On Sanctuary’s Wine List

Posted on: May 28th, 2019 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

It was an incredible growth story at the small Sonoma winery “Aperture” just outside of Healdsburg, California that caught our eyes this past month. This Sonoma County winery offers a unique mix of Bordeaux-inspired wines. In short, this wine-story is just too good for Sanctuary Resort’s Elements Restaurant to pass up, so now it’s on their wine list!

Aperture Cellars
Photo Credit | Andy Katz Photography (Andy is Jesse’s dad and quite well-known & traveled)

It all started with a small winemaking operation that focuses on the fruit that comes from a distinct Sonoma County location that is located roughly where three Sonoma AVAs (Russian River, Dry Creek, and Chalk Hill) come together. According the Aperture’s winemaker Jesse Katz, this is the perfect spot (big diurnal swings, great soil conditions, and estate property) to perform a little “Bordeaux Magic”, here in the US, with the local terroir.

Also, Aperture’s growing season is about 2 weeks longer than what wineries experience in the Napa Valley and this allows for different (varied fruit-forward plus different refinement) characteristics to come through on palate. Jesse allows each vintage to express itself individually while still controlling fermentation, blending, and aging to maximize the result. In other words, craftsmanship.

Now that the word is getting out to restaurants about these wines, Aperture expects to match demand with increased production. Of course, this means expanding the operation a little. These additions, to the delight for wine country visitors, mean a nice tasting room with excellent tours to be had!

Right now, Aperture is serving tastings (reservations needed) at the Andy Katz gallery in downtown Healdsburg, but they expect access at Aperture’s estate property starting this Fall. From the construction shots that Jesse is showing future customers, this will be a perfect winery stop in the open country just outside Healdsburg.

In fact, Jesse points out that American Airlines offers a couple daily direct flights from Phoenix to Santa Rosa, making the winery very easy to get to from the airport in a rental car. This is good to keep in mind when visiting Sonoma County’s premier wineries, without having to brave the bay-area traffic.

There is also a treat for white wine lovers. Aperture offers both Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Very French style with a little time in the barrel. A solid backbone for an Old World inspired tasting experience.

Vignette: Should you ever get to meet Jesse, ask him about once moving a barrel of Screaming Eagle red between buildings on a fork truck while he was working there. Probably enough value in that barrel to buy a nice car. But who’s concerned about such liabilities when you’re a young hired hand?

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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