Updated: Jan 12
The tiny town of Graton has another wine lover’s gem!
Alex and Katie Bowman are the new millennials on the Graton block.
Look for the shiny, silver, AirStream that sits off to one side of the courtyard.
A big tasting room space with seating inside or outside.
Out front there is a large courtyard with an area to play darts.
Walk up the steps to the tasting room and onto a large deck/porch with more lounge seating.
In the tasting room, Katie’s decorating style captures an Anthropology/farmhouse flair.
Seriously though, move over Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s popular show Fixer Upper, Katie Bowman has some SERIOUS decorating talent.
Clearly, these exuberant Millennials put a unique twist to the wine tasting experience.
$10 tasting fee, waived with purchase.
Wine prices range from $28-$42.
Great wines at a an affordable price point.
Open Thursday and Friday 12:00-5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 11:00-6:00pm
Monday-Wednesday appointment needed.
I picked a Russian River Valley 2016 Chardonnay.
100% barrel-fermented in French and American oak with a rich, creamy texture.
A flagship wine for Bowman.
Bowman offers variety:
Blanc de Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and next month Rosé.
Alex Bowman, winemaker and proprietor, graciously delivered a bowl of water for my pup Lexi.
She lounged in the sunshine while I tasted.
Social Media Worthy
No matter where you take a pic at Bowman…
Your picture will be on trend and social media goals.
Feel Good Vibes
To compliment your tasting, Bowman Cellars offers a menu of small plate noshes.
My friend and I shared the Truffle Cheddar Grilled Cheese.
We are foodies and could not rave enough about this beautifully presented and deliciously tasting sandwich.
As we hung out at Bowman we realized just how many mutual friends we have in common.
Katie Bowman’s sister is a friend of mine.
Our friend Andrea helps Bowman with marketing and design.
We also both know Jackie of Jaclynn Rene Wines.
The list of common connections went on and on.
Katie and Alex Bowman grew up in Sonoma County.
Family close by stepped in to help get the Bowman Cellars brand on the map.
An aunt, brother-in-law, and sister have been valued mentors along the way.
Katie worked for her dad who owns Andy’s Produce Market in Sebastopol.
Alex worked for his dad who owns Bowman Electronics.
The entrepreneurial instincts are strong and deep, 5 generations deep!
Both Katie and Alex beam as they showcase their tasting room.
Both of their personalities are upbeat and personable.
You can’t help smiling when in their presence
Wine tastes so much better with a smile on your face.
Wine Nerd Facts
Alex Bowman, as a teenager, caught the wine making bug.
He started making wine in the garage with Sauv Blanc grapes from the family property.
His wine competed at the local harvest fairs and won gold at the amateur level.
2013 was the bust out year; a Best of Class in the white wine division sealed the deal.
Katie had the drive, ambition, and encouragement Alex needed to start a wine business.
These two are a powerhouse couple.
In 2015 the first Bowman Cellars label was a reality
In 2017 the Bowman Cellars tasting room in Graton launched.
Wine Spectator recommended their Cabernet as having a:
“very agreeable style…not overly tannic, but with a nice touch of oak.”
Sales jumped and legitimized that wine.
Currently they produce 650 cases in all and that number is going to ramp up.
This is one of those wineries you want in on NOW.
You want to be “in the know” while they are just getting started.
This is one of those wineries, as a wine nerd, you can say….”I knew them when!”
Wine Club? Fun Events?
Activities are a mainstay of this dynamite Bowman duo.
Music events are scheduled featuring local musicians.
Food events with guest chefs will work their magic in the winery kitchen.
Even Yoga sessions take place on the Bowman tasting room deck.
And why not get your wine served out of the shiney, silver “Winestream”? SO COOL!
I follow Bowman on all social media to stay in the loop.
While we were tasting, Katie mentioned a taco event coming up serving al Pastor!!!!
Basically, this is the type of winery I want to hang out at all the time.
Sheila’s Tasting Notes
You can always tell when I’m happy and excited.
I can’t stay still.
I’ll roam around and scope everything out.
You’ll hear constant ‘oooooooooooooos’ and ‘ahhhhhhhhhs’ coming out of me.
When I’m really in my element I’ll say over and over:
“I just LOVE this place.”
I’ll start talking about wanting to come back now before I’ve even left.
That was me at Bowman.
I’m going to a lot of wineries for 100 Wineries In 100 Days.
I worry that many of the tasting rooms might start blending together.
Bowman Cellars is set apart.
A new breed of wine tasting experience.
BEHIND THAT SCENES DINNER AT BOWMAN
Throw out my scale. Buy me some stretchy pants. I’ve somehow found myself on the wine-ing and dine-ing event circuit.
Dinner at Kendall Jackson, lunch at La Crema, and now dinner at Bowman Cellar’s. Not sure how I’m manifesting these glorious invites, but I’m grateful!
I’m often asked. Out of all 100 wineries you visited what were your TOP favs?
Bowman Cellars is always high on my ‘must visit’ list. Because the…
owners are adorable
oooooozing wine passion
making flip your wig Pinot/Chard/Cab/Rosé
Graton is the cutest little town
the winery decor is trendsetting
they are fresh and young and vibrant and welcoming
salt of the earth people
Last night was their winemaker dinner with Jaclynn Renee Wines.
Here’s my birds-eye view of the night:
Most Interesting Person
At first, my boyfriend and I were a little perplexed.
We noticed we were not sitting next to each other.
The beauty of ‘Sonoma County Wine Dining’ is…
you typically sit at looooooooooooooong tables.
Long candle lit tables.
Tables filled with new and interesting people.
I sat next to Azure.
As the meal progressed I was blown away.
Azure explore’s the world on her Honda motorcycle.
Currently she is working at Comstock Winery.
She works three to four months out of the year and then is off again on another motorcycle adventure.
Wife of Alex Bowman the owner.
She wore a flow-y leopard print dress.
The back had a cutout to give a little sassy and stunning element.
Burrata with apple pesto and mint oil.
Super finely chopped apples.
Creamy burrata with a cloud like soft texture/flavor.
I enjoyed the contrasting elements of the soft cheese with the crisp and tart apple flavor.
Learning how Katie met Alex Bowman.
All of us roared with laughter when she announced that Alex was the brother of her best friend.
Katie was a senior and Alex was an 8th grader when they met and fell in love!!!!!
Another cute moment.
During appetizers there was a little table set-up.
Guests could ask the winemakers questions.
In between every course the winemakers pulled a question.
Alex Bowman’s turn.
Even though it was dark at this point, I swear I could see his face turn red.
Alex announced that he recognized his mom’s handwriting.
As he read the question, we all cracked up.
“Alex, what do you love most about your mother?”
The Bowman’s are all about family and playfulness!
I’ve only seen the Bowman ‘wine-stream’ during the day.
On this night, it was lit up and quite magnificent.
Twinkle lights in the surrounding trees and then the airstream itself lit up with a blue glow.
What other winery has this cool feature?!?!?
During appetizers, Chardonnay and Rosé was flowing out of the wine-stream.
I’m always fascinated how wineries get their start.
During dinner Alex talked about being an electrician by trade.
He did grow up making wine in the garage with his dad.
In 2013 he accepted three tons of Cabernet as a payment for a job.
It was then that he started getting serious about opening a winery.
Wine should never be stuffy and stiff and unattainable. Bowman wine is a best friend in a glass. Attending a dinner event at Bowman was like being at the best wedding of the year.
Hilarious speeches, the winemaker’s family surrounding you, Katie Bowman’s on point decor skills and her leopard print dress was New York Fashion Week goals!!!!!!
Cheers to the Bowman’s. These winery owner newbies are making some serious waves and shaking things up in our Sonoma County wine industry. Dare I say this is one of the TOP hottest wineries in Sonoma County right now!
Get there. You’ll love it. I promise.