Updated: Jan 12
Carol Shelton Wines is located in an industrial section of Santa Rosa.
Kinda like driving into a warehouse/office complex.
No vineyard views and no frou-frou-fancy tasting room.
You might even wonder if the GPS steered you wrong.
Nope, keep going!
Carol Shelton Wines is towards the back of the complex.
Several other wineries are located at this same facility:
Inspiration Vineyards, Donelan Family Wines, Pisoni Vineyard & Vines
While tasting today at Carol Shelton Wines, I MET CAROL!
She describes the industrial warehouses turned winery/tasting rooms as:
“BARRIO DE VINO”
The facility (aka Barrio) itself is not “high falutin” or pretentious, BUT one thing is for sure:
DE VINO (of wine) OR DIVINE wines are being produced and poured here.
I personally love this type of wine experience.
Several fantastic wineries all in one location.
So much easier to wine taste when each tasting room is a short walk away.
Sure, getting the quintessential vineyard experience is great sometimes.
Here at Carol Shelton Wines you get so much more:
Proprietor and Winemaker (see pic below).
One of the FIRST dozen women to graduate from the UC Davis wine course back in 1978.
Carol is very hands-on and is often around.
She is welcoming and very willing to answer wine related questions.
Called, The QUEEN of Zinfandel.
As she took me on a little tour of the barrel room and production facility, I felt very at home in her winemaking home.
She oozes winemaking pride.
Her philosophy: If you put a lot into it, you get a lot back.
2) AWARD WINNING WINE
In fact, she is the highest awarded winemaker in the country.
From the beautiful mural of Rockpile Vineyards behind the tasting bar.
To the many awards and recognitions displayed all over the tasting room.
To the incredibly knowledgeable tasting room hostess.
The tasting room is for sure an interesting spot filled with unique wine treasures.
Tasting is $10 Per Person.
Waived with wine purchase.
Wines range from $18-$50 per bottle.
No appointment needed.
Open daily 11:00am-4:00pm
Black Magic 2017 Late Harvest Zinfandel.
I NEVER go for a dessert wine.
This wine enchanted my tastebuds. Not tooooo sweet. Just right.
Plus, I LOVE anything and everything mystical, witchy, magic so this bottle screams me.
I already have the bottle surrounded by my most magical crystals (see below)
Advice from Carol’s husband, Mitch: Taste the wine first, THEN nibble the chocolate, then take another sip of Black Magic at the end.
I also HIGHLY recommend all of Carol’s zin. They are delectable.
OOOOOOO and if you try some of their Wild Thing Wines they may press a special hidden button that plays the song ‘Wild Thing’ by The Troggs!
Carol had three very beloved long haired dachshunds.
She named each dog after her wines.
Rock was named after the Rocky Reserve Zin.
Wiley after Wild Thing Wine.
Monga after Monga Zin.
So yes, Carol is dog lover!
They even have doggy treats for your pup!
Social Media Worthy
If you can, and she’s around; get a pic with Carol!
Feel Good Vibes
On a more sad note…
Carol and Mitch lost their house in the 2017 Sonoma County Fires.
They’d lived in their family home for many, many, many years.
Mitch and Carol are rebuilding.
Here’s an excerpt from a newsletter Carol sent out about the fires:
“Our own home in Larkfield was completely destroyed as was that of our Tasting room employee, Debbie Rickards, who lived in Coffey Park. We actually took refuge in our concrete winery building, and I watched from our windows for 4 hours while the homes in Coffey Park were devoured by the ravenous firestorm, quite a terrifying vision. One of the biggest challenges was the lack of consistent access to the winery in subsequent days, as first the police and then the National Guard did not allow people into the area of Coffey Park for safety reasons. I think they finally understood that we had active fermentations going, so we were allowed in for short work periods, in the dark since we had no power. In one of those amazing acts of kindness, our winery neighbor, Jeff Pisoni and his team, found a generator that could provide power needs for both of us, so we had lights and could run the refrigeration to keep the 2017 Black Magic Late Harvest Zin from fermenting dry!”
I mentioned to them that part of why I’m doing 100 Wineries In 100 days is because I want to show the world SONOMA COUNTY WINERIES are alive and thriving.
They wholeheartedly agree.
Carol’s husband and business partner, Mitch, says the best way to help is to purchase and enjoy Carol Shelton wine.
I can do that!
Wine Nerd Facts
Carol was one of the FIRST dozen women to graduate from the UC Davis wine course back in 1978.
Women Winemaking POWER!!!
Wine Club? Fun Events?
While I was tasting, two ladies were tasting along side me.
THEY raved about Carol Shelton wines and how much they love being in the wine club.
Everyone in the Cellar Club calls themselves Carol’s Bunch…as in a bunch of grapes. ; )
Sheila’s Tasting Notes
In a time where the topic of women’s empowerment is taking center stage…
Opening up a bottle of Carol Shelton Wine seems particularly relevant.
Carol has been honored as one of the eight pioneer female winemakers in Sonoma County.
When Carol started in the wine business, most women were found in the lab or marketing department. Carol pushed through theses boundaries.
Cheers to Carol!
I’ll take my wine paired with WOMAN POWER!