Talk about an unfortunate time to open a business intended to serve as “a gathering place where social connections are fostered and communities are built.”
The phrase of the year for 2020 figures to be “social distancing,” forcing so many types of reopening entrepreneurs — from restaurants to concert venues, and from bowling centers to wineries — to reconsider their business models until they’re allowed to return to some form of “normal.”
Bricoleur Vineyards was just about to open in the Sonoma County community of Windsor when the state of California pulled the plug on all but “essential” businesses. More than five years of planning were leading up to a May 2 grand opening… and then everything changed.
Mark and Elizabeth Hanson finally are opening now that California is beginning to open, and visitors will have the opportunity to experience the vision of the Hansons — although perhaps with a bit less socializing for the time being.
Interestingly, the winery doesn’t have an on-site cellar. The cuvees are crafted at an off-site crush facility. But it does have ponds, a rose garden, an olive grove and gardens to be explored. It also has a number of seating areas where one can enjoy wine-and-food tasting menus.
- Pea soup, pea shell ricotta, lemon verbena and estate olive oil, served with Sauvignon Blanc.
- Comté stuffed pretzel with pickled mustard seeds and chive, served with Chardonnay.
- Duck rillette, beet “chicharron” radish and Russian River Valley raspberry, served with Pinot Noir.
- Charred squash, Indian spices, greek yogurt, dill and basil, served with Zinfandel.
Joining a growing number of North Coast wine estates, Bricoleur Vineyards also has bocce courts, providing a little friendly competition between sips.
The idea is that guests will want to spend hours soaking in the entire experience. Even its name makes that suggestion. In the arts, “bricolage” is the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work constructed using mixed media. That’s certainly one way to describe winemaking, and it absolutely applies to the host of venues and experiences that await winery guests.
Add Bricoleur Vineyards to your list of “must-see” wineries once California reopens fully. Certain experiences are not available at the moment, but will be at some point in the future.
This is a place not only to sip, but to be seen. It’s taking wine tourism to another level in Sonoma County.