Slung low in the dramatic hills, it’s easy to miss Roederer Estate’s tasting room from the two curving lanes of Highway 128 as it wends through the Anderson Valley wine country. And the rustic exterior may be a little unexpected for the California location of the prestigious, centuries-old French champagne house Louis Roederer, makers of the legendary Cristal. But the view is spectacular, and the sparkling wine is as close as you can get to champagne without going to France.
The unique climate of Anderson Valley produces a sparkling wine as close as you can get to champagne without going to France
In 1982, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, Roederer’s a fifth generation descendant of the original founder, went far afield when choosing the location of the champagne house’s American location, deciding on the relatively unknown Anderson Valley rather than Napa or Sonoma. Even today, the area might be considered remote, but that’s all part of its unspoiled charm. Monsieur Rouzaud believed that the unique climate of Anderson Valley, with its warm days moderated by gentle fog from the nearby Pacific and its cool evenings, provided the perfect growing conditions for their grapes.
More than five hundred acres and nearly 40 years later, he has been proven correct, as Roederer Estate continues to produce award-winning sparkling wines from their estate grown grapes, blended with reserve wines aged in oak barrels to achieve the desired balance in the traditional Louis Roederer style. These wines include Brut, Brut Rosé, L’Ermitage, and L’Ermitage Rosé, and are made of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. They all feature fine bubbles and elegant structure, with the Brut being crisper and lighter and the L’Ermitage being creamier and more complex.
You’ll find knowledgeable and friendly staff in the bright, spacious tasting room, with its distinctive long wooden bar and windows overlooking the rolling hills and vineyards. In addition to the sparkling wines Roederer is so well known for, a light, fruity pinot noir and a rich, lightly oaky chardonnay are available for tasting and purchase in the tasting room. Tours of the winery, where visitors can learn all about the process of making sparkling wine, are available by prior arrangement.
Take your glass out onto the patio and enjoy the beautiful view overlooking the valley from the comfortable tables and chairs, shaded by umbrellas on sunny days. Bon appétit!
Roederer’s tasting room is located at 4501 Highway 128 in Philo. They are open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Tastings are $25-$40. Call 707 895 2288 or email email@example.com with questions or to arrange a tour. Dogs are allowed on the patio, but only service dogs are permitted in the tasting room itself. Wheelchair accessible.