Sonoma County is home to 425 wineries…but only one that specializes in port. In fact, Petaluma’s Sonoma Portworks is one of only a handful of wineries in the entire state that produces port and after dinner wines.
It began more than 20 years ago, when Bill Reading was experimenting with blending two of the best things in the world – chocolate and wine – into one libation. The eureka moment occurred when he added dark chocolate essence to a glass of port, creating their popular DECO. An after-dinner sherry with essences of natural hazelnut that Bill named DUET followed a year later.
Bill and his wife Caryn have continued to expand their portfolio of distinctive drinkable delights. They also produce single vintage ports using organic and sustainable petite sirah and petite verdot grapes harvested by hand. The pomace – the pulpy material left after the grapes are lovingly pressed (not stomped) by foot when they are making port – is distilled into grappas.
One sip of one of their richly aromatic ports or lightly sweet grappas and you’ll be a convert to the “Drink dessert” way of life.
The Visitor Center staff loves recommending visiting Sonoma Portworks to guests who are interested in a unique tasting experience. Located in the Downtown District next to the Petaluma River, this little gem welcomes visitors into the deliciously fragrant port-making process. It’s not unusual to find owners Bill or Caryn behind the bar, pouring complimentary tastes and educating guests about the ingredients…and love that goes into every one of their delightful ports and grappas.
Sonoma Portworks tasting room:
613 2nd Street
Open Noon to 5 pm, Thursday through Monday.
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday