2021 Sonoma Vintages: A Journey Through Exquisite Flavors

At Trattore Farms in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, we create meaningful relationships and experiences with people by sharing our passion for what we do. Part of that includes producing unique Sonoma vintages full of character and drinkability.

After the fires our area experienced in 2020, we needed a rebound year — and we got one. 2021 provided a mix of nearly perfect conditions that gave us fantastic grapes expertly crafted into exquisite wines. 

We’ll tell you about some of our favorite Sonoma vintages of 2021, what happens when exceptional wines meet stellar craftsmanship, and how you can experience these blends for yourself.

2021 Climate and Conditions: A Zero-Shock Year Yielding Fabulous Results

The lack of disaster in 2021 led to really good bloom conditions and a fantastic set of grapes.

The perfect conditions mixed with our unique terroir — such as sandy loam and rocky soils that were formerly inland sea — were conducive to bringing out the fruit flavors and minerality of the lines.

Moderate Temperatures Meet Drought-Like Conditions

The summer of 2021 was cooler than usual, but it warmed up just enough as we approached harvest time. The lack of rain and extreme heat at harvest made for perfect picking conditions, and the grapes showed it. 

As the temperatures get warmer and the vines receive less and less water, they put more of their energy into protecting the root system and less into growing more fruit. The sugar in the grapes becomes more concentrated, which ultimately leads to the amazing wines that we produce.

Varietals To Watch: The Stars of Sonoma’s 2021 Vintage

The wines we bottled in 2021 are exceptional, and we received some excellent scores on the 2021 Sonoma vintage report. The whites also are aging particularly well in the bottle.

One of the great things about the wines we create at Trattore Farms is they’re made to be enjoyed right away. You can age them for a while if you want to, but that’s not necessary. Drinking wines young allows you to watch them evolve and open up in the glass.

Head Winemaker Craig Strehlow explains:

“One of the cool things about drinking wine when it’s young like that is that if you decant it and put it in your glass, it will evolve. And as it evolves, it’ll get better. And it’s fun to kind of watch that evolution as the air gets to it and the free sulfites start to drop. When you take a perfectly aged wine, it has a very, very small drinking window where you open it, it gets just enough oxygen and is tasting great. And then an hour later it will start to get flabby and pruney … it just doesn’t have the life of a younger wine.” 

Let’s explore a few of our favorite Trattore Farms 2021 Sonoma vintages.

2021 Estate Viognier

Our Sonoma Viognier grapes face east and west on extreme hillsides. Coming from two distinct blocks like this allows these grapes to create a wonderfully aromatic and complex wine with the perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine, and honeysuckle.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

The hallmark of Trattore Farms Viognier grapes is the scent of spring blossoms that combine jasmine, honeysuckle, and the stone fruit flavors of peach and apricot. The slight tangerine and vanilla finish makes it beautifully balanced.

You can taste the 2021 Estate Viognier at any of our Dry Creek Valley estate wine tastings, food pairings, and tours.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

The 2021 Sonoma Estate Viognier pairs especially well with:

  • Roasted chicken
  • Lemon piccata dishes
  • Cream sauces
  • Rich, buttery shellfish
  • Root vegetables roasted with olive oil, red onion, and garlic
  • Sharp cheeses, apricot spread, and buttery crackers

2021 Stone Soup Blanc

This Rhône white blend consists of Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and just a hint of Picpoul grapes. Craig raved about this wine, saying:

“I made a wine that we call Stone Soup Blanc, and it’s a Rhône white blend of Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Picpoul. I pick the Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne together and then co-ferment the juice. I really like doing that kind of thing because one plus one equals three, you know? You get more than the sum of your parts when you do that. And then I add the Picpoul back in at the end to bump up the acidity of the wine. That wine is aging beautifully for a Rhône white and took on some of the tertiary flavors and aromatics you typically get from such blends.”

Co-fermentation involves the practice of fermenting two or more fruits at the same time, rather than the traditional practice of blending separate wine components after fermentation. In this case, the resulting blend became deeper and better in color. 

The 2021 Stone Soup Blanc was so popular that it’s sold out now, but you can still get other vintages of this blend and many other fantastic varieties through our online shop.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

The Roussanne grapes provide a floral, nutty, baked bread and spice flavor profile. The Marsanne grapes contribute noble tannins for structure and aging, and the Viognier adds exuberant peach, apricot, and citrus notes. These all combine to make a truly stunning wine.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

The 2021 Stone Soup Blanc pairs incredibly well with:

  • A vast array of hard and soft cheeses
  • Paté
  • Roasted chicken, pork, or veal
  • Cream-based sauces
  • Spicy flavors
  • Asian cuisine

2021 Proprietor’s Reserve

This line is one of the favorites of Trattore Farms proprietor, Tim Bucher. It combines Tim’s favorite Rhône varietals from our Estate (48% Syrah, 28% Grenache, and 24% Mourvèdre) to produce earthy aromatics, a bright palate, and persistent yet graceful tannins.

All three components are vinified separately and then blended back together for the best mix of fruitiness and complexity, both aromatically and flavor-wise. 

Craig reports of this wine:

“This is one of our more ageable wines for sure. I purposely built that so it’s going to age 10 years or more. It’s really a pretty wine and a very good representation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape kind of style that we’re trying to emulate here in Dry Creek Valley.”

Tasting Notes and Profiles

This 2021 Sonoma vintage boasts flavors like strawberries, pomegranates, seductive flowers, earth, and pepper.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

The 2021 Proprietor’s Reserve pairs especially well with:

  • Red meats
  • Meatloaf
  • Savory pot pies
  • Mac & cheese
  • Beef Wellington
  • Stews
  • Smoke brisket
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Spicy Asian cuisine

Final Thoughts From Our Winemaker

In 2021, the wines made at Trattore Farms from the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes were conducive to longer-term aging. Winemaker Craig Strehlow explains the process:

“We do have a pretty strong reserve wine program here when we age the wines over the vintage for 15 to 16 months, and we definitely aged [the 2021] a little bit longer … And the vintage was really conducive to that because the fruit and wine quality were so high.”

Experience the Sonoma vintages of 2021 and other years with one of our many tasting experiences and tours at Trattore Farms. Book yours now.