June 20, 2004
This winery is very casual and relaxed and the staff is very friendly and informative as well. The wine tasting here is free as long as you buy a bottle, which we found was different from many of the other wineries along highway 12. As we relaxed and tasted each wine, we spoke with a member of the staff about the history of Landmark Vineyards as well as about the wine. The vineyard is currently owned by Michael and Mary Colhoun and has been passed down several generations. It was originally started in 1974 just north of Santa Rosa and then around 1989 was moved to the base of the Sugarloaf Ridge, which are the rolling hills and mountains that help make up the Sonoma Valley. Soon after moving from the white wines to the red wines several customers arrived, at which point we were poured somewhat larger glasses of a Syrah called Steel Plow and invited to take a look down the hall as there were pictures of the owners, their family and their ancestors as well as numerous pictures of famous visitors such as Martha Stewart and Hilary Clinton. As we walked amongst the many pictures, some old and some new, we were surprised to learn that the Colhouns were descendents of John Deere, the maker of farm equipment and lawn mowers.
This walking unescorted among a winery’s hallways was a totally new experience for the both of us and it truly made us feel as if we had been made part of the family. After we had finished our wine, we headed back to the tasting bar where we paid for our purchases and then walked outside to the stunning patio. Maybe it was just the wine or maybe it was just someone very gifted in landscaping had done a great job but this patio was lovely. The trees had all been placed in such a way as to produce shade out while daffodils and other plants were in large terra cotta containers that bordered the path to the water fountain.
For more information click on the following link: Landmark Vineyards
From journal From Coast to Coast, a 3 week trip across the US