Domaine de la Rivière – A Gem in the Russian River Valley

By Fred Bollaci

Domaine de la Rivière, in the heart of the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California was founded by Marla and Geoff Bedrosian. In the early 1990’s Marla and Geoff began developing a palate for different types of wines. Geoff started to research different varietals to understand the areas where different grapes were grown.

“Over the next several years we became California wine country enthusiasts and traveled frequently to Sonoma and Napa. It was during these trips we defined our passion for small crafted wines and the stories they told. We found that each bottle told its own story. The personal connections we made in Sonoma County, with the people, land and the wine, clarified for us, the Russian River Valley was where we felt a sense of home.”

In 2011, Marla and Geoff jumped at the opportunity to purchase a small Pinot Noir vineyard, in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley.

“We believed we were the lucky ones to revive this precious gem, Vineyard eleven. After growing and selling our grapes for several years, we developed a passion for creating our own distinctive wines.  So, in 2017, we launched Domaine de la Riviére (which means “vineyard on the river”), and hired our long-time friend Kale Anderson as winemaker.  Our winery is exclusively focused on making wines from the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley.”

These limited production wines express the unique characteristics of the Middle Reach area of Russian River Valley, a narrow stretch of land that runs north-south along the Russian River’s banks between southern Healdsburg and Forestville and is focused on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rosé. Known for its mix of fog and sun, the area promotes a long, well balanced growing season producing wines with rich, velvety fruit flavors that are distinctive to vineyards located in this region. The couple released their first vintage, Rosé of Pinot Noir (135 cases) in April of 2018, followed by the 2017 vintage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (305 in total) in 2019.  This vintage was sold out shortly after release.

“Our family’s goal is to craft unique, extraordinary limited production, age-worthy Russian River wines that create memorable experiences.” Great wines begin with high quality grapes. Domaine de la Rivière is focused on growing and sourcing ultra-premium fruit.

Marla and Geoff invite you to visit them in wine country. For the ultimate in supple, sophisticated Sonoma wines, join the Wine Club!

“We look forward to sharing our experience with you in person, as well as virtually—we are happy to work with you, your friends, colleagues, business, or family to organize a virtual tasting for groups both large and small via Zoom.”

Venü had the pleasure of participating in one of the Zoom tastings, which was a fun distraction and way to experience the very best of Sonoma wine country without having to leave home during COVID. Being able to offer this unique experience during these difficult times has resulted in many new friendships, great memories and a fun way to experience and celebrate food, wine, and togetherness.

Let Domaine de la Rivière create an exclusive virtual wine experience for you and your family, friends, or colleagues!

 

Featured Wines

We paired three Domaine de la Rivière wines with Golf Kitchen’s Swing Into Action initiative earlier in the summer of 2020 in support of The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. The wines paired beautifully with the exquisite fresh produce that four top country club chefs developed mouthwatering recipes for consumers to enjoy at home with these three wines.

 

Shoshana Rosé of Pinot Noir (2019)

Our 2019 Shoshana Rosé displays bright energetic fruit. Harvested from Lone Oak Vineyard, the grapes were picked in late August at approximately 20 Brix. A perfect salmon color, the nose is fresh with hints of honeysuckle and other floral aromas. Light raspberry, strawberry, hints of orange and lemon zest expand in the mouth with the underlying minerality from a natural grapefruit or lemon-like acidity.  — Kale Anderson

Note: the similarly delicious 2018 vintage of Shoshana Rosé was paired for the event, and has since sold out.

 

2018 Vintage Notes

The 2018 growing season in the Middle Reach neighborhood can be considered classic and ideal. The early Winter months were slightly warmer than usual with below average rainfall, but the lack of early rain was made up in February and March. The growing season had generally moderate temperatures resulting in a long hangtime that created optimal cluster maturity. A cool foggy marine layer was prevalent most mornings but gave way to warm afternoons. Harvest began August 28th and end September 21st. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit quality was excellent and is characterized as generating intense flavor and well-balanced acidity.

 

Next Door Neighbor Chardonnay (2018)

The 2018 Next Door Neighbor Chardonnay exhibits aromas of white blossom, white pear, honey dew and a hint of tropical pineapple that supports flavors of lemon zest, yellow apple, stone fruits, wet marble and a hint of butter scotch. Barrel aging has softened the youthful acidity adding balance and layers of minerality. This wine should age graciously for 7 to 10 years.

 

Middle Reach Pinot Noir (2018)

The 2018 Middle Reach Vineyards is a classic Middle Reach “Neighborhood” wine that exhibits dark fruit and silky elegance. The aromatics display boysenberry, candied cherry and hints of licorice and sage. The palate is driven by black cherry, red plum, red currant and pomegranate accompanied by touches of allspice, forest floor and cardamom. Balanced acidity supports a long silky finish.

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