Terry and Kathy Sullivan
Summary: In Italian Passalacqua means flowing water. This small production winery offers visitors beautiful views of neighboring vineyards and a perfect spot to relax and enjoy wine. The winery focuses on Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage for Passalacqua was 2002. The tasting room opened in 2004.
The Passalacqua family has been involved in the wine industry since the 1800s. Today’s fourth generation, Jason and Noelle Passalacqua own the winery. Jason’s father, Tom, owns 100 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon that is used in Passalacqua wines. At the winery there are one and a half acres of Zinfandel near the tasting room. During a late November visit, the Zinfandel was displaying an autumn color show. There were a few greens and yellows, but it was the shades of red that were most spectacular. Grapes are also sourced from outside the family vineyards. As we were leaving the winery, Tom pulled up in a pickup and with a warm greeting asked, “What wine did you like?” After mentioning the TR wine, Tom smiled and said, “Those are my grapes.”
Opening in 2004, there are now two rooms for tasting Passalacqua wines. The first and larger room is open to the public. A second smaller room is reserved for the wine club members. Off the second room, a rock walled room, reminiscent of an old-world cave, houses the library wines. Wine club members can sit at a table made from the head of a large barrel. A selection of different bottle sizes adorn a rock wall.
The main tasting room is large with windows overlooking a large patio with neighboring vineyards in the background. The brightly lit room has an L-shaped tasting counter. A corner fireplace can take the chill off cooler months.
Outside the tasting room a large deck area has tables and chairs. A pathway leads down to semi-private gazebo areas where wine club members can spread out and enjoy the scenery. There is a water fountain with flowing water. Passalacqua means flowing water. Adjacent to the large deck a pizza oven is used for special events from June through September.
Passalacqua produces over 4,000 cases. In the winery, barrels are stacked, some four high. Stainless steel fermenters and tanks share the space under the direction of Margaret Davenport, winemaker.
Zinfandel 2009 was a ruby color with plum and raspberry notes. The finish had tannins and was fruity. The 2008 T.R. Passalacqua Vineyard offered dark fruity notes with a blackberry taste. This Cabernet Sauvignon’s finish had bold tannins and was fruity. The TR stands for Thomas Richard, the vineyard owner. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was a dark ruby color. The nose was of blackberry. The finish was fruity with cocoa hints. Sangiovese 2008 Saine Farms was a ruby color. The nose had cherry notes while the taste had cherry and earthy tones. The wine finished with mild tannins and was fruity. Fadici della Famiglia meaning Roots of the Family was a Super Tuscan with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The ruby wine had an earthy nose with cherries, raspberries and earthiness on the taste. The finish offered bold tannins and was chewy and fruity.
Plan to spend some time relaxing at Passalacqua Winery. Taste the wines while taking in beautiful views.
3805 Lambert Bridge Road
Healdsburg, California 95448
GPS: N38º 39.213’ W122º 55.527’
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