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Amista Vineyards

News from Amista Vineyards

Amista Vineyards
September 29, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Sparkling Wines from Bubble City - First Up - Amista Vineyards!

Amista Vineyards Sparkling Wines

“Our Sonoma County, and particularly Healdsburg-based sparkling wines, are truly the envy of the rest of the world. These wines are simply the best on the planet outside of France but sell for half the price …” declares Peter Posert, after tasting an array of sparkling wines in our area

Read “A Field Report from Bubble City

Time Posted: Sep 29, 2021 at 11:37 AM Permalink to Sparkling Wines from Bubble City - First Up - Amista Vineyards! Permalink
Amista Vineyards
August 22, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Great Tastes at Amista Vineyards

A Toast with Amista Sparkling Syrah and a Cheese Board

"Dry Creek Road is a magnificent stretch of backroad in Sonoma County. What’s not so well known, is this road is...home to the only sparkling wine house in the area," writes Karen Hart in North Bay Biz Magazine.

"Next time you’re planning a road trip to Dry Creek Valley, make a reservation at Amista, bring your friends and your walking shoes and enjoy the distinctive, elegant wines of Amista Vineyards", adds Karen.

Learn the story of Amista and some of our favorite wines in "Great Tastes - Amista Vineyards" by Karen Hart".

Time Posted: Aug 22, 2021 at 2:11 PM Permalink to Great Tastes at Amista Vineyards Permalink
Amista Vineyards
July 28, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Sparkling Wine Tasting at Amista Vineyards - One of my Favorite Places

Sparkling Wine Tasting at Amista Vineyards, Healdsburg, California

“Going to Amista is one of my favorite places. You have all these different varieties of sparkling, and the still wines too. It’s such a fun place to hang out. It’s one of my favorite places for sparkling,” declared Marcy Gordon, co-host of the Wine Road podcast.

This morning Amista was featured on the award-winning Sonoma Wine Road podcast hosted by Beth Costa and Marcy Gordon. Marcy and Beth were in a studio somewhere in Sonoma County and I called in to chat with them from Amista Vineyards here in Healdsburg.

Start the Day with Bubbles!

The best part was we all got to start our day with bubbles! Beth opened a bottle of Amista Sparkling Grenache, a very special bottle that was signed by our winemaker Ashley Herzberg. She poured the first glass for Marcy, who exclaimed, “The color is beautiful!”

Yes, the iridescent rosy blush color is gorgeous, topped only by the flavors of ripe raspberry and lemon meringue on the palate. This is one of Ashley’s favorites and it was recognized as a Hot Brand from across the USA in 2017 by Wine Business Monthly. We’re very proud of this bubbly.

I popped the cork on a bottle of our Sparkling Syrah since I didn’t happen to have a bottle of the Sparkling Grenache at hand. This was the first sparkling wine we made back in 2008 and Amista was the first winery to make sparkling wine in Healdsburg.

A Collection of Beautiful Bubbles

We now have five sparkling wines made using the traditional Methode Champenoise, where the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in its own bottle. That second fermentation is what produces the fine bubbles. “I have a license plate that says ‘Got Bubbles’. So obviously, I’m drawn to Amista. There are a variety of bubbles; can’t miss that,” Beth revealed.

The Sixth Sparkling Wine in the Collection

I announced that we will soon be adding our sixth sparkling wine called Sparkling Tres in February 2022. We have a highly popular Rhône-style red wine blend we call Tres made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Last year we made a Rosé of Tres for the first time, so making a sparkling Rosé from the GSM blend was inevitable!

“I’ve never had a GSM sparkling,” exclaimed Marcy. Yes, it will be a first. Ashley and I love to experiment. All our sparkling wines, except for our Blanc de Blanc, are made with unusual varieties. Our vineyard is primarily planted to Rhône varieties so that is the focus of our sparkling program. We use only estate grown fruit for all our sparkling wines.

The Story of Creating Amista

Beth asked me to tell the story of our journey into owning a winery. That is the question I am asked most often. It turns out it was a dream that my husband Mike and I didn’t know we had and didn’t know we shared. We never talked about it. It wasn’t a plan. It just evolved.

It started when we lived in Silicon Valley. Mike saw an ad in a local newspaper for "backyard vineyards". We liked to drink wine so we thought it would be fun to have a vineyard. He planted 150 Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the hillside at our home. Six months later he decided he needed to learn how to make wine and crushed 1/2 ton of Cabernet and made his first wine in our garage. I made sure I was never there to do the hard work!

Six months later I was offered a job in New Jersey. Sadly, we moved before harvesting a single grape from our new vineyard, but we took the barrel of wine with us. After a couple of years of aging, we tasted the wine with friends, and it was great! Mike decided, "I'm a winemaker!" That’s how he got the bug. “The magic barrel!” exclaimed Marcy. Who knew it would eventually draw us into the wine business where we would be making delicious Rhone reds and sparkling wines?

Garage Syrah

Yes, and we made a second garage wine once we moved to Healdsburg. We called it Garage Syrah. Everybody wanted to buy it and our friends encouraged us to start a winery. So, we did! “Hewlett Packard started in a garage; so, did you,” added Marcy.

Amista Means Making Friends

In fact, our friends were involved every step of the way. They were with us when we said good-bye to our first vineyard in Silicon Valley. They were with us in New Jersey when we tasted that first barrel of wine. And they were by our side when we looked at several vineyards in Healdsburg. They helped us choose this beautiful vineyard in the heart of Dry Creek Valley in the countryside surrounding Healdsburg. That is why we chose the name Amista, which means making friends.

“That’s the feeling I get when I’m in the tasting room. It’s a lot of friends. It’s a spirited place. You feel like you are part of it when you’re there tasting. That’s what I like about the feeling there,” Marcy confirmed.

Wine Tasting at Amista Vineyards

Beth was curious to know what’s happening with wine tasting at Amista. I told her we welcome our guests by appointment and all our tastings are seated. Guests have the choice of sitting under our solar powered patio or under the trees, surrounded by our vineyards. If it’s too hot or too cold, they can go inside our large, colorful tasting room with a choice of bistro tables or comfy chairs.

There are several wine experiences to choose from. First is our sparkling flight. We are so excited to have it back. We were sold out of so many of our sparkling wines that we couldn’t do it for a while. We’re thrilled to be able to offer it again.

People can also do what we call a Taste of Amista which is a mix of our red, white, and sparkling wines, and they can add a vineyard tour or a cheese and charcuterie plate to their tasting.

Although we are by appointment, people can call us, or if they happen to be driving by on Dry Creek Road, they can stop in. We will happily welcome them when we can.

A Sparkling Wine Tasting Welcome

Beth asked about the people guests will meet when they visit Amista. They are going to meet an amazing team that is welcoming, engaging, and friendly. My husband, Mike, and I try to take a walk every day around the vineyard with our two dogs (Dylan and Torin) and we stop at the tasting room for a break and a glass of water.

I love to go around and chat with everyone who is there. We are always willing to come down and greet our club members or guests if they let us know in advance. And did I mention that we’re dog friendly?

That’s one of the great things about reservations. I can see who’s planning to visit each day and since we live on the property, I can pop down and say “hi”. Beth explained, “That’s what people love, to meet the winemaker or the owners and hear the story.”

We are proud to be the first sparkling winery in Healdsburg, California, with six sparkling wines, a sparkling wine club and a sparkling wine tasting flight. It was gratifying to hear that both Marcy and Beth enjoy our bubbles and heartwarming to learn that we are achieving our goal of offering a friendly, spirited tasting experience.

We would love to host you for a visit. Make your reservation to Taste with Us!

Can’t visit now? Listen to the Wine Road Podcast featuring Amista Vineyards and go behind the scenes to learn about sparkling wine tasting in Healdsburg, California.


Time Posted: Jul 28, 2021 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Sparkling Wine Tasting at Amista Vineyards - One of my Favorite Places Permalink
Amista Vineyards
June 2, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

3 Discoveries at Amista Vineyards for the Perfect Healdsburg Weekend

Vineyard Adventure Walk at Amista Vineyards, Healdsburg, California

We are thrilled to be one of only two wineries featured in the FamilyVacationist article titled “The Perfect Healdsburg Weekend.” Even more exciting is that the writer, Christine Sarkis, uncovered three discoveries about Amista that made us smile. We couldn’t have said it better!

The 1st Sparkling Wine House in Healdsburg

Discovery #1. Amista is “Healdsburg’s Dry Creek AVA’s local sparkling house,” explains Christine. In fact, Amista is Healdsburg’s first sparkling wine house!

A Vineyard Adventure Walk

Discovery #2. “The winery has a self-guided vineyard tour with signs that explain the grape-growing and wine-making process. The stroll around the vineyard is a great way for kids and dogs (the winery is also dog-friendly) to work off some extra energy while soaking up some signature Sonoma sun,” says Christine.

Amista’s Signature Savory Lemon Popcorn

Discovery #3. “The tasting room offers a number of food-and-wine pairings and its signature savory lemon popcorn is always on offer,” adds Christine. Try it while you “sip estate-grown sparkling wines, including hard-to-find sparkling grenache and syrah.”



Still Thirsty?

Here are the stories behind the discoveries Christine uncovered.

How Did Amista Vineyards Become Healdsburg’s 1st Sparkling Wine House?

We never thought we’d be in the wine business let alone be the first sparkling winery in Healdsburg. The creation of Amista Vineyards was a dream that my husband Mike and I never knew we had and never knew we shared. It emerged slowly over time.

Becoming the first sparkling winery in Healdsburg wasn’t part of our plan, although to be honest, in those days we didn’t really have a plan. It all started when we made our first sparkling wine in 2008. That was five years after our first harvest in 2003.

We are now known as the sparkling wine house in Dry Creek Valley in Healdsburg, California with six sparkling wines, a sparkling wine club and a sparkling wine tasting flight. It’s been an exhilarating journey of opportunities, setbacks, surprises, and a lot of lessons learned.

I wrote a whole blog post about my Five Surprising Discoveries in becoming the first sparkling wine house in Healdsburg.

What Will I Learn on the Vineyard Adventure Walk at Amista Vineyards?

You will learn about the grapes, the wines we make from them and our commitment to sustainable vineyard management practices.

At harvest, a favorite activity is tasting and testing the sugar level in the grapes and guessing how soon they will be harvested.

There is more to see than grapevines. You can stand under our majestic 200-year-old oak tree and contemplate what life was like in California when it was just an acorn.

Then check out our backwater pond on Dry Creek that was constructed in partnership with the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The project’s goal is to restore the habitat for the Steelhead trout and Coho salmon that inhabit these waters.

Another example of our commitment to sustainability is our solar covered patio. In fact, you may want to let the kids and the dogs do the tour while you take in the vineyard and hillside views while enjoying your wines and popcorn at your table on the patio.

Why Popcorn?

One of our missions as sparkling advocates is to show people that sparkling wine isn’t just for special occasions or for serving only with fancy foods like caviar and canapes. We serve it with a bowl of our signature savory lemon popcorn – so simple and so yummy!

Popcorn & Sparkling Wine Bar at Amista Vineyards, Healdsburg, California

However, like most things on our wine journey, it came about because of a challenge turned opportunity. One year we were scratching our heads for something easy to serve at an annual event called Winter Wineland.

We purchased a popcorn machine and offered a popcorn bar with “cones” of popcorn and a selection of seasonings to try with our wines. It was a big hit.

Later we discovered how wonderfully popcorn pairs with our sparkling wines. My favorite is our Blanc de Blanc with a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of lemon herb seasoning on the freshly popped corn.

Christine created a fabulous list of places to stay, eat and sip in Healdsburg – the same places we would suggest as locals. Read the full article, The Perfect Healdsburg Weekend.

We hope you’ll make your own discoveries at Amista Vineyards and come Taste with Us!

Time Posted: Jun 2, 2021 at 2:42 PM Permalink to 3 Discoveries at Amista Vineyards for the Perfect Healdsburg Weekend Permalink
Amista Vineyards
March 26, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Amista Vineyards - One of 6 Lesser-Known But Excellent Sparkling Wineries in Sonoma County

Sparkling Wines and Roses at Amista Vineyards with Vines in Background

Amista Vineyards is among  "...a handful of unusual-suspect wineries leaving tradition behind in the pursuit of more diverse and delicious sparkling wines."

"Winemaker Ashley Herzberg bottles a wide array of méthode traditionnelle wines for this Dry Creek Valley winery...with fine depth and precision," writes Linda Murphy in Sonoma Magazine.

Learn more in "6 Lesser-Known But Excellent Sparkling Wineries in Sonoma County" by Linda Murphy".


Time Posted: Mar 26, 2021 at 4:31 PM Permalink to Amista Vineyards - One of 6 Lesser-Known But Excellent Sparkling Wineries in Sonoma County Permalink
Amista Vineyards
February 18, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Healdsburg, A Happy Hamlet for Escape

Amista Vineyards Tasting Room with Yellow Unbrellas

“...a trip to this bucolic region is not complete without a proper vineyard wine tasting. A drive down Dry Creek Road offers a plethora of options, and for the lovers of sparkling wines, Amista Vineyards is the way to go," writes Fran Miller in the Lamorinda Weekly.

Fran's Tip: "Enjoy a tasting on their vast, covered patio that overlooks the vines, or grab a glass and take a 20-minute stroll around the vineyard."

There are many other delights to discover in "Healdsburg: A happy hamlet for escape" by Fran Miller.


Time Posted: Feb 18, 2021 at 2:21 PM Permalink to Healdsburg, A Happy Hamlet for Escape Permalink
Amista Vineyards
January 11, 2021 | Amista Vineyards

Wine, Food And Hiking In Healdsburg - Amista Vineyards

Vines in Fall Colors with Sparkling Sun at Amista Vineyards

“One of the great things about not having traditional snowy winters is that you can enjoy the beauty of fall and temperate weather well past the holidays. If you’re a lover of fine dining, nature, wineries and laid-back luxury...consider a road trip to Healdsburg, California,” said Cheslea Davis, in Forbes Magazine.

"For a particularly educational wine experience, book a 90-minute tour of Amista Vineyards. During the walk and sip tour, you’re guided through their sprawling vineyards while hearing all about Amista’s sustainably-farmed grapes and taking stops to taste the wines."

Read more about "48 Hours Of Wine, Food And Hiking In Healdsburg, California" in Forbes Magazine.


Time Posted: Jan 11, 2021 at 11:55 AM Permalink to Wine, Food And Hiking In Healdsburg - Amista Vineyards Permalink
Amista Vineyards
December 17, 2020 | Amista Vineyards

Vicky Farrow, Amista Proprietor, Named Advisory Editor, Wine Business Journal

Vicky Farrow, Proprietor, Amista Vineyards with Sparkling Blanc de Blanc

The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University announces changes to its Wine Business Journal. Vicky Farrow, CEO and co-proprietor of Amista Vineyards, will join as an advisory editor to incorporate feedback from wine industry executives.

"The enhanced Wine Business Journal fits the Wine Business Institute’s goal to be of service to the wine community,” said Dr. Jean-Francois Coget, dean of the School of Business and Economics.

Learn more about "Wine Business Institute’s Research Journal Rescoped and Renamed to Wine Business Journal".


Time Posted: Dec 17, 2020 at 12:49 PM Permalink to Vicky Farrow, Amista Proprietor, Named Advisory Editor, Wine Business Journal Permalink
Amista Vineyards
November 12, 2020 | Amista Vineyards

Sparkling Sonoma: Bubbles from Your Backyard

Amista Vineyards Solar Powered Patio

“While sparkling wine lovers agree that the perfect time for bubbles is, well, any time, sparkling wine pairs perfectly with the holiday season.” said Erin Hunt Moore of Haute Living SF. 

"Dry Creek Valley has not traditionally been known as a sparkling wine region, but family-run Amista Vineyards took up that gauntlet and is now in its 10th year as the premiere producer of sparkling wines in the valley. Amista is owned by Mike and Vicky Farrow, with rising star winemaker Ashley Herzberg overseeing their sparkling program."

Read more about "Sparkling Sonoma: Bubbles from Your Backyard" by Erin Hunt Moore.


Time Posted: Nov 12, 2020 at 9:45 AM Permalink to Sparkling Sonoma: Bubbles from Your Backyard Permalink
Amista Vineyards
July 1, 2020 | Amista Vineyards

Amista Sparkling Grenache - Chef Liza Hinman's Go to Pairing for Summer Dessert

Amista Vineyards Wine & Cheese Pairing with Flowers & Vineyard Views

“This recipe can be used for any combination of summer fruit and berries. I typically like to have two fruit together – often one stone fruit and one berry, which go wonderfully together,” said chef Liza Hinman of The Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa.

Hinman’s go-to wine to pair with this dessert is Amista’s Sparkling Grenache"

Read more about "Craving Sweets? 5 Local Chefs Share Their Summertime Dessert Recipes" by Dana Rebmann in Sonoma Magazine.


Time Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 11:34 AM Permalink to Amista Sparkling Grenache - Chef Liza Hinman's Go to Pairing for Summer Dessert Permalink

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