Viansa Reserve Heritage Red Blend Sonoma Valley 2013

Inky color; blackberry, raspberry, herbs on the nose; black plum, cherry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, touch of blackcurrant tang, cedar on the palate.

Smooth, silky drinker; reserved tannin and acidity, fruity sweetness, a quality blend of 66% sangiovese, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 1% malbec, 1% petit verdot, 1% merlot.

Viansa is a winery in Vintage Wine Estates group, a collection of some 20 family wineries based out of Santa Rosa, CA. The wineries reach north to the Sonoma Coast and across the Napa Valley. Viansa is about 30 miles from San Francisco. Viansa produces quality wines, but its position a comfortable drive from San Francisco means it also succeeds as a venue—a place for events and weddings. Many wineries make a substantial part of their profit as a venue. Nothing wrong with that, and Viansa with its elevation and great views of the vineyard, Sonoma Valley, and San Pable Bay, with the Mayacamus Mountains offering a backdrop in the east certainly qualifies as a magical place.

From a terrace perch, visitors can look down upon 97 acres of native plants, wetlands, and wildlife Viansa commits to preserving. Working with Ducks Unlimited, biologists, and wildlife experts, Viansa has done its part in preserving this unique ecosystem. More than 500 species of birds have been sights on the restored wetlands. More than 1,000 waterfowl have been counted in a single day. Guests can glimpse canvasback ducks, great blue herons, Canadian geese, egrets, swallos, and—if you are lucky—a tundra swan.

Viansa Reserve Heritage Red Blend Sonoma Valley 2013 is a solid, delicious Sonoma blend. Gently elegant, smooth, sophisticated. $40

Viansa Winery website

Other photos: Viansa property; Viansa weddings and private events venue; Viansa venue and vineyards