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Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma Paperback – March 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little Bookroom (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892145693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892145697
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.9 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Oenophiles will enjoy this pocket-sized guidebook.. with insight into small, mostly family-run operations that are—for the most part—unknown to the average visitor. In addition to large color photos of the featured wineries and local landscape, the guide provides background information on the personalities."   —Novus Vinum, Gayot.com

"This is the quintessential guide to those back lane wineries of Sonoma County where you can taste handcrafted wines by on-site proprietors, who often have only a local or regional distribution and a limited case production. Often, these are wineries where sustainable and organic viticulture is being developed. These are wines that you can keep a secret or brag to your friends that you’ve found the new best-tasting wine. Get a copy for your reference shelf for when family and friends visit and ask for a unique wine tasting experience." --Sonoma Sun

"Napa gets all the glory, but to the west lies another wine-tasting area, Sonoma. Each year about 7.5 million tourists visit the region. The lovely towns of Sonoma, Healdsburg and Glen Ellen are well-known in their own right, but there are plenty of other towns and 'small, back-lane wineries,' as author Tilar Mazzeo says, that are also worth visiting. These are the places that the critics and wine aficionados love but few visitors are aware of. Many of the wines here are hand-crafted and made by on-site proprietors. In fact, most wineries in the book make fewer than 10,000 cases of wine a year; some produce only 100 or so." --The Chicago Tribune

"In Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma, author Tilar Mazzeo steers the reader away from the crowded commercial wineries to charming, one-of-a-kind boutique establishments...This book is invaluable for touring North Bay, as Sonoma is known to the locals. There's also a list of restaurants and 'picnic provisions.' The photos of the sun drenched valleys and vineyards exert their own restorative power." --The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma takes day trippers to the rambling, quirky, yet loveable Sonoma wine country. The author set out to pique the reader's interest in the smallest producers, and achieves the goal with charming descriptions of the proprietors with alluring photos." --Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

About the Author

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma (The Little Bookroom),The New York Times best-selling "oenobiography "The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (Harper), and the forthcoming Back Lane Wineries of Napa (The Little Bookroom, Spring 2010). The Widow Clicquot has been recognized by Gourmand as the Best Work of Wine Literature in the United States for 2008. A member of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association, her work has appeared in Food and Wine magazine. She divides her time between the California wine country and the East Coast, where she is a professor of English at Colby College.

More About the Author

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma (The Little Bookroom),The New York Times best-selling 'oenobiography 'The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (Harper), and the forthcoming Back Lane Wineries of Napa (The Little Bookroom, Spring 2010). The Widow Clicquot has been recognized by Gourmand as the Best Work of Wine Literature in the United States for 2008. A member of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association, her work has appeared in Food and Wine magazine. She divides her time between the California wine country and the East Coast, where she is a professor of English at Colby College.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonnell R. Simpson on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
We just returned from a vacation in Sonoma. Of the three guidebooks we brought with us, this is the one we turned to most. We have visited Napa a couple of times, but we weren't as familiar with Sonoma and had no idea where to start. The author lived in Sonoma for 6 years and the book has the feel of a local guiding you around the area. We were interested in discovering the little-known hidden gems the locals know about (but most guidebooks don't cover) and this was a perfect resource. Divided into sections by appellation, there's a concise, informative description of each winery and wines produced, with information on visiting (hours of tastings or tours, if you need to make an appointment, phone numbers, web sites, etc.) The amount of essential information and the way she captures the personality of the wineries in just a few paragraphs is impressive. We found these descriptions right on point each time.

The section on Dry Creek Valley alone kept us busy for an entire day, visiting wonderful wineries we probably would have missed. We were not disappointed with any of her recommendations. All of the wineries we visited were friendly and welcoming, with good to excellent wines. Her advice on not being shy about contacting the "appointment only" wineries is well-taken. Our tastings at these wineries was usually done by the winemaker or a family member and provided a unique opportunity to learn about the wine.

The photographs in the book by Paul Hawley, son of one of the winemakers featured in the book, are charming. If you are truly interested in discovering smaller, lesser known (but very worthy of knowing) wineries in Sonoma, this is the only book you need!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Catherine A. Ponzio on July 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
We have been to Sonoma multiple times and wanted a different experience. We purchased this book before our trip to Sonoma a couple of weeks ago in July 09. It literally made our vacation!!
Every winery we tried was wonderful, we were able to speak with the staff and enjoyed their stories, we never had more than one couple with us during wine tasting. The restaurant guide is also very good - we highly recommend the underwood cafe in Graton CA. This book was quite a find.

Jean-Claude & Cathy Ponzio
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. H. Bloom on April 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
My son, Ben, is a Sonoma region tour guide. I sent him a copy and he reports:
I got it last week but was so busy I didn't open the package until a couple days ago. It's actually surprisingly good...actually does talk about some of the places I go and mentions some others that have been on my list for a while. At the very least I can use it as a reference for factoids (sorry to use an awful word but it seems the most appropriate) on places that I can refer to as I drive into their driveway. It's beautiful, yet small and sturdy, just the right size to become a new resident in my chauffeur's bag.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Horton on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brought this book to my first trip to Sonoma with me. It was well written and interesting, but I mostly used it as afternoon pool reading. Did get a couple of ideas where to go, but without maps included, you had to research and find/circle on a map the day before, rather than on the fly. Very enoyable reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Goel on May 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just chanced upon this book doing a google search and I must say that this book is what I was looking for - I wanted to get a list of "back-lane"/boutique vineyards for our visit to Sonoma - vineyards that are not large commercial operations.
I would say that visit to just one vineyard recommended by this book made it worthwhile for me, even if we discount everything else - the Robert Rue vineyard in Fulton, near Santa Rosa. This vineyard was everything described in the book and more.
So, if you are after what I was, then buy this book without any hesitation.
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Format: Paperback
Just a couple of months ago I reviewed three books about wineries that many of you send back word that you enjoyed as well. One comment mentioned how much they enjoy visiting wineries during travels around the country. That came to mind when I came across a pair of books written to facilitate such touring. :"Back Lane Wineries of Napa" ($19.95, The Little Bookroom, 272 pp.) and "Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma" ($19.95, The Little Bookroom, 256 pp.) both written by Tilar Mazzeo, are guidebooks to out-of-the-way places in two of California's most famed areas for quality wines. Napa and Sonoma both are populated with well-known wineries with regular visiting hours, guided tours and staffed tasting rooms. These books, however, introduce you to the other wineries. The ones that aren't so well-known, may not keep regular hours and the person who pours you a sample may be owners themselves. And as a bonus, the author even included a barbecue joint: Bounty Hunter Wine Bar and Smokin' BBQ, located in downtown Napa.
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By C on November 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book did not disappoint. Almost all our stops were from wineries recommended in this book. When there are 700 wineries give or take in Sonoma County, good recommendations are a must. Since the book was published in 2009, there have been some changes, such as it is noted A. Rafanelli takes cash only, however, credit happy folks will be pleased to know they now take credit as well.
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A group of us used the book to select the region we wanted to visit and taste wines. Came in very handy,p
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