On a recent getaway to Healdsburg, a small town with big personality in the heart of Sonoma Valley’s wine country, I was feeling a little thirsty.
Knowing my dear friend Emily, the JetSetting Fashionista, had hosted an event with a small, family-owned winery just outside of Healdsburg through her events and marketing company, Emily Martin Communications & Events, I knew just where I needed to go: Bucher Wines.
Bucher Wines is a boutique Russian River Valley winery owned by husband and wife team, John and Diane Bucher. John was born into farming and took over his family’s organic dairy farm operation in Healdsburg in the late 1980s. Fun fact: Bucher Farms is one of many Sonoma Valley farms that produce organic milk for Clover Sonoma Farms!
In 1997, John decided to diversify to increase the farm’s bottom line and began planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapevines… my kind of grapes! The Buchers began selling grapes to other wineries in the region until they decided to launch their own wine brand in 2011. John and Diane released Bucher’s first vintage in 2013.
I called Diane, and immediately setup a reservation at their Grand Cru Custom Crush tasting room in Windsor, CA, just a 10 minute drive from downtown Healdsburg.
I met Diane Bucher at Grand Cru Custom Crush and she graciously guided me through the facilities.
Grand Cru Custom Crush is a co-op for boutique winemakers, and an incredible destination for wine lovers to get a behind the scenes look at winemaking. This unique facility provides indie wine labels with crush equipment, barrel rooms, and beautiful wine tasting rooms to showcase their wines to guests.
After the tour, Diane led me through a tasting in one of Grand Cru Custom Crush’s many tasting rooms. Bucher Wines specializes in my favorite red wine (Pinot Noir) and my favorite white wine (Chardonnay). They also offer a Rosé of Pinot Noir, my third favorite. Diane’s flight took me through all of Bucher’s offerings, including the 2017 Unoaked Chardonnay ($30) and 2015 Bucher Pinot Noir ($40).
This flight of Bucher Wines began with the refreshing 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, $25). For me, it was a must-buy. I’ve been saving it for a
rainy warm Indian Summer day, but that never came this year in San Francisco.
The Rosé was naturally followed by Chardonnays, and the creamy and luscious 2015 Rio Oro Chardonnay ($40) was by far my favorite with its hint of oak.
Next up were the bold and the beautiful: the Pinot Noirs. Bucher’s 2015 Pinot Noir is incredible, but my favorites were the Pommard Clone and Three Sixty Pinot Noirs. These are the bottles of wine you want to bring home to Mom for the holidays.
The 2015 Pommard Clone ($55) is Bucher’s Tom Ford Private Blend Fragrance of Pinot Noirs. Supple, sophisticated, seductive. Its smoky cherry aromatics demand you take a sip. Its flavors demand you finish that glass in your hand. The Bucher Clone is sourced from several clones and rootstock within the Bucher vineyard, and scored an outstanding 90 out of 100 with Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
The grand finale was Bucher Wines’ spicy, powerful, and complex Three Sixty Pinot Noir ($65), which also scored 90 points with Wine Enthusiast. Its inaugural bottle scored 93! While the Pommard Clone is sourced from Bucher’s blocks of clones, the Three Sixty is sourced from four blocks around Bucher Wines’ 38 acres of vineyards. I had to buy a bottle of this bad boy and it will sit in my wine closet for at least 2-3 years.
Bucher Wines’s wines are only available for purchase at their Grand Cru Custom Crush tasting room or online at bucher.wine. You will not find these wines in store, so be sure to bookmark this page if you are interested.
Bucher Wines and Grand Cru Custom Crush are an essential destination on your wine tasting tour of the Russian River Valley, especially if you are visiting the Healdsburg or Santa Rosa area.
Tastings are by appointment only, and normally cost $25 per person (waived with a purchase of $100 or more)… However, I’d love to invite you for a tasting. You deserve it! Mention Kyle Legg – The Cosmopolitan Man or 49Miles.com when booking your reservation for a complimentary tasting for two ($50 value)!
Click here to make a tasting reservation with Bucher Wines at Grand Cru Custom Crush.
Bucher Wines at Grand Cru Custom Crush
1200 American Way, Windsor, CA 95492