Last year I stopped at Acorn Winery outside Healdsburg after having someone suggest trying their Sangiovese at a local restaurant. Like almost everyone, I have come to expect very little from Sangiovese in California. It usually has too much candied red fruit or is just plain uninteresting. I tried it next to a traditional Chianti and the Acorn Sangiovese more than matched the Chianti with bright acidity, and dusty cherry fruit found in true Italian Sangiovese. I got directions to the winery and couldn’t wait to check it out the next day.
When people talk about the backroads of the wine world, Acorn fits the bill. With only a small sign to catch your eye, it is easy to miss. We followed a dirt road for quite a while, past several houses, until we pulled up to Acorn. Honestly, it looked like the last house on the road before it curved back to the main road, so I hoped it was Acorn.
Betsy and Bill Nachbauer are the most unassuming people I have met in California. It is a no-frills winery to say the least. The one thing they had in great quantity was outstanding wine and warm hospitality. I tasted through the whole lineup, from Dolcetto to Zinfandel; and was impressed by each and every wine. Bill walked me through the vineyard using a map on the wall to explain the different soil types on his small 27 acres farm. Some of the vines were planted in as a field blend in 1890! Bill took me up the hill next to the winery to show the differences in soil up close. Having been to so many wineries over the years, it is actually hard to believe how much time I spent that day at Acorn without even noticing the time fly by.
We are proud to annouce we are launching a Acorn Winery flight at the Intercontinental and Fairmont location. It is the first time they have been in the Chicago market. We know our guests are going to love the wines as much as we do. We were lucky enough to snag some Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zinfandel from Acorn for the perfect flight for the Chicago winter. Stop in and join us!