There are wine tasting experiences available at Chateau St. Jean to fit anyone’s style. Chateau St. Jean is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is closed for New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Late opening on Easter Sunday, and closes early for New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eves. Appointments appreciated, but not required for groups of less than 10
Doing a nice casual tasting? You can taste 4 Chateau St. Jean wines in the main tasting room. This classic tasting gives a good introduction to their wines. Tastings take about 45 minutes. $15 fee per person.
Feel like relaxing in Chateau St. Jean’s 1920s chateau and experiencing the Sonoma wine lifestyle? If so, then the seated Chateau Reserve Tasting is for you. Pick any 4 of the 8 wines offered, 4 reds and 4 whites. Available daily at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the Chateau Patio, weather permitting, or in the Chateau Dining Room. $30 per person and the tasting is accompanied by an artisan cheese plate. Tastings take about an hour.
Looking for a custom one of a kind tasting? Chateau St. Jean offers a private tailored wine experience Friday- Monday. Reservations Required. You can enjoy Chateau St. Jean wines customized to your preferences. Options include Library Wines (including Magnums), White Wines, Red Wines, Bordeaux Varieties & Burgundy Varieties. $50 per person. Tastings take about an hour.
If you want to bring the whole gang, you can do a private group tasting experience. These tasting options are available to parties of 10 or more. Check Chateau St. Jean’s website for more information on the private tastings, tailored wine experiences, wine and cheese pairings, and even bottle service for your group.
Chateau St. Jean does offer a wine club, which I am a member. One of its perks is free tasting for Wine Club members and 3 guests, and wine club members even have their “members only” Chateau Reserve Room and a Wine Club Patio.
If you love the idea of spending time in a 3,550-square-foot historic 1920’s Northern California summer home and wandering around its Mediterranean-styled formal gardens, stop here. Chateau St. Jean oozes elegance. Fun fact, Chateau St. Jean is named for Jean Sheffield Merzoian, sister, sister-in-law, and wife to owners. Chateau St. Jean truly provides breath taking beauty, without being pretentious. I love Sonoma for its down to earth people and places, Chateau St. Jean is no exception. The Chateau is designed for adult humans so this is one where Fido and the kids might want to take a pass.
Chateau St. Jean offer wines by the glass or bottle along with a selection of cheese and charcuterie in our Visitor’s Center. You are welcome to picnic in select areas on property and enjoy our Bocce Ball Court. No outside alcohol is permitted.
As a wine club member, I’m obviously a fan of Chateau St. Jean’s wines. So these will be positive reviews. I fell in love with the wines produced at Chateau St. Jean years before I became a wine club member, because of their elegance. I remember tasting their wines for the first time and thinking how feminine they seemed to me. Please understand my use of this word that is sometimes perceived as having a negative connotation. To me, feminine wines have elegance, sophistication, understated strength, and a je ne sais quoi. I said this before knowing that Wine Enthusiasts Magazine’s 2008 “Winemaker of the Year” Margo Van Staaveren was Chateau St. Jean’s winemaker.
Chateau St. Jean sources from 9 vineyards across several different AVAs giving Margo some of the “best of the best” fruit to work her magic with and is one of the reasons Chateau St. Jean is a pioneer in the Sonoma Valley, producing exceptional single vineyard wines since 1975.
Chateau St. Jean has 4 distinct wine collections with both red and white wines. The Reserve Collection includes blends of a particular varietal from each sub-appellation, from Sonoma Valley to Alexander Valley to the Sonoma Coast. The Single Vineyard Collection that highlights the unique expression of exceptional vineyards in each vintage. The Appellation Collection that are single varietal wines that thrive in distinct Sonoma County AVAs including Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Coast. And last but not least, the Cinq Cépages. Cinq Cépages is the flagship wine of Chateau St. Jean created from select fruit from the finest Bordeaux varietal vineyards. Fun fact, Cinq Cépages means 5 grape varieties.
2012 Reserve Merlot
I don’t drink a lot of Merlots, and no, not because of the movie Sideways. I like big reds and lighter reds, and those wines in the middle get overlooked, shame on me. If you are looking for a Merlot to grab your interest, here it is. 2012 was the start of the latest California drought and the fruit was amazing. Smooth, balanced, with a nose that I best describe as a perfume more than a smell. Black fruits, gentle baking spices, and mouth feel where I got some slight cocoa powder. For pairing I would love to see a scallop dish or other sea food with some brininess. $90 at the tasting room.
2015 Le Seul Pinot Noir
This is Chateau St. Jean’s third vintage of Le Seul Pinot Noir from the Gap’s Crown and Sun Chase vineyards, both located in the Petaluma Gap area of Sonoma County. Fun fact, Le Seul means “the only”. This may not be the only Pinot for me, but it certainly is a Pinot for me. Pinots are so expressive. They are a little delicate and won’t grow everywhere. But wherever they grow, they make that area a part of themselves. The two vineyards these grapes come from have one thing in common, they allow for slow ripening. That really shows when you taste this wine. Fresh fruits like Bing cherries balanced with good acidity that doesn’t cover up the mid palate flavors that include cinnamon that has been sprinkled on a baked apple and a soft hint of smoke. This Pinot would pair well with deep flavored foods, like a chicken that was in the crock pot all day. $75 at the tasting room and on their website.
2014 Cinq Cépages
2014 Cinq Cépages is a blend of classic Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Cabernet Franc (9%), Merlot (8%), Malbec (3%), Petit Verdot (3%), and 100% yum. If you care about points, Wine Advocate gave this one 92 of them. Have you ever jumped into a deep lake where every second you sank deeper and deeper you feel something different? Warm, cold, the bubbles, and what you hope was a fish? When you taste this wine your mouth is going to take a deep plunge, but I promise no fish. Deep rich inky color, a nose that oscillated between woodsy rich black fruits and flowers growing on a bank of a stream. On the taste I got a dark chocolate covered cooked down black raspberries. In the next millisecond the wine delivered a fresh fruit that moved out of the way for some great minerality. Yes I loved it, thanks for asking. This is a wine that can be aged, but I don’t see it surviving long in my cellar. I would pair this with a grilled pork chop with some rosemary. There is a chance some other foods will make this wine taste better, but why risk it? $85 in the tasting room and on their website.
Unique Winery Experiences
When you step through the vine covered portal into Chateau St. Jean’s garden, you will feel transported to a Mediterranean villa. I always feel compelled to wear my fancy wine tasting clothes when I visit so I won’t be the eyesore in the garden. I suggest you pack a picnic, do a tasting of your choice, and buy a bottle of wine to go with your basket of goodies. You may even want to beat your friends in a game of Bocce ball.
Wine club benefits include free tastings and a 20% discount on wine, winery merchandise, and deli items . Invitations to exclusive “members-only” programs and events throughout the year. There are 2 wine club options. The Reserve Club, 3-4 bottles of Red and White reserve wines 4 times a year, and Club St. Jean, 3-4 bottles of red, white, or a mix of wines from the entire breadth of the Chateau St. Jean portfolio. Wines can be picked up or shipped with a $15 flat rate shipping on all club shipments. Oh, and we get our own members only tasting and picnic area.