Tucked away in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley is one of the most amazing wine regions in Sonoma County. Known for its robust Zinfandel wines and crisp Sauvignon Blancs, there is a quaint and emerging winery estate we consider to be one of the hidden gems of the wine industry region. Whether a local or a visitor to the Bay Area or Wine Country, this unique farm stay experience is a MUST-DO!
The Left Coast Marketing & Design Team was lucky enough to help David Eckert’s vision of ZO Wines come to life through brand development, strategic repositioning, logo design, and reputation management. Taking two very different previous concepts which included a winery and an inn and integrating them together as one resulted in the creation of this “farm stay” concept – a concept on which they pride themselves and the experience they deliver for guests.
David Eckert, owner and winemaker of ZO Wines, partnered with Daniel Baron, former Director of winemaking at Silver Oak, to create and deliver the ultimate experience to the Dry Creek Valley. While the term ‘farm stay‘ is relatively new to Americans, the media is covering it in greater depth in this unique european-style experience, also known as agritourism. ZO Winery & Estate is a sustainable and environmentally cautious program promoting the four main attributes of the overall farm stay experience: stay, taste, learn, and explore.
Opening in the beginning of March, ZO released their first ever limited wine, 2016 ‘3232’ Zinfandel, which is an ode to the plot of land on which the winery sits. Being ever cautious of their footprint on the land, and the exclusivity of the farm stay, ZO Wines offer tastings by appointment only. Another really cool feature of ZO is their wine club program! Through the program, guests have the opportunity to be apart of the Founders Club at ZO Wines and be among the first few in the club, receiving their delicious, limited quantity wine throughout the year at volume discounts that can also be applied to room rentals.
Unlike most wineries, wine is not the only thing ZO Wines has to taste! During the farm stay experience, Zo Wines can cater guests a boxed lunch or meal, or guests can cook their own farm-to-table style dinners with the fully equipped kitchen with freshly picked veggies from their garden! The unique garden program allows visitors to forage for fresh ingredients to complement every meal during the farm stay!
Sitting on roughly 15 acres of lush land, the ZO Wines team is ever mindful of their ecological footprint. The estate runs entirely on solar power, permitting only a limited number of guests on the property at any given time to preserve the natural land. With individual rooms for rent, combinable in numerous ways up to including the whole house, couples, families, and friends can enjoy a quiet day and evening on the estate with access to the house’s common areas. This experience includes the kitchen, living room, dining room, and breakfast nook along with a great BBQ area, fire pit, and two outdoor patios/porches providing guests with multiple gorgeous views of the vineyards. Did someone say sunset dinner on the vineyard? We’re in!
There is so much to learn at ZO Wines. They have so much appreciation for their land and what that gift brings to them and their guests. They want to highlight and share everything they can with their visitors to make the ZO experience the ultimate educational and agricultural based farm stay in Sonoma County.
The ZO Wines Team created a sensory workshop tasting, where the walls are broken down and suddenly wine tasting becomes less intimidating. Guests learn to connect their senses to their vocabulary to better express tastes and aromas being sensed. The experience exposes visitors to the many aromas of wine and how to identify them in different varietals. The experience also includes an exclusive wine tasting of the many boutique wines from Zo Wines paired with small bites to highlight the experience.
When visiting the estate, guests will notice the production facility is quite small and there aren’t many buildings on the property. In an effort to reduce their footprint on the land, they recycled many of the empty spaces in their facility, locating all of their equipment in one building rather than building more on the untouched land – a fact they are very proud of at ZO Wines.
This is where the adventure really gets fun! Exploring is one of our favorite aspects of winery experiences – it gives visitors a behind the scenes look at where and how the grapes are grown and how the wine is made. As an important aspect of the ZO Wines farm stay experience, they offer tours led through the estate vineyard, followed by a visit to the winery and cellars. Guests then finish the tour in one of the well-styled tasting lounges or on the lovely shaded patio deck or lawns where they enjoy one of the incredible sensory tastings!
The adventures don’t stop with ZO Wines! They are so proud to be apart of the Dry Creek Valley AVA Community, they want their guests to enjoy ALL Sonoma has to offer, and will customize tours to guests’ wine preferences, taking them to visit all the best neighboring wineries. Don’t want to be driven around, but prefer to bike in the heart of one of the best biking areas in Sonoma? ZO Wines offers bike rentals as well. ZO not only wants you to have the best overnight stay, but also the best overall trip.
ZO Wines has a lot of great things planned for the future and we can’t wait to see this place grow! We have been happy to work with such a mindful team and highly recommend you check out this spot!
“The Left Coast Marketing & Design team has been such a pleasure to work with on the ZO Wines Brand Development project. Their creative and easy to work with team helped us to integrate 2 brands into what is now ZO Wines. It’s clear to us that without Left Coast Marketing’s creative and experienced team we would not have been able to create such a compelling brand identity. The team was wonderful to work with and is very clear that each and every one of them loves what they do.”
-David Eckert, Owner Winemaker, ZO Wines