Tap into the Picnic Spirit with Sonoma’s Favorite Jug Wines

Picnic with Sonoma’s favorite jug wines.  Travel-friendly jugs and growlers are hallmarks of summer in Wine Country. No longer the place where low-quality plonk gets, well, plonked, jug wines are perfect for picnics and beach trips and days spent on the go. And at a few area wineries, local drinkers can head back to the source for refills—a happy errand if ever there were one.

“Growlers are perfect any time of year, but thrive in spring and summer,” says Kailey Priest of Kivelstadt Cellars in Sonoma. “No need to worry about bringing a wine opener with you—you just pop the top and enjoy.”

The winery’s refillable jug wine program was created by founder Jordan Kivelstadt to reduce waste produced from wine bottles. The refillable growler program now saves the winery over 6,000 pounds of waste every year. And there’s a bonus for for consumers’ wallets as well, says Priest. “The price to fill the growler is the same as the price of a bottle of wine, however, our growlers are 1-liter, versus a 750 ml bottle, so it’s a bit more bang for your buck.”

“Jug wines are a nod to enjoying wine in a more casual, relaxed setting … [it’s] unpretentious, approachable, and fun,” says Johanna Holm of Larson Family Winery in Sonoma. Larson’s jug wines are available in 1-liter glass bottles and—new this summer—500 ml bottles. While Larson doesn’t yet offer refills, the staffers do say they notice customers upcycling the distinctively chunky, poptop bottles into carafes and flower vases.

In downtown Sonoma, Cochon Wines’ tasting bar offers multiple wines on tap, along with 1-liter growlers that have proven popular with guests looking for wines to picnic with on the nearby Sonoma Plaza. Owner and winemaker Adam Webb likes to choose crisp, refreshing whites and rosés for his jug wine program, and occasionally a “highly fruited, juicy red” like the Cochon Cherry Bomb.

Read the full article at: Sonoma Magazine

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