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for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"

California Wine Country

Wine and Roses! Chateau St. Jean

Destination:  Chateau St. Jean Winery – Sonoma Valley

Chateau St Jean Photo © Alice Joyce

A perfect day in Wine Country:  Stroll the formal gardens at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood – Garden Plan designed by Olin Partnership – followed by wine tasting, and a tasty light lunch from the winery’s charcuterie.

Clytostoma callistegiodes Chateau St Jean Photo © Alice Joyce

The garden layout draws inspiration from the Chateau, a Mediterranean-style villa built in the 1920, while the landscape, with its graceful proportions and symmetry, distinctively echoes traditional gardens of Italy and southern France. Fountains, statuary, and a classic pergola draped in blooming vines enhance the setting.

Chateau St. Jean Reserve Wine Tasting

Reserve Tasting - Chateau St. Jean

Reserve Tasting …

Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St Jean Statuary Photo © Alice Joyce

Handcrafted by winemaker Margo Van Staaveren, Chateau St. Jean’s  Reserve wines include brilliantly complex, award-winning reds and lively whites:  To savor on their own or pair with summery meals, Chateau St Jean Fume Blanc, Lyon Vineyard,

or the buttery Chardonnay, Sonoma County: Both wines are elegant and focused.

Tasting the deeply satisfying Chateau St. Jean Reserve Merlot is truly memorable. You may well be tempted to take home a bottle. And not-to-be missed, Chateau St. Jean’s celebrated Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon presents a captivating blend, with its soupcon of  Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, and 1 % Petite Verdot.

Chateau St Jean formal parterres (Photo Alice Joyce)

Italian stone pine, London plane and windmill palm trees provide order and structure in the central parterre, and adjoining garden rooms. American arborvitae hug metal arches to establish transitions between spaces. Look for decorative highlights like potted Citrus specimens, especially ‘Dwarf Satsuma Mandarin.’ The heady scent of  frothy, profusely blooming ‘Iceberg’ roses will stay with you.

AGTB Wine Country Fountain Photo © Alice Joyce

Many showy shrubs reach their peak bloom in summer: Hydrangea ‘Lanarth White’ and H. ‘Mariesii Variegata’ thrive in a shady haven beneath California sycamores.

Chateau St Jean Pergola Photo © Alice Joyce

Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the gardens during open hours

4 comments to Wine and Roses! Touring Chateau St. Jean

  • We haven’t been to Chateau St. Jean in years, but it’s such a lovely winery. We had THE best apricot dessert spread there, made with, and paired with, CSJ Gewürztraminer. I can’t believe I still remember that! Lovely gardens though, and well worth a visit.

  • Dear Alice, Good wine, an interesting and very attractive garden, and doubtless well chosen company. Could anyone at the height of summer ask for more?

  • Alice, I love coming back to your blog and seeing all the great places you have been and the awesome photos you share. I can only dream, I guess my pie in the sky thing!
    I just bought myself a bottle of “Seaglass” wine to share with a friend. Thanks for sharing everything you do. Happy travels and gardens.

  • Alice, an impudent little post, smooth on the palate with a warm aftertaste! Which reminds, me: Ontario’s Niagara and Prince Edward County wine districts… Hmmmm.