I had the opportunity recently to spend a fabulous afternoon with Tom Meadowcroft, the founder and winemaker for Meadowcroft Wines. It was one of the most enjoyable hours I have shared with someone in a long time! His passion for his craft was palpable and invigorating.
Tom and his family moved to Switzerland when he was just 4 years old. He grew up in Geneva playing, skiing and thanks to his Dad who ran a travel agency, traveling throughout Europe and the U.S. His journey in winemaking began in Bordeaux in the late 70s and led him to wineries in Washington state and Napa. Tom attended UC Davis and the Napa Valley College to hone his winemaking skills before managing a winery that focused on sustainable farming and environmental advocacy. The dozens of properties he managed in Napa and Sonoma taught him not only the principles of winemaking but helped define his vision for his own wines.
Meadowcroft Wines’ tasting room is located at CornerStone Sonoma – this gallery is a beautiful mix of walk-through gardens that change with the seasons, shops, a restaurant and seminars on landscape architecture and design. I had heard wonderful things about the nine-acre gardens and art from friends. It was inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France and its goal is to create a cultural and creative haven by celebrating the connection between art, architecture and nature. It was certainly a lovely surprise finding this quiet little haven tucked away in the most unexpected location.
The Meadowcroft tasting room is open and welcoming and is reminiscent of a tin barn. There is plenty of outside seating so you can enjoy the atmosphere CornerStone has to offer. Inside is an eclectic mix of charm, rotating between the look of a French country kitchen, antique furniture and contemporary high top tables with bar stools. Being a lover of nature, I chose a quiet table outside. Hearing the birds sing and the breeze blowing, makes every experience just a little bit better!
As I listened to Tom speak about each wine having a story “with many colors and weaves”, I began to really see his love for winemaking. My tasting started with a bright, aromatic Chardonnay that’s finish was smooth and fruity. Next was an exotic and spicy Pinot Noir that’s grapes had come from an abandoned vineyard. I took a couple of bottles of that home with me! The Syrah was an approachable blend of Syrah and Malbec and we followed up with a beefy Zinfandel. And when I didn’t think it could get any better…we finished with a pairing of Port and cabernet chocolate. What an amazing combination! The wines were a perfect combination of European-style winemaking with a splash of California so they really resonate on the palate! Through the tasting it was clear that Tom loves to play with different grapes and is right at home in the “big sandbox of creativity”!
Since Tom does not fine the finished product, all of his wines are vegan-friendly. The Meadowcroft hallmark “honeybee” on the label is a symbol of the hard work, the journey of mastering the winemaking discipline and the process of transforming grapes into an outstanding wine. And Tom’s family name means “fertile field on the meadow”! It is clear that he has found his calling. Come to Meadowcroft Wines and taste Tom’s interpretation of the varietals narrative; it is a story that should not be missed!
Meadowcroft Wines is located in the CornerStone Sonoma gardens at 23574 Arnold Dr./Hwy. 121 in Sonoma. Elaine and Darby offer tastings every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy the wonderful wine, the gorgeous gardens and relaxing atmosphere and as always…eat, drink and be vegan!