July 5, 2018

Inside the Wine Cave: Thomas George Estates

Imagine hopping on a shuttle bus to an “undetermined location” in Sonoma wine country. What’s the worst that could happen? Nothing, it turns out! Me and about 30 of my fellow Wine Bloggers Conference attendees ended up at Thomas George Estates in the Russian River Valley. It was already nightfall, so we did not get to see the sprawling vineyards onsite, as it was already dark. We exited the bus and were immediately whisked into the wine cave/tasting room and greeted with a glass of bubbly and some charcuterie. Not bad!

This property originally belonged to Davis Bynum, a legend in Russian River Pinot. The Baker family purchased the land and winery from Bynum and founded Thomas George Estates in 2008. Since then they have acquired other vineyards and now maintain close to 100 acres of vines! All wines that Thomas George produces are estate and they focus on site-specific Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. In addition, they also grow: Grenache, Zinfandel, and Viognier.

My wine friends and I arrived and enjoyed the reception in the beautiful cave setting. The bubbly was a hit, and the nibbles were delectable.

We then headed to the gorgeous and dramatically lit table for dinner. The full menu, including wine pairings, is below. It was a great meal, wonderful people, and will be remembered!


Black Pig Salumi & Antipasti

House-made cured meats, roasted & marinated vegetables, crostini

2014 Brut Blanc de Blancs, Starr Ridge Vineyard, “Cooper Block” 14.2% ABV, $50

Oh boy is this wine good. Crisp green apple, brioche/toast, lees aging detectable. Bitter almond on the finish.

First Course

Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad

Black pig bacon, Asian Pear, Marcona Almonds, Aged Sherry Vinegar, Bohemian Creamery “Capriago”

2015 Chardonnay, Sons & Daughters Vineyard 13.9% ABV $35

No malo and no oak. The wine was aged sur lie in both stainless steel tank and concrete egg. This is a ripe Chardonnay with notes of citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruit. Great acid makes this a nice everyday Chardonnay.


Cracklin’ Pork Belly + Star Anise Liberty Duck

Black Rice, TGE Estate-Grown Pomegranate, Watercress

2014 Pinot Noir, Baker Ridge Vineyard 14% ABV $70

This wine paired famously with the pork belly and duck. Aromas of red and blue fruit plus floral violet notes. On the palate, strong acid with red/blue fruit, violet and earthy notes.


Backyard Quince & Apple Tartin, Bourbon Gelato

2012 Late Harvest Viognier, Baker Ridge Vineyard “Baby Block” 17% ABV $35

Divine. Just divine.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are looking to Drink Better and Up Your Wine Game, check out my latest virtual wine tasting offerings, including both public and private wine tasting events. For virtual events, my tastings feature a small-format wine tasting set sent to each attendee for a shared tasting experience. What can you expect from a Virtual Vino event? Fun, approachable, interactive, and unpretentious wine education as we share smiles and wine!
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier based out of Los Angeles, California.
She has been producing events and weddings for over 10 years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and also offers her services as a wine educator, writer, and consultant to inspire people of all ages.

Brianne completed the entire curriculum with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and traveled to London in order to receive her Diploma certificate, which is one of the most coveted and difficult wine certifications. Most recently Brianne judged at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and the International Wine Challenge in London.
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As a wine blogger, I frequently accept samples for review on the blog and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions. 

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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