Recently, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Lambert Bridge Winery, located just outside the town of Healdsburg in Dry Creek Valley.
Bill and I began our visit with a seated tasting in their elegant Cellar Room, led by Bill Smart, General Manager of Lambert Bridge. After the tasting, we attended an unforgettable vineyard party at their mountainside vineyard near Glen Ellen.
In today’s post, I’m sharing some highlights from both our visit to Lambert Bridge Winery and the unforgettable vineyard party that followed.
A scenic property with vineyards, gardens and mature redwood forests, Lambert Bridge is located just over its namesake trestle bridge.
The C. L. Lambert family settled in this area a century ago. Some sixty years later, Jerry Lambert – no relation to the family – founded Lambert Bridge Winery in 1975. A California wine pioneer, Jerry began growing grapes on the property and was one of the first to make world class wines from this region.
In 1993, Patti and Ray Chambers bought the winery and continued the Lambert Bridge tradition of making fine wines. They also created a place for guests to experience their small-lot wines in a relaxing, picturesque and welcoming environment.
Lambert Bridge offers two different types of wine tasting options for guests. Parties of five or less may drop in for a tasting at the Curly Redwood Bar where they will be led through a flight of five wines. Or make an appointment for a seated tasting experience in their Cellar Room, which is what Bill and I had the pleasure of experiencing.
Their stunning tasting room has beautiful redwood throughout, vaulted ceilings, stone accents and warm lighting, giving it a rustic and cozy feeling.
Our Cellar Flight tasting was led by General Manager, Bill Smart, who took us through their Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Crane Creek Cuvee, and more, poured in the finest Riedel glasses. The wines are all phenomenal. It was impossible to pick a favorite.
We learned about their winemaker, Jennifer Higgins, who we would get to spend time with later in the day. Jennifer is a native of Sonoma County and a veteran winemaker who is committed to excellence and the highest of standards in wine making from the vineyard to the bottle.
Jennifer creates limited production, small lot wines for Lambert Bridge that capture the personality of the vineyards and the vintage. With an annual production of approximately 7,000 cases, Lambert Bridge does not distribute its wines. They sell 100% directly to the consumer and 50% of their wines are for members only.
Lambert Bridge has four estate vineyards which are sustainably farmed. They include vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Fountain Grove and the mountainside Gilfillan Vineyard where we would be spending the evening.
Lambert Bridge members who purchased a case allocation were invited to attend the special Sundowner event, limited to just 20 members and hosted by winemaker Jennifer Higgins. Delicious food, fine wine (of course!) and stellar views awaited guests 1,200 feet up in the Gilfillan Vineyard.
Attendees gathered at the gazebo in front of the winery and were treated to snacks and Aperol spritzers, a perfectly refreshing drink for a warm, summery day. I decided to take my drink with me while exploring the lawn, gardens and picnic areas at Lambert Bridge.
Soon, guests would be riding in style to the Sundowner event in convertible Mercedes vans from Silver Service Tours. Because Bill and I live closer to the vineyard than the winery, it made more sense for us to drive ourselves. Though I am sorry we missed out on the fun ride!
We arrived before the rest of the group which gave us the chance to take photos of the gorgeous and stylish decor the team at Lambert Bridge put together.
Rattan chairs and couches, colorful Mexican falsa blankets, faux fur throws, lanterns, fresh flowers, rugs, and side tables – all in a safari-chic style – were set upon sand that had been brought in just for the event. This is quite an impressive feat as getting to the Gilfillan Vineyard is not easy! It’s way up a long, winding, steep, one-lane road.
Once you’re there, you can see why the folks at Lambert Bridge would want to make the extra effort to host a special event for their members.
Gilfillan Vineyard sits at 1,200 foot elevation on the Sonoma side of Mt. Veeder and is Lambert Bridge’s newest vineyard. The vineyard has 6. 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon set on a total acreage of approximately 30 acres. Rocky soil made up of volcanic rock – along with lots of sunshine – make it ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
The breathtaking views of Sonoma Valley, Marin County and San Francisco had our cameras working full-time. We could see both bridges – the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate – and as the sun began to shift, skyscrapers in downtown San Francisco would glisten.
Once all the guests arrived, had a glass of wine and a few delicious nibbles on board, Jennifer gave us a walking tour of the vineyard.
Guests mingled, enjoyed the fantastic food and wine and relaxed. Later in the evening, the hanging lights went on, the lanterns were lit and the sun started its decent.
It was one of the most spectacular sunsets I have seen. It just kept getting better and better as the evening went on.
The Sundowner Event was one I will never forget. From the extraordinary wine and the breathtaking properties – both the winery and Gilfillan Vineyard – to the warm and welcoming staff, I highly recommend experiencing Lambert Bridge Winery and enjoying their membership privileges.
The next Sundowner Event is happening June 23rd. For more information or to become a member, v(800) 975-0555.
Lambert Bridge Winery is located at
Disclosure: Our wine tasting Sundowner Event experiences at Lambert Bridge Winery were both complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.