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The Juice

Welcome to the Bella blog, The Juice. Take a peek at our posts below and please leave comments or questions. We respond quickly and always love to hear from you!

Erin Edwards
 
September 23, 2019 | Erin Edwards

Plan the Perfect Day at Bella Winery

At our family-owned winery, Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves, you're not just a customer, you're a guest in our home. Whether you are joining us for an hour or an all-day adventure, here's how to experience the perfect day in Dry Creek wine country with Bella.

Picnic Your Heart Out

Before you make your way to visit us, we recommend picking up a picnic. The deli at Big John's Market has one of the best selections of grab-and-go sandwiches and picnic supplies. You can also head over to the iconic Oakville Grocery on the picturesque Downtown Healdsburg Square for an artisan selection of sandwiches, salads, and California fare. Dry Creek General Store is also just along the way — but take a tip from the locals and get there early because it gets busy!

The first thing you'll see when you arrive at the property is our sprawling from lawn. You'll be welcomed by a range of guests (and some friendly pups on leashes) sipping and swirling, hoola-hooping or throwing a game of Corn Hole across the yard. It's not an accident that it feels like you're walking into our backyard. 

Bring Your Dancing Shoes

The weekends are for living it up and every good story comes with background music. Every weekend from 11-4 you can enjoy live acoustic music from local bands at the winery. There's never a cover charge, but always a good time. Sit under the shade with a glass of our award-winning wines grown from century old vines. Grab a growler of ice cold Ru's Farm rosé to go with your picnic on the lawn and you'll never want to leave. 

Cave Dwelling

If you can break away from the action outside, we invite you to grab your glass and head into the caves for a tasting at the bar. Here our hospitality team will introduce you to our hand-crafted, small-lot wines. A bar tasting offers 6 world-class wines for only $25/person.

Explore Dry Creek Like a Winegrower

You've experienced the finished product in the bottle. But are you feeling the need to get down in the dirt with us? There's a tour just for that. Jump aboard our vintage Pinzgauer or Land Rover Defender and let's go romping through the vines. There's something extra special about seeing the wine from vine to bottle and The Ultimate Tour will take you through our estate vineyards to the top of our Lily Hill property for an unforgettable experience. Advance reservations are required for this, but if you can find the planner within, we know we'll make it worth it. 

Welcome to the Family

You've had a full day! If you're feeling like you never want to go home (we don't blame you) the good news is, you can take us with you! Our wine club members receive special access to limited release wines, event invites to members-only experiences and (bonus!) the tasting fees are waived when you Join the Club

We can't wait to welcome you back again (and again) for the perfect day at Bella Winery. We hope you bring a bit of Bella home with you to experience with your closest friends and family —hopefully with some good tunes in the background and a game of Corn Hole in the sun, for good measure. 

Nina Seligson
 
January 31, 2019 | Nina Seligson

Nina Seligson, Wine Club Coordinator

Though I was born and raised in Marin County, over the past decade, I’ve moved ever-farther northward with my husband, and we currently live in Bennett Valley. As will happen when you live in wine country, I caught the wine bug several years back. I think what I find the most fascinating about wine are the stories; the tales of historic old vineyards, the histories of the families who farm them (sometimes for generations), and stories about winemakers and what inspires them in their craft. As Bella’s wine club coordinator, these are the stories I like to share with our members.

We understand that people who seek out and discover smaller family-run wineries like Bella are searching for a deeper connection with the wines they drink. They love to explore and experience new wines in a way that is joyful and fun—not pretentious and pushy. Here at Bella, I am often the first point of contact for our members, that voice on the other end of the phone, or the person responding to your email. I came to the wine industry with a background in social services. And while working with at-risk youth might not seem like a natural foundation for being a wine club coordinator, I think there are parallels. I like to help and take care of people. I also understand that this often begins by listening, and asking good questions. I also try to remember my own experiences falling under wine’s spell, and how they ultimately led to a deeper appreciation of Lily Hill, and Dry Creek Valley.

In a way, my approach is quite old fashioned. I’m here to make you feel comfortable, and appreciated, and to make sure that your experience is one that you’ll remember fondly. Do you want to learn about and taste certain older vintages? I can make that happen. Would you like to plan a tour that’s personalized to your tastes, or the mood you’re trying to set for your guests? Not a problem. Did something come up and you need to reschedule your club shipment? Consider it done. Looking for a good nearby hiking spot? Let’s talk.

Whether you’re coming to wine country, or we’re shipping a taste of wine country to your home, it should put a smile on your face. So, whatever you need, let me know. The Bella experience is more than what’s in the bottle. 

 

Cheers,
Nina

Email me

Nicolas Cornejo
 
November 1, 2018 | Nicolas Cornejo

Nicolas Cornejo, Clendenen Vineyard Management


My name is Nicolas Cornejo, and I am the owner of Clendenen Vineyard Management, where I work alongside my son, Sirilo, and our great team of employees. For many years, we have been farming Bella’s vineyards, including Lily Hill and Big River Ranch—two special, old-vine vineyards that I love very much. I have been growing grapes for 33 years, and was the very first employee at Clendenen Vineyard Management when it was founded in 1992. I worked side by side with John Clendenen for over 20 years and when he retired in 2016, he sold me the company, and I have been proud to continue his work ever since

Guiding the farming at Bella is something that makes me very happy. I have known Scott and Lynn, and winemaker Joe Healy, for a long time. They are good people, who care deeply about the land, and the wines they make. We work well together, talking everything through, until we are all on the same page about how to grow the best possible grapes. Old vines need more love and attention than most. When vines have been alive for over 100 years, they don’t hang very much fruit, but the grapes they do produce are special. As a vineyard manager, and as a father, I know these vines will still be healthy and strong when Sirilo takes over for me years from now.

For many years, we have been farming Bella’s vineyards, including Lily Hill and Big River Ranch—two special, old-vine vineyards that I love very much.

— NICOLAS CORNEJO, OWNER - CLENDENON VINEYARD MANAGEMENT