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FrontRunners: Gaining Complexity

Jessica Taylor

Russian river valley wine producer Lynmar Winery (707.829.3374, www.lynmarwinery.com) has added to its Sebastopol, Calif., estate a tasting room more typical of the celebrated Napa Valley establishments to the east. Designed by San Francisco–based Baum Thornley Architects to resemble a wine-country home, the hospitality center debuted last October, just after Lynmar had completed a yearlong expansion of its winery and 9,000-square-foot caves, as well as a decadelong replanting of its 35-year-old Quail Hill vineyard.

A trellislike structure resembling the Sonoma region’s water towers and silos crowns the entrance to the tasting center. Once inside, you can sample the winery’s Quail Hill Vineyard Chardonnay ($38) and Pinot Noir ($45), as well as lesser-known varietals such as a Russian River Valley Vin Gris ($20), together with crostini with smoked duck and other appetizers prepared by resident chef Sandra Simile. Reservations for the daily pairings are not required, and Lynmar’s hosts stand at the ready to discuss winemaking west of the Mayacamas, in the wine country that is, at least for now, the one less traveled.

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