Hamel is one of those places that gets mentioned frequently among the who's who of wine country. An infant among many other Sonoma county wineries, the newly founded Hamel Family Vineyards is quickly making its way up the totem pole, and for good reason.
The Hamel experience is elevated wine country living at its best. If it were a magazine - you'd have to purchase it at a fancy bookstore, it most certainly wouldn't be sold at the grocery store. Yet, I should note, albeit fancy, the winery is known for being down to earth, and carefree, even hosting 'the best event of the year' according to Kelly.
We had the pleasure of visiting Hamel Family Vineyards earlier this month, and the experience lived up to the hype. As we drove up the long driveway towards the ultra chic Gould Evans designed property, I couldn't help but fall in love with the expansive windows and modern touches. We were welcomed with glasses of rosè (some of the best rosè you can imagine), and given a tour of the patio and vineyards.
The patio spills into the vineyards and side yard where the wine release party takes place. Kelly became a member two years ago, just to attend
The Hamel's are deeply rooted in the University of Wisconsin with three alumni in the family, and they aren't afraid to show their pride. The vineyards act as a sort of stomping grounds for Wisconsinites, but will welcome you even if you aren't a badger fan (although you may leave as one!).
Tastings start at $40, but for $100 you can opt for a full tour of the 12,000 square foot
The Hamel family began making wine in 2006, and opened the winery in 2014. They take great pride in being stewards of the land, and have said that they don't farm organically because it's less expensive or fashionable, they do it because they care about the land. Since opening their doors, the Hamel's have participated heavily in philanthropy in the area, and have donated to charities such as Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, Fund-The-Future, the Boys and Girls Club, and Sonoma Ed Foundation, among others.
The winery offers three levels of membership starting at around $400/year, but is often fully committed, so if you have the opprotunity to buy in, do so (if not only to attend Camp Hamel). The house made cheese is divine, and rosè even better. The laid back elegance of Hamel is a major selling point for many, but if you needed one more little nudge, members recieve year round discounts which can also be applied to on-site lodging which can house two families, or four couples comfortably. If you have yet to try Hamel Family Vineyard wines, tastings are by appointment only 10 am to 5 pm ranging from $40-$100.
Hamel Family Vineyards | $40-$100 by appointment only | 415-394-6500