Ferrari-Carano’s grounds are lush year round. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

My memory of visiting Ferrari-Carano winery years ago was more about the gardens than the wine.

Through the years I’ve come to appreciate what this Sonoma County winery puts in a bottle, but it was the gardens that made me want to return.

The website says, “What began in 1987 as a labor of love for gardener extraordinaire Rhonda Carano, took 16 months just to plan and complete the initial planting.”

While fall usually isn’t the best time for most gardens, there was still a lusciousness here. The September visit was like a tease in some ways. I know the spring and summer will full of even more color. I look forward to returning.

A secluded garden makes one forget she is visiting a winery. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Even so, the Villa Fiore Garden closest to the parking lot is not like anything else I’ve experienced at other wineries. It’s like walking through a park, where you don’t even know you are on the grounds of a winery.

“… relaxed in design with an emphasis on color and texture, and featuring a mixture of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals” is how the winery describes it. There are water features, places to sit and a tranquility that begs one to whisper as if it were a sanctuary.

Oh, and the wines? So, good. I often think of whites when I think Ferrari-Carano. After all, one-third of their production is Fume Blanc. However, on this visit is was the 2021 Siena that captured my attention. It’s dominated by Sangiovese, with Malbec, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon the other varietals.

Tasting notes say it has “aromas of dried strawberry, blueberry, cardamom dusted graham crackers, and a hint of cedar spice. The palate is bursting with vibrant fruit flavors, strawberry-cranberry crumb pie and coffee nip lingering through the long, elegant finish.”

My favorite white was the 2020 Tre Terre. This Chardonnay is made from grapes grown along the Russian River.

While wine tasting is about the wine, it’s always wonderful when it’s actually more than that. Such is the case with Ferrari-Carano.

Alanna pours a taste at Ferrari-Carano winery in Healdsburg. (Image: Kathryn Reed)



  • Address: 8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
  • Phone: 707.433.6700
  • Website


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