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“Astringent tastes better”
Review of Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean
Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Kenwood
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Inspired by formal estate gardens in the south of France, Chateau St Jean is the quintessential Sonoma winery that features gracious style and exquisite architecture. Founded in 1973, the winery is a pioneer in single vineyard wines and the home of the iconic Cinq Cepages.
Leawood, Kansas
Level Contributor
298 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Astringent tastes better”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

This past weekend was the first time I had visited Sonoma County. For many years when I lived in the Bay Area, Napa Valley was a regular stop when I had out-of-town guests. Then I moved away and then they decided to convert it to Disneyland like experience complete with a wine train. No thank you.

So we decided to visit the Sonoma Wine Country and made our first (and last) stop at Chateau St. Jean. The place is beautiful but it ends there. After parking, we made our way to the tasting room where they sell extremely over-priced snacks and offer various kinds of tastings of their wares. Nothing's free. The budget tasting is $15 for 6 samples of their low end wine. For $5 more, you get to move up to their better wines. For $30 each you can taste their private reserve in a separate tasting room.

We started with a snack of salame and cheese. This is a snack size box a little bit larger than what my grade-school age daughter takes to school some time. The difference is the price. $12. We opted in to a $20 tasting and were provided a menu to select from. Not being familiar with Chateau St. Jean, we decided to try some whites and reds. As the wine came, there was a characteristic that accompanies each one: Bitter aftertaste. Their whites were astringent and without bouquet. The reds were like drinking ink. The only nice thing about our visit was the surrounding garden that was tastefully done.

We missed the wine tour. There are two of them a day at 11 and 1. We didn't ask the price but did note that you can join their wine club for $75-$150/quarter and get a free tour and tasting. On second thought, I'd rather drink acetone - it's cheaper!

Skip this one. There are many other vineyards in Sonoma that have better wines to sample.

Visited June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Wines are delicious and the view is incredible”
Reviewed June 16, 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at Renaissance in Sonoma and they gave us complimentary passes for a reserve tasting at Chateau St. Jean. We are both glad we decided to use.

Not only is the view in the Reserve Tasting room phenomenal, but the team members conducting the tastings (Tom) make the experience more enjoyable. In fact, when you plan on visiting, ask if Tom is available to host your tasting.

We both loved the wines so much we became club members.

On a side note, we heard that this was one of a handful of places in Wine Country where a wedding can be held on a winery. Food for thought.

Visited June 2014
Thank joshua15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
97 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful grounds, scenery is awesome. Many photo ops here. The tasting room is nice, friendly. We chose two bottles to send home. I am a new fan of their wine. Don't miss this one, even though you can find some of their cheaper wines in the grocery store, you will be surprised how good they are for reasonable price. Great place to have a picnic.

Visited May 2014
Thank guamgirl64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
117 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Picture perfect.”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

What an enchanting Chateau. Manicured gardens with beautifully shaded area's to have a picnic lunch.
The tour is very informative and the wines divine.

Visited June 2014
Thank Ally T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Truly lovely, again.”
Reviewed June 8, 2014

This was our second visit to Chateau St. Jean. When we walked in, we were enthusiastically greeted, which was nice. Too many vineyards act like they are doing you a favor by serving you. We did the patio tasting of reserve wines. Our server was really informative and nice. He had quite a few tables, so the service was a bit slow, but with a venue like that, whose complaining? Their reserve Chardonney has to be my favorite wine ever. This was our favorite vineyard last time, and was also our favorite upon our second visit. We became club members which made our tasting free, which was also nice. Don't miss this vineyard. It's terrific and the scenery is truly second to none.

Visited May 2014
Thank Traveler_001_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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