Sbragia (1.56)

Open: 11:00am-5:00pm

Appt required? No

Last visit: 2011


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We came to Sbragia on the recommendation of our host at Truett-Hurst who had given us a coupon for two free tastings. His synopsis was that it was a great stop for a view of Lake Sonoma and an opportunity to drink some pretty good Cabernet in Dry Creek. Good Cab and a picture spot, plus a free tasting? Sign me up!

We found the winery and took the winding drive up a hill to the tasting room. The modern facility featured a large tasting room flanked by a broad stone patio overlooking the lake, as advertised. I never made it to the view though. Why, you ask? Oh, just wait!

We decided we’d taste first, take pictures and admire the view second. At the bar, there were two tasting options offered: a $5 tasting of Zinfandel and Syrah or a $10 tasting of cabernet. Steph and I almost always share tastings, and this was no different (despite our coupon for two free tastings). On the advice of Truett-Hurst, we went with a single Cab tasting.

Perhaps I should have been tipped off by their "flaming pile of poop" logo, but for some reason I went in with high expectations. Our host was a mute twenty-something wannabe hipster who didn't know the first thing about wine. He set out four glasses – a good start – and mumbled something about each wine. I referred to the tasting sheet to learn that we were trying the Monte Rosso Vineyard Cab, the Rancho Del Oso Vineyard Cab (which was already halfway to being purchased in honor of my dog nephew Oso), the Cimarossa Vineyard Cab, and the Wall Vineyard Cab. Monte Rosso and Cimarossa? Those are some weighty names in the wine world, and I was fairly excited. As I tried each wine, I was somewhat satisfied, but unfortunately nothing stood up to my expectations. On top of it, I thought most were probably overpriced for the quality. I conferred with The Boss, and we decided we’d pass on purchasing a bottle. I presented my coupon for two free tastings.

“Oh, that’s only good for the $5 tasting,” said the mongoloid.

“Really?” I asked. “You didn’t say anything about that, and the coupon is good for two $5 tastings. We only had one $10 tasting. Shouldn't two $5 tastings equal one $10?”

“No, it doesn't work that way. And normally you’d whip the coupon out at the beginning, and I would have told you then.”

Oh, so this is my fault? Hmmm.

“Fine,” I said. “Just the tasting.”

The Mute took my $10 and I looked more closely at the coupon, assuming I’d missed the fine print. I hadn’t, and at this point it became a matter of principle.

“Enjoy your $10, because that’s the last time I’m coming here,” I told Sloth. His older and wiser co-worker overheard the exchange and came by to find out what was going on. I explained the situation, and she told me the coupon would be valid. I told her I had already paid, and she told me she could void it, but I just walked out. Their $10 can buy as much negative publicity as I can turn their way.

So, don’t go to Sbragia. Ever. The wine sucks, their staff standards are so low that they’d hire a mute moron without a shred of reasonable judgment, their wines are overpriced, the view (that I never saw) sucks, and the energy in the tasting room makes you feel like you’re in a room full of catatonic mental patients. Other than that, it was great…FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Recommended wine: Recommended wine? That's funny.

Ratings (out of 5):





  1. As Tasting Room Manager for Sbragia Family Vineyard I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience in our Tasting Room. Your point was well taken that the terms of what constitutes a "Complimentary Tasting for Two" was not clearly spelled out and it's our intention to remedy that situation.

    We take pride in our winery and our wines and I'd like to invite you back for a complimentary tasting of any of the Sbragia wine that we have on our tasting menu. If you would like to set up a time for a visit or to discuss this further please contact me directly

    Peggy Lord
    Tasting Room & Wine Club Manager

  2. Our experience at Sbragia was completely the opposite. Had wonderful HUGE plate of cheese and wine on the Terrace. Very helpful lady at our tasting. Tasted a lot of wines, one or two of which truly were exceptional. However, it just goes to show that wineries must be very careful who they employ at tasting rooms. One snotty jerk behind the counter and -- guess what -- bad review!

  3. I'm a wine club member at Sbragia and have always received impeccable service there even before joining. Peggy is a wonderful host and I visit every time I can. Their single vineyard cabs, while pricey, are great and built to last.