Filed under: Wine
The best wine clubs in the U.S. include several award-winning wineries that produce some of the best wine this country has to offer. Luxist examined the benefits of some of the best, most popular ones, including those from Domaine Carneros, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards, Far Niente and Cakebread Cellars. There are certain advantages to be had when subscribing to a wine club offered directly from a winery. Here is what we learned:
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Located just outside the historic town of Kenwood, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, is known for its intensely flavored and complex award-winning wines. St. Francis grows 100% of its grapes in Sonoma County and was among the first to plant Merlot in the Sonoma Valley, enduring many a raised eyebrow for daring to plant a blending grape on prime soil. In June, the winery was a Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Nominee for Best Domestic Red Wine.
St. Francis offers three different wine clubs. Called "The Patrons Society", the difference between the three options are selections and shipping schedules. Its "red wine club" ships four, six or eight times per year. The "white wine club" includes six-bottle shipments four times a year (February, May, September and November). The Zinfandel Wine Club ships three bottles per shipment over a six month schedule (February, March, May, June, September and November).
Benefits of Membership:
Members are given the ability to sample small production wines before they are released to the public. Often, the wines are so exclusive, that only wine club members have the opportunity to purchase them, as most never hit store shelves.
Members receive a 20% discount on all Artisan wines and a 25% discount on all Sonoma County tier wines. They also receive a 20% discount on all retail merchandise and on reserve wine & food pairings for two (reservations required).
Complimentary wine tastings at St. Francis' Visitors Center and opportunities for "members only" activities at the winery. Members also receive recipes from the winery's Executive Chef, David Bush, for foods that pair well with the wines. Invitations are extended to members for St. Francis regional events around the country.
Price varies, depending on size of shipment and does not include tax and shipping (which costs $14 to $21 for a three bottle shipment by UPS Ground). The white wine club ranges from $80 (for a four bottle shipment) to $91 (for a six bottle shipment). The zinfandel wine club ranges from $96 to $108 (for three bottle shipments). Click here to sign up for the wine club. For more information, call (800) 650-5437.
Gallery: St. Francis Winery & Vineyards