To experience the grape harvest at its peak, East Bay vino lovers often head north to Wine Country. But now, they can just hop over to Shadowbrook Winery—the first winery and tasting room to open in Walnut Creek since Prohibition.
Situated on a quiet lane in the Northgate area, Shadowbrook’s attractive modern building, rustic tables, ornate wrought-iron decor, stainless steel fermenters, and new oak barrels create an impressive wine-tasting experience that’s been years in the making. Owners Tim and Courtney Jochner, both Walnut Creek natives, produced their first vintage in 2005 but dreamed of something more: a winery open for tours and tastings.
With eight acres of vines blanketing the rolling hillsides, Shadowbrook offers big red varietals—such as cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, syrah, and petite sirah—that thrive in warm Contra Costa County.
"The weather near Mount Diablo, with cool, breezy nights, is very similar to the climate in Rutherford [in Napa County]," Tim says of growing high-quality grapes in Walnut Creek.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Rick Tracy—who previously worked for Sonoma’s Bonneau Wines, among other vintners—is Shadowbrook’s consulting winemaker, helping the brand produce several award-winning vinos. (At the prestigious 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, all 11 of Shadowbrook’s entered wines medaled, even over Napa wineries.)
Tours and tastings are available by appointment, so stay in town because local wine is officially back in The Creek. shadowbrookwinery.com.