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A Local’s Tasting Spot: The Barlow

Posted by on January 25, 2015

Disclosure: A year ago I was invited out on a tour of The Barlow, then this past December, I was invited out again.  This is my experience between a year ago.

The Barlow, a location within Sebastopol that hosts winemakers, food producers, and local artisans all within a community space location opened up a little over a year and a half ago.

My first time visiting the Barlow was December 2013, and right away, I fell in love with the community space, and the possibilities of what it would become.  So, when I was invited back a year later this past December, I couldn’t wait to see the results.

When I wrote this article a little over a year ago, there were still a lot of spots to be filled at The Barlow, this time around, the future Barlow Hotel was in construction, more food producers have come into the spaces, along with new winemakers and artisans filling up nearly all the spaces at the Barlow making it for a great place to spend a day wine tasting, looking at local art, and ending with a nice meal at one of the food spots (Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Woodfour Brewing Company, Vignette Pizza, Ultra Crepes, Village Bakery).


If you’re wanting a little more retail space there’s always grocery shopping at The Community Market, which also hosts a lot of local makers within the Sonoma County community along with retail shops such as Boutique Retailer: Tamarind.  A contemporary clothing boutique store that is characterized by stylish and eco-friendly clothes from around the world, selected to complement the finest local designers and independent American labels. Their vision is to connect individuals who appreciate the beauty of handcrafted designs, eclectic style and contemporary fashion. ~Tamarind.

Another place worth checking out, if you’re in shopping mode, is The Passdoor.  Bringing together art and design into one space that offers an uniquely curated selection of functional products and artworks for your home space, your workspace, your lifestyle and life’s special occasions. They’re also a lot of fun to follow on instagram.

However, the thing I love the most about The Barlow are the tasting rooms.  Spend an afternoon tasting wine within the lounges (4)  found along the Barlow, then try your hand at tasting at Spirit Works Distillery, or if beer is more your style, stop in for a flight at Woodfour Brewing Co, or Warped Brewing.

Wine Tasting Room Spotlight: Macphail Tasting Lounge

The newest wine tasting room at The Barlow is Macphail Tasting Lounge, and WOW, it’s such a beautiful tasting room (designed by Richard Von Saal).  Upon first entrance you will instantly be drawn to this statue, and soon be wondering, how it came to be.


But have no fear, the employees of the lounge will be able to tell you the story behind the Statue (Von Saal’s version of Red Wine being poured down), and as you continue to look around the room, you will notice how Radio Flyers have been incorporated into every part of the tasting room which was inspired by a photo of James Macphail with his small children, and since then, has been incorporated into every part of the Macphail brand including the Wine Labels:


Between a beautifully decked out tasting room, and great tasting wines, the tasting lounge also offers Terroir and wine Pairings within his Terroir Wall Tasting area:


Terroir Tasting
Starting February 1, 2015 

Winemaker James MacPhail created a Soil Wall in our Tasting Lounge showing 8’ cross sections of 4 vineyards—Toulouse, Pratt, Sundawg, and Mardikian, under glass in our Soil Room. In the “Soil Room” we discuss the 4 key components to James’ wines—Soil, Clonal Selection, Vintage, and Winemaking Style.  This is one of the most unique tastings in all of wine country.

Our fee is $30 per person, with one fee waived for every 3 bottles purchased.

After tasting at Macphail Tasting Lounge be sure to stop by La Follette Wines, Wind Gap Winery and Miramar Estate.

The Barlow:

6770 McKinley Street

Sebastopol, CA 95472





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