As harvest 2000 approaches, Chateau St. Jean Winery opened its doors to the new Visitor's Center and gardens to welcome the public to the Sonoma estate.

"The original Chateau was designed as a residence and built in the 1920s. It is a beautiful and historic landmark with wonderful stories over the years, and preserving it became very important to us," explained Tom Peterson, Senior Vice President and General Manager. "In keeping with the Chateau architecture and sense of place, our new wine tasting and retail room is housed in an elegant garden structure surrounded on three sides by terraces and outdoor garden spaces. Each of these garden 'rooms' offers intimate and unique areas for wine tasting picnics and strolls. The statue of Jean, the winery's namesake, stands in the main courtyard garden by the decorative pool."

Visitors to Chateau St. Jean now enter a main courtyard surrounded by a lush garden. Inspiration for the gardens was based on the classic estate gardens of the Mediterranean, as seen through the use of citrus-planted terracotta pots and the generous use of herbs and flowers. The winery has integrated existing site features and vistas into a landscape that is both relaxed and elegant to exemplify Sonoma wine country.

Located one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Visitor's Center offers tastings of award winning Chateau St. Jean wines, as well as an array of Sonoma-based products in the "Charcuterie" for picnics on the front lawn of the Chateau. Beginning October 1, 2000 the Visitor's Center will introduce a Wine Education Program consisting of hour-long classes such as Wine 101, Blending Seminars, Elements of Style and Dynamics of Food and Wine designed for the day visitor to add another dimension to their wine country experience. The Visitor's Center is open daily from 10am - 6pm.

Chateau St. Jean is a winemaking estate located in the Sonoma Valley near Kenwood, California. Founded in 1973, Chateau St. Jean has long been recognized as a leader in Vineyard Designated wines. This year, Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious "Wine of the Year" award from Wine Spectator Magazine for its 1996 Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon. For more information, contact Nicole Carter at 707/833-4134 or visit the website at www.chateaustjean.com.

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