Who They Are
Petaluma entrepreneurs Kevin and Debra Buckler launched Adobe Road Winery in 2002, more than a decade after turning Kevin’s passion for sports car racing into a successful, multi-faceted motorsports business called The Racers Group (TRG).
Just as two outstanding varietals together produce an amazing wine, Kevin and Debra bring distinct yet complementary talents to TRG, Adobe Road, and their other business ventures. Kevin is the high-energy visionary who pushes everyone–especially himself–in order to achieve perfection. Debra tempers this with her measured demeanor and serious smarts; as the CFO, she keeps the businesses on track in more ways than one. Add in the craftsmanship of winemaker Garrett Martin, and the result is not only a portfolio of truly outstanding wines, but also a wine tasting experience that’s well worth a trip to downtown Petaluma.
What They Make
Adobe Road is a boutique winery, both in terms of its size and its approach. Producing about 5,000 cases a year, it sources small “lots” of grapes from prestigious vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties, including Rutherford’s Beckstoffer Vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon); Famighetti Vineyards in the Dry Creek AVA (Zinfandel and Rhone varietals), and Sangiacomo Family Vineyards (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah) in the new Petaluma Gap AVA.
In the past decade, at least seven wines have received 90+ point scores from Robert Parker, including Adobe Road’s flagship 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard (94 points), and a soon-to-be-released Cabernet Sauvignon from Blue Dog Vineyards in the Dry Creek AVA (92-94 points).
What Sets Them Apart
Adobe Road is in many ways a luxury brand, which is not surprising given TRG’s affiliations with Porsche, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini. Several of its wines are priced in the $100 – $175 range, and the entire portfolio is crafted to wow the glitterati trackside at Le Mans or Daytona, or at exclusive events such as Wine Spectator’s Wine Experiences.
Yet like that unique person who’s equally comfortable in jeans or jewels, Adobe Road is also surprisingly accessible to those of us who drive Priuses, not Porsches. Most of its wines are priced in the $30 to $50 range, including its 2016 Redline, a blend of five red varietals that scored 90 points from Robert Parker.
At the tasting room downtown, you can choose a classic ($20), reserve ($30), or premium reserve ($45) tasting; or enjoy a full glass with price points that start at about $9—comparable to what you’d pay for a less notable wine at any restaurant nearby.
The tasting room itself is extremely inviting. Tucked into the historic Great Mill building downtown, it juxtaposes elements of Spanish colonial design–evocative of the historic building on the winery’s namesake, nearby Adobe Road–with comfortable seating, a gleaming wooden bar, and a few raceway posters celebrating TRG wins. The tasting room staff are knowledgeable and gracious. There’s even a television, in case you want to catch a glimpse of the TRG team in action.
North Bay residents for more than a decade, the Bucklers have watched with delight has Petaluma has added more sophisticated entertainment and dining options, without abandoning its agricultural roots or family-friendly feel. They’ve upped their commitment to the city with a plan to build a destination wine, food, and event
center on the corner of 1st and C streets, on the banks of the Petaluma River.
The new space will be home to their entire winery operation—including a production facility, tasting room, and administrative offices—as well as an auto racing museum, meeting space, and commercial kitchen.
“Not only will we be the first full-production winery in downtown Petaluma, we’ll be the first winery anywhere that brings together wine and motorsports racing in a waterfront locale,” says Kevin Buckler. “It’s going to be a unique Wine Country experience that’s authentically Petaluma.”
“A unique Wine Country experience that’s authentically Petaluma.”