Hanson of Sonoma Vodka launched in 2014 and its first splashy end-cap displays showed up at area supermarkets in 2016. After a few years of fits and starts, the Sonoma vodka brand has finally opened its long-planned tasting room and spirits education center and is offering tours at its newly expanded distillery at Burndale Road and Fremont Drive.
Hanson has been producing its organic grape-based vodka line at the Carneros Brewing Company site for several years, but its acquisition of the brewery’s tasting room and its liquor license earlier this year meant that the family-owned company could finally open to the public. The deal does not affect Ceja Vineyards, which is a separate business from the brewery.
Hanson Spirits owner Scott Hanson works alongside all four of his grown children, who are in their late 20s to early 30s.
“We loved the idea of a family business so that we could work alongside our grown kids,” he said.
Hanson makes its vodka from organic grapes with all-natural, hand-cut infusions like cucumber, mandarin, habanero and ginger. While its sales may soon exceed the “craft” category, as of right now, each Hanson bottle is distilled and bottled on-site on Burndale Road and hand-stamped, numbered and signed by a family member.
Like wineries, spirits are regulated with the number and size of pours. The tasting room provides customers with six quarter-ounce pours, or it offers three pours and a small specialty cocktail.
Up next, sometime in 2019, the company also will use the brewery to make whiskey mash for future products.
Scott is ecstatic to be finally open to the public, with no reservations needed.
“We’re excited to get the community involved with our brand,” said Scott Hanson.
Hanson Organic Vodka is open for tasting and tours at the site of the former Carneros Brewery at 22985 Burndale Road and Hwy 37. They offer a range of tastings and distillery tours from $15 to $35. The tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Book online at www.hansonofsonoma.com or walk in.