The Russian River’s First Wine Bar Opens in Guerneville

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Award-winning interior architect opens Whitetail, the Russian River Wine Bar, a new venue that focuses on small-production, local wines.

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"It was very important for me to make the wine bar authentic to the nature of the town,” says Bahr.

Whitetail, the Russian River Wine Bar, was recently launched by San Francisco-based interior architect, Leslie Bahr. Providing a showcase for local, small-production wines, Bahr aims to create a sense of community in Guerneville while supporting the local economy.

“The first time I came to the area, I fell in love with the friendly, small-town atmosphere and the large number of family-style winemakers,” says Bahr. “I was surprised that there was no wine bar located along the river to represent these important people in our community.”

The numerous vacant storefronts downtown motivated Bahr to become involved with community development and eventually inspired her to conceptualize a wine bar. Bahr then utilized her architectural renovation knowledge to complete an extensive overhaul of a venue on Main St. Recycled materials were utilized to create the modern yet rustic space, which features exposed beams, salvaged wood, a sturdy zinc bar, redwood tables, and cork floor tiles. A large brass chandelier was added to give the space warmth, while textured pillows were placed in the cozy lounge area.

It was very important for me to make it authentic to the nature of the town,” says Bahr. “The redwood gives the bar just the right amount of warmth while the rest of the space remains modern and crisp.”

Currently, Whitetail features over 75 local wines, with an emphasis on organic, sustainable, and biodynamic offerings. By-the-glass wines rotate weekly and retail bottles are available for purchase. A food menu offers seasonal fare, including their signature grilled pizzas, fish tacos with chipotle aioli, truffle popcorn, and a unique offering of artisan ice creams made in-house.

Special events take place regularly, including exclusive pourings by local winemakers, industry gatherings, varietal-themed specials, private parties, and social media tweet-ups. In addition, Whitetail is approaching the launch of their bespoke wine club, which will offer regular discounts on wine packages.

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Sarah Doyle
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