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Hope springs eternal in Sonoma County, where year in and year out there are new wineries making new wines and existing wineries trying new things. Here's our annual list of who to keep an eye on in the coming year, most of them small, eclectic projects devoted to producing fine things to drink.

Idlewild Wines (<a href="idlewildwines.com" target="_blank">idlewildwines.com</a>) is a very exciting case in point. It's the label of Healdsburg-based husband-and-wife team Jessica Boone Bilbro, whose day job is as winemaker at Passalacqua Winery, and Sam Bilbro, who grew up walking vineyards alongside his winemaker dad at Marietta Cellars. They make California wines inspired by Italy's Piedmont region.

Their debut of 2012 vintage wines includes an arneis wine from the Fox Hill Vineyards along Old River Road southeast of Ukiah. First planted in the 1960s, Italian varieties dominate; it is also where Idlewild sources cortese and dolcetto.

The arneis ($28) opens with pretty floral notes and flavors of pear and lime, finishing with beautifully textured acidity. Served chilled, it's typically enjoyed young with light appetizers like prosciutto or shellfish.

The couple says they're aiming for a fine line between gulpability and seriousness with their wines. They're looking to offer high-toned perfume on the nose while maintaining structure, so that the wines are delicious with food, complex enough to remain memorable and compellingly desirable, to keep you wanting more.

Bilbro also likens their goal to something he often heard his dad talking about, which was maintaining a "purity of fruit" -#8212; finding a balanced contrast between a wine's perfume and its tannins without the undue influence of too much oak.

The Idlewild 2012 Cortese ($30), the Italian word for "courteous," is by nature a courteous grape, willing to ripen and wait patiently on the vine to be picked, without pumping out more sugars. Extremely hard to find outside of the Piedmont town of Gavi, Idlewild's is aromatic in orange peel and anise, and the finish offers a suggestion of honey or butterscotch.

Idlewild's 2012 Grenache Gris ($28) is also from Mendocino, from the Gibson Ranch, a section of McDowell Valley Vineyards containing 100-plus-year-old grenache gris vines, considered some of the oldest in the world. Juicy, it's bright in fresh blood-orange and savory herb flavors, structured and balanced, a perfect food wine. The Idlewild syrah-based Vin Gris ($22) from Dry Creek Valley fruit, is sadly, long sold out.

Idlewild reds include a 2012 dolcetto ($30) also sourced from Fox Hill, gorgeous in cranberry and cherry liqueur flavors with a gently soft texture, very gulpable. Pair it with pizza or antipasti and you're there.

Lastly, the couple found old-vine carignan ($32) from the historic Testa Vineyard in Calpella to produce a silky, refined version of the oft-rustic wine, rich in dark cherry and peppery sage.

Idlewild will release a 2012 Fox Hill-sourced nebbiolo later this year and in 2013 added a Fox Hill barbera and Dry Creek Valley valdigui? also sometimes known as Napa Gamay, to its lineup. Look for Idlewild Wines at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa or on the wine lists at Campo Fina, Scopa, Diavola, Spoonbar and the Farmhouse Inn.

Here are a few other up-and-coming favorites:

<strong>Bodkin Wines:</strong> Christopher Christensen is making the only sparkling sauvignon blanc in the area. He's now offering his second (2013) vintage ($23), calling it Cuv? Ianuariis, Latin for New Year.

Inspired by sparkling sauvignon blancs he had tried in New Zealand, he came back to California, found delicious grapes in Lake County and bottled the juice into something magical, fresh and bright in pineapple and citrus flavors that finishes extra-dry.

Christensen also makes a still sauvignon blanc ($64) in magnum that's fermented on the skins. <a href="http://Bodkinwines.com" target="_blank">Bodkinwines.com</a>

<strong>Devoto Cider:</strong> Jolie Devoto Wade grew up farming organic apples west of Sebastopol and is now making farmstead cider out of many of them, overseeing 26 acres of more than 50 apple varieties along with her husband, Hunter.

The couple's signature product is a cider called "Save the Gravenstein" ($12.99), from apples picked last August, that's food-friendly, light in alcohol and balanced in acidity.

The 1976, named for the year Devoto Wade's parents moved from Berkeley to Sebastopol, is made from a blend of 17 heirloom apple varieties and is semi-dry, while Backyard ($12.99) is made from apples that would otherwise have been forgotten in neighbors' backyards. <a href="http://devotocider.com" target="_blank">devotocider.com</a>

<strong>Ryme -amp; Verse:</strong> Another exciting husband-and-wife winemaking team is behind Ryme and Verse. Started in 2007 with a tiny amount of aglianico, Ryan and Megan Glaab, both winemakers (Megan also has worked as a sommelier at the Farmhouse Restaurant), work out of Forestville, where Ryan is the assistant winemaker at Wind Gap Wines.

Inspired by both Italy and France, they make ribolla gialla, aglianico, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc ($28) and "His" ($32) and "Her" ($24) vermentinos under the Ryme name, which first released wines with the 2007 vintage.

Under the Verse label, they offer a pinot noir and chardonnay, the 2012 pinot ($28) from the historic Las Brisas Vineyard in Carneros, and the 2012 chardonnay ($28) from an older planting of Wente clone vines within the Weeks Vineyard near Occidental. <a href="http://rymecellars.com" target="_blank">rymecellars.com</a>

<em>Virginie Boone is a freelance wine writer based in Sonoma County. She can be reached at virginieboone@yahoo.com and followed on Twitter @vboone.</em>