Steve Heimoff graced a receptive audience at Fog Crest Vineyards during their October ‘First Friday’ celebration reading from and signing one of his early books, ‘A Wine Journey Along the Russian River.’
The evening started innocently enough at the beautiful venue with the Indian Summer sun and lovely wines pleasantly warming everyone into relaxation. Steve was chatting in his easy manner with early guests, while Jérôme Chéry (winemaker), Rosalind Manoogian (owner), and Nessia Flugger (Director of DTC Operations) poured Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their Russian River Valley lineup. Guests lounged as we do on a Friday night after a long week’s work enjoying savory and sweet crepes from Ultra Crepes, signing the ‘guest book’ wine barrel, and strolling the rose garden.
If you are not familiar with Steve Heimoff, this was the short biography that Jackson Family Winery offered in May 2014 when they announced that Steve joined them as Director, Wine Communications & Education. “Heimoff joins Jackson Family Wines after 22 years at Wine Enthusiast Magazine, most of them as California Editor. Previously, Heimoff wrote for Wine Spectator Magazine. Born in New York City, Heimoff moved to San Francisco in 1979 to attend graduate school and it was there that he discovered and nurtured his passion for wine. Heimoff has written two books for University of California Press: A Wine Journey along the Russian River, and New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff. In addition, his daily wine blog, steveheimoff.com, is one of the most widely read in the country.” Steve is a journalist and someone that most, if not all of us that play at writing look to as a role model on the right way to approach this trade!
I was star-struck asking this journalist for his autograph. I had met Steve briefly at the Russian River Valley Pinot Classic and purchased his book after he read an excert during a seminar. In reading The Journey, I realized that although I had lived and studied wine in Sonoma County for almost 40 years, I still had volumes of research to begin to understand our beautiful wines and vineyards. A small lull in the activity left Steve alone for a moment while James Manoogian (Fog Crest owner) secured another glass of Pinot for him. I took my chance to slide in unnoticed. No such luck!
As I handed Steve my book, the Fog Crest media team bounced in and said ‘smile,’ camera in hand. Recovering from the surprise photo, Steve was asking my name which I knew, including the spelling, but then the guillotine fell as he asked what do you do? I polite, friendly question, not meant to accuse someone who for the first time in so many years was without a well-defined profession. I blurted out that I was a wine blogger and cringed at having said it outloud to him. Steve smiled kindly ignoring my obvious discomfort started writing. Imagine how horrified I was to read the inscription he returned to me – now I have an obligation, a responsibility to write clearly, and produce content that matters, if I am to be anyone’s fellow blogger, especially Steve’s.
For everyone else, it was a wonderful evening, Steve went on to regale us with stories of how he almost died twice traversing the Russian River on his own personal discover during the writing of his book. The Russian River is our Loire, our Rhône, our Rhine, our Mosel, our Douro – it is our wine river, the one that tells the story of our people, our climate, our geography, our culture, and our wines. It is a terrific little book!
Fog Crest Vineyards hosts ‘First Friday’ throughout the year; I would highly recommend stopping by to visit this venue, try the wine, and perhaps bring along a book to read while you are relaxing on the patio at sunset.
#FogCrestVineyards #Wine #Winery #RussianRiverValley #SteveHeimoff