Category Archives: Winery

Passport to Dry Creek Valley

“A modern tradition with century-old roots” is a great description of the Dry Creek Valley and its eclectic mix of modern winemakers, family farmers and historical vineyards.  Always one of the most engaging events of the season, it continues to grow and evolve each year to offer something new and exciting.

Tickets are still available for the weekend on the Dry Creek Valley Winegrowers’ website. Also, pre-event luncheons are still available for a couple of great locations: Sbragia, Comstock and Capo Creek Ranch.  This pre-event luncheons let you relax with the winemakers and owners and learn about the Dry Creek Valley in an intimate family atmosphere.

Last year the DCV Passport added vineyard tours which are expanded from two to four this year.  The events on Saturday are a first come, first served model, so be on time or miss all the fun.  On Sunday, the tours require an appointment as space is much more limited.  The springtime in Dry Creek Valley is one of the most beautiful and a perfect time to learn about grapes.

I love the fun atmosphere of the themes at many wineries – at Armida Winery they are hosting the classic “Caddyshack” and Chateau Diana is going back to the 60’s with Flower Power. The wineries also focus on great food and wine combinations to showcase the farm-to-table blessings we have in Sonoma County. Some of my favorites last year were Collier Falls Vineyard, Comstock Wines, Devero Farms & Winery, Dutcher Crossing Winery, Forchini Vineyards, Gustafson Family Vineyard, Kachina Vineyards, Manzanita Creek, Mazzocco Sonoma Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Rued Winery, Selby Winery, Truett Hurst Winery and Wilson Winery.

If fabulous music and wine away the afternoon you will have many choices from Country Western to Rock-n-Roll – for variety try De La Montanya Winery, Dry Creek Vineyard (Salty Shanties), Geyser Peak Winery (Rat Pack style), Kokomo Winery (Blue Grass), Malm Cellars (Country), Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery (Vegas style), Papapietro Perry Winery (New Orleans Jazz) and West Wines (America Graffiti) among others.

If you would just like to relax with a combination of great wines, fabulous food, good music and incredible views that is available too – try some of my favorite views at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery, Mounts Family Winery, Ridge Vineyards – Lytton Springs, Sbragia Family Vineyards, Talty Winery, Trattore Farms and Zichichi Family Vineyards.

If you like more activities try bocce ball at Mortarana Family Winery, Seghesio Family Vineyards or Lambert Bridge Winery; then hit it out of the park, baseball style at David Coffaro Estate Vineyards. Go for a unique experience and see a real amphora wine fermenter at Amphora Winery; catch talented local artisans at Amista Vineyards, sign a barrel at Blanchard Family Wines, visit a little piece of Germany at Gopfrich Winery, get a bottle signed by famed chef Charlie Palmer & winemaker Clay Mauritson at Mauritson Family Winery, visit old Hollywood at Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate, donate to local fire departments that help protect our precious vineyards with longtime volunteer fireman & winemaker Fred Peterson at Peterson Winery, and visit the biodynamic gardens at Quivira Vineyards and Winery.

There is something for everyone is this beautiful valley – don’t miss this annual event when the wineries of Dry Creek Valley showcase their best wines, food, music and entertainment.

#DCVPassport #Passport #DryCreekValley #Amista #Amphora #Armida #Blanchard #Cast #ChateauDiana #ColllierFalls #Comstock #DaveroFarms #DavidCoffaro #DeLaMontanya #DryCreekVineyard #DutcherCrossing #FerrariCarano #Forchini #Fritz #GeyserPeak #Gopfrich #Gustafson #Kachina #Kokomo #LambertBridge #Malm #ManzanitaCreek #Mortorana #Mauritson #Mazzocco #MichelSchlumberger #MillCreek #MountsFamily #PapapietroPerry #Pedroncelli #Peterson #Quivira #ARafanelli #RidgeLyttonSprings #RoadHouse #Rued #Sbragia #Seghesio #Selby #Talty #FTeldeschi #TrattoreFarms #TruettHurst #WestWines #Wilson #Zichichi #Vineyards #Winery #Cellars #Wines #Event #WineTasting #FoodPairing

 

 

April in Carneros – Wine, Food and Entertainment

Springtime is a fabulous season to visit wine country; there are lots of classic events including ‘April in Carneros.’ 

Carneros is where the San Francisco Bay meets Napa Valley and Sonoma County to produce the some of the finest cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sparkling wines in Northern California. But the Carneros wine region is becoming even more with new forages into Grenache, Merlot and Petite Syrah wines that are expanding Carneros fans everyday.

During April in Carneros various wineries in Sonoma County and Napa Valley will be showcasing their wines with food pairings and music. The Carneros Wine Alliance, the organizer for this event bills it as “Where Everyone’s a VIP!”

For incredible views, two of my favorite wineries are Gloria Ferrer and Schug Carneros Estate.  Both of these wineries feature elevated views of the Carneros wine region.  Gloria Ferrer is scheduled to be featuring sliders from Black Bean BBQ and acoustic pop music from No Buenos. Schug Carneros Estate is slated to serve Greek Lentil Salad and Asian Noodle Salad from Oliver’s Market to the sounds of The Movers

To visit families that embody the Mexican heritage that has dominated viticulture in both Sonoma County and Napa Valley for generations stop by Ceja Vineyards and Robledo Family Winery. Ceja Vineyards is an ultra premium Latino family owned winery founded by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja producing a diverse range of award-winning varietal and blended wines from their estate grown grapes. Or experience a true “American Dream” at Robledo Family Winery and visit the first tasting room in the United States established by a former Mexican migrant vineyard worker and his family. Both of these wineries are scheduled to showcase their heritage in food and music. These wineries make you feel like family.

Carneros is also a great location for local history with locations like Larson Family Winery, once the home the largest rodeo in Northern California, its barn turned tasting room is still full of memorabilia. This fun-loving, country-easy, family-style winery is a great place to kick off your boots and relax with a great glass of wine.

For more history, visit the sister wineries of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Cline Cellars produces rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense Zinfandels served in an 1850’s style farm house tasting room with a California Missions Museum. Across the road, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards’ tasting room houses a premiere event venue and is named for founding Jacuzzi brothers (famous for the bath and spa products that bear their name). The winery is noted for its Italian varietals that showcase the Jacuzzi heritage.

The Bonneau family has been farming the Carneros region since the 1920’s originally a dairy farm and country store with vineyards replacing the dairy over the years. Since 2002 Bonneau Wines has produced their own label Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. 

There are many other great finds in Carneros from one-man wineries like Homewood Winery; to the boutique wineries in the beautiful Cornerstone Sonoma facility including Keating WinesMeadowcroft Wines and Poseidon Vineyard / Obsidian Ridge Winery; and wineries serving chocolate like Ty Caton.  In addition to the Sonoma County side of Carneros, Starmont Winery will be pouring on Sunday from their Napa Valley Tasting Room.

Tickets are available through many of the winery’s websites as well as the Carneros Wine Alliance

#AprilinCarneros #CarnerosWineAlliance #Carneros #SonomaCounty #NapaValley #Wines #Winery #Vineyards #Springtime #BonneauWines #CejaVineyards #ClineCellars #GloriaFerrer #HomewoodWinery #JacuzziFamilyVineyards #KeatingWines #LarsonFamilyWinery #MeadowcroftWines #PoseidonVineyard #ObsidianRidgeWinery #RobledoFamilyWinery #SchugCarnerosEstate #StarmontWinery #TyCatonVineyards

 

 

 

 

  

 

Happy 40th (Ruby) Anniversary to the Wine Road

“The Road to Ruby,” a year-long 40th Anniversary celebration of the Wine Road begins this month with the 24th Annual Winter Wineland.

WR_Logo_CIRCLE_FinalOriginally a group of nine (9) wineries in the Russian River Valley lead by the tenatious Mildred (Millie) Howie, the Wine Road began its quest to promote the wineries of Northern Sonoma County in 1976. Today, its “heaven condensed” group consists of 200 wineries and 54 lodgings in approximately 30 mile radius of Northern Sonoma County.  While not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, the Wine Road is a treasure map to the many jewels nestled within the Alexander Valley AVA, Dry Creek Valley AVA, and Russian River Valley AVA of Northern Sonoma County.  In addition, to their great wine maps & concierge services they host more than 25,000 guests annually through their three primary events – A Wine & Food Affair, Winter Wineland and Barrel Tasting.

In 2016, the Wine Road will host monthly events and promotions:

  • January
    • Winter Wineland, Jan 16-17th – #Wineland2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • February
    • Three (3) day ticket to the Wine Road on sale for $40 (normally $60)
    • Art of Oak – Oak Barrel Art on display at 40 wineries – #ArtofOak
    • Alexander Valley Winegrowers AVA Tasting – focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon – #AVCabAcademy
  • March
    • Barrel Tasting Weekends, Mar 4-6th & Mar 11-13th – #WRBT2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • April
    • Wine Road Selfie Contest – #MyWineRoad
  • May
    • The Ruby Affair – 40th Anniversary Gala & Dinner – #WRrubyaffair
  • June
    • Magical Mystery Tours – #MagicalMysteryTours
  • July
    • 40 Years of Cheer – Community Celebration in Healdsburg with Wine Tasting – #40YearsofCheers
  • August
    • Scavenger Hunt Contest – #WRScavengerHunt
    • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley Tasting – focusing on Zinfandel – #DCVTasteZin
  • September
    • CA Wine Month – a celebration of the diversity of varietals available on the Wine Road – #CAWineMonth
  • October
    • Russian River Valley Winegrowers Tasting – focusing on Pinot Noir & Chardonnay – #RRVTasting
  • November
    • Wine & Food Affair, November 6-7th – #WFA2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • December
    • Redwood Empire Food Bank – Instant Wine Cellar Raffle – #REFBinstantcellar

BobbyMany of the events are very limited and will sell out fast, be sure to watch the Wine Road website for ticket availability.  Most events go on sale about 60 days prior to the event.

Sonoma County is one of the original American wine regions and few counties have more of the character of old California.  Grapes and wine have been integral to Sonoma County’s history but they are also the harbinger of its future with many state-of-the-art facilities blended with historical families that work to provide a sustainable industry in an viticultural area that is proud of its diversity of soils, micro-climates, and winemakers.  Whether your style is a small boutique winery or an elegant chateaux, world-class wines are available throughout Sonoma County and the Wine Road has been instrumental in promoting and showcasing the Northern Sonoma County wines.

Sign up for the Wine Road newsletter to hear about the monthly contests to win Wine Road gifts or tickets by posting festive photos of the Wine Road member wineries or their wine.  Details of the monthly specifices are included in each month’s newsletter.  Entries are submitted on Social Media or by emailing them to info@wineroad.com.

The Wine Road always contributes graciously to local charites and a frequent recipient of their philanthropy is the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) with donations of more than $300,000 in the past eight (8) years & a goal for an additional $200,000 during their “Road to Ruby” celebrations. In addition to their partnership with the REFB, Wine Road donates to 80–100 different non-profits annually. This contribution does not include the thousands of dollars in wine, tours, dinners, lodging and more that our members donate each year to numerous charities, locally and nationally.

In 2016 additional charities that will benefit from the proceeds of activites & donations include the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Child’s Art Program (via Art of Oak), United Way of Wine Country & Worth Our Weight (via the Ruby Affair) and Becoming Independent (via 40 Years of Cheers).

Anytime is the right time to come and visit Sonoma County and the Wine Road Wineries and Lodgings.  Take lots of photos because you will want to remember this fabulous area and to become famous (at least to us) by sharing your visit.  Use hashtags to have your best postings recognized and featured on Twitter or Instagram.  Here are some of the hashtags (#WineRoad #WineRoad40th #RoadtoRuby) to use to have your best postings featured on our social media.  You can also tag @theWineRoad or me (@JolenesPatter) (@DiscoverSonomaCountyWine).

#DiscoverSonomaCountyWine #SonomaCounty #WineRoad #WineRoad40th #RoadtoRuby #SonomaCountyVintners #SonomaCountyWinegrowers #DiscoverRRV #RussianRiverValley #AlexanderValley #DryCreekValley #CabernetSauvignon #PinotNoir #Chardonnay #Zinfandel #SauvignonBlanc #Wines #Winery #Wineries #WineTasting

Holiday Shopping in Wine Country

Wine Caddies at Imagery Winery, Kenwood CA

Wine Caddies at Imagery Winery include Cowboys, Firemen, Chefs, Cyclists, Golfers, Pilots, Fishermen, Pets, Boaters and many more – great selection of a unique gift item for the wine lover in your family

Whether looking for a gift for your favorite wine lover, friend, or pet – Wineries have more to offer than just fabulous wines.  I went out over the weekend to find some great last minute gifts from some of my favorite spots.  If you have another treasure, I’d love to hear about it. Wine Tasting while Gift Shopping is the perfect combination to reduce stress during the Holidays.

Glassware and Decanters are always a popular idea featuring seasonal or wine designs, these items will enhance any party or provide a great hostess gift.  A couple of my favorite spots for glassware include J Winery (especially for sparkling stemware) an Cast Wines, both also feature beautiful decanters.

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J Winery, Sparkling Wine Glassware and Carriers

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Cast Wines Decanters and Glassware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hostess Gifts, Household Designer Items, and Wine Country Souvenirs are available in both the Ferrari Carano Showrooms.  Their downtown Healdsburg location, called Seasons of the Vineyard Wine Shop specializes in the household & hostess gifts as well as chocolate while the Dry Creek Valley Tasting Room at the Winery has beautiful Wine Country souvenirs, large format and library wine selections. Also note the Wine Caddies featured in the opening photo from Imagery Winery – these unique items are beautifully made and feature a variety of professions and hobbies. One final location with a great gift shop is at St. Francis Winery – they feature a lot of local artisans.

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Ferrari Carano Wine Country Souvenirs, Large Format Wines & Library Wines

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Season of the Vineyard Hostess Gifts & Household Gifts – I Love the Glass Sushi Trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artwork featuring wine themes and many local artisans are featured at many wineries, especially during our Art Walks, but wineries that have regular installations for sale include Passaggio Winery and Thumbprint Cellars. I am sure there are many others and traveling displays are often featured during special events.  I love to hear about your favorite as this is a gift I purchase all year long.

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Thumbprint Cellars’ year-round galary of local artists is unique, they also feature glassware and candles

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Passaggio Winery is current featuring Sandra Speidel’s Motion Series & Custom Chocolates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olive Oil is another staple in Wine Country with an affinity for similar growing conditions grapes and olives co-exist well.  Flavored Olive Oils, usually blood orange, lime, or lemon, and green to aged oil varieties are available directly from the source.  Two of my favorite spots to pick up these goodies are the Gourmet Shop at BR Cohn Winery and Trattore’s New Tasting Room in Dry Creek Valley.  Also look for other gourmet foods and vinegars.

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B.R Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company – Check out their Gourmet Shop next to the Winery

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Trattore Winery & Dry Creek Olive Oil Company have a beautiful new Tasting Room in Dry Creek Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, if you are a Sparkling Wine fan and have taken up the saber to learn The Art of Sabrage for New Years, then get ready for modern designs to traditional Nepoleon inspired styles at many of our Sparkling Tasting Rooms and Wineries, including Sigh Sonoma, Cast Wines, and Breathless Wines.

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Sigh Sonoma features Laguiole (French) sabers as well as domestic and international bubbles

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Breathless Tasting Room features Sabrage Demonstrations during events with Italian blades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we make it through Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, I guess we can start looking for chocolates for Valentines Day.  I’m always ready for Chocolate too.

#ImageryWinery #JWinery #CastWines #StFrancisWinery #FerrariCarano #ThumbprintCellars #PassaggioWinery #BRCohn #Trattore #DryCreekOliveOil #SighSonoma #BreathlessWines #RackandRiddle #Holiday #Shopping #Winery #Wineries #Wine #Glassware #Stemware #Decanters #OliveOil #Art #WineArt #Saber #Sabrage #SparklingWine #Bubbles #Chocolate #Hostess #Gifts #Household #Souvenirs #Wines #LargeFormat #LibraryWine

Fort Ross Wine Festival 2015

photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

Fort Ross-Seaview Harvest Festival will be held on October 17th 2015 10am-5pm PST.  Harvest is the time to enjoy autumn’s fresh air with friends and family, acknowledging all that the seasons provide us.

In addition to the spectacular Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Tasting and Grand Luncheon, the day offers a wide variety of activities suitable for all ages:  Song, dance, and gentle apple harvesting in the historic orchard; Horse and buggy rides; Interpretive talks by dedicated experts on the historic orchard, replica windmill, and the Alaskan marine history at Ross; Working demonstration of replica Russian-style windmill; Demonstration boat build of a traditional nigilax, an open kayak used by the Alaska Natives at Fort Ross; Food trucks with delicious seasonal fare for sale; Local samples of heirloom apples, apple cider, apple baked goods, Sonoma cheese, and more; Su Nu Nu Shinal Kashia Pomo dances; Lovely Eastern European harmonies of Kitka Women’s Ensemble; Russian House Kedry demonstrating old world Russian cooking, song, and dance; Alaska Native demonstrate their crafts; and Historic Russian crafts, communal dances. Something to interest everyone in the family.

Grand Wine Tasting (12pm-4pm, $40 per person)

LogoPresenting a remarkable selection of wines grown in the FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW VITICULTURAL AREA that consists of the steep ridge top vineyards that overlook the Pacific Ocean and produce wines of structure, balance and finesse. The Grand Tasting features local grape growers and winemakers, and a chance to meet and greet the people behind the wines. Includes cheese sampling with Omar Mueller of Freestone Artisan Cheese and Sonoma County cheesemakers. Wineries Pouring in the Tasting Tent:

Flowers Vineyard and Winery – Michelle Forry
Flowers Chardonnay 2013 Camp Meeting Ridge Estates
Flowers Pinot Noir 2013 Camp Meeting Ridge Estates
Flowers Pinot Noir 2013 Sea View Ridge Estates 2013

Fort Ross Vineyard – Linda and Lester Schwartz
2013 Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay
2012 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Special Cuvée “Top of Land”
2012 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Special Cuvée “Stage Coach Road”
2010 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage

Kutch Wines – Jamie Kutch
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 Sonoma Coast
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 McDougall Ranch
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 Bohan Vineyard

Martinelli Winery – Mary Rodgers
Martinelli Chardonnay 2009 Three Sisters Vineyard
Martinelli Chardonnay 2012 Charles Ranch
Martinelli Pinot Noir 2012 Three Sisters Vineyard

Precious Mountain Vineyard / Williams Selyem Winery
Williams Selyem Winery Pinot Noir 2013 Precious Mountain

Raen Winery
2014 RAEN Pinot Noir Fort Ross Seaview Home Field

Tin Barn Vineyards
Syrah 2012 Sonoma Coast, Coryelle Fields
Rose of Syrah 2014  “Joon” Rose of Syrah, Sonoma Coast, Coryelle Fields

Wayfarer – Cleo Pahlmeyer and Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Chardonnay 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard
Wayfarer Pinot Noir 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard

Wild Hog Vineyard – Daniel and Marion Schoenfeld
Wild Hog Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir 2011
Wild Hog Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2012
Wild Hog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Vista

Grand Luncheon (1pm-3pm, $125 per person) Advanced Purchase Required:

Includes a four-course meal of seasonal fare expertly paired with wines from the area, prepared by renowned local chefs and served on a marine terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Includes entrance to Grand Tasting and Fort Ross Harvest Festival activities. Grand Luncheon tickets are available by advance purchase only and will sell out.

Wine

Grand Luncheon Menu

First course prepared by Barbara Hom
Trio of Corn: Chilled Soup of Corn Essence, Shellfish Oil
Corn and Crab Salad, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, Cilantro Lime Dressing, Chive Oil
Corn and Cheese Tuille
Wine pairing: Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2013

Second course prepared by Andrew and Liya Truong, Michelin star chefs at Terrapin Creek Cafe
Marinated Black Cod served with sunchoke and potato puree, roasted mushrooms and celery
Wine pairing: Wild Hog Estate Pinot Noir 2011 and Fort Ross Pinot Noir Sea Slopes 2013

Third course prepared by Michele Anna Jordan
Grilled Sonoma County butterflied leg of lamb with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, smoked paprika, and a coriander and black pepper rub, accompanied by a warm farro salad with local Merguez, cherry tomatoes, local sheep milk yogurt, red onion, Italian parsley, smoked paprika and preserved lemon
Wine pairing: Piazza Del Dotto Pinot Noir 2013 and Wild Hog Estate Zinfandel 2012

Dessert prepared by Jamil Pedan, Applewood Inn
Buttermilk panna cotta with chardonnay poached quince, candied orange zest, puffed amaranth, and brown butter
Wine pairing: 2013 Fort Ross Late Harvest Chardonnay

Photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

Photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

 

About Fort Ross Conservancy
Fort Ross Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and California State Park Cooperating Association whose mission is to promote educational, environmental, and interpretive activities at Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park. Fort Ross Conservancy (FRC) has been in operation since 1973 and relies solely on income from grants, memberships, donations, and bookshop revenue. With funding from the Renova Fort Ross Foundation, FRC has overseen significant restoration in the historic orchard and is managing the creation of the Fort Ross Historic Orchard Management Plan being developed by esteemed National Parks and State Parks experts. FRC is wholly independent but works in accordance with its cooperating agreement with California State parks pursuant to California State Public Resources Code 513.
For more information on park attraction hours, activities, events, parking and driving directions please visit  http://www.fortross. org/info.htm.

IMG_9591About Fort Ross Seaview Winegrowers Association
FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION is an association of local grape growers and wineries dedicated to farming “coastal cool” grapes on the very edge of the continent. Here the vineyards are like islands in the sunshine above a sea of coastal fog that nips at their edges during the long, slow and temperate grape growing season. The maritime climate of the area is ideal for growing wine grapes of the highest caliber. The vineyards here produce pure, focused fruit with lively acidity, minerality and nuanced tannins. These exceptional grapes produce internationally acclaimed wines of balance, character, structure and finesse that tempt the palate with their elegance. See www.fortross-seaview.org or email us at info@fortross-seaview.org.

A Wine & Food Affair 2015

Enjoy Wine Tasting along the WINE ROAD at the 17th Annual “A WINE & FOOD AFFAIR” in Northern SONOMA COUNTY

IMG_3311“A Wine & Food Affair” in Northern Sonoma County is a fabulous weekend of wine and food pairing at more than 100 participating wineries stretching across Sonoma County’s Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys.

You can purchase tickets for the weekend or Sunday only of the event, enjoying Sonoma County’s finest at your own pace.

Participating wineries will each prepare their favorite recipe for guests to sample throughout the event. Recipes will then all be found on the Wine Road’s online cookbook, so guests can replicate the parings at home. Guests will also receive a commemorative tasting glass.

The event will be held Saturday, November 7 & Sunday, November 8, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m

Tickets are $70 for both days or $50 for Sunday only.  Designated driver tickets are available (and highly encouraged) which offer non-alcoholic drinks and food pairings at each location.

Tickets are now on advance sale online and are non-refundable; listed price does not include tax or service charge. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the door. The event takes place rain or shine!

ABOUT WINE ROAD NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY:
The Wine Road is a travel resource for those looking to visit the region, which is famous for its renowned wine producers and cuisine, scenic beauty, and wine country lifestyle. The association hosts three celebrated wine events throughout the year, “Winter WINEland” in January; “Barrel Tasting” in March; and “A Wine and Food Affair” in November. Made up of 197 vintners and 54 lodgings throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys in Sonoma County, something is always going on along the Wine Road. To plan your next trip, please visit: www.wineroad.com. For additional information, or to request a free map, contact Beth Costa at 800.723.6336 or via e-mail at info@wineroad.com.

#AlexanderValley #DryCreekValley #RussianRiverValley #Winegrowers #Wineries #Wine #WineTasting #FoodPairing #WineRoad #TheWineRoad #SonomaCounty #Events

Inaugural Wind to Wine Festival – Proposed Petaluma Gap AVA

Wind to Wine FestivalDon’t miss this chance to taste some of the Petaluma Gap’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah at the Inaugural WIND to WINE Festival at the Sheraton Petaluma on August 8th. More than 60 wines will be available for tasting, including some limited production and library wines, but I would highly recommend the VIP tickets which includes a VIP Seminar lead by one of our local favorite Sommeliers, Christopher Sawyer, VIP Tasting Lounge, and Buffet Luncheon.

VIP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – Saturday, August 8, 2015
11:00 am VIP Seminar
Noon VIP Early Access to Grand Tasting
12:30pm – 2:00pm VIP Buffet Lunch
1:00pm – 4:00pm GRAND TASTING General Admission
2:00pm – 4:00pm VIP Access to Elite Wine Lounge

The Petaluma Gap is best known for its wind, which allows for direct access to coastal marine air and fog. Hourly average wind speeds throughout the Gap regularly exceed 8 miles per hour (mph) nearly every afternooPetaluma Gap Fogn during the winegrape growing season, with winds in excess of 20 mph a common occurrence. It is this cooling “wind tunnel” effect that distinguishes the Petaluma Gap from neighboring winegrowing areas.

The Wind results in lower yields with grapes that reach physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels, developing wonderful flavors and fruit characteristics while maintaining ideal levels of acidity. It’s the perfect recipe for intense but well-balanced wines with character and distinction.

In February 2015, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance submitted a petition to the  TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) to establish a new AVA.  This process normally takes a few years to complete, but to celebrate their AVA and showcase the wines produced in this area, they are hosting their Inaugural AVA Event – Wind to Wine Festival.

IMG_4939To kick off the event, Winemaker dinners will be held at Keller Estate and McEvoy Ranch on Friday, August 7th. Purchase a Friday dinner ticket and a Saturday Grand Tasting ticket together and receive a huge discount!

Keller Estate is one of the few wineries in the proposed AVA that is open to the public for tastings on a regular basis.  They also have a fabulous car collection – one of which is rotated into the Petaluma Gap tasting room monthly.

As McEvoy Ranch is a private residence, they are only able to welcome guests for scheduled events and by appointment.  I would recommend a ranch tour that gives you a history of the place as well as a tour of the orchards, vineyards, and state of the art mill. They sell olive oil and body products as well as wine from their ranch.

Sunday, the Winegrowers in the Petaluma Gap are scheduling vineyard tours to some of the most beautiful vineyards and ones that are rarely open to the public.  This will be an event not to be missed – watch the Petaluma Gap website for updates to their schedule of events.

#WindToWine #WindToWineFestival #PetalumaGap #Petaluma #SonomaCoast #SonomaCounty #Festival #Wine #Wineries #Vineyards #WineTasting #VIP #WineEducation #WineSeminar #WineLuncheon #WinemakerDinner #VineyardTour #Chardonnay #PinotNoir #Syrah #Sheraton

 

The Ultimate Wine Weekend – Your Way!

76Imagine Labor Day weekend in Wine Country with Jean-Charles Boisset (DeLoach Winery, Buena Vista Winery) ; Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane (Benovia Winery); or James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists Mark and Terri Stark (5 Sonoma County Restaurants – Willi’s Wine Bar, Stark’s Steak & Seafood and Monti’s in Santa Rosa, and Willi’s Seafood and Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg).  These entrepreneurs are serving as honorary chairs for one of the most decadent weeken23ds of culinary and wine events, along with 200 or so of their favorite chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers in Sonoma County – Sonoma Wine County Weekend.

Sonoma County chefs have access to the seasonal abundance of the most fertile foodshed anywhere in the world, often grown and provided by small, local family farms – combine this with world-class wines and you have an event perfect for oenophiles and foodies alike!   Plan a weekend that exactly suits your fantasy from intimate luncheons or dinners to the exciting flagship auction at Chateau St. Jean with lots of exciting events inbetween.

BobbyI slide into the weekend slowly with an intimate winemaker luncheon on Friday – a fabulous way to meet with the owners and winemakers while you sample their current releases.  These are world class wines from the most diverse wine region in the world and the wineries pair them with seasonal local foods prepared by experienced chefs to perfectly highlight our local bounty.  These exemplary culinary and wine luncheons are relaxed and casual and usually hosted in the vineyards or wineries from which the wines are created.

At NightBut Sonoma Starlight dinner and dancing really gets weekend moving as Francis Ford Coppola’s team hosts an extravaganza – dine, drink and dance under the stars poolside Friday night at this iconic Sonoma County winery. Toast the start of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at the sparkling wine reception, followed by a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside. Over 25 local wineries will be on hand to share their finest Sonoma County wines, so you can create infinite perfect pairings for your favorite Sonoma County varietals and wines al fresco.

On Saturday, Kate MacMurray, daughter of Hollywood stars Fred MacMurray and June Haver, hosts guests at the breathtaking MacMurrary Estate Vineyards – once a gentlemen’s cattle ranch and now a premier estate vineyard for the Gallo Family of WiMacMurraynes.  This is a culinary and wine immersion into the culture of Sonoma County with a combination of chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers that is unequalled in Sonoma County – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. Sip wines from more than 200 wineries pouring thousands of wines, and over 60 local chefs whipping up divine pairings in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for oenophiles and foodies alike. But it doesn’t stop there – cooking demonstrations throughout the day, farm-to-table marketplace, food & wine pairings with the pros, blind wine-tasting, reserve tasting, bubble room, sommelier lead tours, the crushpad (experience our harvest), and wine tours & talks. Many of these events sell out, so get yours tickets early – but the nice part is, you can customize your day to suit you own unique tastes and interests with a little or a lot.  On Saturday night you can relax at a winemakers dinner with local delicacies and wines that never disappoint.

Sonoma Harvest Auction 2On Sunday is the flagship event of this ultimate wine weekend with the Sonoma County Harvest Auction at Chateau St. Jean. One-of-a-kind auction items include unique tastings experiences, exclusive trips & packages, collectable etched wines, and many surprises every year.

In additional to acquiring fabulous items, your donations support deserving Sonoma County charities aiding efforts to support youth and children to ensure their success, preserve our environment for future generations, and provide for basic unmet health needs and services which improve the welfare of our local communities.

Your ticket not only offers you passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to minSonoma Wine Weekend Auction Story 1gle with Sonoma’s finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local Vintner or Grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! This is an upbeat fun time with featured chefs, including Ari Weiswasser, Glen Ellen Star; Armando Garcia, El Dorado Kitchen; Andrew Cain, Santé; Catherine Venturini, Olive & Vine; Douglas Keene, Cyrus; Duskie Estes & John Stewart, Zazu kitchen + farm; Dustin Valette, Valette; Jamil Peden, Applewood Inn Restaurant; John Franchetti, Rosso Pizzeria and Bar; Josh Silvers, Jackson’s Bar and Oven; Moaya Scheiman and Andrea Koweek, Crisp Bakeshop; Robert Nieto, Jackson Family Wines; and Tracey Shepos Cenami, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates.

This is truly an oenophiles and foodies extravaganza that can be customized to your favorite culinary adventures and wine experiences.  But tickets for the most popular events sell out fast, so don’t wait for the last minute to plan your Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County.

For updates follow Sonoma Wine Country on Social Medial: Like Sonoma Wine Country Weekend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winecountryweekend, Instagram at @SonomaWineCountryWeekend, and follow on Twitter @SonomaWCW. Hashtag: #SWCW.

 

 

Sonoma County Inaugural Barrel Auction

Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

I don’t know of anything more satisfying than a resplendent red wine on a winter’s evening or a crystalline white wine on a summer’s day.

Are your most discerning clients looking for unique wines that make an opulent-life even more luxurious?   Now you have the opportunity to exceed those expectations as Sonoma County Vintners announce the Inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction.

Licensed wine trade will have the opportunity to participate in a live auction for one-of-a-kind wine futures with lots ranging in size from five to 20 cases that include single vineyard bottlings, specific clonal selections, blends, wines aged using special barrel regimes and joint lot wines made by collaborating wineries.   All wines are “Never Before, Never Again” opportunities for heritage wine at its finest, showcasing the stylistic range and world-class quality of Sonoma County.

Auction Lots were cultivated in Sonoma County’s most highly acclaimed vineyards, handcrafted by legendary vintners, and curated by a hand-selected panel of influential Sommeliers & a Master of Wine. Every lot in the inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a masterpiece of Sonoma County winemaking. Here are a couple examples of the world-class collaborations:

Photo ~ Sonoma County Vintners

Photo ~ Sonoma County Vintners

A Russian River Valley Epoch: The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost Pinot Noir
An exclusive barrel lot by three epochs of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir history, Joseph Swan Winery (The Father), Williams Selyem (The Son) and Kosta Browne (The Holy Ghost) have joined forces to make a barrel of Swan Selection Pinot Noir from their finest lots of some of their finest vineyards in the Russian River Valley.
A Founders’ Lot from West Sonoma Coast Vintners
Featuring West Sonoma Coast Vintners founders Carroll Kemp at Red Car Wine, Ted Lemon at Littorai Wine,Vanessa Wong at Peay Vineyards, Damian Parker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards – Sonoma Coast, John Raytek at Ceritas, Akiko Freeman at Freeman, and Ehren Jordan Failla Wines in a never before collaboration on True Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This elegant and racy Pinot Noir represents the essence of the newly petitioned West Sonoma Coast appellation. Never before have so many heralded winemakers joined together to produce such an important wine from the region. West Sonoma Coast Vintners is an association of wineries and growers who are passionate about farming wine grapes on the coastline of Sonoma County. They advocate wines with a clear identity that evoke the complexity of our region and the authenticity of its community — wines with balance, integrity, character and nuance.

Photo ~ Maple Vineyard

Photo ~ Maple Vineyard

Dry Creek Valley’s Classic Zinfandel
Four visions of the famous Maple Vineyard‘s 2014 Zinfandel by Dutcher Crossing WineryMazzocco WineryBella Winery and Vineyards, and Armida Winery. Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County is one of the most renown terroirs for growing zinfandel grapes. Maple Vineyards is 27 acres of benchland at Dry Creek and Lytton Springs Roads, a few miles northwest of Healdsburg.

This is small sampling of the more than seventy unique wine lots representing twelve Sonoma County appellations.  A complete listing of the awe-inspiring lots and information about attending the invitation only event visit the Sonoma County Vintners Barrel Auction website.

#SonomaCountyVintners #SonomaCounty #SonomaCountyBarrelAuction #WineCountry #RussianRiverValley #DryCreekValley #AlexanderValley #SonomaValley #KnightsValley #SonomaCoast #Vineyards #Wineries #BarrelAuction

A Glamorous Life in Viticulture

IMG_0716After returning home from surgery on Saturday, Tom Altemus at Red Cap Vineyards spent the next three nights answering frost alarms as Howell Mountain temperatures dropped with the recent storms.  These are part of the daily challenges a farmer faces as does anyone raising children – the timing is never convenient, the rewards aren’t immediate, and the hours are long.

In 1998, Tom and Desiree bought ten acres on Howell Mountain after the birth of their second child meant they needed more room and a great opportunity came their way. A couple of years later, stay at home dad, Tom, began vineyard planning amid studies and surveys culminating in mountains of permit paperwork. Finally in 2003, the land was cleared in time to welcome their third child and the work was to begin in earnest.

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Winemaker, Rudy Zuidema, and Tom have been friends for 25 years.  They worked together before Red Cap Vineyards as chefs at Brava Terrace Restaurant in St. Helena where local winemakers brought their wares and asked the chefs to pair the wine with a custom dish.  It was here they learned what they liked and what kind of wine they wanted to make – an elegant, complex Cabernet Sauvignon.

After planting and nurturing their Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, the first grapes were harvested in 2006 and Rudy & Tom created their first vintage – to be released just as the recession in 2008 hit and no one wanted additional wine, especially an unknown product.

So Tom began the process of turning a family farm into a viticulture business in slow measured steps.  Watching nature change the surrounding forest gently and slowly, he worked in the same way, creating an organically styled vineyard with a rich loose soil that reminds you of a forest floor when you walk on it. They pick grapes a few tons at a time as each section ripens with daily walks in the vineyard to taste seeds for a nutty ripeness and juice for its vintage characteristics. Vintage variance is evident here as each year reaches its own balance.

This working family vineyard has help from entire family as each one lends their skills in many ways from data entry to social media to pulling crickets from the grapevines.  A slow, humble way of life that creates a rich family lifestyle in a beautiful spot where you want to live now, retire eventually, and watch your grandchildren grow up.

Red Cap continued to develop their Cabernet and added a Sauvignon Blanc (from purchased grapes) as an entrance wine to get them into restaurants with great success. Now they have developed a following of friends, wine lovers, and businesses that appreciated their small production, gently made wines.

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This admittedly unglamorous life-style of fighting mildew, praying for rain, praying it doesn’t rain, and answering frost alarms in the middle of the night is exactly the rich life the Altemus family has chosen. They find their own kind of glamour in a humble vineyard in the mountains above Napa Valley and a gentle lifestyle that is reflected in the land they call home.

#RedCapVineyards #NapaValley #WineCountry #Vineyard #Winery #Viticulture #Wine #Wines