Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
It’s fitting with today commencing the Weekend Celebration of American Rhones, in San Francisco, to celebrate this amazing, unique release of Cigare Blanc, the flagship Rhone white blend from Bonny Doon Vineyards.
It’s creator, Randall Grahm, tonight at a very special ceremony will be awarded the first ever Rhone Rangers lifetime achievement award. As I wrote in For The Love of Rhône: Randall Grahm Lifetime Achievement Award; A Rhône Weekend in SF the American Rhone winemakers and consumers owe Randall this, and much more.
The Re-Emergence of The Original Rhone Ranger, Pioneer’s Vision
In his spot-on keynote speech at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, (video or transcript ) Randall gently chided the wine industry, for being a victim of its own success, almost ‘selling out’ and lamenting the world of unique wines, that had some risk to making them.
‘Modern winemakers live in an era of tragic self-consciousness about the economic consequences of their winemaking decisions, utterly aware of the peril of somehow falling outside of the stylistic parameters of accepted wine styles.’
On a macro level this is sadly true. Wines, especially whites, are made risk free, manipulated, and churned out by the container load for mass market. “Flash Detente’ – seriously? I’ll go return to my beer brewing roots before I ever cross this line. Every article I read on it gives me hives – where does this end?
But there is a burgeoning new movement, a tiny but growing population of bold winemakers who return to the risk taking Randall laments, making wines of unique varieties, vinification, climates and more. (Teaser, also watch for notice for a special tasting of a gang of 13 of these upstarts in Healdsburg in May.)
These vintners of passion often selling their crafts for a modest price, keeping the approachable. Sommeliers are loving this re-birth. Some old school journalists have no clue what to do with it – why not keep just writing about Cabernet & Zinfandel. Other visionaries like Jon Bonné of the Chronicle embrace and support the change, and even has a book coming out. (You can pre-order now, I did.)
Leading By Example and Creativity – Winemaking With Risk (Equals Reward.)
Randall leads the path again (one that I follow, inspired, with my own Rhone project.) His special 2010 Cigare Blanc Reserve and 2008 Cigare Volante are aged ‘en bonbonne’ - glass carboys, protected from light and air, and stirred….magnetically. As only Randall could do.
Why? Randall was inspired by wines of Dan Wheeler tasted from carboy, and astonished by how fresh the wines were, 20 years later, followed by a similar experience with Emidio Pepe.
At the Wine Bloggers Conference, Randall held a special semi private tasting of some of his wines, including the 2010 Cigare Blanc reserve & 2008 Cigare Volant Reserve ‘en bonbonne’. The gift was lost on some, but it was a special experience to taste these the normal and en bonbonne’ side by side. There was a clear, textural and flavor difference.
It inspired me to taste them both again later several times, where I could focus without Rex Pickett of Sideways making drinking from dump bucket jokes to impress a nearby female. Not a problem as I am a DOON Club member, and regularly order, and have, including a re-order of this wine.
Review: Bonny Doon Vineyard 2010 Cigare Blanc Reserve en bonbonne
A certified biodynamic blend of 56% Grenache Blanc and 44% Rousanne. (You had me at Grenache Blanc.) As Randall’s own tasting notes concur, it continues to improve in bottle, and was changed, even more favorably from last fall.
The 2010 vintage was allowed to go through secondary malo-lactic (a personal preference for me, as I think many white wines, with sufficient acidity, should do to enhance mouth feel and complexity.)
- To The Eye: Slightly cloudy, but clearer than previous tastings. Its turbidity makes me love it even more. It’s about time the consumer world understood a tad of turbidity in whites might make it better. I will follow with less trepidation.
- On The Nose: wondrous nose of yellow pear, stone fruits, hints of white grapefruit and hazelnut.
- On The Palate: Amazing. Lush, but in a restrained way. Textural and ‘grown up’ but with a vibrant acid backbone that lingers beneath in balance. The front palate starts off bright and fresh, the mid palate shows the wondrous texture, mouth feel ripe pear, yellow peach, citrus. The finish is of ripe Meyer lemon, lingering pleasant acidity.
I have yet to figure out how Bonny Doon makes these so wonderful in flavor and low in alcohol, as Roussanne and Grenache Blanc both require proper ripening, ever for my acid addicted palate. Bravo.
A wine that while wonderful solo, would be heavenly with rich seafood, creamy pasta, or roasted chicken.
- Recommendation: This is one to buy a case and drink 1-2 bottles a year. Buy online while you can.
94 points. Yes its pricier than every day wine. Life is short, live a little.
Winemakers Notes & Geeky Stuff
I have written in various places about the inspiration to age wine in demijohns/carboys/bonbonnes. Some of it has come from my fascination with oxidation/reduction chemistry, an aspect of wine art/science not well understood and its importance greatly unappreciated. Years ago, as a young pup I tasted wine from carboy with Dan Wheeler of Nicasio Cellars in his do-it-yourself-handdug cave in Soquel, and was astonished at how youthful were the wines, twenty plus years later, almost as if they had been placed in suspended animation. At about the same time, I also happened to taste the wines from Emidio Pepe in Abruzzo, who also aged his product in demijohns, likewise evincing extraordinary youthfulness and vitality.
We did some small encouraging experiments years ago, then more or less forgot about them until relatively recently, at which point we began the carboy ageing project with red Cigare. It wasn’t until ’09 that it dooned on me that perhaps there were even more interesting things to discover with the white. The ’10 Cigare Blanc Réserve, our second vintage of this wine, is absolutely amazing, an advance over the ’09. To refresh everyone’s memory, this wine is more or less the same blend as our standard issue Cigare Blanc, apart from the fact that we’ve allowed it to undergo malolactic fermentation, and at that point, we gave it a light SO2 addition, racked it to glass demijohn (bonbonne), where it reposed for a year and a half, getting anaerobically stirred more or less fortnightly.
The wine derives entirely from the Beeswax Vineyard, located at the mouth of the Arroyo Seco, and is farmed biodynamically and produced according to biodynamic specifications (very easy on the extraneous additions).
I’ve had the pleasure of tasting this wine over the last year, and what is most remarkable about it is that every time I taste it, it gets younger and younger! The wine was not filtered, and therefore is partly cloudy, though lately, it is curiously, getting brighter and brighter. The wine has a rich, unctuous texture, despite its modest (12ish%) alcohol, as well as possesses the most satisfying savoriness. In the nose, there is a wonderful suggestion of hazelnuts (hmm, white Burgundy, anyone?), as well as a beautiful fragrance of wintergreen and a wine-like pear. A great gastronomy wine, one that will perfectly suit rich, cream-based dishes.
- Blend: 56% roussanne, 44% grenache blanc (Certified Biodynamic®)
- Vineyard: Beeswax (Certified Biodynamic®)
- Appellation: Arroyo Seco
- Serving Temp: 50-55ºF
- Alcohol by Volume: 12.4%
- TA: 6.2 g/L
- pH: 3.62
- Optimal drinkability: Drink now-2020
- Production: 497 cases
Don't Miss! Saturday Feb 2nd is the 2nd Annual Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush
This Saturday (tomorrow!) is the 2nd Annual Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush in Santa Rosa.
Inspiration Custom Crush is located at Inspiration Vineyards & Winery, and is a second business managed by Jon Philips, where very small and/or new wineries can share facilities and knowledge to make their wine.
The Superbowl is the next day, so this is also excellent opportunity to stock up on adult beverages for your Superbowl party.
Try & Buy Wines You Normally Can’t
With the exception of Inspiration Vineyards, these wineries don’t have public tasting rooms. This is a special opportunity for you to TRY & BUY wines from seven uniquely different wineries, each with their own winemaker present to tell you their story and introduce you to their wines. Experience the small lot, artisanal wines from:
- Colagrossi Wines
- Desmond Wines
- Inspiration Vineyards
- Little Red Vineyard
- Orpheus Wines
- Premonition Cellars
- Wesley Ashley Wines
Food Pairings & Offers
Just in time for Valentine’s day, Sonja Schluter, owner and chocolatier of Eye Candy, sampling and selling her artisanal chocolates. In addition, two local cheese makers will be offering samples of their delicious artisanal cheeses.
No wine event is complete at without a food truck! David from FishOn will be here featuring the regular menu that includes his famous fish & chips, plus he’ll also have some fan favorites like his pulled pork sandwiches.
Your Ticket Includes $10 Wine Credit!
Upon check-in at the door, you’ll receive $10 back in wine bucks, redeemable on the day of the event at ALL seven wineries. Tickets are $20 at the door, or buy today and save $5 – either thats a price of $5-10 to taste from SEVEN wineries
– beat that bargain for Saturday entertainment!
- When: Saturday, February 2nd from 11am till 5pm
- Where: 3360 Coffey Lane – Suite E, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
- Cost: $20 at the door – SAVE $5 by registering online, using promo code: promoiv
- Register: please visit http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/458091
Visit Other Wineries Without Leaving the Parking Lot!
Still ‘thirsty’ after tasting – the business park has other wineries including Vinoteca, a collective tasting room for multiple wineries; famed Zin maker Carol Shelton; the geeky NPA & Salinia, and high end, appointment only Donelan Wines.
Or visit other nearby wineries on the Santa Rosa Wine Trail!
Have a great wine weekend – cheers!
The Members of The Santa Rosa Wine Trail are hosting a special holiday tasting weekend on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 from 11 am to 4 pm each day. The wine trail is a collecti
on of urban wineries and tasting rooms, restaurants, and a hotel, all located within a a close radius, and a few minutes of downtown Santa Rosa.
Guests will enjoy food trucks, live music, and exclusive tours and buy cialis online activities at ten wineries. Each guest will receive a special “passport” for the weekend. Passports with stamps from each location will be entered for a drawing to win prizes including a case of wine for only one cent!
Tickets Are Only $25 AND Include $10 Wine Purchase Credit
The ticket price of $25.00 presale or $35.00 at the door includes tastings at ten wineries and tasting rooms, a commemorative wine glass, and $10.00 in “wine bucks” which may be used towards the purchase of wine at any of the participating wineries.
For designated drivers, a $5.00 ticket includes special activities and non-alcoholic beverages.
Tickets are available at srwt.eventbrite.com, at participating wineries, and at the door at any of the participating wineries during the event.
Participating wineries are: Carol Shelton, D’Argenzio, Inspiration, Krutz Family Cellars, Old World, Paradise Ridge, Sheldon, Siduri/Novy*, Two Shepherds, and the collective at Vinoteca.
The Fountaingrove Inn is offering a limited number of Deluxe King Rooms for just $89/night to Eat, Sip and Be Merry visitors who would like stay in town Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights. A link to the special purchase rate is available at srwt.eventbrite.com. Other lodging options may be found at visitsantarosa.com.
Enter to Win A Pair of buy generic cialis online Tickets
To win is simple, simply tell us in comments below:
If you were to receive wine as a Christmas gift from one of the wineries pouring – which would be your favorite pick?
A winner will be drawn at Random next Wed evening Dec 5th. Enter now!
About the Santa Rosa Wine Trail
The Santa Rosa Wine Trail is a collection of eleven wineries, three restaurants, and one hotel in northern Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California. The Santa Rosa Wine Trail card (print yours here or pick one up at one of our member wineries) is your passport to great days and nights of some of the best wine and food Sonoma County has to offer, all in close proximity.
Members: Carol Shelton Wines, D’Argenzio Winery, Inspiration Vineyards, Krutz Family Cellars, Old World Winery, Paradise Ridge, Robert Rue Vineyard, Sheldon Wines, Siduri/Novy, Two Shepherds, Vinoteca, John Ash, Stark’s Steak & Seafood, Willi’s Wine Bar and Vintners Inn.
In case you missed it, tomorrow is Global #ChampagneDay!! (Note this is champagne, which is specifically limited to sparkling wine from the Champagne regio
n of France. Even Cremant, sparkling wine from other regions of France, is not Champagne. So please leave that bottle of Gloria Ferrer or Barefoot for #SparklingDay.
There are many events happening around the world from the heart of the Champagne region to Japan to Australia to South America and of course, in the USA. You can locate an event near you by visiting this interactive Google map http://t.co/wVGqMyqe.
There is also a live video tasting for #ChampagneDay on toutsuite.com
with some great guests, including Catherin Fallis, Master Sommelier and Master Sabreuse at Sabering Champagne, who will be showing us the correct way to saber a Champagne bottle and talking all things Champagne. Also joining will be some well-known producers and smaller grower/producers, Champagne importers, bloggers, etc. There will also be a mixologist on deck to talk about the perfect Champagne cocktails.
Simple Hedonisms will be onsite for this tasting and broadcast – be sure to join us from 3pm to 7pm PST for this livestreaming event via toutsuite.com and tweet us your question by using the #ChampagneDay hashtag.
How you can join in the bubbles (no saber necessary):
- Pick out a Champagne to enjoy on #ChampagneDay.
- Whether you’re at home, out at a restaurant or tuned in to our live show(toutsuite.com), you can post your memories online for others to see.
- Share your label photos, tastes, likes, food pairings or any other experiences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. making sure to include #ChampagneDay in your post.
- Host your own event or home tasting
- Visit toutsuite.com between 3pm -7pm PST to watch and join in live.
Take Photos & Enter to Win & iPad!
To Enter the Champagne Day contest to win an iPad click here: Champagne Day photo contest
Be Like Nike – Just Do It!
So head to your local wine shop tonight, and pick out something for tomorrow! What better way to kick of Friday night & your weekend.
Get your Champagne wines locally at your favorite wine shop via wine-searcher.com or just dropping in.
See you online tomorrow Friday, October 26th!
Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County is extra special to me. Its’ the weekend every year that hosts my beloved adopted county’s premier, county wide wine event: Sonoma Wine
Country Weekend,the star of which, for me personally, is the Saturday afternoon Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch. Its also my last hurrah before harvest for my own wine project begins.
Why is Taste of Sonoma So Special?
It’s the only event of the year where wineries from our many widespread AVA’s (regions) gather together into one place. People email me regularly saying “I am coming to ‘Sonoma’ where should I go?” Often not realizing we have 13 AVAs, and the county is very spread out. And the regions can be VERY different. Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley are only miles apart, but one is very warm, and one is very cool, and produces very different wines.
Sonoma County has lots of great wine ‘bracelet’ events, where you go from winery to winery, but fewer ‘walk around’ tastings where you can move from table to table covering ground more quickly, and these tend to be focused on a single variety or narrow focus.
There is no other event where all our regions are combined together in one event on this scale. As if that isn’t enough, each regional tent is accompanied by some cheap auto insurance of the many rock star chefs and great epicureans of the county. It’s an event not to be missed. I attended it in a boot cast once even and hopped around at lightning speed!
My only ‘complaint’ every year is that 4 hours is just too little time, I could spend 2 whole days just tasting food and wine from so many amazing artisans. The afternoon window is a gift and experience I’ll happily accept.
The other amazing thing about Taste of Sonoma is the leisurely pace. It’s true several thousand people attend, but the event is so well organized, and spread into so many venues and things to do, it never feels busy, rushed, or crowded.
This event sells OUT! You have been warned if you procrastinate. People travel from all over the country ever year to attend this event.
In addition to tickets there are additional items you can add to your event, including Sommelier Tours and more. Many are already sold out!
New in 2013: Sonoma Starlight Supper Club
On Friday, August 31, the first ever Sonoma Starlight Supper Club will be held at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Set against the backdrop of the shimmering night sky of the Alexander Valley, the Sonoma Starlight Supper Club begins poolside at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, featuring an array of wines from twenty Sonoma County wineries paired with local cuisine served al fresco and prepared by Jeff Mall, Carlo Cavallo and Josh Silvers, the Sonoma County trio of chefs that comprise Culinary Cuvee.
The evening will culminate with dessert, live music, and dancing to the ever-popular Bay Area band Pride & Joy.
Also available is an exclusive Patron Ticket which will entitle guests to a Sparkling Wine Reception, a luxurious, sit-down multi-course meal prepared by Mark Stark – Chef/Owner of Stark Reality Restaurants, and access to a cigar bar and private lounge.
But Wait, There’s More!
I am not doing the Wine Country Weekend experience justice focusing just on the Taste of Sonoma. Locals and visitors alike can fill their weekend with lunches, Friday and Saturday night dinner parties, and BBQs. I attended a wine maker dinner last year and it was an incredible evening.
Last but not least, there is the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction – a grand affair at Chateau St Jean this year. I was the guest of a sponsoring winery 2 years ago, its an amazing, fun, experience. Also, money raised at this, goes to support Sonoma charities. In 2011, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend gave $395,385 to local charities in Sonoma County.
See you at MacMurray Ranch!
2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Schedule At-A-Glance
Friday, August 31
12:30 p.m. – Winemaker Lunch Series, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
7:00 p.m. – Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery sponsored by Kaiser Permanente
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
Saturday, September 1
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
6:00 p.m. – Chairman’s Dinner Party
Sunday, September 2
12:30 p.m. – Winery Barbecues at Wineries throughout Sonoma County
1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St.
Jean, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
This weekend in Sonoma (July 27-28) Muscardini Cellars of
Sonoma hosts its 8th Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend , to be held at Deerfield Ranch Winery.
‘Mercato di Vino’ is the theme this year, with an Italian Marketplace set up overlo
oking the rolling vineyard hills in the Sonoma Valley.
Guest can enjoy current release tasting from both Muscardini Cellars and Deerfield Ranch Winery, tasting out of the barrels in the wine caves, wood fired pizza, live music, artisan chocolates, and a cigar deck., all out on the beautiful Deerfield Ranch Property in Sonoma.
The views are magnificent, the wines are small production and high quality, and the parking is in ample supply.
This fun day is a steal at only $35/person
- Event Hours: Both Sat and Sun 12-5pm
- Location/Address: Deerfield Ranch Winery, 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452
- You can buy tickets for either Saturday Or Sunday
Tomorrow is Rootstock: The Great Gastronomic Wine, Street Food & Music Festival. Save 45% On Tix!
//www.rootstockfestival.com” target=”_blank”>Rootstock: The Great Gastronomic Wine, Street Food & Music Festival from 2-6 pm.
and live music from the Hotel Cafe Tour. Returning to the main stage is the fiercely independent and self-aware “loudmouth” Jim Bianco, whose songs “expose, embarrass and offend ex-girlfriends, future girlfriends, fellow singer/songwriters and, most notably, himself.” Joining Bianco are singer-songwriters Holly Conlan, Jesse Thomas and Javier Dunn.
Support The Santa Rosa JC Shone Farm Foundation AND Save 45%
A portion of the day’s proceeds benefit Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Shone Farm Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to manage, support and raise funds for the Shone Farm agricultural and educational facility. This includes the SRJC Shone Farm Winery, which makes and markets wine as an integral part of the instructional program at SRJC, and is now a member of The Wineyard cooperative in Santa Rosa Vintners’ Square. General admission is $45, with advance-discounted tickets available for $35 each at www.RootstockFestival.com and $25 each directly at Santa Rosa Vintners’ Square merchants until July 6th. A small allotment of VIP experience tickets are available at $65 each. (sold out!)
Use code SH12 at checkout. Expires at Midnight!
“Along with the stellar indie talent, one of the main reasons we love teaming with Hotel Cafe is the camaraderie of the performances,” said Joel Quigley, co-producer of the Rootstock Festival. “Hotel Cafe isn’t just a venue in LA and a tour, they bring artists into their circle of talent to create a support network. These artists become close friends, who then collaborate and play together, which translates into their performances. Last year we saw our headliner playing mandolin and singing back up for our opening artist. This makes for a very unique, intimate, and special day of music.”
Los Angeles singer-songwriter and pianist Holly Conlan is a “surefooted indie-pop artist” who has shared the stage with the likes of Colbie Caillat, Katy Perry, Cary Brothers and Butch Walker. Conlan will take a break from recording her third studio album to join us in Sonoma wine country.
Singer-songwriter Jesse Thomas is a “redheaded firecracker” from Kentucky, whose “whiskey soaked soul drips into every song she sings.” She’ll be performing songs from her recently released, first full-length album War Dancer.
Javier Dunn, known equally for his awe-inspiring lyrics and guitar playing (he’s also lead guitarist for singer-songwriter and pianist sensation Sara Bareilles), will feature songs from his new EP Small Spaces.
You can check out some of the artists performance here: http://rootstockfestival.com/rootstock/Tunes.html
Great Wine & Microbrew
Santa Rosa Vintners’ Square is home to a host of lifestyle businesses such as its three outstanding wineries with production facilities including D’Argenzio Winery, Krutz Family Cellars and Sheldon Wines, with The Wineyard cooperative tasting room featuring Albertina Wine Cellars, Atascadero Creek, Flocchini Wines, Jazz Cellars, and SRJC Shone Farm Winery. Heritage Public House is the new local gathering spot for live music, comedy, special events and a rotating beverage menu focused on California nano- and micro-brews including Ruth McGowan’s Craft Brews, as well as wines from The
Other festival partners include TasteLive, CellarPass, House Band Wines, Rodney Strong Vineyards, 7×7 Wine Country, Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, Sonoma County Vintners, Grapebuddy, Jahn Art, and preferred lodging partner, the Flamingo Convention Resort & Spa.
The 2012 Rootstock Artisan Street Food Line Up
Along with a host of wineries and craft brews to whet the appetite, Rootstock’s artisan street food purveyors will satiate guests with a diversity of delicious dishes created from locally sourced ingredients by some of the region’s best street and market chefs. They will also compete in multiple categories to take home a Best Bites award, which includes the coveted Rootstock bumper stickers touting each award.
- Chef Christopher Greenwald of Bay Laurel Culinary dishes up wine-friendly global comfort cuisine from his Gastro Shack cart.
- Proprietor Jill Dorman of Street-eatz Mobile Kitchen delivers “flavors of the world” from her food truck.
- Proprietor Alma Mendez of La Texanita Mobile combines authentic dishes from the occident of Mexico served from her food truck.
- Chef John Franchetti of Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar will serve up a whole roasted suckling pig from its Chinese Smoker Box.
- Proprietor Nellie Gamez of Nellie’s Oysters is firing up the grill to share her day-fresh oysters, which are a mainstay at local Sonoma County farmers’ markets.
- Chef Gabe Nahas of Awful Falafel’s food truck is cooking up a menu of Lebanese cuisine such as falafel, shawarma, and roasted lamb.
See you tomorrow – cheers!
We’ve got another big barrel tasting weekend ahead of us. I’ll be able to participate this time and I’m really looking forward to it.
If you haven’t decided which wineries you’ll go to yet, here are a couple of theme-based itineraries.
noma Advocate Tour
Antonio Galloni recently published his Sonoma Report for Wine Advocate. He focused heavily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from producers that don’t happen to be part of the Wine Road Barrel Tasting, such as Paul Hobbs, Kistler and Hirsch. However, six wineries awarded 90+ points are pouring.
Of course, Galloni rated bottled wine. Get a leg up on him by evaluating barrel samples from these wineries yourself. (And don’t forget to give their neighbors a little love too.)
- Freestone in Occidental
- Siduri in Santa Rosa
- Red Car in Sebastopol
- La Crema in Windsor
- Kendall-Jackson in downtown Healdsburg (that’s where they are pouring high-end Cabernet)
- Stonestreet in Alexander Valley
limos or buses. (Every winery not
allowing groups is identified on the Wine Road’s list of participating wineries.)
- Bella Vineyards in Healdsburg
- Claypool Cellars in Sebastopol
- Freestone in Occidental
- Fritz in Cloverdale
- Joseph Swan in Forestville
- La Crema in Windsor
- Red Car in Sebastopol
- Sausal in Alexander Valley
- Stonestreet in Alexander Valley
- Vinoteca (6 wineries in one location) in Santa Rosa
Gregory Graham Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: Saturday, March 10, 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Owner and Winemaker Greg Graham and Marianne Graham will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.
McFadden’s Second Saturday — Hopland: Saturday March 10, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Enjoy 100% organically grown grape wines paired with a delicious food treat.
Calistoga Spring Jazz Festival — downtown Calistoga: Saturday, March 10, noon – 6:00pm
Live jazz music, wine and food right downtown in Calistoga.
Merryvale Pinot & Pizza Barrel Tasting — St. Helena: Saturday, March 10, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
An afternoon of wine, food and entertainment featuring current releases, library wines and Tra Vigne pizza.
Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: Friday, March 9, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Bill Vestal plays Americana music.
A Taste of West Sonoma County at Dutton-Goldfield Winery — Sebastopol: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 – 11, 10:am – 4:30pm
A rare tasting of their single-vineyard wines from the Green Valley of Russian River Valley appellation.
34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting — Northern Sonoma: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 – 11, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Your chance to sample wines from the barrel, talk to winemakers and explore the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys.
Clash of the Sommeliers at Farmhouse Restaurant — Forestville: Monday, March 12, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Three sommeliers pairing wines side-by-side for a four course, seasonal menu.
Songwriters In Sonoma at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: Thursday, March 15, 7:00pm – 9:15pm
Dustin Heald, Rich Little and Fred McCarty
This article is by Fred Swan of NorCalWine.com for SimpleHedonisms.com. Copyright 2012 Fred Swan.
Guest Post by Fred Swan
This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra
tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”http://www.wineroad.com/events/barrel_tasting/3#tabs-5″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.
There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:
(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )
Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only
Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?
Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.
From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.
On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.
From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.
Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.
For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)
Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab
Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:
Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.
Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.
Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.
Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.
Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.
Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.
Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!
Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.
Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.
34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.
Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!
Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.
Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
A Quick Plug:
The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at NorCalWine.com.
Enjoy your weekend!