Posts Tagged ‘russian river valley’
This Weekend, June 8-9th, the Russian River Valley Winegrowers hosts “PassPort to Pinot.”
(1) Pinot Noir was my 'first girl.' Russian River Valley Pinot was my epiphany varietal, 14 years ago, away from Napa big reds that started me rapidly on a path of other varieties, and that the enlightenment that wine complexity can come through nuance, rather than oak and extraction.
(2) I fell in love with Russian River, so much so I moved here and bought a small farm. These two points becoming defining moments in my life and the juxtaposition I am at now, including being a (very small) commercial vintner, specializing in Russian River.
I am excited to go taste this weekend, as warm up for next months off the charts Pinot Event: IPNC.
Passport to Pinot: Saturday & Sunday June 8-9, 2013
Join the amazing producers of the Russian River Valley at our annual Passport to Pinot weekend, where you can celebrate the allure of our Pinot Noir and escape into the rugged beauty of our valley. This world-class tasting experience will have you traveling through our vineyards and redwoods along the Russian River, discovering hidden gems – fresh, local food, hospitality like no other and exclusive experiences at participating wineries.
The Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot weekend offers ticket holders exclusive experiences throughout the weekend at participating wineries.
Pinot is the focus, but each winery will also be offering unique offerings, including:
- Barrel tastings – get a glimpse of the 2012 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
- Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
- Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
- Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and future of a specific vineyard
- Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
- Artist rx cialis demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
- Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
- Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out some of our fantastic local musicians
- And more!
Tickets are only $65 for the weekend, or $40 for Sunday. (Designated driver $20.) That's less than the cost of a few tasting room fees, and less expensive than Saturday night dinner.
Participating wineries include:
- Ancient Oak Cellars – “Real Dirt. Real People. Real Wine.” – Ancient Oak Cellars is a small family winery owned by Ken and Melissa Moholt-Siebert. The tasting room is conveniently located right in downtown Santa Rosa. Join us for a barrel tasting of the 2011 Estate Siebert Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired with Bistro 29 French mushroom tartlets. Also showing 2011 RRV Chardonnay, 2010 RRV Pinot, 2010 RRV Zinfandel, and 2012 RRV Rose of Pinot. Live music both days. Artist demonstration on Sunday.
- Balletto Vineyards & Winery – multiple barrels of Pinot and small bites that compliment the wines. Picnic facilities.
- Carrozzi Vineyard, Forchini Vineyard, St. Rose Winery/Nunes Vineyard, Terlato, Trione and Bucher Vineyards – six wineries, one stop! These wineries are joining together at Carrozzi Vineyard to pouring tastes of their Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. This intimate venue on a private estate will offer amazing wines with small bites and live music. A not-to-be-missed stop!
- Christopher Creek Winery – enjoy amazing wines with passed appetizers while listening to live music. Picnic facilities.
- Davis Family Vineyards – will showcase barrel samples of Piot Noir from 3 single vineyard designates. Zazu on the River will be open for the weekend. Guests are welcome to enjoy lunch and music in our organic garden lounge. No buses please.
- DeLoach Vineyards – offering pizza from their wood fired oven along with barrel tasting and pre-release. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Dutton Estate Winery – will be offering futures tastings of the 2012 Manzana Pinot Noir and the 2012 Dutton Palms Chardonnay. Picnic facilities.
- Dutton-Goldfield Winery – Explore the current and future of Dutton-Goldfield’s most coveted Pinots! They will be pouring their current releases, previewing upcoming releases, and comparing these to barrel samples of the 2012 vintage. Enjoy the 2011 & 2012 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot and Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot.
- Emeritus Vineyards – Enjoy barrel tasting, special selections of Estate Pinots from Hallberg Ranch and tours of the vineyard and winery. Special tasting of the 2012 RRV Ruby Ruby Estate Pinot Saignee. Plus a preview of the 2011 Hallberg Ranch to compare with the 2010 and 2012. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- HANNA Winery – Visit HANNA Winery and enjoy some wines grown on our Russian River Valley Ranches. Come taste our signature 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot along with our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy the handcrafted, specialty balsamic vinegars and olive oils of Sonoma County’s own “Distinctive Tastes.” All of this paired with gourmet focaccia bread from Cousteaux French Bakery.
- HKG Estate Wines – Hop Kiln Vineyards – HKG Estate Winery at Hop Kiln Vineyards will provide guests with an incredible amuse bouche consisting of fresh local salmon tartar highlighted by capers, fresh onions and a drizzle of lemon aioli, plus barrel tastings of the 2012 Twin Corners Pinot Noir and the 2012 North Bridge Pinot Noir.
- Hartford Family Winery – We invite you to join us at Hartford Family Winery to enjoy the beauty of Pinot Noir! Hidden in the majestic Redwoods just a mile from the Russian River, our lively event weekend offers the rare opportunity to sample wines from barrel with Winemaker Jeff Stewart – this only happens once a year! Several single-vineyard, highly-acclaimed Pinots from our 2009 & 2010 vintages will be featured as well, with a menu to pair prepared by Preferred Sonoma Caterers. Paintings by local artist Carole Watanabe and live music all weekend — performances by guitarist/vocalist David Luning (Saturday, 12-3 PM) and pianist/vocalist Gentry Bronson (Sunday, 12-3 PM). Cheers!
- Harvest Moon Estate & Winery – Wine club discounts, full tasting flight. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Hook & Ladder Winery – Join Hook & Ladder for barrel samples of 2012 “Third Alarm” Pinot Noir, and tastings of other Russian River Valley Pinots all paired with delicious chocolates! Picnic facilities.
- Inman Family Wines – Join us for a special library tasting of our OGV Estate Pinot Noir, plus current releases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A caricature artist will also be on-site, doing illustrations for our guests. Case discounts available. No buses, please.
- John Tyler Wines/Bacigalupi Vineyards – Join us for a sneak peak of our new brand. We will be selling futures and barrel sampling the 2012 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir. We will also be pouring out of the library a three year vertical of Pinot Noir by John Tyler. Sample the original wine & cheese pairing chocolates by Truffle Gateau and delicious locally produced mustards by Foxtail Farms. Vineyard tours will be hosted throughout the day. Come see what’s happening in the Russian River Valley!
- Joseph Swan Vineyard - Joseph Swan will be offering a tasting of various clones and vineyard blocks to show that despite how beautiful the individual components can be, they each can contribute to a more complex and intriguing vineyard bottling. They will also be offering futures, including a limited edition 6 pack of Saralee’s Vineyard – 5 different clones, plus the finished blend!
- La Crema – La Crema will be offering guests a taste from 2 potential “Nine Barrel” Pinot Noir barrels and letting them vote for their favorite! A food pairing with their Russian River Valley Pinot will be provided as well.
- Lauterbach Cellars – several older vintages at a 40% discount. All wines (excluding library wines) will have some type of discount. Futures available as well. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Longboard Vineyards – Visit us at the Surf Lounge to taste the 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir and from the barrel the 2012 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (futures sales at special event pricing). During the evening of 6/8, we will be hosting a four-course winemaker dinner in our barrel room for event participants. For dinner reservations contact firstname.lastname@example.org. No buses please.
- Lost Canyon Winery – Offering event weekend discounts and futures purchases. Will showcase 2010 Morelli Lane Pinot and Saralee’s Pinot. No buses please.
- Martinelli Winery – offering a complimentary tasting of several Russian River Valley designate Pinot Noirs. Each will be paired with a local artisan crafted cheese. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Matrix Winery – offering futures on their 2012 Pinot Noirs, case discounts on current vintages for Passport ticket holders. There will also be discounts for Wine Club members as well as free shipping for those joining the Wine Club during Passport weekend.
- Mueller Winery – guests will be able to taste their full lineup of Pinots. Current releases, new releases and pre-releases – all small production wines from the luscious Russian River Valley. Will also offer tastes of their Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Zinfandel. No buses please.
- Russian Hill Estate Winery – enjoy great deals on Pinot Noir half bottles and special pricing on current release Pinots. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Russian River Vineyards – Russian River Vineyards is offering taasting of 2010 Estate Pinot Noir and wood fired pizza, with live music from 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday.
- Siduri & Novy Family Wines – Siduri and Novy Family wines will offer special “futures” pricing on wines tasted from barrel, as well as special discount pricing on many of our current release Siduri Pinot Noirs from Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley. We will also be pouring several of our Novy Family wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Local Artisan cheese, crackers, and dried fruit will be provided.
- Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards – Guests visiting Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards will be transported to the private Pinot barn at the back of our 400 acres which is not normally open to the public. While there, they may barrel taste both of the small lot, single vineyard Pinot Noirs that are only offered direct from the winery as well as enjoy a savory treat from Chloe’s French Bakery. No Buses please.
- Thomas George Estates – Make Thomas George Estates your mid-day stop to cool off in our Cave! From 11-4PM, enjoy Rose’ of Pinot, 2012 barrel samples of Starr Ridge & Cresta Ridge Pinot Noir, followed by live music (1-4 PM) and appetizers! For Passport Participants only – receive 20% off 6 bottles or more.
- Valdez Winery - Join famed vineyard manager Ulises Valdez and family for a sampling of the 2012 Ulises Valdez Vineyards Pinot Noir from barrel at their new downtown Healdsburg tasting room. In addition, 3 consecutive vintages of bottled Valdez Pinot Noir will be available for tasting.
While its safe to say I yet to visit
a wine region I haven’t liked, few have captured my heart and changed my life as much as Russian River Valley. Yes, I am all about the Rhones, but as I have said many times, Pinot Noir was ‘my first girl.’ My path
to moving to wine country, that changed my life, started in Russian River Valley, where I now reside with my own small vineyard. (Sorry, not Pinot Noir, Grenache.)
This Saturday and Sunday you have a chance to experience what put RRV on the global wine map – Pinot Noir.
The Russian River Winegrowers, of which I am a proud associate member, is holding “Passport to Pinot,” a don’t miss weekend Pinot experience.
What Is Passport to Pinot?
As one might guess Pinot is the center star of the show, but its more than that. Each winery will pull out the stops to showcase it with things like:
• Barrel tastings – get a
glimpse of the 2011 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
• Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
• Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
• Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and futurye of a specific cheap canadian pharmacy vineyard
• Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
• Artist demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
• Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
• Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out fantastic local musicians
• And more!
For a list of participating RRV wineries, and their special offer, click here.
Tickets are $65 for both days, or $40 for Sunday, and are available here. https://ssl.sonic.net/rrvw/web/passport2pinot_order_2012_cc.shtml
If you read the food, entertainment, and special purchase discount offers, $40-$65 is a steal!
Quick, Enter and Win a Pair of Weekend Passes – Expires in 48 hours!
One lucky couple will get a full weekend pass. In comments below simply tell us.
If you one participating winery (or pick several) do you want to visit, and why.
A winner will be randomly drawn and announced.
I will be wandering around wineries on Sunday, say hi if you see me – cheers!
But man can not live by Rhone alone (my friend, Rhone icon Randall Grahm told me this!) so last night it was time to go back to ‘my first girl’ and share notes on a winery I have enjoyed for years, but is one of those I somehow just never reviewed before.
If you haven’t been to Dutton-Goldfield’s ‘new’ (its not that new anymore it opened April 2010) they no longer share with Balletto but have a gorgeous tasting room of their own. Venture over to Sebastopol some time for a quality tasting experience.
Dutton-Goldfield is renowned for their Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but they have several other small lot releases up their sleeve, including Syrah, Zin, and a Pinot Blanc I can’t wait to taste and share shortly.
Wine Review: 2010
Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley (Sonoma County)
I couldn’t be more pleased by the slow return to “balance” in Sonoma County wines, and no varietal do I appreciate this more in than Pinot Noir. Elegant, soft, sultry, spicy as she should be, not dark, tannic and flabby. Not that any Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir, during the duration I have been exposed to their wines, ever went down that route, and thus why I have been a fan.
To quote D-G on this vintage, as I think it shows prominently in the tasting:
2010 is a favorite vintage for the masochistic DG winemaker—cold, then wet, then HOT, then cold. Patience, a great grower, and attention paid off. In the end, we harvested a crop of extremely low yield (production of this wine is down from even the sparse 2009 vintage), tiny berry, high acid, low sugar and wonderfully ripe, concentrated and tasty pinot. Though alcohol is low and acid is solid, the phenolic ripeness and bright juicy fruit just sings in this vintage.
On The Nose: The wine is incredibly expressive; blueberry and blackberry, combined with hint of lingering spice, leap out of the glass like a bowl of berry cobbler.
In the Mouth: Pleasantly (and a bit to my surprise), the wine is more restrained that the aroma profile
might lead you to anticipate, I was fearing overly expressive fruit. This Pinot Noir changes wonderfully as you taste it. The initial front palate is soft and pleasing black fruit, mid palate, tart cranberry expresses itself and shows the acidity more, with a spice note at finish that lingers pleasantly on the tongue.
Recommendation: Buy and Drink or Hold. This excellent Pinot Noir is modestly priced at $38.
This wine drinks wonderfully now, but should age well, and gain complexity with bottle time. I’d recommend buying several bottles; some to consume, some to hold to observe it over time. You won’t go wrong either way. Media Sample.
Wine Geek Info:
- APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
- VINEYARDS: Maurice Galante, Emerald Ridge, Silva, Morelli Lane, Freestone Hill
- ALCOHOL: 13.5%
- TITRATABLE ACIDITY: 0.58 gm/100 ml
- PH: 3.62
- WINEMAKING: Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down.
- BARREL AGING: 10 months in French oak (40% new barrels)
- WINEMAKER: Dan Goldfield
- CASES PRODUCED: 2,598
Syrah is an interesting varietal that I believe is emerging from
its dark period. Darwinistically most of the “weak” or the trend chasers who followed the inane idea that Syrah was the next craze have gone on to do other things, and serious growers a
nd producers are now left.
So much Syrah has been replanted or budded over, I expect over the next few years we will see a shortage, and Syrah prices regain lost price footing. This is not an industry to chase trends, especially for red wines, I wonder how many learned their lesson?
At the end of April is the unparalleled Rhone immersion, in Paso Robles: Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines.” Syrah of this caliber and profile will be one of the wine styles I will be seeking out and reporting back on.
Cool Climate vs Warm Syrah
As I have written before, one of Syrah’s “problems” with consumer identity is that it produces two very different wines, when grown in warm climates like Dry Creek Valley, versus cool climates like Russian River or Sonoma Coast.
Warm climate Syrah has more lush fruit, berry flavors, is usually higher in alcohol and tends to be popular with the average wine consumer. Cool climate Syrah is leaner, lower in alcohol, with notes of white pepper, olive, minerality – and is generally more appreciated by the more serious aficionados. Many wine consumers and even wine makers will observe their palate change and evolve over years, often to the leaner cool climate style. There is nothing wrong with either of course, but consumers buying Syrah should pay close attention to where its from.
Certainly in France, the focus for the most lauded Syrah comes from Northern Rhone, cooler Côte-Rôtie region, where most Syrah is under 14% alcohol and balanced. I was quite amazed and pleased to hear from several vintners in Châteauneuf-du-Pape during my recent trip there, that they don’t like a lot of Syrah in their blends as they don’t like what it does
in the Southern Rhone, and were slowly supplanting Mourvedre, which does very well in the heat there and ripens more slowly.
Thank heavens for the big Rhone Rangers tasting last Sunday (and Social Media). It’s ironic that Petrichor is quite nearby, and that Margaret Foley and I are Facebook friends, but had never met. She was kind enough to give me a bottle.
When I went to the website and learned their winemaker was Duncan Meyers of cult producer Arnot Roberts, I knew I was in trouble.
Arnot Roberts produces wines of amazing balance and restraint, that I wish I could afford to consume daily.
Wine Review: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah, Sonoma County
I will cut to the chase and say this is simply a stunning Syrah, one of my new favorites. There wasn’t a lot of vinifcation information on the website, but I could glean that only a 140 cases of this gem produced, a blend of 86% syrah, 14% Grenache.
I feel confident much if not all of the fruit is cool climate, but since it says “Sonoma County” that means its been sourced from a variety of places that don’t have enough percentage to name an AVA, like Russian River Valley, or Sonoma Coast. Or perhaps they just preferred not too. They do have their own vineyard of 8,000 Syrah and Grenache vines, but its unclear when it was planted or what percent is in the wine. Any use of oak in this beyond neutral, seems minimal, and certainly complimentary.
To The Eye: The color is a deep purple, impenetrable to light, without tech sheets, I feel comfortable guessing unfined and unfiltered knowing the heritage of the winemaker .
One The Nose: A wonderful blend of earth, smokey meat, olive brine, red fruit and raspberry, hint of ocean salinity.
In the Mouth: Incredible. The aroma profile carries with saline and mineral notes that dance intermingled with white pepper, red & black fruit. Great supple structure that is elegant and soft, not over bearing, jammy, or puckering. Acidity that lingers and lifts up the wine. I’ll trade acid for tannins any day.
This wine proves again the benefits of cool climate, acidity, minimal-no new oak, in making wines that express themselves naturally.
Recommendation: I don’t lightly recommend a wine that approaches $50 but this is the real McCoy. Break open the piggy bank.
If you want to impress a true wine aficionado (and I don’t mean some Parker/Spectator score chaser who thinks Oak is the bomb) – buy this for a gift or bring to a dinner.
94 points. $48 – online.
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!