Blogger Fam(iliarization) Tour May 2012
We recently hosted nine bloggers here along Wine Road for a Fam. Tour extraordinaire. One of the days, I was the lucky escort; such a fantastic time with a panoply of stars with varied interests- food, food & wine, lodging, cooking- well, check out Stacie Tamaki’s The Flirty Blog, for a run-down of the who’s who. Suffice it to say that I have never seen so many cameras pointed at wine and food as I did this day. Here we go!
Five of us started with breakfast at the Honor Mansion:
Left to Right, Clockwise, Nancy, Mary, Marla and TR…we all eschewed Strawberry Mimosas because of the pace of the day, but wanted them. Frank photo credit- see Stacie’s blog for all particulars.
Honor Mansion romantic nook, table for two for amazing, full breakfast.
Intriguing Victorian staircase….
A potpourri of images from fabulous Honor Mansion:
No need to be coy with me.
Pool with couple spa pavilions….couples massage…romantic. I want go there.
Romantic Water Tower Room.
Gardens like you will not believe are tucked behind the Honor Mansion…the grounds are extensive, impressive and made for relaxation and fun.
Golf Croquet, a putting green, regulation bocce courts, and did I mention, Tennis Anyone?
All this!? and vineyards, too!!
Purple Locust trees…only had seen these flowers in white previously….
Now heading over to Thomas George Estates in the RRV. Our transportation is with Platypus Tours.
Our chariot of hospitality- with water bottles and cheese platters, helpful, thoughtful driver, too.
Jeremy Baker of Thomas George Estates.
Stacie provided some photos, as did Frank diMarco:
Tracy & Jeremy, Thomas George, by Stacie.
TR and Marla (Wagstaff PR) at Thomas George, by Frank DiMarco.
Great lighting in the TR.
The Egg and I…concrete fermentation eggs…all the rage and pretty darned cool….
More behind the scenes at Thomas George….
Jeremy behind the scenes….
Love the behind-the-scenes; the working parts of this winery are lovely and expressive-
Jeremy is an excellent teacher and patiently explains-
The Tiny Blue Smurf Door- entry to the short hot water heater from days gone by….
Mobile bottling line on premise- what a great day to visit! Getting to see it all.
Lovely grounds- caught riotous flowers on my way to the cave.
Heading underground into the cave…I appreciate these lighting fixtures…great attention to detail here at Thomas George.
Look how Frank can shoot- he is am image guy!:
Our special tasting in the cave…just before we all arrive.
Bloggers descend! Lights! Camerae! Notebooks!
Let the wines be poured! This is such an amazing treat…difficult to taste and spit- too delicious.
Next up: Lauterbach Cellars!
Welcome to Lauterbach- awesome garagiste among the vines!
Stew Lauterbach explains the operation to our bloggers, including camera-ready Stacie, Flirty Blog, on his left.
The whole operation.
Everything you need….
Barrel Tasting with Dr. Stew, snapped by Frank.
The Lauterbach view of their vines….
Dr. Stew: The passion, joy and enthusiasm are palpable and contagious! (Shown with a barrel sample.)
Next, we are whisked over to Cork’s Restaurant at Russian River Vineyards; time for lunch al fresco and a tasting of their RRV wines.
The Russian Inspired-Fort Ross Architecture always enchants me….maybe Dr. Zhivago will turn up.
Enchanted, as yet unnamed, unicorn sculpture.
Our lovely table awaits!
I love how writers photograph the food!
My lunch: Fried Chicken with Creamy Mashed Potatoes, paired with Russian River Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay….oh yes, with a side of sauteed, garlicky spinach….still feeling comfort from it!
No rest for the wicked- next stop is Paradise Ridge Winery for our 12-Winery Speed Tasting Special Event! We head past the amazing art gardens including the new LOVE piece installation…
The views are astonishing.
See- kinda like Speed Dating, but even more fun! 8 minutes per table- 12 winery visits!
Blogger Amy and Hart’s Desire Shea checking out delicious rose….
Carol Shelton and The Tomato Tart Blogger!
Harry Wetzel, AVV…too shy for Speed Tasting?….just teasing!
Well, my full day is coming to a close, though the bloggers are heading to dinner up at Everett Ridge Winery with plans for pizza oven supper and wine!
Here is Stacie’s Flirty Girl Blog on this same day, so you can see the denouement and her individual start….
Here’s looking at you, kids.
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