A wonderful jaunt out West Dry Creek Road to Wine Creek Road brings you to Michel-Schlumberger, oft assaulted in pronunciation by many, yet easy and beckoning nonetheless. Keep your eyes open….
Wine Creek Road is just off of West Dry Creek Road…near Quivira.
Proceed up the enchanted hill- be a prudent, responsible driver…of course!
A droit…not a gauche…I am feeling French, though what you are about to see is totally California Mission Style….
The reveal…the renovated, enhanced, new Michel-Schlumberger! Complete with Bell Tower…every home really should have one, and this one does.
At the amazingly enhanced Michel-Schlumberger three words come to mind on my recent visit: New! New! New! All the former words still apply- sustainable, Benchland, island of pinot in DCV, terroir-driven estate varietals, the layered Wine Bench Wine Club (New: Member’s ONLY Tasting Salon & Terrace looking over the western vineyards), informative and delicious tours & tastings, peaceful, romantic grounds, lovely central courtyard fountain, great architecture, friendly staff- but now it all seems brand new. A new owner and a sassy, fun, outgoing attitude are evident- from new plantings to bright paint and building renovations, to the new motorized vehicle for touring the vineyards and grounds- this is Michel-Schlumberger 2.0, The Enhanced Enchanted Edition.
I joined up with TR manager Matt Kerr for the 2PM Tour & Tasting. Matt is very knowledgeable and fun- not too – as he said “wine geeky”! Such great folks were in our group- one couple even hailing from Dusseldorf- the camaraderie, and different levels of wine interest made for a rollicking tour and very social tasting following. Come along with me:
L’ Autobus Petit a Michel-Schlumberger….
Riding shotgun with Matt at the controls, we start this backstage tour.
Checking the grapes- looking for veraison. Note the unusual cloudy, rainy conditions- this is the height of July. Temperate nonetheless; just like Camelot.
True Bench- nothing valley-floorish or flat….terroir driven, intense berries struggle here with beautiful outcomes….There is beauty in struggle.
Rounding another bend- unexpected foliage- like another micro-climate- as we approach the small lake…stocked with fish and home to many birds.
All of this beauty is hidden away behind the M-S buildings. I am looking for the Lady in the Lake….
Diverse topography…heading up now- gaining elevation….
Eeyore fodder prevalent….
Must be a M-S pet egret perched on the dock (or a “regret” as my children used to say….)
How could this possibly be any more beautiful? These vines are spoiled with this view! Talk about Benchland….
Matt Kerr, TR Manager, gets down in the soil to explain grafting and how vines work. He has just the perfect blend of science and friendly….and he is not afraid to get dusty.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, great windows….
Starting the actual winery tour….
Love the CA Mission-styled window openings….even in the utilitarian areas….
The transferring of wine from one place to another takes on the look of the romantic ET when he is under investigation by the government and Peter Coyote is all scary.
Light fixtures worthy of Cortez- in the working portions of the winery. Details, details, details…
The Lamp Close Up, Mr. DeMille.
Not just a window! Also, the M-S logo!
Here are the gorgeous summery flowers awaiting us back in the courtyard for our tasting course.
Our tasting! I love the French names that have been given to each wine…especially the Foolish Pinot Noir (Fou- for growing pinot in DCV) and the Wise (sage) Merlot as it is so very well suited to the terroir! We are en francais! Et en fuego….
Estate Grown Olive Oil…another yummy taste.
I stroll about the lovely courtyard….
Hens & Chicks…I am a sucker for them…..
High bell tower? Do not tell Jimmy Stewart “Scotty” or that terrible Kim Novak…VERTIGO….
You call that an oak? Why, yes, I do….
All in the details.
Here’s looking at you, kids,
Just keep Kim and Jimmy out, and you should be fine!
OK- not Michel-Schlumberger- but a cool Hitchcock bell tower.
Come on, Jimmy! She is a terrible actress. But I guess that does not matter because she is so pretty (though not my type)…but it should! Seriously. Come on!
As I said earlier: Here’s looking at you, kids. TR