TR’s Winter Wineland Part Deux: Sunday 16 January 2011
I had not been to Freestone in quite some years, and wanted to make sure to visit our member, Freestone Vineyards. The light, bright Visitor’s Center had many WW guests enjoying new releases, cheeses and breads and art. I lingered, enjoying the wines and guests until I had a call from WR HQ- Joseph Swan Winery was running low on DD supplies- again, how we love our Designated Drivers! So off I headed to see Rod and Lynn Berglund and deliver supplies. Place was crowded comfortably with excited guests and Rod was holding forth right in the center of the group- very accessible and full of fun stories.
Greatly enjoyed especially Rod’s 2008 RRV Jose’ ‘s Rhose’ with a rather maniacal looking swan on the label- named in honor of what Joseph Swan’s navy buddies used to call his wine-making attempts with the spelling of “rose’ ” as “rhose’ ” as a salute to the Rhone region.
Brief respite to enjoy my picnic near the Martin Ray Winery Watertower.
Heading out again, next stop for me is new member Red Car, whose wines express the cool climate there, with lower alcohol and more acid- and thus, concurrently, fewer calories. The “design element” that is so striking in the Red Car labels is apparent and live in all aspects of the TR, too.
Lively crowd- jewelry artist present- tasty wines and fun things to look at in the TR- also, eclectic furniture to lounge upon!
Heading right next door, my next stop is Dutton-Goldfield, in their spacious new digs: great natural light, comfortable bar, lovely light fixtures, delicious wines and friendly, warm staff. Local artist, Bonnie Soule Karlsen, energetic and engaging with the guests, provided interesting demonstrations of her artistic techniques.
Now heading over to Sunce Vineyard and Winery where I am to meet with a Food Writer whose itinerary I helped map out for today. Owners/Winemakers Janae and Frane are on hand, food and wine pairing, barrel tasting and selling futures. There is a very enthusiastic group of guests enjoying the spectacular Venison Ragout with Shitake Mushrooms paired with Best of Class Winner at the 2010 Sonoma County Harvest Fair, their 2009 Zora’s Estate Pinot Noir. (Janae flew the venison in from Montana- however, she told me that no helicopters were used- all natural farmed.)
I decided to take the scenic route back to Healdsburg, heading out Olivet, left on River Road to Wohler Road and then right on Westside Road to my last stop, Matrix Winery (Sip! Sip!) Sun was hanging low on the horizon and the winter, evening chill was coming back after such a glorious day. Resident artist Scott Carillo was greeting guests as they entered the Sip Sip Lounge and his actual studio there was also on view- Matrix featured his life drawings and I was told that his California landscapes and pieces were showcased at other Wilson properties.
I had now run out of time- Winter Wineland 2011 now “in the can”. More to come….
Here’s looking at you, kids.