TR’s AW&FA: Saturday Itinerary
The Feeney Family of Berkeley (they are staying at The Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza) is kind enough to include me in a snap: MY FIRST A WINE & FOOD AFFAIR- I have my glass ready! Bella Wine Cave beckons behind us.
Because of an increase in our Wine Road Admin Office staff at WR HQ (Lynn- Our Office Manager!), I am actually released to attend AW&FA! (On AW&FA Eve, Wine Road staff ate lunch at RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites- and I ate dinner there, too- a great start to the weekend- sampled some great Francis Ford Coppola Wines- one of my favorites, his viognier, and a Matrix pinot noir. While there, I met guest John & Party from PA- had been working with him on his itinerary for quite some time- always great to actually meet our e-guests in person.)
I start my Saturday at Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, taking the leisurely guest route up West Dry Creek Road to feel how it is done. The sky is sparkling blue, with a bit of mist from agricultural burns, the vines bright with color; it is a perfect Fall day. Arriving at Bella, I appreciate their Cajun theme and foods and wines- the Cave is a wonderland, awash in candlelight and complete with chirping crickets reminiscent of Splash Mountain and the start of Pirates of the Caribbean. They have a great New Orleans style band out under the olive trees.
Next stop, Sbragia Family Vineyards with Manna Meatballs in Sugo and another great band. The joint is jumping, Jane Sbragia is at the gate, and off we go to relax on the incredible terrace with views of Dry Creek and the Lake Sonoma Dam.
Next stop: Truett-Hurst Winery where not only are there terrific Spicy Meatball Sliders, but fantastic wines to taste- AND the salmon are running in Dry Creek; I have NEVER seen the salmon run, and today, I finally do. It is a big crowd pleaser:
I am off to Mazzocco Sonoma Winery where winemaker Antoine Favero and proprietor Ken Wilson themselves are available to guests. There is a fun crush of guests. Great wines and delicious soup.
Time to head over to Kachina Vineyards where we are greeted by proprietors and wine makers Greg and Nancy Chambers- pairing their wines with Braised Pork Shoulder with Red-Eye Gravy— and chocolate!
Then I am off to the wineries at Timber Crest Farms where I visit Kokomo Wines, Family Wineries Dry Creek Valley and Papapietro Perry Winery- what a convenient one stop shop! I am starting to feel a wee bit like I do at Disneyland when I think that I can visit just one more attraction and that my stamina will sustain me- this is a true plethora of wineries, a bounty yet unknown to me until today- so, of course, for my last stop, I head all the way out to Hanna in the Alexander Valley. What a perfect ending to the day- the Alexander Valley is gorgeous, bright Fall colors, blue skies, incredible incipient sunset.
Meanwhile, time for dinner- well, I AM WineTimeTR after all- so, off to Spoonbar at the H2Hotel where I enjoy especially their flatbreads, burger and fries and a J Chardonnay, A. Rafanelli Zinfandel and a Pech Merle Zinfandel.
TR’s AW&FA Sunday to follow….
Here’s looking at you, kids.