TR’s AW&FA: Sunday Itinerary
Sunday dawns with a bit of cloudy residue and the promise of some rain. My quest today, as it was yesterday, is to purchase some fantastic wines for Thanksgiving- at Papapietro Perry purchased an amazing magnum of pinot noir- @ Mazzocco, great specials on some zinfandels. Today I am heading out into the Russian River Valley- going south on Olivet Road I make a stop to see Inman Family Wines- though there are 90 Wine Road wineries participating in AW&FA, there are 90 that are NOT- Inman is one of them but Kathleen is busy. I taste through two chardonnays and choose one perfect for the upcoming holiday. On my way south now to DeLoach Vineyards.
Next stop: Martin Ray Winery. The clouds are looking ominous, but the crowd is happy- tents and the cozy tasting room make it comfortable to enjoy the wines paired with Pulled-Pork Sliders. You can take a turn at the roll of the dice to see if you get 10 – 60% off a case- the wine is flying out the door.
Off to Joseph Swan, non-participant but hugely busy with guests and wine clubbers. Lynn and Rod are present- Rod is tired from just bringing in the last of the fruit for this year. I garner a pinot for Thanksgiving and am now off to Lynmar Estate, where Executive Chef Sandra Simile is presenting her all-female-produced Ester Cook Heirloom Leek Panini with Estero Gold Cheese paired with both a pinot and a chardonnay. Quail Hill Vineyard looks golden and lovely in the light from a glowering sky; in the distance, the Laguna de Santa Rosa sparkles in the distant sun. (The vineyard figures prominently in our NEWEST WINE ROAD VIDEO.)
Next stop is Balletto Vineyard & Winery. The rain is starting to fall in earnest, but the delicious chicken and chardonnay gravy paired with Balletto wines chase away the chill. In honor of the Giants recent victory, I take a detour out to the hidden Field of Dreams on the self-guided tour- wow- really get to see the terroir here, up front and personal. The loamy soil and the clay-like soil come on back with us- as the Balletto family are farmers first, they kindly look the other way when we parade back in covered in mud- I just love that hidden baseball diamond!
Now I am off to Robert Rue Vineyard & Winery where Carlene and Robert are meeting guests. This charming, two-person winery is rocking with guests enjoying the Zinful Delight paired with zinfandel. Though Robert Rue is all about zinfandel, they also have an incredibly well kept secret: a sauvignon blanc, delicious, and also estate sourced.
Next I head up to the Roma Station Wineries on the River in Healdsburg- Camellia Cellars has been kind enough to have staff sell Wine Road Raffle Tickets to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank- they are also available on our Website- the drawing comes up in mid-December- so hurry! I also check in on Sapphire Hill, Holdredge, Hart’s Desire, J. Keverson, Davis Family and Bluenose. This location is incredibly convenient- so many to visit, all within steps of one another. Though Bluenose translates as “zinfandel”, I get a bottle of the secret chardonnay that they produce- seems like a great find for dining on turkey.
The atmosphere is festive and the Event is over for 2010. Feels rather like when Christmas ends.
Here’s looking at you, kids.