A few notes and pictures from my weekend in Northern California ...
Storrs Winery in Santa Cruz was my first stop, which I was lucky enough to catch Steve and Pamela Storrs at the winery, meet Mrs. Christie of "ChristieVineyards" and spend some quality time with their national sales manager, Terry while he drove me around vineyards and the land where Storrs is building a beautiful winery...did you know that Christie Chardonnay vines are over 80 years old? I don't think I've seen Chardonnay vines this old in California before!
Next I drove up HWY 1 to San Francisco and was off to meet with Daniel Donahoe in his family's ROCKIN' house in Cole Valley. I tasted his new Teira Sauvignon Blanc and 2004 Zinfandel. Both wines where quite beautiful and the Sauv Blanc is going to be especially good for us Texans in this long summer heat! After a few sips of Teira I was off to the Mission to meet a dear friend for dinner at Range. Just an incredible day in the Bay Area.
Friday morning was full of meetings and tastings in Dry Creek (big annoucements coming soon!) then had a wonderful time with Guy and Judy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards. Guy busted out a brand new bottle of Gusto Sauvignon Blanc he makes from New Zealand which was soo lovely, bright and crisp with a smooth mid-palate. A terrific pairing with goat cheese by the way! We wrapped up Friday over dinner a local favorite Zazu while sipping on Davis Family Pinot Noir, which of course just AMAZING.
Saturday's big event was the Valdez Family Wines release party on Rockpile Road Vineyard - and I mean BIG EVENT. No doubt this takes a place among my top wine experiences so far...an afternoon full of family, friends, food and extremely killer wine. All details will be posted soon (including pictures) on TexaCali Wine. The evening finished up with an incredible dinner with the Handal family at Zin, right down the street from The Cheese Shop in Healdsburg.
Sunday was spent with friends in Dry Creek and ended with a gorgeous evening at Duchamp Winery with dear Pat and Peter Lenz. They paired the Duchamp wines with grilled Tuna and greens, then with fresh strawberries, and lovely little bites of sweet cookies and cheese and soo many other nibbles on the table! Their syrah's are fascinating in every way a solid syrah should taste - look out Texas - we are awaiting TABC approval - make room on your dinner table now!
California was breathtaking as usual, but glad to be back in Austin and share the stories and enthusiasm of so many wine producers!! Cheers - Ali