Passport to Dry Creek Valley Weekend
Each year during the last weekend in April the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley in Northern California join together to showcase the region’s finest wines. These wines are paired with epicurean delights and this weekend is a must for our group of friends who travel from Boston, St Louis, NYC and San Francisco to enjoy great wines, fabulous food and each others company. Here are some of the highlights from our Passport to Dry Creek Valley weekend.
Lambert Bridge Here we sampled the 2009 Bevill Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc paired with Chilled Thai Chicken Mince in Endive Leaves. The big thrill for me was to meet the Assistant Winemaker, Sasha Fair – An Australian Chick like me! Sasha was very gracious and happily posed for this photo with Gary and Mark. Wood fired-pizzas were a popular pairing this weekend as Lambert Bridge also served a wood fired pizza – Sonoma County Quattro Formaggio, Fresh Oregano, Fra’Mani Lardo Pizza – in a word “superb”!
Mauritson Wines The single-vineyard Rockpile wines were fabulous and paired with tasty morsels. We clearly had a fun time here!
One of the aspects of this weekend we most love is getting to meet some of the winemakers themselves. We had the privilege of meeting several during our meanderings around Dry Creek Valley and they are truly fabulous people who have a great passion for what they do. Two of the winemakers we spent time with were Barry Collier of Collier Falls and Gerry Forth from Forth Vineyards. We have for many years enjoyed the Zinfandels from Collier Falls and the Syrahs and Rose from Forth so it was great to meet the winemakers.
Manzanita Creek is a favorite with our group. They are located in what Aussies would call a ‘shed’ and their motto is “Great Wines, No Scenery, Never Boring”. Their wines are intense and we particularly like the 2007 Zinfandel Stealth which is described as “exploding fruit” and likened to a “bomb”.
One of the most spectacular wineries in Northern California would have to be Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery. The views and gardens are breathtaking, and the wines are pretty awesome too!
The majority of wineries are family-run businesses. For many winemakers and their families they represent tradition, a dream, or both. Winemakers take enormous pride in their work and their passion is evident in every sip you enjoy, whether it be a precocious white or a bodacious red. Take some time to visit your local wineries and get to know the winemakers. It will be a rewarding experience as their love of the grape and their craft may also inspire you to follow a dream, or just to savor each sip of that delicious wine a little more! Cheers!