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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
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  September Trip Report

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Author Topic:   September Trip Report
damombo
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posted 10-15-2010 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Oh Hawkeye, what a shame. I'm glad you caught it so quickly. And yes, as I told my dear UPS guy this afternoon - it is wine cellar refilling season!!

IP: 96.8.187.200

yesilovewine
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posted 10-15-2010 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye, you are too funny.
You can't possibly be older than I am; I could never sustain your travel schedule and survive!!
I figured that your trip may need to be settled by now, but wanted to throw out a couple of potential venues that could be convenient since Passalaqua didn't work out. It must be hard to find a place that can accomodate that many unless they have a space set aside for large group. As I tried to think of alternatives I really had to work at it to come up with those 2.
As for being a wineaux, I was just suggesting that you and damombo know more about wine than most and probably the simple form was inadequate.
About your card, that is an unfortunate occurance so close to the trip. Ouch!! I hope you are getting a Visa signature card to take advantage of the discount program they have througout Sonoma County. Ours saved us over $200 on our last trip in tasting fees alone!
Looking forward to reading about your trip.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 10-15-2010).]

IP: 96.225.226.107

Hawkeye
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posted 10-15-2010 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi yesilovewine,

Our itinerary is SET . . . I am not changing it again!!!! Of course something may force me to change! :-)

We have not been to Seghesio or Stryker that I can remember, but then, I am old and forgetful. Will definitely put these two on our agenda for February or March, whenever we get back.

At the price point of our wine, I guess the right spelling would be wineaux. If we were drinking Two Buck Chuck, the spelling would be wino (or something similar). ;-)

We just had our credit card number hijacked and charges from Scotland, Great Britian, and a few smaller countries were found. I am surprised that the CC company did not call me somewhere along the way, except that at one time I did travel some out of the country. They blocked my current card and said they would send another and I told them it had to be here before we left for wine country because I needed to refill our wine cellar. Check your accounts regularly . . . I do every day which is how I found the charges and before they could add thousands more.

Get ready wine country, we are coming.

IP: 71.203.124.84

yesilovewine
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posted 10-15-2010 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye, hope this isn't too late to be of help....
Did you try Seghesio for an appointment with your large group? Wonderful zins, especially the Rockpile ( prejudice in play here), and a very nice white that I can never remember the name of...I always want to say Fiona, but I think that's not right.
Also, Stryker would be able to manage a larger group, I'm sure.

IP: 96.225.226.107

yesilovewine
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posted 10-15-2010 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Are you sure that isn't wineaux?

IP: 96.225.226.107

damombo
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posted 10-14-2010 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Funny you should ask! We got our shipment from Ledson today - from our order last month - and there are 4 bottles of that very Barbera! We are fans of the big, bold reds, but I do love a light white too. I guess I find I like all kinds of wine - a real wino!! Right, Hawkeye?

IP: 76.31.54.111

yesilovewine
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posted 10-14-2010 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
By the way damombo, did you try the '07 Barbera at Ledson on your last visit? We thought it was really good.

IP: 96.225.226.107

yesilovewine
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posted 10-14-2010 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I hope you enjoy them and when you get back let me hear what you think.

IP: 96.225.226.107

damombo
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posted 10-13-2010 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Excellent information! I'm planning a day going from Mauritson, Wilson, Passalaqua and Williamson to Armida. And perhaps going back into Healdsburg for a chocolate shake!! I will be sure to ask about Maple Vineyard Zins. Isn't this great? I love having a personal source of recommendations for great places to visit

IP: 76.31.54.111

yesilovewine
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posted 10-13-2010 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
By the way, did I mention to you and damambo about the zins sourced from Maple vineyard? We really felt like we hit the jackpot with those, and I wanted to tell you that I learned that Armida is the primary source of that wine now. They also have the last of the wine that the Maples personally bottled under their label. Passalaqua has some but will not have access any longer, Dutcher Crossing has it and will continue to have access, and the same with Bella. Someone also told me that Carol Shelton has some.
The reply you got from Williamson does have me a bit confused...the source I read certainly implied that the dinners were something that one schedules with the winery and not a regularly scheduled offering that you can buy tickets for . Oh well, maybe my source had old information.
Anyway, have a great time and if you get to try some of the Maple zinfandel, let me know what you think.

IP: 96.225.226.107

yesilovewine
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posted 10-13-2010 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well that is sure good information, Hawkeye. I don't appreciate 'fine' food well enough to participate in that sort of thing.
Hope you have a great trip.

IP: 96.225.226.107

Hawkeye
Member
posted 10-13-2010 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
yesilovewine, I checked with Williamson on their dinner and here is the response that I received:

"Thank you for your interest in an Epicurean Dinner with Bill and Dawn Williamson at the Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg.

We host Epicurean Dinners the first Friday of each month in the ‘Rare Wine Library’ just off this lobby of the Hotel Healdsburg. Private Party Epicurean Dinners are available as well by reservation.

The price per person is $150 and all inclusive of six courses of food, wine, tax and tip."

I don't know about you, but I have trouble eating that much food. We have wine dinners here that are only five courses and I have a difficult time. Went to one a couple weeks ago that featured Ladera wines, up Deer Park Trail. We will be tasting there on our upcoming trip, along with a couple other up on Howell Mountain.

There will be eight of us on Friday, ten on Saturday, and eight on Sunday, then just my wife and me. We are taking the group on Saturday to Mauritson and Wilson. Tried to go to Passalaqua, but they would not cooperate with a group that large.


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-13-2010).]

IP: 68.169.189.229

yesilovewine
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posted 10-10-2010 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
damambo, if you put Wilson and Mauritson on the list, add Passalaqua. Its in the same "neck of the woods" and they have a few bottles of the Maple zin ( or did last week) which you should try if you aren't familiar with it. Its from the Maple vineyard, not far down the road. If you can get to Wilson on a weekday I would recommend it; after winning so many awards this year they are getting a lot of attention. Try both the Diane's vineyard and the Carl's vineyard and tell me your preference...it was an ongoing debate at Harvest Fair.
Also, at Mauritson, try the Malbec and see what you think.
Good luck with the crusade for quarterly visits! -I'm still working on the step-up to twice/year.
Hawkeye, Williamson does still offer the pairing as part of their normal tasting routine, no extra charge for that as at most places, and they also offer a dinner event that you can schedule ( in other words, its not a big "Winemaker Dinner" that you buy tickets to attend) which sounds great. I read about it in one of my travel guides- Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma, I think.
By the way, Stryker took the sweepstakes award for reds at Harvest FAir this year, but it was for their Cabernet, not a zin!

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 10-10-2010).]

IP: 96.225.226.107

Hawkeye
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posted 10-10-2010 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

We have been up in Pittsburgh the last few days visiting my wife's brother. Had a nice visit.

Yesilovewine hit two of our favorites, Mauritson and Wilson. Both have outstanding zins from several vineyards. We do belong to the Mauritson wine club and really like their Rockpile Zins. Wilson has many gold medal winning zins.

If you are downtown Healdsburg, try the Williamson tasting room. If I remember correctly, just walking in off the street, there is no tasting fee, plus, they give you little tidbits of food to go along with each wine. It was a fun place, too. Here is the website. http://www.williamsonwines.com/

Then for lunch, try the Center Street Cafe just around the corner. My wife says they have the best chocolate shakes around, and she should know. After a morning of wine tasting, a shake is a great departure.

IP: 68.169.189.229

damombo
Member
posted 10-09-2010 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
We haven't tried Wilson or Mauritson, but I have seen them mentioned around here. I shall add them to the list for November! Yes, the lucky duck hubby and I are looking forward to a trip in November with no distracting friends/family - who are always fun to be around, but I'm looking forward to a nice just-the-two of us trip. We generally split our time between the Napa Valley side of the mountains and the Sonoma Valley, etc side of things. We've decided that 2 days per side is just perfect for us. Any longer and my palate gets worn out. I've told him that the ideal arrangement would be a trip once a quarter, but I've yet to convince him. I keep working on it!!

IP: 96.8.187.200

yesilovewine
Member
posted 10-08-2010 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks! -And you bought Barbera! Its one of my new interests. And a Barbera port??? Hmmm.
I have to think about that one.
I think I recall reading that you are headed back soon ?in November? ( lucky duck); are you concentrating on Napa or will you get some time on the Sonoma side? If so, since you like Stryker, have you tried Wilson or Mauritson?
And by the way, I totally agree about the Director's Cut line from Coppola; unfortunately we can only get the Chard up here for some reason, however.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 10-08-2010).]

IP: 96.225.226.107

damombo
Member
posted 10-08-2010 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi yesilovewine,

We shipped home a portion of a case (the bro-in-law, who is Italian, got the other half). We have the 2007 El Dorado County Zin, the 2007 Barbera, the 2007 Primitivo, the 2007 Rosso, the 2006 Barbera Port and a chocolate wine sauce for meeeee!!! We were there before lunch and were the only guests in the tasting room. It’s a good sized tasting room and has a gift area - it’s a very attractive place. Our pourer was friendly and knowledgable, which is always good. He told us about the family history and answered any questions we had about the wines or the family. Here is the link to their website so you can check out the wines that they offer: http://www.vjbcellars.com/index.php

IP: 76.31.54.111

yesilovewine
Member
posted 10-07-2010 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
damombo, can you be a little more specific about the VJB experience- in particular what Italian varietals that they offer? We have passed by them a couple times, but I wasn't aware that they deal with Italian wines.
Thanks

IP: 96.225.226.107

yesilovewine
Member
posted 10-05-2010 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Damambo, thanks for the great report. Sounds like we have a similar palate.

IP: 96.225.226.107

Hawkeye
Member
posted 10-03-2010 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Damombo . . . WOW, what a trip. Thanks for sharing the information. We have stopped at Ledson before but weren't impressed but since your review anbout the zins, May have to try it again. Thanks.

IP: 68.169.189.229

damombo
Member
posted 10-02-2010 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
(our first two days were in Napa Valley and those reports are on the Napa Board)

Wednesday, day three, was a beautiful day in Healdsburg - some low clouds that burned off quickly and then bright sunshine and delightful temperatures. Our first stop was Hanna, at their Alexander Valley tasting room. One of the most beautiful tasting rooms and settings around. Hanna is a favorite of one of our traveling buddies, and my husband likes their reds. I find them nice, but not outstanding.

Second stop - Stryker. Another favorite and another lovely view from the tasting room. We are club members at Stryker and have been for several years. I enjoy every one of their wines, especially the Zins. Their wines are bold and beautiful and jammy and yummy The tasting room staff is usually very friendly and knowledgable and they were this time as well.

For our third stop and for some lunch, we made our way over to Francis Ford Coppola. You know, people make fun of his winery, and it is going to be an interesting/unusual/circus-like place when it is finished, but lunch was delicious and the patio was perfect and the wait staff attentive. What’s not to like? And frankly, his Director’s Cut Zin and Chardonnay are delicious and you can’t beat the price. I haven’t tasted a Sofia that I am wild about and some of the others I wasn’t impressed with, but I do like the Director’s Cut. They also had an Italian treat - Grappa! <shudder> But my Italian brother-in-law was thrilled.

After our leisurely lunch and tasting at Coppola, we headed over to Ferrari-Carano. Beautiful grounds to wander through and some nice wines. We ended up doing two tastings - one upstairs in the tasting room, and then, since one in our party joined their club, we went downstairs to the Enoteca Reserve Tasting Bar. We enjoyed their wines but didn’t buy any.

We had planned to go to Rosenblum just off the Healdsburg Square, but apparently they have closed that tasting room. Instead, we wandered down the road to have dinner at Barndiva. We sat outside on a nice patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather. The meal was nice, but I don’t know that I will need to go again. Flavors were good, but the portions were very small for the price you pay.

Our last day was spent heading south from Healdsburg. First stop was Chateau St. Jean. We stopped there last February and found several wines that we enjoyed. This time we didn’t. After a somewhat disappointing tasting there, we stopped into VJB Vineyard’s tasting room. Very nice Italian style wines - we ended up shipping home a mixed case between ourselves and our friends. After a tasty lunch at Kenwood Restaurant and Bar (on the patio, again enjoying the lovely weather), we went to Ledson for a private tasting. We joined Ledson last year because of the Zinfandels - delicious and numerous Our tasting was hosted by Kelsey Ledson, and he made it a fun and informative afternoon.

Hard to imagine, but at this point, our traveling companions were “wined” out - so we headed towards the Oakland Airport with a stop for dinner at Skates on the Bay. We arrived way early for our reservation, but they didn’t seem to mind and got us in immediately. Delicious seafood and fabulous choices - we will definitely return.

That’s it for our September trip. Now in the planning stages for our November trip!!

IP: 96.8.187.200

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