RUSSIAN RIVER FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
First Russian River Food and Winefest
Draws Happy Tasters
The beautiful Russian River flowing among towering redwoods was a stellar backdrop for the first Russian River Food & Winefest, held Sunday, Sept. 26 at Fife’s Guest Ranch in the quaint town of Guerneville. The gorgeous meadow by the Russian River at Fife’s was the perfect canvas to exhibit Sonoma County’s bounty of artisan cheesemongers, chefs, winemakers, bread bakers, farmers, authors and Russian River Valley wines. A portion of the event proceeds benefit several local charities.
Seminars and cooking demonstrations mingled with wine tasting to top the day’s activities. Local chef Mark Stark and seafood activist Rick Moonen, along with famed chef Charlie Palmer, were among the celebrity chefs gathered by Relish Culinary School to do cooking demonstrations. There was an amazing selection of Russian River Valley wines to taste, including 2003 Inman Family Pinot Gris, Toad Hollow Winery’s Eye of the Toad Dry Rosé (poured by Mr. Toad himself), McCray Ridge Merlot, La Crema’s 2002 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and MacMurray Ranch’s Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Many local cheese purveyors were also there showcasing their artisan cheeses. Cowgirl Creamery featured their Mt. Tam organic triple crème, Bellwether Farms sampled their San Andreas cheese, Bodega Bay had their outstanding fresh cream cheese made from goat’s milk and The Epicurean Connection had a fabulous selection from Achadinha Cheese Company and Sonoma’s 70-year-old Vella Cheese Company. They also had the most delicious homemade fig compote paired with their cheese and herbed toast points.