As reported from the "Beer Report" we hung out with all the cool kids at Russian River. The next day we opted to do some wine tasting and were able to meet up with Beth and James at couple wineries in the Dry Creek Valley area in Healdsburg.
Sidebar: I am completely obsessed with Giada....She had a show called Giada's Weekend Getaways where she went to different locations, similar to Rachel Ray, and gave a synopsis of restaurants and things to do. One of the episodes that I happen to bookmark on the food network site was on Sonoma (I knew I would eventually get there) and honestly I had it burned in my brain when she did the cave tours at Bella Wine Caves and had dinner at Zin....so that was on my list.
We drove out to Bella Wine Caves first. We missed the 11am tour of the caves but went in the tasting rooms to find Brandy, another awesome triathlete, wine tasting with her family, before leaving telling us that she always gets a bottle of their dessert wine. We did the tasting for about $10 and sure enough, we walked out with two bottles of the dessert wine...it was awesome - 2009 Late Picked Zinfandel. The vineyard is beautiful, it was a definite must-see and I would recommend doing the cave tours.
Ferrari Carano which I had heard was beautiful and it was!
|Mike and his photography|
|Vineyards were the perfect backdrop|
|Mike and I finally getting a picture together during the trip|
Next we headed over to Truett-Hurst - our hotel recommended this and said they were a relatively new winery (2007) and had an incredible zin. This was by far the best tasting and the people that worked there were awesome. I think the part that sold me was that they told us we could buy a bottle of rose, salami and cheese and sit by the creek....this reminded me of wine tasting in Italy.
That night, Mike and I ate at Zin which was great! I had the short ribs that were cooked in a zinfandel (Giada had this I might add). Menu was great, good prices and good wine. AND we loved that town of Healdsburg.
The next day was our last day before we ventured back to San Francisco. We initially planned on going to Lagunitas brewery but they were closed. So, we planned on doing the Korbel tour, go to the Redwood Forest then head to Russian River to pick up a shirt and eat at Third Street Aleworks....UNTIL, we decided that we had 10 bottles and we needed 2 more to make it worth it to ship....hence more wine tasting.
Which leads us to Korbel ...
The delicatessen there had some great sandwiches and salads. We also found out this was the original home of Russian River Brewery before they sold it because the hops got in the way of the champagne grapes, interesting...Anyway, the tour there is great and really gives you a good history lesson of the county and the Korbel family.
From the tour, you then proceed to try out 4 champagnes. We didn't find anything we were in love with so that's when we decided to ditch the redwoods and head for the hills (I am singing a little Iron Maiden as I type), the wine hills that is...
We then went to Thomas George where we bought a really nice Pinot Noir. The woman there told us that there was a really nice rose at Rochioli. We then headed there which was next to the Hop Kiln (again kicking myself that we didn't stop). We also passed by this really cool barn where Mike took some photos.
Rochioli, there are only 2 wines to taste and they were sold out of the Rose....booo...but the other couple tasting said they had an incredible Chardonnay, so we tried and fell in love....and bought our last of the two bottles we needed to ship the case!!
We were then recommended to go through Fitch Mountain Packaging in Healdsburg to ship the wine. It is a small company but ended up being a little less than shipping through UPS. I recommend as they can hold your wine to wait for a refrigerated truck...so we are waiting for the wine, should come soon!!!!
And that's all I have to report - I miss it already, but this just gives me more reason to come back to Sonoma for racing and vacation!!