Saturday, August 10, 2013

Winery Tour -- August 10, 2013

Today we drove to Rohnert Park to take a winery tour.  There was a sign advertising SMART by a stretch of track along the freeway.  I could see where some of the new crossing signals had been installed for SMART and the NWP. 

Our tour guide was Jeff Mathy, proprietor of Vellum Wines (  It is always nice to talk to someone who is passionate and full of knowledge about his work.

The weather was not as warm as I would have expected in Sonoma County in August.  

Our first stop was Truett-Hurst Winery on Dry Creek Road.  This area has changed a lot since my father was building Warm Springs Dam up the road.  There may have been one or two wineries, but now the valley is full of them.  Truett-Hurst is right on Dry Creek and everything is done in an eco-friendly way.  They have a vegetable garden, fruit, goats, and chickens.  We enjoyed their wine and bought a bottle of their Swallowtail Chardonnay.  All of their wines are named after creatures from the estate.  We would go there again.

We went across the creek to the Raymond Burr Winery.  The setting was pretty but the tasting room was rather small.  Two of his Emmys were on a shelf and people were welcome to take them down and pose for photos.  The wine was good but we were sorry their port will not be available until November.

We drove into Healdsburg and had lunch at the Wild Sage Deli.  The sandwiches were good.  We sat in the outdoor area to eat.

We drove through town and across 101 to visit Merriam Vineyards.  They have a nice new tasting room.  The owners were friends of Jeff and they had an interesting discussion about wine making.  We bought a bottle of Rosé of Pinot Noir. Then we went and sat outside and enjoyed the sun and the breeze.

After that we went to Rodney Strong Vineyards.  They had a very modern, imposing tasting room, and BB King is coming to play September 1, and the man who spoke to us about the wine we tasted was very knowledgeable,  but the operation was very commercial and we didn't like the wine.

Our last stop may have been the best, at Harvest Moon Estate and Winery, near River Road.  It is a small family operation, with a Model A Ford parked out front.  Jeff and the winemaker, Randy Pitt, gave us a wonderful lesson on the way they like to make wine, bucking the trend to make wines with higher alcohol content.  Randy was very enthusiastic about the flavors in his wine.  He let us taste a 2011 Zinfandel and a 2002 to compare. We bought a bottle of dry Gewürztraminer. I took the photo at Harvest Moon today. 

We drove by the Sonoma County Fair to pick up two people, then back to Rohnert Park to get our car.  Traffic was clear all the way to San Francisco.  We stopped in San Rafael to have a light dinner.

It was a nice day. 

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