When most people think of California Wine Country, Napa and Sonoma Valleys immediately come to mind. There are however, about a dozen other regions to choose from. They’re not as vast as the regions in Europe, but they do offer distinct varietals in the grapes harvested and the type of wine offered. I’ve always been partial to the Russian River Valley for their oak-barrel, heavier whites (think anti-Chardonnay) and usually make a beeline for the Domaine Carneros for its magnificent French castle and sparkling wine, albeit large production facility.
I frequented the Napa Valley Winery Exchange store in San Francisco for the excellent recommendations on smaller wine producers and for their personal touch. I can’t give away my secret list because my favorite reds aren’t produced every year and are highly coveted.
I was looking through my Flickr account and reminded of the lovely weekend I spent in Los Gatos and Saratoga (about an hour south [40 miles] of San Francisco) visiting the wineries there. I thought it was a good idea to branch in the opposite direction to give a different area a try. While I’ve attended quite a few concerts at Mountain Winery – a landmark institution and great wedding locale – it was always in a bit of a rush to survive traffic make it there and back in one evening. It was nice to plan a more leisurely visit.
Since I’ve been notoriously bad at not taking photos during the decade I lived in San Francisco, I’m really kicking myself now for not keeping more personal touchstones. Ah well…
Je Non Regret Rien
For NorCal residents or visitors, the African-American Vintners Association is hosting a tasting and symposium on June 18th. Feel free to peruse the entire Saratoga set at your leisure. I’d also like to know how many of you would be interested in participating in a BWE-related Weekend Retreat in Wine Country this Fall or next Spring? I’m working on a few ideas for putting talk into action and would like to get an assessment. Send me an email offline firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!