March 10, 2008

Dry Creek Valley Wine Tasting...

You couldn't have reserved a more perfect day for the 30th Annual Barrel Tasting weekend. It was blue skies and 70 degree weather. Each year the Russian River Wine Road will have a program of wineries that partake in the Barrel tasting event, so you can plan your destinations. The Wine Road is an organization linked to associated wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys of Northwest Sonoma County. "It’s not actually a 'road' in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, but more of a treasure map to the many jewels nestled among the hills". Our stops on the treasure map began with Francis Ford Coppola's newly renovated tasting room in Geyserville called Rosso & Bianco. It was beautiful here, to find out what varietals and features are available onsite visit Sonoma Wine. Our next destination was Mazzocco, a small family owned artisan winery between Alexander and Dry Creek. The West Dry Creek, Home and Stone Ranch Zinfandel's were my favorite here, especially when coupled with savory flank steak served on crostini's from the grill and finding a lush spot in the grass to lie in the sun for awhile was a gem. Afterwards we stopped off at A. Rafanelli, a small winery in Healdsburg with a lovely Cabernet. And last but not least, Passalacqua, where Mr. Passalacqua personally poured our group futures from the barrel itself. Sitting out back eating their famous chef's jambalaya, overlooking the gardens - this was a wonderful way to end the day.

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