Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Old Vine Petite Sirah in the Alexander Valley

Field Stone Winery is one of my favorite wineries in the Alexander Valley. This small winery produces around 8,000 cases of wine per year and has a wide selection of varietals available. There is sure to be at least one wine to suit your taste.

My favorite white wine is Field stone's Viognier. The winery produces a very small quantity of this Rhone varietal and reserves most of each year's production for the winery's wine club. As a result, the wine is not often available for tasting. If it is, try it. If you are a Viognier fan and it is not being offered for tasting, ask if they have some for sale. You might be able to sneak a taste if they have an open bottle.

The Field Stone wine that really grabs me is their Petite Sirah. Produced from vines that are 109 years old, this luscious wine may be too big for those who like lighter reds. But it is a favorite of mine as well as of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair's judges, where it frequently wins a medal. If you want to see the gnarled vines that produce this luscious wine, ask in the tasting room if it is ok to walk behind the winery to visit the vineyard.

Not only is there a lot of good wine at Field Stone, but the tasting room staff is among the most hospitable and friendly in Northern California Wine Country. Nancy, Kevin, and the rest of the staff will welcome you to the winery. Field Stone is located at 10075 Hwy. 28, southeast of Healdsburg.

If you would like to take a private Wine Country tour that includes a visit to Field Stone, call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fresh Seafood in Healdsburg

One of my favorite lunch spots in Healdsburg is Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar. This lively spot features small plates of fresh seafood, which are great for sharing. Their lobster and crab rolls are among the best in the Bay Area. They have tasty ceviches, skewers of grilled seafood, salads, fried oysters, and many other wonderful dishes. Accompany your meal with a local Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and you will have a tasty lunch. You can dine either inside or on the patio in front of the restaurant.

Willi's is also open for dinner, so stop by in the evening if you are overnighting in Healdsburg.

Willi's is located at 403 Healdsburg Avenue, one block north of the Healdsburg Plaza. The phone number is (707) 433-9191.

If you would like to take a private, custom tour that includes a visit to Healdsburg and lunch at Willi's, make a reservation by calling (866) 326-4237 or e-mailing by clicking here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fun Winery Tour in the Sonoma Valley

Benziger Family Winery offers one of the most fun winery tours in all of Wine Country. Several times each day, Benziger offers a tractor-pulled tram wine through the vineyards. Here you will have a chance to look at the vines close up. And Benziger's vines are special as the vineyard is Biodynamic certified.

Biodynamics is a holistic approach to farming. Going beyond the requirements of an organic certification, biodynamics requires that the farm be self-sustaining and in harmony with nature.

The tour costs $10/person and advance reservations are highly recommended. Call (888) 490-2739 to book your space on one of these fun tractor tours. The winery is located at 1883 London Ranch Road.

Nearby is Jack London State Park where you can visit Jack London's famed Beauty Ranch. The nearby town of Glen Ellen is home to some good restaurants as well as The Olive Press, where you can taste artisan olive oils.

If you would like to take a private, custom tours of the Sonoma Valley that includes a tour at Benziger and a stroll through Glen Ellen, call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.