Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Private Tastings for Pinot Lovers

Two excellent producers of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley offer private tastings for visitors. Merry Edwards, a small but very well regarded producer of Pinot, offers "Taste with Ron." Twenty years ago Ron worked with Merry Edwards as cellar master at Merry Vintners Winery. Today, Ron offers private tastings in the company's offices in Windsor. You will not get to see the winery, but you will spend an hour with Ron as he walks you through some of Merry Edwards' current releases. Ron conducts tastings from Tuesday through Sunday at 9:30, 11:00, 1:00, 2:30 and 4:00. You can make an appointment with Ron by calling (888) 388-9050, ext. 31. When you book a tasting, Ron will send you a map to the hard-to-find tasting room. There is no charge for the tasting.

Another long-time producer of excellent Pinot Noir is Gary Farrell Winery. While Farrell recently left the winery, you will still taste wines produced under his supervision if you visit in the near future. You are welcome to just stop by the tasting room to taste Farrell's current releases. However, you can have a more intimate experience with their private tasting. You will get a tour of the winery and enjoy some cheese while you taste. To book a private tour, call (707) 473-2900. The winery is located at 10701 Westside Road, outside of Healdsburg.

If you would like to take a private wine country tour focusing on Pinot Noir that includes visits to Merry Edwards and/or Gary Farrell, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sandwiches and Salads on Sonoma Plaza

If you are winetasting in Carneros or Sonoma Valley and just want a quick sandwich or salad for lunch, the Sunflower Caffe on Sonoma Plaza is the place to go. (The sign on the restaurant says, "Caffe," but all the internet listings say, "Cafe.") Using the freshest of ingredients, this pleasant bistro prepares a variety of light meals. On summer weekends, the Sunflower also offers sandwiches with freshly barbecued meats.

After placing your order at the counter, you will be given your drink and a number. Find a table and then wait for your meal to be brought to you. You can lunch inside on a rainy day, but on warm days you will want to sit out back in their sunny garden or at one of the tables in front facing the plaza.

The cafe is also a good spot to stop for coffee, espresso, and/or pastry.

Sunflower Caffe is located on the west side of Sonoma Plaza at 421 First Street West.

If you would like to take a private wine country tour in Sonoma County that includes lunch at the Sunflower Caffe, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.