Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wine Country Adventures- Sonoma and Healdsburg

After the success of last year's sparkling wine tasting tour Leilani and I decided to hit the road again to try out some new places.  Our first stop was Cornerstone Sonoma which is a bit of a one stop shop for artisan shops, wine tasting, sculptures and food.  We began with a walk around the grounds and through the Cornerstone Gardens, which feature designs from landscape architects and artists.  Some of the sculptures and installations were fantastic, and there was a lot to explore.  Here are some of my favorite pieces:

We stopped for our first wine tasting at Keating Wines.  Their tasting menu included 5 wines:
- 2009 Merlot
- 2011 'Montecillo' Zinfandel
- 2011 'Buchignani' Zinfandel
- 2010 'Montecillo' Cabernet
- 2010 'Georges III' Cabernet
Of the five I liked the Montecillo Zinfandel the best.  It was also good to compare different versions of the same wine in the tasting.

Next we went to Tricycle Wine Partners, which has a really nice tasting room and deck area.  Our server was fantastic and he let us sample all the wines on the tasting menu as well as an additional one:
- 2012 Poseidon Vineyard Chardonnay
- 2010 Kazmer & Blaise 'Boon Fly's Hill' Chardonnay
- 2012 Poseidon Vineyard Pinot Noir
- 2010 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2010 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 'The Slope'
- 2011 Obsidian Ridge Syrah
- 2010 Obsidian Ridge Half Mile
The Poseidon Vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were quite good, as well as the Syrah.  They have photos in the tasting room of the different vineyards the wine comes from, as well as the region in Hungary where they get the oak for their barrels.

After all that wine tasting I needed some food so we went to have lunch at Park 121.  We shared a kale salad, with Lei ordering a burger while I got the salumi sandwich with mozzarella and roasted bell peppers.  It was just what I needed to absorb all that wine I had already drunk!

Our last wine tasting stop at Cornerstone was Meadowcroft Wines.  We again had a friendly server and tasted 6 different wines:
- 2011 Chardonnay
- 2011 Riesling
- 2011 Pinot Noir
- 2011 Zinfandel
- 2010 Oak Knoll Cabernet, Napa
- 2010 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Estate Grown
The Pinot Noir and Zinfandel were my favorites here.  Lei also tried the 2010 Sangiovese as part of her 6 choices.

We then hit the freeway for our final stop of the day in Healdsburg at the new tasting room for Cartograph.  Lei had met our server previously as they have mutual friends.  We sampled 5 wines here:
- 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir: Russian River Valley
- 2012 Floodgate Vineyard Gewürztraminer, Russian River Valley
- 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
- 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- 2011 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
The Gewürztraminer was quite an interesting wine as it didn't taste too sweet. Of the Pinot Noirs I liked the Anderson Valley one the best.  After we finished tasting we took a bit of a walk around the square in downtown Healdsburg before heading for home.  It was great to be able to sample a wide variety of wines throughout the day, especially reds as I usually don't drink them.

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