Gina Dallara: July 2008 Archives

Biodynamic Experience

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auberge_room_dining.jpgBy Robert Farmer
You are no doubt aware that the biodynamic revolution in the wine industry is in full bloom. Evidence of this phenomenon is everywhere you look. It can be experienced as simply as by enjoying the contents of a bottle of biodynamically produced wine, or as elaborately as by spending a weekend at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley's Rutherford region.

Yes, if you've got three grand burning a whole in your pocket, and your biodynamic curiosity is otherwise insatiable, the beautiful Wine Country resort has a package for you.

Wine Country Itinerary: Mendocino

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By Robert P. Farmer
Of California's many options for wine-touring, few match Mendocino for its bucolic aesthetic and for the drama of its natural beauty. Meandering through the verdant hills, twisting along the highways and byways, visitors are presented with a protracted display of wooded hillsides and expansive grassy, sheep-dotted meadows. And stretching toward the coast, the terrain gets steeper, more mountainous, until finally giving way to the never-ending stretch of blue that is the Pacific Ocean.

Mendocino County is unique among California's wine regions for many reasons, not the least of which is its wines. The climate is rainier in these parts, and the moisture combines with rich volcanic Anderson Valley soil to produce outstanding Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays along side unexpected but equally capable Riesling and Gew├╝rtztraminer. There are several great wineries to be discovered along Hwy. 101 in Mendocino County, and more flanking the state routes that serve as tributaries to the Highway.

Wine Country Itinerary: Geyserville

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By Robert P. Farmer

With the many so-called "destinations" in California's Wine Country, it's easy for visitors to miss the forest for the trees. Traveling from one big-name spot to another, the itinerant wine taster regularly passes blissfully by unearthed gems that could make them richer for the experience.

One such gem is Geyserville, a small, unassumingly quiet town settled on the banks of the Russian River and shoehorned between the Dry Creek and Alexander valleys. That it happens to exist in one of the great American appellations (Alexander Valley) is a bonus not just for the winemakers who populate the area, but also for the wine aficionado who prefers a more relaxed pace with his world-class tasting experience.

Geyserville is still a small town, the kind of place that would make Andy Griffith feel right at home. But it is emerging as well, and with the recent acquisition and transformation of a local winery by Francis Ford Coppola (Rosso & Bianco, and the Francis Coppola Winery, formerly Chateau Souverain), the klieg lights on the town will only brighten. Yet a homespun appeal still prevails. And the wineries that flank Hwy 128 in the heart of the appellation continue to welcome guests with a familiar embrace and a selection of wines that rivals the best from anywhere.

Atrium, at Greenock Creek

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The_Atrium_-_Barossa.jpgBy Robert Farmer

If you happen to find yourself in Southern Australia--which I root for you to do--let me know what you think of the new vineyard residences called Atrium, at Greenock Creek, at the renowned resort and spa, The Louise, in the hot hot wine region of Barossa.  Because everything I've heard about them makes it sound like a place I can't wait to check in to.

The reality of that scenario is probably a few months away, though the timing of that would make it perfectly in sync with summer.

Sensory Circumstance

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lynmar.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Travelers looking to take their tasting experience to altogether greater sensory heights will find just the thing in Lynmar Estate's brand new Estate Tour, debuting just in time for the summer travel season. Offered at the Russian River Valley winery by appointment only Thursdays and Fridays beginning July 8, the Tour guides participants through a two-hour deep dive into the winery's facilities and operations, concluding with a sumptuous food and wine pairing prepared by winery chef Sandra Simile.

Kunde: Wag-Worthy Winery

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sidephoto_susthike.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

For the second time this year, Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards is going to the dogs. Well, going dog friendly, that is. Following on the heels of Kunde's sold-out canine-themed event in May, the family-run winery will offer a second dog-friendly hike on Saturday, October 18th. The three-mile trek through Kunde's sustainably farmed estate vineyards will cost participants $45 (the fee covers both person and dog) and conclude with wine, a gourmet wine country picnic and water tasting for the pets.

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