- Theresa Downs
Wine By Appointment Visits the Left Bank…..in Alexander Valley, California
Late in August, we attended the Left Bank Alexander Valley 2019 event celebrating the wines from 8 small wineries in Geyserville and Cloverdale, California. Featuring wine similar to the famed French Left Bank, we enjoyed rich Cabernet Sauvignon wines paired with delectable bites in settings reminiscent of the famed French countryside.
A quick word is in order, at this point, about the Alexander Valley region. Alexander Valley is one of the important winegrowing areas in California's Sonoma County, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the warmer parts of Sonoma, the area stretches from the edges of the Russian river up into the foothills of the Mayacamas mountains. Just know that Alexander Valley's main grape variety is Cabernet Sauvignon; this valley produces Cabernet Sauvignon more fruit-driven than the earthier ones in nearby Napa.
The wineries featured were:
J. Rickards Winery
Mercury Wines (love that dog, Freddie!)
Kelley & Young Tasting Room
Icaria Creek Winery
All the wineries went all-out in the presentation of their wines enhanced by the beautifully prepared foods to enjoy in the late-summer sunshine.
While checking in with some old favorites, we visited some new wineries to add to our repertoire., which, I know, will quickly become some of our new favorites.
Pedroncelli Winery (1220 Canyon Road, Geyserville, CA 95441) is one such winery. The Pedroncelli family has been making wine for over 90 years, and their experience and skill shows in every sip of their wine. Lovely, and rich and redolent with fruit, their Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon wines just cry out to be sampled. Which, we did over and over! Worth a stop if you’re in the vicinity.
Kelley & Young Tasting Room was a new stop for us too. A tasting room that was formerly a library, it’s a hip place to sample wines in downtown Cloverdale. Cool with a modern vibe, it’s fun to stop in to chat up the wine concierge (has a great patio too). If you find yourself in downtown Cloverdale, plan on stopping.
Mercury Wines and Ramazzotti Wines are like old friends. Both wineries share a space in downtown Geyerserville and are delightful to visit. For this event, they turned their patio into a food and wine emporium with delicious bites from an array of foods.
We tend to wander a bit off the grid when we attend these types of events, so we ended up at a totally different winery, which I highly recommend visiting. Amphora Winery (4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA) is exceptional in many ways. Named after the clay vessels that were used to store wine in ancient Rome and Greece, Amphora Winery ferments and ages some of their Rhone-inspired wines in amphora pots. We were lucky enough to have a chat with the wine maker, Rick Hutchinson, during our visit, which always makes for a special outing. I highly recommend a visit to sample some of their great wines.
After a busy day of drinking wine, we had a memorable dinner at Spoonbar in downtown Healdsburg. Airy and open, it was the perfect place to unwind. The drink menu is as extensive as the food menu. Featuring local fare from the surrounding area, Spoonbar offers fare with creative twists and artful arrangements,
We completed the wonderful day with a stay at the delightful Geyerserville Inn (21714 Geyserville Avenue Geyerserville, CA 95441). If you’re looking for a place to stay while in Anderson Valley, this is it. Located in a vineyard, the inn pairs elegance with the intimacy of a quaint bed and breakfast. Picturesque grounds just beckon for a pre-dinner wander. Even better, it has a great restaurant, Geyerserville Grille, right next door for breakfast, or dinner if your party is too worn-out from traipsing through wineries to drive to dinner.
So, a fun time was had by all for this adventure…until next time.