Wednesday, May 22, 2013

....OLD VINE heaven for mother's day weekend....!

My mom is one special lady.  Often when I fantasize about winning the lottery the VERY first thought that comes to my mind of what I would do.....well, that is easy.  I would buy my sweet momma a single level beautiful ranch home in Santa Ynez with gardens for days, horses, a painting studio, a potter's wheel and kiln, gym, wine cellar, a housekeeper at her service...without a hesitation that is the first thing that comes to mind.  I seriously day dream about all the different ways and things I could do and provide for my mom to give her all these simple and creative outlets she day. Right?  In the meantime, I do what I can and seek out fun things for her and I to do together that are meaningful to both of us, create memories, are educational and inspirational - you get the drift, yes?!

So when Turley Wine Cellars sent me an email months ago about the "Historical Vineyard Society's 3rd Annual Vineyard Tour and Dinner" - I was pumped.  Perfect.  My mom, wine, girl's weekend, Mother's Day Weekend...score! And she was IN.  Did you think she wouldn't be?!

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived to Seghesio Family Winery in Healdsburg, CA, for the tour. There were three air conditioned vans and we were separated quickly into groups.....shuttled onto said vans and off we went to start the tour which would tour four vineyards that farmed and kept "historical vines" - in short = gnarly, old Zinfandel (for the most part of this particular tour) vines that are still producing fruit (and, hence,

Our first stop was at Henderlong Ranch - Nalle Winery:

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Planted in 1927 and to this day is dry-farmed.  I could get into the nitty-gritty of what this all means, but you would be better off visiting this dude's blog - Richard Jennings - he was on our tour and is a wine wizard.

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momma taking a little sniff of grape fruit blossoms 

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the adorable Doug and Lee Nalle

Next stop was Whitton Ranch Old Patch - Ridge Vineyards:

These vines were planted in the 1880's......?!  Majority Zin (60%), with Carignane (25%) and lesser amounts of Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Mataro, Syrah, Grenache, Palmino and others.

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a big juicy old, Sryah (I think....?!)

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And then came a fav for me, Turley Wine Cellars "101 Vineyard" - aptly named for it's stone's throw location from highway 101.  It was teense and precious and just hearing Tegan speak about the age and spiritual memory of the vines was enough for my mom to want to run up and hug the guy.  But Tegan hit the nail on its head with connecting emotion to the vine and grape and how one might relate to it....more to come on that later...

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everyone has their own way of doing things......Tegan said they like their leaves to have a "doppler" effect on the that a small bird can come in (like a nest), do a little swirl and fly out.  See?  Wine tugs at your heart strings.

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Our last stop was at Chianti Station - Seghesio Family Winery where we ventured away from Zinfandels and laid our eyes on beautiful field blends of Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Malvasia and Trebbiano.  Ned Neumiller (5th generation winemaker spoke eloquently to the nature of the workers who harvest and tend these grapes and I was very happy to hear about how they hire their workers and not only provide for them with above regulated wages, but also provide housing, safety training, etc.  The path of the grape is one that travels through many hands and when those hands are treated with respect and care, such is the grape.  In my opinion.

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We ended our tour back at Seghesio for a sit down, insanely YUMMY dinner and were finally able to taste all these delicious wines we looked and learned about throughout the tour.  They did a fantastic job with dinner and we had an amazing time at our table meeting and talking to new friends.

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and for the record I was NOT the last one at the table:

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I had such a special time with my mom....I feel so lucky to share this passion of wine tasting with her.  I have had an interest in wine since my early days in the restaurant industry.  I wasn't born with an extraordinary palette - it is something I am constantly trying to educate and train.  There are many parallels to wine and design as I am coming to find out during some of my reflective moments during adventures and tastings like these.  Both are subjective to the user...there are highs and lows - both in price and quality.  There are bargains.  There are limited editions.  Some carry a memory and history that can't be replicated.  Both have a beginning, a peak, and a decline.....steady at times, but a decline. Neither is eternal.  They both give pleasure, a sense of satisfaction, elated happiness....heck, sometimes regret, right?!

I never want to stop learning....never want to stop being inspired.....thanks to weekends like these, it's impossible!

Wines from the weekend that you need to run out and buy:

Bedrock Vineyards
Ridge Vineyards
Turley Wine Cellars
Henderlong Ranch - Nalle Winery

all images by janel holiday interior design 

Soundtrack is my one of my fav Dean Martin's songs....cheers!

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