Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring in Sonoma

Now I know not everyone is a huge fan of Nikki Minaj but her song entitled "Moment 4 Life," (thats right, please refrain from spelling the word "four," as the audience may not understand your longhand.) This song, albeit, does not display top musical talent but the message is clear. Living in a moment and feeling alive is important and yet so often forgotten in our busy rush to get everything done.

Spending a day in Sonoma is one of those reminders of how amazing life is when you slow down. Tasting phenomenal hand crafted wines, eating like a queen and enjoying it all with fabulous company. I get asked often why I like visiting Sonoma more than I like visiting Napa. Sonoma tends to be a more relaxed with more mom-and-pop wineries. That's not to say you can't find this experience in Napa but I have yet to lounge for hours in an organic, fruitful and unmanicured garden in Napa. I have yet to experience sitting under a 100 year old tree watching the owner tend to his bees. I have yet to have an experience petting a pig. I have yet to be wowed by how beautiful and colourful chickens are. I have yet to enter a tasting room where the winemaker runs the tasting room, solo. I have yet to find a speakeasy hidden behind the tasting room. Sonoma takes you back to the basics; sustainable, happy living.

Aside from the scenery highlights, the wines are pretty damn amazing too! My new obsession: Frick Winery in Dry Creek Valley. I almost didn't want to share this winery as the production is small. About 1400 cases, I would buy it all if I could. Bill Frick, a humble and interesting gentleman founded the winery in 1976. He is a one man team working the vineyards (all 7.77 acres), the cellar and the tasting room. He specializes in Rhone varieties, all single vineyard and unfiltered. This is your place to taste Cinsaut, Counoise, Carignane and Grenache Blanc. Bill's wine and method of running his business is exactly how I wish the wine industry had remained. Small, simple, interesting, hospitable with outstanding wines.

Another winery that really stood out for me was Michel-Schlumberger. With French ties to Alsace, I couldn't help but feel I had disappeared to France. Sitting beneath the oak trees, sipping the most amazing Pinot Blanc and Cabernet Franc, watching a group play bocce ball while the owner tends to his bees in the distance. He even came over to introduce himself and check in with his very generous staff. As the breeze picked up and the sun began to set, I found myself wishing I could sit there forever. Next time, I might just do that.

These kind of experiences make me want to stay in each moment 4 life. That is why I love Sonoma. It is the perfect escape from the busy city to enjoy amazing handcrafted wine in a place passionate about getting back to the basics and enjoy the smaller things in life.

Charlotte :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh I am sooo jealous :)

    You will have to take me on a trip the next time I visit and it is long over due :)

    No wine drinking at the moe :(

    lyl, T. :)