One of the great joys of living in Sonoma County is sharing your home and seeing it afresh through a visiting friends eyes. My friend Claude just this week visited from Montpellier France and as I played tour guide the beauty and excitement that is vintage time was brought into sharp focus. Grape trucks zooming up and down the highway the vines showing brilliant gold, red and green hues and the smell of fermenting grapes wafting in the car window as we drove around the Alexander and Dry Creek Valley. Tired wine makers sat in local restaurants discussing the finer points of vintage and how the wines were looking, ( from my eavesdropping it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a classic!) and my friend, who comes from a classic wine region of France, embraced his “California ” experience.
Amongst his observations (Claude is a wine consultant who travels the world looking at wine regions).
Claude’s friends in France say that they don’t believe in American cuisine, but the food in Sonoma continuously delivered with fresh, local flavours and our final meal at Willis Wine bar was a perfect way to top off many memorable meals.
Sonoma wines showed elegant and beautiful balance and small producers consistently surprised with their attention to detail and variety of grapes they are experimenting with.
As we toured around and I shared the beautiful Paradise Ridge sculpture exhibit, Spirit of the Man, the Geyserville sculpture park with its AWESOME Brian Tedrick Coyote, and my favorite walk, Foss Creek Sculpture trail, Claude marveled at the public philanthropy which makes this all possible, then claimed it to be a most wonderful place I now live, (we met in Australia 20 years ago).
Looking back on the last few days I have to concur!