Sunday, November 11, 2007

In Search of the Perfect Pinot Blanc

There is something really awesome about the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s definitely the boundary between urban and rural in San Francisco and rural is quite nice.

As we entered Sonoma County, we quickly got off the main drag (101) and headed into wine country, where there were grapes in every direction. We were in search of a pinot blanc, which turns out to be a fairly rare grape. We realized that our map was slightly outdated when we learned at our first vineyard stop that they haven’t bottled a “PB” since 2003. But they recommended a nearby vineyard and even called ahead for us. Meanwhile we tasted the best they had to offer and our daughter bought a red “jug wine,” meaning a mix of several wines.


At the Dulton-Goldfield Vineyard near Sebastopol we found the perfect pinot blanc and learned a lot about the family from which it comes. It turns out that pinot blanc vines are clones of pinot noir vines, which are somewhat unstable, producing many oddities, like the two-color grape in this picture (taken from a computer screen in the tasting room.) We ended up buying a case of the pinot blanc and having it shipped home.


We drove to the nearby town of Graton for lunch. When I say town, I mean a collection of about 6 buildings. But they included 2 restaurants, an antique store, and a gourmet grocery store with samples. Lunch at the Willow Wood Café was well worth waiting for and included a scrumptious apple-blueberry cobbler for dessert.

You get a magnificent view of the city as you once again cross the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove a ways on scenic Route 1, including a tour of the neighborhood of Seacliff, where I spotted my dream house. It probably goes for about $4 million, so it will indeed remain just a dream!



This trip is drawing to a close as we make arrangements to be picked up in the dark for a 7 AM flight. It was definitely fun while it lasted. I can’t wait to come again!

5 Comments:

Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Sebastapol is where my friend Anne Hill lives. I know that part of Sonoma County very well.

What a wonderful travelogue! Love the pics of the GGB. The Golden Gate, with or without the bridge, is a portal through which you can go straight to heaven. That's why people want to jump off it - it's like the Ganges River of America. I'm sure you felt it, halfway over the bridge. Suddenly it's like something has shifted in your stomach. When you get to the other side, everything seems "normal" again, such as normal exists in Northern California!

Why were you in search of Pinot Blanc?

8:35 AM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

Wine, blueberry cobbler and ice cream . . . mmmmmm. Sounds like a great trip. I know there's more than food, but still, gotta start somewhere and food is a good place.

8:18 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I have always wanted to visit Napa and Sonoma during this time of year. I'm sure it is absolutely beautiful.
And how jealous am I that you (By You I mean those of you who reside in Virginia)can have all the wine you want shipped back home. We can't ship back to Maryland, so on our last trip we carried 12 bottles in our luggage. Can you even do that?

10:30 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- I did feel fortunate when they said they could ship to VA. I did not have room for 12 bottles of wine in my luggage. It was much easier to great the Fed Ex man at the door yesterday.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I was searching for a pinot blanc because I have decided that's my favorite wine, at least this month!

RuthD -- I once heard in Italy, "But first we eat." It's always the best place to start.

8:26 AM  

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