Many of you will have experienced the American treasure that is California wine country. I have grown to love and appreciate the people, the places and the wines after moving back to the U.S. thanks to generous clients and new found friends. Literally the week before the fires I had a rare day out spending one on one time with my father. I was in San Francisco where my parents were on holiday and my dad agreed to drive me to my lunch in Sonoma. My lunch with Jean Arnold Sessions (a wine legend) in the garden of the El Dorado Hotel was on a beautiful autumn day. We discussed all things great and good about wine and I shared my new wine love with her, cool climate Viognier. Jean suggested we try the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa to find some more examples and to see the full range of wines Sonoma has to offer.
The drive is beautiful from Sonoma to Santa Rosa on the incredible Route 12 which leads to Bennett Valley Road. The road is as windy and challenging as any in the world and the geography is stunning, absolutely beautiful and rivals any of the top wine regions, drives like these are precious. I remember thinking, right now nothing else matters than this moment, set all of life's worries aside and take it all in, only in wine country do you get days like these. As we passed through Glen Ellen to make the left onto Arnold Drive I commented on passing through the historical town and how important it is to this history of California wine. Winding our way through the backroads of Santa Rosa we finally crossed Route 101 and found the Bottle Barn. Upon entering this incredible wine den I was like a kid in a candy store, so much to see and learn about. Just as I thought the day could not get any better, another amazing wine experience happened when Jeff Cohn, winemaker and Rhone wine collaborator started chatting with me over the white Rhone varietal section about the beauty and merits of Viognier. He was thoughtful, insightful and is passionate about his projects and his wines. For me it was another top day in wine country that ended with education and kindness, and a bottle of wine.
I will be forever grateful for the visual postcard recorded in my wine trip memory as we made our way to the Bottle Barn to find those rare Sonoma beauties. If you have never been to Sonoma or Napa, book your trip today. If you have never tasted the emerging array of Rhone varietals from Sonoma or the Charbonos from Napa, seek them out. Life is too short to miss the great wine regions of the world, even if wine is not your thing, the natural beauty where these wines come from is always worth the trip. #winestrong
How can you help?
- The Napa Valley Community Foundation: click here.
- Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership: click here.
- American Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund: click here.
- Napa Humane Society: click here.
- Community Foundation of Sonoma: click here.
- Redwood Empire Food Bank: click here.
- SHARE Emergency Housing: click here.
- Sonoma County Animal Services: click here.
- Redwood Credit Union Community Fund: click here.
- You Caring – Tubbs Fire Victims: click here.
OTHER IMPORTANT SOURCES
- Rebuild North Bay: click here.
- Salvation Army: click here.