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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

California Wine Country: Sonoma and beyond

Sonoma

Ravenswood wins the award for having the coolest laid back dudes behind the counter. I went here expecting to dislike the wine, because I'd had it before and didn't like it. Guess what? They have more than one variety of red. Yup. All the labels look alike, until you take a closer look. Each label designates which vinyard the grapes come from. So if it says something like, 'California', then yhou know it comes from a bunch of different areas. That's the cheapest wine. Probably the one I had and didn't like.

Then you get to the wines where it says where the grapes come from, for example: Barricia or Big River, and those taste better. Note: those labels are narrower than the others. They cost more and taste better.


Arrowood wins the award for having the nicest guy behind the counter. He told us that the laws regulating the sale of wine over state line, like a wine-of-the-month club, are up for review in the Supreme Court this session. Massachusetts won't let wineries send wine to you in the state. All sales must go through a wine distributor. Pretty lame. I hope these restritions get shot down soon and would like to keep up on the case.


Imagery is just next to Arrowood and features artists on each label. This is a nice place to visit both for the wine tasting and for looking at the artwork. This is another winery where you can take your wine and relax and walk around while sampling the different wines.


Chateau St. Jean transports you to a villa in France. Very relaxing. There's a nice place outside in the garden to eat your lunch. We brough ours along, but you could buy one there too at their deli.

Healdsburg

Kendall-Jackson was the final wine on our trip and wouldn;t you know it, there wasn't a wine tasting charge! They also were happy to give us coupons for free tasings at other wineries. Do all the wineries have these coupons? I actually had a coupon for a free tasing here. While here we got a great suggestion for dinner, Charcuterie, 335 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg.

Next time we go to wine country we're going to concentrate on this area.

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