Monday, September 5, 2011
Magic In A Little Corner Of Sonoma...
One of the things I love the most is when I can come out to wine country and spend several hours enjoying wine with great friends and relishing the time spent there. Perhaps one of the most scenic areas of California wine country is in the Sonoma Valley, especially the Valley of the Moon Highway and the rustic country atmosphere of the towns of Glen Ellen and Kenwood. I'd always wanted to venture this area by myself, in my car, and stop at places along the way. I finally got to do this and the first place I went to was Eric Ross Winery to visit my friend Eric Luse, the winery's owner and winemaker.
I had met Eric several years ago at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa. I sat at his table for dinner and found out he was originally from Iowa so we struck up a friendship. He is an inspiration to me as his passion for winemaking and photography has brought him to do what he loves the most. I have to tell you, this little winery is so cute! The decor is whimsical--their logo is a rooster so the winery is filled with beautiful artwork depicting roosters. The atmosphere is extremely friendly and the wines...Well, these are beautifully handcrafted wines and this winery is definitely worth seeking out! It is tucked away in a small corner of Sonoma County and to me, it simply radiates magic!
I sampled several wines during my visit, enjoying them along with several other groups of people who stopped in and out during the few hours I spent there.
The first wine I sampled was the 2010 Lodi Bokisch Vineyard Albarino. Yes, Eric makes an Albarino. It's wonderful! I took one with me back to Iowa. Stainless steel fermented, its bright shiny acidity and citrus flavors are the perfect combination for Summer. $25.
Eric makes an amazing Pinot Noir that I cannot say enough great things about. One sip of this wine and you will fall in love. The 2009 Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir is pure heaven. Rich, velvety and beautiful. It makes me swoon everytime I think about it! $45.
One of the most interesting wines I sampled was the 2009 Gout de la Vigne, "Taste The Vineyard" Syrah from Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino County. A lot of people are skittish about Syrah. This one would make you change your mind. Dark fruits, smoky, smooth finish. I savored it! $45.
With Winter around the corner, I love a good Zinfandel port next to the fireplace. The 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel Port is made from Dry Creek Valley fruit. So chocolately-rich, it's more than a dessert wine. It's an experience! $48.
Eric had a special surprise for me and he let me sample the 2010 Struttin' Red, which hadn't been bottled yet. Here he is posing with the wine and the new artwork. Can't wait for this release. It'll be a nice, easy drinking everyday red wine!
But alas, all great things must come to an end and I needed to make my way to my next venture. Eric showed me a really neat little book titled, "The Wineries In The Heart Of Sonoma Valley." He contributed photographs to the book and it is just a beautiful rendition of a guide to the area. I highly encourage everyone to pick up a copy when you visit and please do visit and experience these wines for yourselves.
Eric Ross Winery is located at 14300 Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen, CA. They are open for tasting Thursday through Monday from 11-5. For more information, please visit their website, ericross.com. For more information on the Sonoma Valley area, please visit heartofsonomavalley.com.
I'd like to thank Eric Luse and his staff for their warm and wonderful hospitality. I'm so glad I visited and will visit again very soon!!
"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.