Travel, Etc.

Travel, Etc.

Travel, Etc.

Travel, Etc. --> A Weekend in Sonoma Part 2

A Weekend in Sonoma Part 2
By, Mark Gapinski, CSW

Wine Guy Mark Gapinski is the first of us who has been able to travel to wine country in the last year.... here is his account.

Pre-pandemic and, thankfully again in recent weeks, customers have asked us about planning wine country visits. Which wineries? Which restaurants? Where can I get a picnic lunch? Having recently visited the Sonoma Valley for some wonderful wining and dining, I’ve prepared a couple of articles that can hopefully serve as a resource for you to plan your own wine country adventure.

To start our second day, we found a great place for a quick breakfast in Santa Rosa, Criminal Bakery (808 Donahue St.). They have terrific baked goods as well as breakfast bowls and yogurt parfaits. They also had a nice selection of gluten-free baked good. The gluten-free scones were just as tasty as the gluten-full ones. Definitely keep it in mind.

Day two tastings got off to a remarkable start. Rather than the typical tasting room, we began our visit at Adobe Road Winery at the production facility, where we met the winemaker, Garrett Martin. Garrett is an engaging young man who loves what he does. He and a colleague vinify about 10,000 cases of wine a year. They produce an amazing number of blends as well as varietal wines. We got to taste a lot of them!  The wines here were not yet bottled. They had completed their barrel aging and were in the tank awaiting bottling. Garrett would draw a sample from the tank in a plastic measuring cup from which he filled our glasses.

We started with a 2019 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.  We tasted red blends, Syrah and a terrific Petite Sirah. Finally, Garrett drew a sample from a tank cryptically labeled 16BG3. An inky wine flowed into the plastic measuring the cup. The suspense was overwhelming. Wow! A 2016 Beckstoffer George III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh, happy day! The wine from this legendary vineyard, even in its youth, is magnificent. Layer upon layer of flavor and a finish that went on until lunch! Amazing. No spitting or dump bucket for this beauty! Chatting with Garrett I could ask all of my uber-geeky wine production and barrel toasting questions without fear of judgement; how great is that! I can’t thank Garrett enough for taking time on his Saturday morning to meet with us.

From the production facility, we went to the Adobe Road Tasting Room in downtown Petaluma for, you guessed it, more tasting. This tasting room visit is a wonderful destination in itself, but don’t miss the Wild Goat Bistro just around the corner serving delicious flatbread pizzas and gourmet sandwiches. The tasting room staff were accommodating enough to allow us to order lunch and enjoy it while we tasted.

Adobe Road CEO, Kevin Buckler, is quite accomplished in professional motorsports. His TRG Motorsports Team has posted victories in the GT class of the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Adobe Road has created a Racing Series of red blends, which we were able to taste through. My favorites were the Shift, a Barbera/Zinfandel dominant blend with a gear shift knob on top of the closure, and the Redline, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel dominant blend featuring a tiny tachometer on the label. We currently have these wines in stock and we have included their reviews just below.  Both would make a great addition to any race season celebration. I want to especially thank Kevin and the Petaluma tasting room staff for their extraordinary generosity and hospitality.

Part I