Making a better day………..

This morning our day was clouded by bad news.   Sooo…. we set out to pick up some wine and everything just got better.

We headed to Carlisle Winery to pick up their current releases.

Winemaker, Jay Maddox (right) and Paul Wendy were pouring some terrific wines and Franchettis’ was serving wood fired pizzas to compliment the wine.  It was truly a simple and relaxed event.

Jay explained co-fermenting to me when I incorrectly described The Integral they were pouring as a blend. John knows this stuff but I’m still in kindergarten when it comes to wine production.  I really appreciated being corrected and having a conversation with the winemaker!


From Carlisle we headed off to Westside road.

We’d been to Bacigalupia for a special event a few years back and decided to swing by and try their wines today.  This is the grape growing family that provided their grapes to Château Montelena to make the 1973 Chardonnay that won the 1976 Paris tasting!


Janice poured for us and kindly let us bring our dog in, leashed of course.  Its a great friendly tasting room.  We didn’t leave empty handed.  The 2017 Rosé Pinot Noir ( very easy to drink!) and a bottle of the 2015 Fondare followed us home!




Our start in Healdsburg……..

There is no shortage of wine here!  For those of us who totally enjoy the hunt for, and discovery of, wonderful wines, Sonoma County is one of the greatest places to land!

Sometimes it seems like candy land ………………

The experience visiting a winery is special, relaxing and almost always unique.    Visiting the Bottle Barn is more like a run to Total Wine only on steroids!  You’ll be tempted to stay for hours looking over the massive inventory.

We were here maybe a week and we headed off to Preston for their famous jug wine only to remember when we arrived that Sunday is “jug day”.  But, for our first outing, its a great winery to revisit.  I purchased a bottle more for the creative labeling than anything (something John typically frowns upon).  It’s kind of a habit of mine! I expect it will be pleasing when opened at home.

The winery and its organic farm are linked. You can buy eggs, produce, and some excellent polenta milled at the farm. The winery and farm offer a more than great picnic space.

The day we were here field workers were beginning the laborious task of hand trimming the vineyards.  And….their infamous cats were easy to find over the sprawling grounds.

For our second outing we chose a dog friendly vineyard – Dutcher Crossing in Dry Creek Valley.  Remember, this is winter, the very best time to visit.   You receive the most attention and often the opportunity to interact more with staff, winemakers and owners.

Collyn Scott poured for us and provided a wealth of information about the wines, the winery and the area.  Their wines, and they make many, are wonderful. We picnicked there with a bottle of Dutcher Crossing’s 2015 Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel.

We also had the chance to taste, with staff, Collyn and Lily, a Sauvignon Blanc the winemaker was putting the final touches on. I picked up notes of grapefruit – others not so.  We’ll see when its released!

Before leaving the winery we had the pleasure of meeting owner, Debra Mathy, Dutchess her canine sidekick, and winemaker, Nick Briggs.It was a great afternoon!  We’re looking forward to returning and to attending some of their upcoming member events.




A Grape Grower’s Party………..

In 1976 the California white and red wines defeated the French in the famous Paris Tasting. It was a momentous day!  The white wine that bested the famous French Burgundies was a 1973 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay.  40% of the grapes that created that award winning wine came from Charles and Helen Bacigalupi’s vineyard.


Bacigalupi Vineyard is now 125 acres and managed by John Bacigalupi.  They grow grapes for outstanding wineries including Gary Ferrell, Williams Selyem, Venge, and Wonderment, as well as producing their own wine.


On July 18th Bacigalupi threw a party and we were lucky enough to be among the guests in the sold out crowd.  Wines produced exclusively from the Bacigalupi vineyards were being poured by nineteen wineries and……


the food was catered by Bay Laurel Culinary and The Oyster Girls!


Photo credit: Bacigalupi









We had a blast!  Thank you Bacigalupi for making our last evening in wine paradise so special!