We survived Napa the day before with all wits about us. We crushed that by spending hours at the Red Hen for dinner Sat night. Lots of beer and bar food, plus hours of Olympics. Don’t ask me how that happens. It happens if you’re too cheap to pay anywhere in the onsite wine country. Anyway, Sunday morning we’re up and off to San Francisco for the Family Winemakers Event- 400 small family wineries offering their wines to trade and consumers. So we’re on assignment for Wine Closet. But like I mentioned in previous post we should have had a plan. Too long at the Red Hen hindered that. So we just go for it…. I have 4 pages of notes from 35 wineries. How did I do that in 2 days? not sure. I thought I’d give you some of my highlights (not in any particular order): Frick Winery www.frickwinery.com loved the Carignane and Cinsault. 100% carignane $22 retail. 2) Gregory Graham Wines www.ggwines.com One of the first wines we tried. Especially liked Viognier ($20 retail, apricot, pineapple, very good) and Zinfandel ($22 retail, excellent raspberry with kick). 3) P.B. Hein Vineyards www.pbheinvineyards.com Great! Syrah Rose. Slightly peppery. Good $12 retail. 2005 North Coast Syrah- great fruity. #1 fav of this winery $17 retail, 338 cases. #2 fav is 2005 Napa Valley Syrah- dry finish-great. 2004 Charbono- merlot type- kind of light, slight sour to finish. Good-different. Uncle/nephew team. 4)Pendleton Estate Vineyards & Winery www.pendletonwines.com Owner/winemaker is a fireman. Wife does marketing. 500 cases/year. Carignane/Cab Rose (unfiltered, $22), Cab Sauv (smooth), Zin (has Petite Syrah on backend). 5) Wild Heart Winery from Los Olivos- wines were decent but what stood out as different was that they had a White Cabernet. $31 retail. Crisp, chilled. Like a rose but not as sweet, “springy”. …Only some of the highlights.
One winemaker asked us how we were getting through all the wineries and as newbies to this sort of event we were smart enough to take lots of breaks with water and cheese and crackers. Going to Fort Mason Center where there are 400 winemakers set us is intimidating but also so fun when you have the opportunity to try so many great wines.
Sunday night after a quick nap we made it out to Harry Denton’s Starlight Room for a nightcap. We ran into the winemaker from Opolo there. Had a nice conversation with him as well as the next day.