Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Larson Family Winery

After driving down a short bumpy road lined with humorous tree signs scattered throughout reading; “Caution Kamikaze Squirrels Ahead”, “You’re Almost There” and on the way out, “We already miss ya”; how could you not believe this is going to be a fun place to visit? Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed! From a warm welcome meeting Tom & Becky Larson (owners), Carolyn Craig (winemaker) and Molly (tasting room & hospitality manager) I can’t say enough about how wonderful these folks are. The vineyards have a rich history dating back to the 1800’s when the Sonoma Rodeo was held on theses grounds to steamboats delivering goods nearby along the river from San Francisco Bay. The rodeo has moved on, the steamboats don’t run anymore but the wine is flowing without question today!

This visit was planned for me to work & shadow a winemaker for a day. It was a gift, however the company issuing the experience went bankrupt. Carolyn along with Tom & Becky were kind enough to allow me to still experience this gift and it was worth every minute we spent together. From barrel tastings, enough to make my tongue purple, to understanding the science and important variables, which go into wine making, I’ve come back with an even greater appreciation for the hard work wineries and winemakers endure.

A few wines to note are the 05' Cabernet Sauvignon, 07' Millerick Road Zinfandel and 2 blends, which I believe were Tom’s idea to start…Sonoma Red” and Wingo White.”  The Red is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon,
 Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Grenache and Malbec. The White is a blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.  They’re both sold in 1 liter jugs and a great buy.  These are nice easy drinking wines that won’t disappoint.  Join their wine club and get a special price of $10/each (normally $20). Clink on the wine name links above for full details.

As a “sneak peek” tip coming out in limited supply, I was able to try something Carolyn was creating for her first time. It’s a Late Harvest Gewurztraminer and it was unbelievable!  The wine is being barreled in stainless and held a beautiful golden color in the sunlight. With notes of peach, tropical fruits and dried apricots it was a very refreshing, clean yet not overly sweet tasting. The wine should be bottling in the coming months.

In a future posting I’ll share the Cab. and Zinfandel bottles I bought after some in-home cellaring (just a wine cooler, nothing fancy like a cave under the house).  For now some notes on the Cab.:

Deep, red color.  Varietal aromas marry with the vanilla and spice of the barrels. The taste is full of spice, vanilla, currant and dark cherry fruit flavors. The vanilla and chocolate finish adds to the wine`s fruity characteristics.  Wonderful now yet aging this wine will provide a nice treat for the future.

I highly recommend a visit to the winery on your next trip to Sonoma. The staff was very pleasant and they made me feel part of their extended family. I can’t wait to get back!

All Larson wines can be purchased at the winery or online. www.larsonfamilywinery.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.