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2018-07-04 – WBCCI 2018 Wine Tasting Caravan – Day 3 – Russian River Valley

Today is Independence Day!  We celebrated being free of leading the Wine Tasting Caravan!

We had a leisurely morning, then we set out for the coast.  It is about 17 miles along a winding road to the town of Jenner.  There isn’t much to Jenner, but we could see across the river to Sonoma Coast State Park, along the ocean front.

 

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We drove around to the park, found the closest parking lot to the coast, and walked.  And walked…

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We walked along the beach, back to the mouth of the river.  There were kayakers and canoers  in the river, and a few hearty souls on the beach.

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Then we spotted what looked like rocks arranged along the shore. Upon closer investigation we found that they were Harbor Seals and their pups!

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We walked many more delightful areas of this beach, then headed further south…

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We headed south to Bodega Bay.  We found a nice restaurant for lunch – Bluepoint Cafe – that had a lovely view over the bay and the harbor.

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We returned to River Bend RV Park in time for dinner – BBQ hot dogs, potatoes salad, potato chips… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

2018-07-03 – WBCCI 2018 Wine Tasting Caravan – Day 2 – Russian River Valley

Today is our first day of tasting, and what a day it is!  If you know anything about wine, you know that the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast are synonymous with great Pinot Noir!  Today we visited three great wineries and then had dinner in the “capitol” of Russian River Valley, Healdsburg.

Our first stop was at Williams Selyem Winery.  Burt Williams and Ed Selyem started their winery in very simple circumstances in the 1980s and quickly amassed a cult following by producing outstanding wines that were in a style that goes great with, and enhances, food.  When I first read about them, I tried to buy their wines, only to be told that they are sold exclusively to members of the wine allocation list; I was welcome to sign up on the waiting list to get on the allocation list!.  Five years later, around 1995, I was “allocated” (allowed to buy) two bottles.  Over the years my allocation has been increased, and now I cannot afford to buy all the wine they will let me.  Burt and Ed retired many years ago, but their wines still retain their quality.

We began our tasting at their Tasting Salon:

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They had a table set for us and a full line-up of wines to taste:

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After a few wines were tasted, there was a brief tour of the facilities:

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Then we moved outside to learn about the vineyards:

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We returned inside the building, bought  a few bottles, and moved on…

Next stop is MacRostie;  someone told us this was a nice place and we agree;  there was a beautiful building, a greeter with sparking wine to share, and a table set for us:

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Wine was really good, service was great and leisurely, and the views are hard to top!

Finally we moved on to our final tasting for the day:  Rochioli… the Rochioli family has been farming this land, growing grapes, and making great wine for over 80 years…

Again we were greeted, shown to a table under a bright orange umbrella, overlooking the vineyards below.  Wines were presented, comments exchanged, and questions asked…

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It was a grueling day.  Now, all we needed was some dinner; we drove to the town of Healdsburg – dripping with wine country charm. We had some time to kill before dinner; some of our group looked for a place to have a beer, others shopped.  I took a nap on a park bench…

Our dinner was at Bravas, a Spanish tapas/small plates place.  We had a lovely table on the patio in the “back yard”.  We shared many courses: toast with olive oil, garlic, and sea salt; Duck meatballs; Long cooked pork cheeks; Croquetas with creamy chicken, ham, and Gruyere cheese; Chicken thighs with candied garlic; Octopus with smoked paprika and olives… All this was accompanied by bottles of William Selyem and Rochioli wines…

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And that concludes the first day of wine tasting.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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