Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

March 5, 2012

Tasting Out of the Barrel ~ Wine Tasting

It's the beginning of March, it's 70+ degrees, the first weekend of Barrel Tasting in the Dry Creek Valley, which means great wines, good food and phenomenal people watching.

What more can one ask for?!

Not much.

Our journey along the Wine Road began at Dutton Estate, where my friend, Debbie works....




We sampled some delicious wines right out of the barrel.....which will only get better with age. 
We collected our samples directly from Terry, the wine maker.



Dutton wines were paired with very moist pulled pork and corn bread....so good.



There were 130 wineries participating in Barrel Tasting weekend this year.  We managed to visit four of them.  A. Rafanelli, in Healdsburg, was our second stop. 

Rafanelli wines are not sold retail, only restaurants and on special wine event weekends....Barrel Tasting weekend is my opportunity to stock up on a few bottles.

There's is always a line to enter the tasting room at Rafenelli, but the people pleasers that they are, always have someone pouring down the line while you're waiting.......

Hello Big Bold Zin......



After our 15 minute wait to enter the tasting room, we were not disappointed.....we tasted, bought and tasted a little more.



 All the wineries have beautiful scenery with everything beginning to bloom which = great photos, but not so great for allergies.....but I didn't complain.....at least not til later...



We were on a mission.  We knew what wineries we wanted to hit, a list of top priorities.  Third stop, Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves.....



Bella has beautiful grounds that include a picnic area with shaded tables under majestic trees, a country shabby chic tasting room, and cool, dark wine caves...........



a fabulous pairing of bacon and grits with their wines.  

Bacon, I was in heaven.
















We spent at least an hour at Bella, I don't think any of us wanted to leave. 














But we did.....finally.

On to Armida, our last stop of the day. 

























For me, Armida is more about visual stimulation.  They have two tasting rooms; one where the Chardonnay is poured...."Heaven" and the second where all the reds are poured... "Hell".

"Hell" was the happening place.....for some.













Already looking forward to the next event.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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