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

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November 22, 2010

A Day in the City-Featured Wineries at the 2010 S.F. Vintners Market-Harvest in the City

Boy, this is the week of being thankful, I'll tell you.  Sunday it was wine, or more specifically, wine growers, the day before, it was Brussels sprouts.  The list goes on and on!  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the San Francisco Vintners Market - Harvest in the City, which was held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.  I had never been to Fort Mason before a couple of weeks ago and now, I've attended two fabulous events at this venue.  The first event being for the Foodbuzz Fest and now this.  I'm really beginning to love this place!



The idea behind SF Vintners Market - Harvest in the City, is to have available to the attendee, wines from over 200 smaller or boutique style wineries who were showing their fall showcase of wines. All under one roof, you could taste, purchase directly from the winery and connect one on one with the wine owners and makers.  Like a Farmer's Market  for wineries.  I now consider this event a wine lovers heaven!

 Media and people in the restaurant business were allowed entry two hours prior than the general public.














Being one of the first two to arrive and with over 200 wine vendors in attendance, Devi and I felt like we had the place to ourselves when we first arrived, which was a real treat!



We headed over to the Reserve Room where we had access to wines that were priced at over $50 a bottle.














Another bonus to an event such as this, is we were able to meet many of the winery owners.  Putting a face to the wine grower and connecting with them on an individual basis was a great experience.  A rare event, having so many wineries under one roof.  

Some of our favorite wines we tasted and growers we chatted with included, Mr. Hamel from Hamel Family Wines.  Their family winery sits on the floor of Sonoma's Valley of the Moon in Kenwood.  They have a small vineyard of cabernet sauvignon grapes and produce a full bodied cabernet with flavors of plum and black current.  A 'jammy' wine is a favorite flavor for me.  I really liked this wine.




















I can't wait to enjoy this bottle of Pamelita from Hamel Family Wines on Thanksgiving!

Hamel Family Wines



Another stop was at the Sciandri Family Vineyards table.  Their family winery is located in the Coombsville region of the Napa Valley.   We tasted their Cabernet with flavors of blackberries and cherries and a hint of pepper.




















We chatted with winery owner, Ron Sciandri {right} and his wine maker, Don Baker {left}.  One thing about wine growers and makers, they sure are fun to chat and share a glass of wine with.  What really comes across when talking with the owners, is their love for what they do.  I really get the sense that they see their wine business almost as a hobby, they thoroughly enjoy doing what they do and in turn, I believe this comes through in the wines they produce.














It wasn't long before Devi and I went in search of food.  Here's what we found.....

Pretzel Crisps to start.  I liked the Three Cheese flavored, but they also have a variety of other flavors and you can find these at Safeway and Whole Foods.















Conveniently, right outside the front door, the street food trucks were parked and ready for our choosing.  We went for Indian food at the Curry Up Now truck. 



A truck that goes through this much butter, must be good.....right?!



Don't ask me what this is called, but it was so tasty.  Some sort of nann bread wrap with chicken that was mildly spicy. I totally devoured my portion.














Devi and I also split this Indian burrito, but I could only eat a few bites before I felt as though my mouth was on fire!  I was really wishing I could find some milk to drink at this point.  The flavor was good, just way too spicy for me.



We also had a glass of sweet tea, which was very refreshing with the Indian food.




Back inside the pavilion, I spotted Kara's Cupcakes and made a bee line for their truck, which was parked to one side.  After much deliberation, we decided on the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting and the passion fruit with butter cream frosting.















We were definitely NOT disappointed!  I woke up thinking of these cupcakes this morning...no joke!















Ok, back to the wines.  Another of the favorites included the wines at the Porter Family Vineyards table.  They are also located in the Coombsville region of the Napa Valley, where they grow hillside vineyards and have an underground winery {aka wine cave!}  The wine cave sits 50 feet beneath the surface and is 17,000 square feet in size.  Wow!



Now, most of these small wineries have tasting rooms and will accommodate a tasting by appointment.  You just need to call them 24-48 hours in advance and they would be happy set up a tasting appointment for you and your group.

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Rubicon Wines  Francis Ford Coppola's winery.











Upstairs within the Reserve Room, they had a little "Man Cave" area happening where you could taste tequila.....















and sample scotch at the scotch bar.........














and even purchase cigars if you wish from CigaRV.  CigaRV also has a "Mobile Man Cave" in the form of a large sized, red van with a full service lounge that can be rented for your private event. 



















This was the view from the man cave. 














And here is the view just outside the building.  You could view Coit Tower up to the right, in the photo, along with the Bay Bridge in the distance beyond.














And 45 degrees to the left was Alcatraz.  A beautiful day in the city.




On our way out, I snapped a few more shots.  I just love these old military buildings, they have such character.




If you're a wine lover and are in the area for the next S.F. Vintners Market, this is a must do event.  I know I don't want to miss the next one!













Thank you to SF Vintners Market for sponsoring our tickets to the event!





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