Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wine tasting in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley

I'd never heard of the Dry Creek Valley until a few years ago, when I tasted a killer zin in a restaurant in Healdsburg, where I was weekending after an especially tough week at the office. I asked where the wine was from, and the next day I was driving the winding backroads of the Dry Creek Valley. It began a real love affair with this exceptionally beautiful, and small, region in northern Sonoma County (check out this map).

Passport to Dry Creek Valley (April 25 & 26,) is a good way to get to know this fine appellation quickly. It's an annual event showcasing some 45 of the 62 wineries and 150 vineyards of Dry Creek Valley. Special weekend events along the Passport route include the usual suspects: food, entertainment, and tastings. And some decidedly different activities; you can wander sculpture gardens, play bocce ball, watch tight rope walkers (because, well, they're there), take vineyard tours and sip barrel samples. Four wineries are opening their vineyards with special tours, discussions and tastings; Saturday: Hawley Winery or Puccioni Ranch; Sunday: Montemaggiore or Sandhu Vineyards.

It's a rustic valley producing some absolutely elegant wines, and you're sure to fall in love with the place, as I have.

Details: April 25 & 26 from 11-4:30; Saturday and Sunday Event Tickets: $120.00 each, including tax, for a 2-day Passport. Plan ahead-there are a limited number of passport tickets. A complete participating winery list can be found by clicking here. Call 707/433-3031 or go online.

Why not make it a three-day weekend? For lodging and dining info, visit the Sonoma Country site. And for more activities, click here.

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COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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