Laura McGilley and Andriana Duckworth from Sonoma Valley Wine join Steve Jaxon, Dan Berger and Harry Duke on California Wine Country. Andriana Duckworth is the Executive Director and Laura McGilley is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Sonoma Valley Vintners. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, known as Sonoma Valley Wine, is the voice of the Sonoma Valley wine region where there are 6 AVAs and 14,000 acres of vineyards. Dan Berger points out that in 1879 at Kunde Ranch, at the time called Dunfillin, made the first Cabernet Sauvignon in California.
The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
Sonoma Valley Wine is promoting The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival in the uniquely beautiful town of Sonoma, on October 7 and 8, 2022. They have taken over the longest running festival of its type. The festival will be located mainly in the Sonoma Plaza. Friday October 7 is the Sonoma Legends dinner where wineries will host tables and bring their cellar wines. Saturday October 8 is the Grand Tasting with 45 or more wineries pouring. Don’t miss the Grape Stomp on Saturday during the daytime festival, from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be live music, beer, wine, barbeque, kid zone, artisans and craftspeople.
Valley of the Moon is the name that Jack London gave to this area. Dan Berger says the side roads in the area go through some of the most beautiful land anywhere. If you come for the festival, plan to take an extra day or two.
Dan’s cellar wine today is from Joiefarm, a Canadian winery in British Columbia. It is a 2012 called A Noble Blend. This wine is not available in the US but if you visit Canada, look for it. It is a blend of Gewurtstraminer and Riesling and others. It has a very interesting flavor profile.
There is great diversity in the Sonoma Valley and Dan points out that there is also great quality. It is the birthplace of California wine, with Buena Vista being the first licensed winery in California.
Three Tastings from Sonoma Valley
They are tasting a 2019 Walt Chardonnay from San Giacomo Family Vineyards and Steve Jaxon really likes it. Dan says it is “really high quality wine” and that it is made to age two or three years, in order to show the oak against the fresh fruit flavors.
The second wine is a Rose of Grenache from Hamilton Family Wines, an estate grown Sonoma Valley vineyards. Jess Wade is the winemaker who also has his own label. They do Rhone style wines very well in the Sonoma Valley. This wine is very dry but succulent. At room temperature, the earthy component of Grenache and a trace of cranberry are coming in.
The third wine is a 2016 Muscardini Cellars Merlot from San Giacomo Family Vineyards, as is the first Chard. The famlly has been growing grapes for almost a hundred years. “Delicious” says Dan Berger.