Photos & article by Andi Berlin
The 17th annual Grape to Glass at stately Richard’s Grove celebrates the wines of the Russian River Valley, a cool atmosphere known for producing rich chardonnays and bright pinot noirs. More than 75 wineries set up booths in the toasty afternoon heat, accompanied by a host of farmers market vendors and local restaurants offering small bites.
While pinots and chards dominated, some of the most exciting pours were citrus-y Rosés, robust Cabernet Francs and an experimental Sauvignon Blanc. My top taste goes to Trione Vineyard’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, with a flavor profile of green apple and citrus, paired with savory cucumber. Extremely crisp and refreshing in the sun, it’s also full-bodied and complex. During the fermenting process, the winemakers added a new yeast called Alchemy II from South Africa, imparting notes of gooseberry and grass.
Other wine highlights included a cloudy and sweet unfiltered 2007 Pinot Noir from Lion’s Pride, a cooperative effort between Russian River Valley winegrowers and students at the local El Molino High School – it pleased with light flavors of apricots and peach. I also enjoyed a spicy 2008 Zinfandel from Sandole Wines in Sebastopol. A fine example of a powerful, zesty Zin, it rocks the palate with dark flavors of black pepper, plus a hint of fresh strawberries.
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