Around The Bay: Pre-harvest Party at Richard’s Grove & Saralee’s Vineyard, Windsor

After tastings from 75+ wineries, visitors feasted on barbecue

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.

Trione Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc

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.

Hook and Ladder poured their rich, tobacco-inflected 2009 Cabernet Franc from Los Amigos Ranch

Sunflowers adorned the Dutton Estate booth










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David Bice of Redwood Hill Farms passed out their fresh chevre and a goat milk “Camembert” called Camellia – definitely less robust than its cow’s milk cousin, it still had a nice kick

Sayre Farms out of Santa Rosa sold vegetables and cut up a fresh “sugar crunch” cucumber for us to taste

This buttery chardonnay is named after a dog that lives at the Russian River Vineyards

Ahi tuna tartare with pita chips and micro greens from Nectar at the Hilton Sonoma

When the sun set, it was chicken thighs & other delights from BBQ Smokehouse Bistro











View of the trees, before we loaded into a tractor meandering through the grapevines