Friday, May 28, 2010

Sonoma Day 6 – Wineries Beginning with “B”

What is with this rain in Northern California in late May? Andrew, Rob, Janet, Cece and I got up and headed down to the Square for some breakfast through an absolute downpour passing by some unseasonably ominous signs along East Napa.

Karen had recommended we try breakfast at the cafe at El Dorado Kitchen which we did (nice bacon & cheese breakfast sandwich!) although Sunflower Caffe next door remains our favorite.

We then returned home, picked up Pat and Connie, and then headed out for the day’s adventures.

Karen had also recommended that we visit the Benzinger Family winery in Glen Ellen, just north of Sonoma, and have lunch at the nearby Jack London Saloon. Happily the rain let up by the time we got to Benzinger and we enjoyed our tasting there, although Cece did not seem to share our enthusiasm for the winery’s self-touted biodynamic agricultural practices.

Although the weather had improved, it started to sprinkle again (robbing me of the opportunity to absorb all the Benzinger “Biodynamic Discovery Trail” had to offer), so we headed for our next stop - lunch at the Jack London Saloon - after all we were in the Valley of the Moon and not far from Jack London State park where the writer lived from 1905 until his death in 1916. I went with Karen’s suggestion of the pulled pork sandwich which proved to be excellent.

At our wine and cheese tasting with Sheana Davis on Sunday, one of the wines Sheana had brought for us was B.R. Cohn’s Panel Wagon Pinot, which we all had enjoyed.

Since the winery was on Highway 12 on the short drive back from Glen Ellen to Sonoma, we decided to stop there too. The Panel Wagon Pinot is one of the winery’s series of wines featuring classic cars (in addition to running the winery, and managing the Doobie Brothers, Bruce Cohn also collects classic cars), and they feature a group of models just in front of the winery (note the extra passenger in the wagon!).

From there we proceeded to the tasting room.

In the 1990’s, B.R. Cohn was among the first companies involved in the re-emergence of artisan olive oil production in California, using a grove of 145-year- Picholine olive trees on the premises (the origin of the wineries “Olive Hill Estate Vineyards” name and the olive branch on their label). They offer tastings of their olive oil and related products at a separate room next to the wine tasting room and we enjoyed that too.

After that it was home for the balance of the afternoon. Rob and Janet went off to dinner at Cafe La Haye.

The rest of us stayed home to watch the Lakers last second victory over the Suns. We should have gone down to Murphy’s Pub after all.

1 comment:

connie said...

I don't get the killer bees reference ... :-(