Monday, May 4, 2009

A Wet Day in Dry Creek

My big sister is in town, so today we did Home School Tuesday tasting (see April 28th post below) on Monday and spent a wet day in Dry Creek rambling about. After learning a Visa Signature card gets you complimentary tastings at certain wineries, (see list here) I built the day accordingly. 

Today's Itinerary:
Rosso & Bianca (Francis Ford Coppola Presents)
Hanna - Hwy 128 (visited Occidental tasting room last week)

I just love, love, love Quivera. From the gardens, to the chickens, to the design of the structures on the property and even the collateral materials. Everything seems in harmony here, just like their wines. Today I made my love affair with Quivera official and joined their Queue wine club. I guess you could say we're going steady now. 

From Quivera we went to Diavola for lunch and had panini's and pizza. I must be on a pig/boar jag since the logos at Quivera and Diavola both feature swine. Or maybe it's a subconscious reaction to the Swine flu (media flu, really). Whatever--swine, I fear you not. I embrace thee!

After lunch we drove over to Rosso & Bianco which was just around the corner. I think it took us longer to drive to the tasting room on the winery property than it did to get to the winery gates from Diavola. If you go, just keep following the red signs past all the construction. You'll find it eventually. 

The tasting room at Rosso & Bianco (soon to be re-named/branded Francis Ford Copppola Presents) is long and narrow with a dark slate poured concrete counter top and low key lighting. It's all about the visuals here. The hosts wear red and white Guayabera style shirts that resemble bowling league attire from the 50's. The shirts gave the place a theme restaurant feel, but it was also kinda cool. 

We tasted the Sonoma County flight of wines and also a new release, the Sofia Riesling

Behind the tasting bar was a display of Coppolas' Oscars, Golden Globe, Donatello (an Italian version of an Oscar), Palme d'Or and other awards of merit. Plus storyboards of scenes from The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. Apocalypse Now is one of my all time favorite movies if not the favorite. I saw it about 30 times when it was first released and I was working part-time at a movie theater. I was riveted by it from the get go. I had just written a college paper on Joseph Conrad and The Heart of Darkness so it was beyond intriguing to me. I've since seen it another 20 times or so, I never tire of it. 

Off to the side of the bar at Rosso & Bianco was a rack of All-Story issues, the lit mag that Coppola publishes. I highly recommend All -Story to you readers out there. The design alone is worth the subscription price. Each issue is designed by a guest artist like Tom Waits, Wayne Thiebaud, Wim Wenders, Chip Kidd & most recently Guillermo del Toro.

I am always attracted to clever, well designed labels. The Coppola labels are very unique. The FC Reserve bottle feature the letters of the Coppola name scattered across the bottle. Apparently the letters were tossed in the air and then photographed as they landed.  The Directors Cut labels feature whimsical block cut figures that spiral around the bottle. The Votre Sante label is cut like a delicate piece of hand crocheted lace. Something anyone with an Italian grandmother is well acquainted with. 

From Coppola we drove back under the freeway over to Trentadue where we were greeted by a very happy wine dog that was part sharpei and boxer. I've had Trentadue Port, but this was the first time tasting their other offerings. There were many selections that stood out on the tasting menu, but my favorite was the Sangiovese

On the way home we stopped off at Hanna on Hwy 128. Originally Hanna was not on the list but we enjoyed their wines so much last week that we could not resist another taste.

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