Recently, my sister, Annie and her boyfriend, John, came to SF for a visit. In accordance with the CCC’s Rules of Good Hostessing, we, of course, spent a day in wine country. We are lucky in the Bay Area to live so close to a bounty of incredible wineries, it’s sometimes hard to chose where to go. This is why for all things wine I turn to my wonderful friends, Pamela and Anton. They know wines and they know wine country. In addition to one of my favorite wineries, Medlock Ames (see my review here), Pamela and Anton also suggested Michel-Schlumberger and Dry Creek Vineyards ending at Rustic for a late lunch. Yes, it was a wonderful day!
After a fantastic start to our day at Medlock Ames, we moved onto Michel-Schlumberger, quite possibly the most elegant winery in Sonoma. Jean-Jacques Michel planted the first vines here in 1979. The Dry Creek Valley soil and climate are ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Chardonnay grapes. In 1991, Jacques Pierre Schlumberger joined with Michel bringing with him a 400-year family history of wine making. Of note, Jacques Pierre is a descendant of Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger founders of Schlumberger, a global company that serves the technology and project management needs of the oil and gas industry.
In addition to wine tasting, you can also do a food pairing at Michel-Schlumberger. Perfect for the peckish taster. The food was delish and the wines were lovely. The zinfandel was the crowd favorite. It was particularly special because, our host, Ryan, was the vinter for this wine. He and father founded Leonhardt Vineyards and they have been making Zins since 2007. Don’t tell the folks at Michel-Schlumberger but you can buy Ryan’s wine at Trader Joes!
Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyards was the first in the area. Before the winery, Dry Creek Valley was rather desolate with only a few family farms and prune orchards. I went crazy for their sauvignon blanc and joined the wine club.
My parents and I were thrilled when our cousin, Bambi, and her husband, Dan, paid us a visit. Bambi and Dan hail from the East and came to California to visit one of their sons who was working in San Diego. As part of their West Coast adventure, they rented a car and traveled up the Golden State’s gorgeous coastline and ending in San Francisco. It’s not often that our East Coast cousins come west so we wanted to make their visit super-special. Is there any better way to host out-of-towners than with a trip to the Wine Country? We think not!
In planning our wine county tour, Bambi and Dan asked that we visit a winery where we could learn about how wines are made, in addition to enjoying a tasting. My sister, Joanna, had spoken highly of Medlock Ames, a winery in Healdsburg. When I checked out their website, it seemed an ideal place for learning and tasting. Founded in 1998 by two friends, Chris James and Ames Morison, Medlock Ames creates wines in a completely organic and sustainable way. The winery is powered by solar energy and their grapes are grown without pesticides or chemicles. And yes, their wines are delicious!
During our tasting we were fortune to meet Ames Morison, one of the owners and wine makers. He was generous with his time answering all of our questions about their process. We were so impressed with him and Medlock Ames’ committment to creating delicious wines through environmentally conscious methods. As Dan said to Ames, “what you are you doing is really important and it’s what everyone should be doing.” Very well said, Dan!
If you are looking for a unique and personal wine tasting experience, visit Medlock Ames. It’s bright, earthy, and elegant with a lingering finish of many happy memories! Thank you Bambi and Dan for inspiring us to visit!