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Monday, September 19, 2011

"Balmy Day's & Sundays"... Wine Tasting in the Sierra's

Do you like the title? I thought it was simply perfect for my blog post about how I spent yesterday. Which of course was a Sunday. It was indeed a very balmy day in Northern California, typical for Septembers, as we always have what is known as Indian Summers. Such weather, after months of heat and this year mugginess, makes me want to simply lounge all day and doze on and off, so does Queen Bitty the cat waking us all at 4 a.m. each day...but will save that story for later this week. Back to the title and our day out. 
Hubby had suggested we finally go to Folsom and go to the zoo amongst other activities, but the idea of crowds simply made me wish to pull the blankets back up over my head. So after a breakfast of crepes with cinnamon peaches and whipped cream, and many cups of coffee, we decided on revisiting the area we had been in last week;upper Hwy 49 near Grass Valley. Hubby has to work for basically the next week with no days off and so thought it would be wonderful to go do his favorite thing, wine tasting of course! He is after all known as a "cork dork" in our family. When out last week for the engagement photos of our middle daughter, we had spotted a few winery signs we had not seen before and decided it was worth a re-visit.

So I proceeded to get ready, trying hard to find something comfortable, and yet stylish, despite my hubby's penchant for being anything but, and right before we left I choose my fragrance for the day...."Balmy Day's & Sundays" ; a perfume by IN6KE Perfume San Francisco(By Ineke Ruhland). It is an alphabet collection and this was of course "B". Described as "Laying face-up to the sky, dappled light flickering through the pale green of overhead branches....are you not just swooning already?? The perfume is then broken down to this....
TOP: Freesia, Leafy Greens, Grass
MIDDLE: Honeysuckle, Rose, Mimosa
BASE: Chypre Accent, Musk

Heavenly is what I would describe it as....oh and perfect too! 

So now you know the basis for the title of the blog post. Let's move ob to the wine shall we? As I mentioned we were revisiting the area of Hwy 49 nearest Grass Vally, but we started in the outer areas of Auburn. We had not explored this area in some time and it is definitely worth revisiting and discovering new to us places to find sips to swoon over. Exiting off at Bell Ave. on HWY 80 and finding our way to 49, we went in search for a wine tasting spot we had seen the weekend before, Sierra Knolls; they did not open till noon. Instead of waiting the 10-15 minutes we decided to go back to a winery not too far back...Fawnridge Winery.

We followed the signs, drove up the long windy gravel road and found Fawnridge (above) without much indecent other than a lot of dust that needed to settle.

The fawns that greeted us....

The road that brought us, and a beautiful scenic view!
We had been to Fawnridge about four years ago, but often it is hard to make it back when there are so many delightful wine regions in Northern California, but we knew we had enjoyed it the first time around; so looked forward to it. Having refreshed my memory with the local STYLE magazine, I was eager to go in. 

So was hubby...he made it to the bar before me(He's in the black shorts)but then I did stop to take a photo. The owner Stewart Perry was pouring.

Fawnridge Vineyards was started in 2002, two years after Stewart and his wife Stephanie began their venture into the world of being winemakers. The grapes they concentrate on, based on soil and climate conditions, Barbera and Syrah are both grapes they grow in their own vineyards; others they source out for. They are masters at the two they grow, but I felt most of the offerings that day were swoon worthy on some level. 

Hubby and myself were both ready to sample some wine!
After delightful conversation and even more so delightful wine, this is my list of "swoon worthy sips" tasting notes as I like you all to decide for yourself what you pick up on the nose and the pallet.

2009 Chardonnay...$20.00 
2007 Old Vine Zin from 126 year old vines! 25.00
New Vintage "Port" *Fortified Wine  18.00 

We did not purchase anything, as our day had just begun, but we were already planning our trip back in the very near future to purchase 1-2 bottles of our favorites. Mr. Perry can count on that. *Tastings are free, but there is a tip jar. Contact information.... HERE

Cheers from Fawnridge, time to continue on.

It now being well after the noon hour we headed up the road to Sierra Knolls. We had found out that they had for a very long time had a vineyard/winery out in the Auburn hills, but it was off the beaten track and that they had decided to put up a lovely venue right off the 49 so that it would be easily seen...location, location, location. Three months ago, at the beginning of Summer the current tasting room opened it's doors to the public. 

The view from Hwy 49 as we headed towards the main gate.
The lovely grounds....

The view from the front porch towards Hwy 49
A better view of the beautiful tasting room....If I could build a home, landscape a beautiful yard, Sierra Knolls embodies a lot of my residential dreams! 

 The owners of Sierra Knolls in Auburn, Steve & Brenda Taylor, as well as John & Linda Chase are long time friends and of course wine lovers. John is the head Winemaker. Scott Taylor is assistant. According to the web site he is still learning the craft, and apparently it is a family affair as well, as you will often see kids helping out as well. They have been at it since 1999, they boast of having "...high quality, robust fruit, big noses and satisfying finishes" and after going through the tasting, I tend to agree. They currently offer: Estate Merlot and Zinfandel. Chardonnay, Afternoon Delight (Rhone Blend), Saravese (Sangiovese Rose), Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes are from local vineyards.They also offer a very swoon worthy Chocolate Dessert Wine and I am told a delightful Sparkling Wine, though we did not sample any yesterday.

Our greeter yesterday as we entered the tasting room.
The tasting bar...that is Bob Krogman, head of marketing and sales at Sierra Knolls, and our host yesterday.

There is many places to sit and relax or you can stroll around the gift store and art display. They offer wine by the glass on top of tastings.
The offerings that day. We split them and had all 10! Tastings are 5.00 each and that is taken off the price of a bottle if you purchase. *note: only 5.00 off, not 10, they do have to make some money.
We had such a wonderful time, each sip was more delightful than the last. We of course paced ourselves and poured out after a couple of sips, and drank loads of water...always important.I took copious notes and had a fun time testing my nose and my pallet against the provided tasting notes. There are so many "swoon worthy sips" , far too many to list, it was hard to pick a favorite...but if you twist my arm, with my sweet tooth it was the Chocolate dessert wine 22.00 . However we were lucky enough to taste a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, not on the list of offerings that day, but graciously sampled out by Bob, and that according to my husband was THE best he had tasted all day, and so a bottle of it went home with us. We will go back for that dessert wine however! Contact information HERE  

Cheers from Sierra Knolls!

Of course had to have hubby take a fashion shot.
*Other information....

1 comment:

  1. It does look like you had fun doll!! Love your really do remind me of darling 20s flapper!! My mouth is watering at the thought of those crepes with cinnamon peaches and whipped cream! Mwah!! xoxo


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