Valley Vineyards. I always seem to find amazing values at YVV, but forget to stop by and look around. In addition, they have a glorious deck on the back of their tasting room. There is such a peaceful feeling being surrounded by ancient oak trees swaying in the breeze with gently sloping vines growing just beyond the trees. And of course, I'm not just going to sit and taste wine, we're going to eat some food while we're there.
I have system. I bring real china to serve the food which usually consist of toasted Red Fox Bakery Bread, some cheese from Abbie & Oliver's and roasted vegetables of some kind. We also have a caprese salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil with olive oil and aged balsamic.
Other people, the ones I'm not feeding, always look at me funny as I start to unload all of the food and plates. I can never figure out if they're thinking "That guy's really weird", or "Why didn't we think of that" but it's a great way to taste wines.
Linda Arnold, the Tasting Room Manager, could not have been more accommodating. There are several groups doing their tastings out on the deck. She brings us glasses and starts us off with their estate Pinot Gris. I like it, but like their Pinot Blanc even more. They are featuring a 2007 Pinot Noir bottled under the "Erratic Rock" label that they are selling for $10. That's right $10! (Go now, it won't last long.) And it's a nice little Pinot. I don't think it will age well, but at $10 I wouldn't expect it to.
Linda saves their '09 Riesling for last. It is beautiful, with just a little bit of residual sugar and a nice, mineral complexity. The vines at YVV are getting older (some are 28 years old now) and also becoming more beautiful with age. As they are getting older, they are producing more and more complex wines. By the way, Robin noticed that the longer she left the '07 in her glass the better it opened up, so when we got home we decanted it, and the tasted was even better. On the way back to the house we stopped at Farmer John's Produce and got a half a flat of blueberries and a half a flat of strawberries. They are so ripe, and sweet and beautiful. What a beautiful place we live, and what glorious time of year to explore it.