Posts Tagged ‘Wine Country’

The Valley of the Moon

Monday, September 30th, 2013

It was one of those weekends that combined evening hours spent with great friends in celebration of a birthday, and a day spent journeying to a farm in search of beautiful pumpkins and seasonal produce (the squash, the tomatoes, so good). I’ve realized stepping away from the computer on the weekends is pure delight, and it’s in those hours of ignoring the screens or smartphone that I feel like I’m really living. 

Last week, Matt and I stole away for a day to one of our favorite destinations in Sonoma County, the idyllic Valley of the Moon. The author Jack London lived in the territory – its name originates from the Native American Miwok tribe who referred to this special region nestled between mountains and hills as the “Valley of the Moon”.

I thought I’d share some snaps of what’s happening in the high season which begins in late September and lasts through late November. The harvest and crush are in full swing as each grape reaches the ripe and ready point. The tourists are arriving from all around the world to soak up the sunshine and indulge in the flavors of the region.

sonoma valley of the moon vineyard

The vineyards sprawl for miles and miles in Sonoma and Napa counties and grapes are planted strategically by terroir. There are a few wineries that (lucky for the us) plant rows of different varietals adjacent to each other in a small plot of land to show the difference between a merlot, a cabernet, a syrah, a zinfandel, a chardonnay, and a sauvignon blanc.

Every varietal is ready to be picked at a different time over the course of the harvest season. Each grape is distinct, down to its color, flavor, cluster, and even the characteristics of the leaves, yet they all thrive in this place we’re lucky to call our backyard. 

different varietals and leaves

   

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The Alexander Valley

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Just north of Healdsburg off of the 101 Highway is a unique wine growing region in Sonoma County known as the Alexander Valley. The Russian River runs through the heart of it where oak trees and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and thrive in the sunshine.

The heart of the Alexander Valley is 45 minutes from our front door and we hadn’t visited in a few years, so we invited some of our good friends along, Dino and Heidi who love to go tasting and exploring (we attended the famous Kendall Jackson Tomato Festival with them last year) and off we went to visit some old favorites and new wineries we’ve never been to before. 

alexander valley winery signs

 

The region is really beautiful time of year, the sun is warm but still mild, and the tasting rooms are less crowded before late summer and the harvest in the fall when the large crowds arrive. In June you can sit, sip, and stroll among the vineyards, watching the grapes forming on the vine.

grapes on vine alexander valley

 

We started our afternoon at Hawkes Winery, next door to the famous Jimtown Store where you’ll catch a scenic view of the adjacent vineyards and can grab a bite for lunch.

red chairs looking over vineyard

 

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