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Rosé is always in season in this house. While I curse the weather outside, I can sit by the fire with a glass of summer, cozy, warm, and dreaming of boating and wine country. It doesn’t hurt that Rosé is so good with food. This past long weekend we made tuna steaks with a delicious ginger sesame sauce (recipe to come) and I thought a bottle from the Dry Creek Valley would be a nice throwback to our last visit to Sonoma County.

Martorana Rose of Zinfandel This 2014 Martorana Family Winery Rosé of Zinfandel was the perfect pairing for the tuna. Dry, with lots of fresh mineral/stone notes and a hint of strawberry, for me this was the perfect style of Rosé. Not only was it delicious, but it went really well with the hearty tuna steaks and the spice and saltiness of the marinade.

The wine also brought back great memories of visiting their friendly tasting room on a scorching hot late summer day, a day where we also visited Truett Hurst for a glass of wine by the river. Bliss.

Healdsburg Truett Hurst Martorana wine tasting Sonoma County wine country

For other Dry Creek Valley wine posts:

Lambert Bridge Winery

Amista Vineyards

Dry Creek Valley (a VERY old post!)

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Tags: Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine of the week, wine tasting

Somewhere between our Savor Healdsburg food tour and tasting at Cartograph, we had a few extra minutes to wander around Healdsburg and decided to pop into the Banshee tasting room. We’d heard great things about their wines, and the tasting room had a good energy to it, little seating areas filled with small groups tasting and chatting.

Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

The Banshee tasting room has comfy couches, a cool vibe, with wines by the glass or bottle, along with tasting flights. It seemed like the perfect place to hang out, and overall we loved the concept of taking your time with a tasting and being comfortable while doing it. There were a couple of downsides worth noting though.  They had one spit bucket for about 30 people, so we felt forced to drink the pours we were given, something we tend to not want to do when tasting all day. And the person pouring for us actually badmouthed other wineries in an attempt to sell theirs. . .We would have felt a lot better about the experience if that hadn’t happened, but we tried to brush it off because we liked the space and the wines, which were really memorable and delicious and worth stopping for.

One of the wines we brought home is this week’s wine of the week. We love Sonoma Coast Chardonnays and have been inspired by visits to places like Flowers to drink more wine from the far reaches of Sonoma County.  The 2012 Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay comes from a cool climate and thus ripens later in the season. Due to a blending of styles, which includes both oak and stainless, the wine is super balanced, with notes of vanilla bean, tart apple, and citrus. It’s far more delicate than some other California Chardonnays, and it is very easy to drink as well as to pair with food.

If you’re in Healdsburg, I would definitely recommend a stop into Banshee tasting room for a little relaxation. If it’s not too crowded and you can grab a dump bucket, you might just love it.

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Tags: chardonnay, Healdsburg, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, wine, wine of week, wine tasting, Wine Wednesday

As we prepare for Ireland travel adventures and seriously discuss a VERY exciting winter trip, I guess it’s time to wrap up my writing about our last Sonoma County trip. Sure, there will be Wine of the Week posts featuring Sonoma wines we brought back, but I am just about out of photos and stories to share. It must be time to go back.

Our last day in Healdsburg was a sad one, as it always is. We checked out of our rental house and then wandered around trying to decide what to do until our red eye flight from Oakland. Wine tasting was on the cards, of course.

Longboard tasting room Healdsburg

We passed by Longboard Vineyards several times throughout this trip and past Healdsburg visits but never made it inside. A leisurely last day in wine country seemed like the perfect time, and we were glad we stopped in this bright, fun tasting room.

Longboard tasting room

Owner and winemaker Oded Shakked traveled and surfed around the world after surfing from a young age in his native Israel, and the tasting room decor, which includes vintage surfboards all over, reflects that passion.

Shakked brings his surfing passion together with wine in Longboard Vineyards, and while the vibe is laid back, the wine is seriously good stuff.

Longboard Vineyards

wine tasting in Healdsburg

We arrived at the tasting room’s opening since we wanted to make the most of our last day. As a result we had the tasting room to ourselves and had a fun time tasting with our lovely hostess.

Longboard Sauvignon Blanc

We decided to share a tasting (always a great option), and went through the list.  Favorites included their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, which made the trip home with us. Tart, fresh, with nice acid, notes of pineapple and grapefruit, and ever-present minerality, this wine is summery and refreshing, perfect with a grilled seafood feast.

Mavericks Red Blend

We also loved the Mavericks Red Blend (killer label) for its deep, dark fruit flavors and luxurious weight. This wine is a big one, but it still worked on the warm day that we were tasting on.

Longboard’s Rochioli Chardonnay is also a memorable wine, with baked apple and honey notes and a light hint of vanilla, an easy Chardonnay that has enough depth to keep it interesting. Lovely.

We loved all of the wines we tasted at Longboard, and we felt so welcome. It’s a wine club we are definitely considering joining once we figure out what our next year looks like. And there you have it, our magical Sonoma and Napa trip is wrapped up. It’s one I will never forget; our travels were full of good food, wine, people, and time outdoors, great weather, and relaxation. As I sit here finishing this post, I am longing to be canoeing on Russian River again in the August heat, that’s for sure!

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Tags: Healdsburg, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine country, wine tasting, wine travel, wineries

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