Thursday, July 7, 2011
Ron and I met friends Maria and Alex and Sherrie at Sculpterra Winery for a unique and sumptuous celebration of USA independence!
Winemaker Paul Frankel's 2010 Chardonnay and Viognier were palatable and refreshing at the tasting bar, and a few of us took advantage of the free hotdogs outside (the folks at Sculpterra think of everything that my Inner Archivist would love).
Then Paul invited us into his barrel room to marvel at the collection of wood barrels from all over the world of varying sizes, housing multiple single varietals and blends of his amazingly delicious, as-yet unbottled wines.
Paul navigated the racks of barrels with his stainless steel thief and a glass, all to treat us to his first Rhone blend, the prized Bentley Cabernet Sauvignon, perfect Primativo, and precious Petite Syrah -- all absolutely delectable, with beautiful deep color to turn even the whitest of teeth temporarily purple!
Sherrie is also the enologist at Castoro Cellars so it was fun to share in her "shop talk" with Paul, as these two industry professionals are enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable yet pleasantly unpretentious. (Read about Sherrie and Paul in my book "Cravings, Ravings & Misbehavings!")
But no matter how many discussions we engage with experts like Paul and Sherrie, we always have questions about every stage of the winemaking process, and they graciously increase our knowledge bases.
After the tasting, we purchased a few bottles of wine and two boxes of custom wine-filled chocolates. We found a lovely table in the shade and sated ourselves on a late afternoon picnic in the sculpture garden.
The weather was perfectly warm with a healthy breeze, beautiful blue, blue sky, and plenty of incomparable California sunshine. Summer has arrived!
Just above is a picture in the barrel room (L to R): Alex, Maria, Sherrie, moi, Ron, Paul.
Finally, I got in a photo!
Great thanks to Paul and everyone at Sculpterra, to Sherrie and Maria and Alex and Ron for putting up with my big crush on Paul and Sculpterra wines, and to Mother Nature for a memorable day that we all secretly wished would never come to an end!