After Rued, we made our way over to Matrix Winery where we looked forward to enjoying some Costeaux Focaccia. They had a couple tasting areas, including one out on the patio. This was where I camethisclose to buying a bottle of their 2006 Nunes Pinot Noir. Again, I don't usually like pinot noirs, but this was pretty good! I resisted the urge to buy a bottle (and by resisted I mean someone had to tell me not to) since it was either $35 or $40 :)
Unfortunately, the food wasn't as good as the wine. The four of us were convinced we were in for a fancy focaccia snack. Wrong-o. It was pretty much plain bread (texture was more like a loaf of regular bread) and some slices of gouda on the side. Eh, there had to be a food let down at some point. Can't have it all!
Next up was Twomey Cellars. Food here was PHENOMENAL. I may have actually gotten a second tasting ;p Definitely going to use the Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Walnuts and Sage recipe!
The wine here was pretty good too. I was hooked on the 2006 Napa Valley Merlot and I've never been much of a merlot drinker! Maybe it's because they snuck a bit of cabernet franc in there. Ah haaa. This bottle was on the pricier side ($50) so I passed on purchasing. Instead I opted for a photoshoot
Pretty sure those chairs were for sale. Weird.
As the day went on, the tastebuds and memory may have gotten a little fuzzy ;p Good thing C. Donatiello was serving up some super flavorful Duck & Shiitake Tinga Tostadas. I don't remember much about the wine, except that it went wonderfully with the tostadas and had a cool label.
I'd definitely visit again since the grounds were absolutely gorgeous. There was a garden with persimmons, limes and other fruits as well as chairs just waiting for a catalog-y photoshoot
We zoomed through pretty quickly so we could make it to Moshin Vineyards for some great wine and Rick's Famous Smoked Salmon in Phyllo Cups. Food wasn't bad...just kinda blah compared to the rest of the wineries. Still tasty.
I walked out with a bottle of their Promoshin Red Blend
A mysteriously delicious red priced at a wallet-friendly $18.
Our last stop of the day was Korbel Champagne Cellars where we caught them right before the festival ended (4pm). There may have been an incident pre-tasting involving dumping rinse water into the clean water pitcher...
We sampled a deliciously refreshing Orechiette Pasta with Melon & Champagne-Cracked Peppercorn Dressing. Normally I don't like creamy pasta salads, but this was AMAZING. The sweet melon went perfectly with the creamy, savory dressing. Definitely going to make this for a picnic!
Afterward we paid a visit to The Gourmet Delicatessen on site to split a pint of the much talked about Pliney the Elder
I had heard about this a few months ago but never really got around to searching for it. I was excited the the Korbel folks mentioned it and had it on tap! This double IPA is brewed by the Russian River Brewing Company and is pretty hoppy. I really enjoyed it. Definitely recommend it.