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Monday, May 12, 2014

Wine Country Report: McEvoy Ranch, Fried Chicken & Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

  • McEvoy Ranch

McEvoy Ranch

If your weekend vision quest revolves around limited edition extra virgin olive oil, wine and beautiful and rather green environs, there's a ranch just 15 minutes outside of downtown Petaluma worth checking out.

Why visit: Award winning McEvoy Ranch is an hour away from S.F. and now open for weekend tastings.

There's a kicky wine and olive oil tasting event for the release of the 2013 Rosebud wine, named after our favorite San Francisco lady-writer, bon vivant and musician, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, who passed away May 24, 2012. Her last word was "rosebud." We like that country casual attire is encouraged, including cowboy boots (Goldmark collected vintage cowboy boots and penned a fun book called And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You</a>). Note that you must register to attend. Delicious local bites will be from Thistle Meats and Toluma Farms. There's also music, bocce and raffle prizes. Vision questing elsewhere and have to miss the wine and boots spring release party? The tasting room is open by appointment on weekends. When: May 24, 12 to 4 p.m. Where: 5935 Red Hill Road, Petaluma (707) 778-2307. Cost: $20 to $45; you receive a $15 voucher at check-in that can be used toward any McEvoy Ranch wine purchases on the day of the event.
  • The Art of Eating Place Setting
Bouverie Preserve's Art of Eating Fundraiser M.F.K. Fisher has always been a source of inspiration for eaterly and drinkerly pursuits, and an upcoming Glen Ellen fundraising event uses her pioneering creativity as a theme for a "Vintage Country Picnic" on Sunday May 18. Since we always geeked out on field trips in elementary school, it's nice to see the event proceeds for this one allows 6,000 kiddos to trek and explore nature at the Audubon Canyon Ranch, which is a non-profit. Why visit: There's potentially four hours of food and drink, with a sit down meal that includes fried chicken from Chef Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B Side BBQ; there's also kitchen presence from Rivoli and Taste Catering with wines from Wente Vineyards. Enhance your own education with a stroll to the "Wine is Life" exhibit on Fisher, which was curated by Randy Tarpey-Schwed, co-author of the 2013 tome M.F.K. Fisher: An Annotated Bibliography. Fisher's tie to the Bouverie Preserve is deeply personal, since she was reportedly a compatriot of David Bouverie and lived at the Bouverie Preserve the last twenty years of her life, where she wrote twelve books and confabbed with fooderati friends: Julia Child, Alice Waters, John Ash, Chuck Williams and James Beard (if those tablecloths could talk!). Plus: Ever wondered what Check Please host Leslie Sbrocco is like off camera? This is a fine chance to drink some wine with her and enjoy her emcee skills (there are auction items, so bring that cash or credit card). When: May 18 Where: Bouverie Preserve, 13935 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen, (707) 938-4554 Cost: $150 Passport to Pinot  Why visit now: Barrel and related tastings spread out over a weekend grants the taster (you) a fab chance to try excellent cool climate Pinot Noir wine as it ages and before it is bottled and released. If you love that 2013, buy futures of the barrel, a practice our wine loving friends highly recommend for both the fun factor and the prospect of getting bottles of enjoyment down the line after you've maybe forgotten about your futures purchase. This two-minute video shows the grapes, people and places behind the event (we love the pizza shot especially).

Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot from CLICKER VIDEO on Vimeo.

Your ticket supports more than 30 wineries in the Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), and includes access to library and limited edition wines that can only be sampled at the winery site, which is insider-y access in an approachable and friendly setting. With good wine naturally goes good food, check. In keeping with the standard format for this sort of wino weekend, there's also demos from painters, potters and jewelry makers, as well as entertainment from local musicians (tipsy shopping has never been easier). If you have time and money, there's also the option to nab tickets to a multi-course May 24th dinner with host wineries: Arista, Benovia, DeLoach, Joseph Swan, Hartford Family, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards, Thomas George, Williams Selyem and more. Or up your wine knowledge at a seminar that same day that explores three adjoining neighborhoods: the Middle Reach, Laguna Ridge and Green Valley that same day.  When: May 24-25 Where: 30+ Russian River Valley wineries Cost: $40 (Sunday-only) to $65 (both Saturday and Sunday). Seminar ($20) and multi-course Pinot Classic Paulée Dinner ($250) are extra. Do use that spit bucket and send tips our way via writereadeat (at) gmail (dot) com, and follow @mladdfood
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Mary Ladd


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