Tag Archives: Sonoma County

The Vincast Episode 038 – Alder Yarrow from Vinography

Alder Yarrow started his wine blog Vinography back in 2004 when the concept of a blog, let alone a wine blog, was still very unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that he quickly became the biggest wine blogger in the U.S.A. and remains so to this day, he still does it for passion and not as his primary source of income. Based in San Francisco, Alder not only receives samples of wines from all over the world but has had the opportunity to travel as well. In 2014 he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch his book The Essence of Wine, which breaks down various characters of wine through a combination of words and images. He joins me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about his journey and passions.

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Alder Yarrow

Alder Yarrow

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Bentleigh Tasting Group – Napa Valley Tasting

In my recent exploits attempting to gain employment back home in Melbourne I trialled at the now 18-year-old Punch Lane Wine Bar & Restaurant. The venue is a staple in the city centre, having been an early proponent of the now famous lane way culture here. Whilst here I met with James Dossan, a certified sommelier originally hailing from Sydney, who is managing this venue. James runs a monthly tasting group for friends who are in the industry, which includes sommeliers and wholesalers alike. Each of them has is or will study wine and thus the tastings are designed to improve everyone’s skills in analysis. A theme is chosen and each member brings a bottle to be tasted blind. Continue reading

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Sirah that aint Petite (Dry Creek & Alexander Valleys, California)

My second day in Sonoma County had me heading further North into the Dry Creek Valley. As the name suggests the climate is a lot drier and warmer with quite cool nights. If I were to compare it to a region in Australia, it would be similar to Bendigo. The two most important varieties here are zinfandel, that classic California grape, and petite sirah. It wasn’t until I came to Dry Creek that I was reminded that petite sirah is another name for durif, the famous Rutherglen grape. This made a lot of sense and of course I felt a bit silly for forgetting.

Breakfast of champions

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This is more like it (Chalk Hill & Russian River Valley, California)

Driving up through the Sonoma Valley towards Santa Rosa, it was good to be out of the Napa Valley. Not that it wasn’t nice, it’s just wall to wall vines and a winery every 250m. Being out in Carneros and Sonoma Valley was a return to terroir, with actual site selection for planting and smaller, more understated wineries and tasting rooms. It isn’t until you continue North into Sonoma County you realise how beautiful this part of California is, and although it is as busy as Napa from a tourism perspective, the roads aren’t chock-a-block with cars as the region is more spread out, with larger sub-regions. The sub-regions of Sonoma are the Russian River Valley (home of pinot noir and chardonnay), Dry Creek Valley (home of zinfandel and petite sirah), and Chalk Hill and Alexander Valley (home of everything else).

Rodney Strong Vineyards

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