Raising a glass to the land from which we drank
On a trip to Northern California recently, we had a chance to swing by one of our featured wines for a tasting and tour. The staff at Stuhlmuller Vineyards graciously offered a remarkable flight of wine tasting before showing us around the property. It was a trip highlight. The vineyards were originally planted around the year 1900, but prohibition took its toll and the vines were replaced by orchards and cattle. Today, the plants once again meander over the hillsides, spanning 150 acres and dating back to the 1970s.
Despite a high pedigree of grapes, it wasn’t until 1996 that the family turned to wine making themselves. By 2000, they had an estate grown vintage and a reputation as wonderful vintners to go with their cultivation renown. They are located a short distance from the Russian River, in a picturesque red barn cradled between rows of their expansive property. We had a chance to view their cask aging process, and to climb atop the shining grape pressers for a view of the Alexander Valley. Don’t worry, it wasn’t time to start the process of wine making, so we didn’t meddle with their refined process despite the calls to imitate I Love Lucy.
History and Tradition
The wine tasting itself was sublime. We starting with several vintages of Chardonnay before moving on to Zins and a few Cabernet Sauvignons. Each was remarkable and unique, with one member of our party declaring that she will only be drinking Zins from now on! To cap it off, a sweet and smooth port to ease our minds before a picnic (with more wine) amidst the vine stalks. It was a lovely afternoon with lovely people and a lovely view. I don’t think I could pick an absolute favorite, but certainly the ‘Block 11 North’ Cabernet Sauvignon holds a warm place in my heart.
Stuhlmuller wines will be featured during the Swiftsure Ranch Fly Fishing Foodie Adventure .
Swiftsure Ranch Fly Fishing Adventure
Sponsored by Atkinsons’ Market, Stuhlmuller Vineyards, Sturtevants
Saturday, September 20, $275 – Limit 40 guests. Tickets HERE
Where: Find the perfect fishing hole along the Big Wood River on this adventure for beginners and experienced anglers alike. Local guides from Sturtevants will navigate the waters, helping you bait, hook, and hopefully land the wild Idaho rainbow trout of your dreams. After you’ve worked up an appetite, sit down to a spectacular lunch riverside at Swiftsure Ranch and regale your fellow anglers with your fish stories.
Chef: Chef/Owner of Town, Phat Thai, The Pullman, and Harman’s Eat & Drink in Colorado, Mark Fischer is a busy and popular man. His local and sustainable ideals have helped lead The Pullman was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine. He has been a James Beard semifinalist as the best Chef in the Southwest for 6 years running and has been featured nationally by the likes of The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet while still garnering rave reviews in The Denver Post and The Aspen Times.
Wine: Nestled in a unique river bench and hillside location of the Alexander Valley in California, Stuhlmuller Vineyards boasts the ideal climate and ancient soils for their esteemed estate Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines will be perfectly paired with your lunch and are sure to complement the riverside views.