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 .
Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Adventure
Sponsored by Atkinsons’ Market, Snake River Farms, Grassi Wines
Saturday, September 20, $150 – Limit 40 guests. Tickets HERE
Where: Nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, and surrounded by the meandering Salmon River, Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch will truly take your breath away. Travel to this charming historic, rustic lodge and explore all that the ranch has to offer from incredible vistas to natural hot springs.
Chefs: Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Executive Chef Jordan Boutry will be teaming up with Executive Chef/Owner, Andy Blanton, of Cafe Kandahar, at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana. Boutry earned culinary degrees from the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver and has been instrumental in establishing prestigious western eateries. Blanton, a Louisiana native, attended the Culinary Art Institute in Baton Rouge. Blanton has worked along side two James Beard Award-winning chefs, before receiving his own James Beard Award nomination for the “Best Chef in the Northwest.”
Wine: Since 2001, Sun Valley locals Mark and Jami Grassi have carefully nurtured their 14-acre vineyard in Napa Valley, which sits on an ancient riverbed above the valley floor. Since establishing Grassi, this family-owned vineyard has been producing wines that have consistently received high ratings and reviews and are sure to make your ranch experience all the more delightful.
Photo from Redbook Magazine
This year, we’ve added a new element before the Restaurant Walk to get you ready to embark on your roving culinary adventure! The Idaho Wine Commission will be taking time out of their busy Harvest Season to provide a sampling of up-and-coming Idaho Wines during ticket registration from 4pm – 5pm. In case you haven’t heard, our neighbors in the Snake River Valley rated #2 on a new list Redbook Magazine’s list of “America’s Top Wine Destinations.” At the Sun Valley Harvest Festival, you can see for yourself with a weekend full of opportunities to try amazing wines from right here in our Gem State. Move on over, potatoes!