Arrowood Winery is located in Sonoma Valley, just a few miles from where I reside. It’s a beautiful winery that sits majestically on a hill overlooking a vineyard, nearby vegetable farm and lots of beautiful oak trees.

Photo Courtesy of Arrowood Winery

Emily Martin of The Jetsettting Fashionista and owner of Emily Martin Communications & Events collaborated with her client, Arrowood Winery, to host several San Francisco and Wine Country bloggers for a sit-down wine and food pairing.  I was delighted to be included and couldn’t wait to visit this well-known winery. This delicious and educational event included a panel discussion with Arrowood’s winemaker, Kristina Werner, and a three-course meal created by Chef John Toulze of the The Girl & The Fig. and designed to pair with a selection of Arrowood’s wine.

It was a wet and rainy January day, which is just what California needs after a long drought.

Arrowood Winery is always a stunning property, no matter what the weather or time of year.

When we arrived, we were greeted immediately by the warm and welcoming staff. We were offered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to start off the afternoon.

The tasting room is warm and inviting!

I was curious about the view from the balcony so took my glass of Sauvignon Blanc outside to take a look around.

I loved the cozy and stylish seating areas and plan on returning another day with my husband to enjoy the patio and also the view.

Once we had a chance to explore the tasting room and the patio area, we 12 bloggers headed upstairs to their elegant dining room that overlooks their expansive vineyard. A gorgeous table had been prepared just for us.

We would be enjoying this educational food and wine pairing with two important members of the Arrowood team, winemaker Kristina and Guest Relations Supervisor Joe Label.

Kristina told us about her background including how she began her career as a winemaker in the Midwest before coming to California’s Wine Country. She also shared Arrowood Winery’s story, as well as, lots of interesting tidbits about grape growing, winemaking and more. Joe shared intriguing facts about Sonoma County AVAs (American Viticulture Area), their terrior and some fascinating wine history.

Our food and wine pairing began with a root vegetable dish, perfect for wintertime. Roasted carrots and honeyed almonds were lightly dressed in a saffron crema. I loved the addition of citrus to this lovely dish. This course was paired with the Arrowood Winery Viognier, which was crisp and light. It was one of my favorite wines of the day, though it was hard to pick favorites among such fantastic wines.

For the second wine and food pairing, we moved from white wines into reds. A braised oxtail dish that included house ground polenta, cocoa nibs, Delicata squash and sage pesto, was accompanied by Arrowood’s 2012 Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Winter comfort food at its finest!

The third course was my very favorite of the three. That is really saying something since the first two were so delicious! This dish had one of those taste sensations you can’t stop thinking about days or even weeks later. Chef John made black truffle ravioli with triple cream mornay and black truffles and topped with micro greens. It was hard to resist licking the plate clean! This phenomenal dish was served with 2013 Arrowood Winery Proprietary Red Wine – a fantastic pairing!

Be sure to put Arrowood Winery on your wine tasting itinerary next time you head to Sonoma Valley.

Thank you to the staff at Arrowood Winery, The Girl and the Fig, and Emily Martin for a wonderfully delicious, fun and educational afternoon.

Arrowood is offering 15% off wines to The Rich Life readers. Just use code ARROWOOD15 for your online orders.

 

 

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Dry Creek Valley is an American Viticulture Area (AVA) situated west of the town of Healdsburg. This Sonoma County region is home to over 70 wineries and offers plenty of scenic country roads.

During a recent stay at The Residence at Comstock Wines, which you can read about here, I had the pleasure of visiting two well-known wineries in Dry Creek Valley with my husband and some close friends of ours.

Comstock Wines

Comstock Wines is situated on the same beautiful 17-acres as The Residence.

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

While the winery is close to The Residence –  just a two-minute walk – it’s far enough away for guests to maintain their privacy. Those staying at The Residence enjoy complimentary tastings at the Comstock Wines

Family-owned Comstock Wines opened its doors to visitors in 2015. However, Bob and Sandy Comstock began growing grapes long before that, in 2002.

After years of discussing the idea of a small winery with family and friends, they moved forward with their dream and Comstock Wines was born. Along with their daughter, Kelly Comstock, the General Manager of Comstock Wines, the family has turned their collective passion for growing and sourcing the best grapes in Sonoma County  into a beautiful and inviting winery offering delicious wines.

The four of us arrived for a late morning tour of Comstock Wines with the winemaker, Chris Russi. Chris welcomed us to the winery, then began the tour by taking us to the grape processing area where we saw some of the machinery used to turn grapes into luscious wines!

A native Northern Californian, Chris started making wine as a kid with his grandfather and family. After college, Chris got into the wine industry, starting as a vineyard and ranch manager and working his way to winemaker over the years. After traveling to and living in wine regions around the globe, Chris now makes wine for Comstock Wines. He says he’s never leaving Sonoma County because he believes it to be the most diverse wine regions in the world.

Comstock Wines makes Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Chris led us into the barrel room where wine was fermenting. There we saw both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.

And there were also some egg-shaped cement tanks, also used during fermenting. Aren’t they interesting looking?

After our tour was complete, we went to the tasting room to sample some Comstock wines.

It was an absolutely stunning day, unseasonably warm, so we decided to buy a bottle of Comstock Sauvignon Blanc and move our wine sipping outdoors to their inviting patio.

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

From our seats, we could see The Residence, where we were staying.

There is more than wine tasting activities at Comstock. They have fun games too! There is a bocce court…

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

and Cornhole boards complete with the Comstock Wines logo.

Our friends Michelle and Bill, who love Cornhole, decided to play a couple of friendly – but competitive – rounds while Bill and I watched and tried to keep score – all the while, hogging the wine!

It was a lovely way to spend part of an afternoon in Dry Creek Valley.

Quivira

During our stay we also had the pleasure of visiting Quivira Vineyards, another well-known Dry Creek Valley winery not far from Comstock.

Quivira Vineyards is an incredibly scenic place. We experienced a sit-down tasting outdoors, looking over the vineyards and mountains in the distance. It was lovely!

Quivira specializes in Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Rhone varietals. Their grapes are grown organically and biodynamically.

We were treated to a plate of cured Italian meats and dried fruits from their farm. The nibbles paired perfectly with the wines we tasted.

And again, the views were simply stunning!

After our tasting was over, we explored the Quivira property. They have a farm and large garden on the property with vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Quivira’s gardens are also biodynamic.

I was thrilled to find lots of chickens!

The garden is expansive and includes fruit trees, a green house and lots of raised beds.

I hope you’ve enjoyed virtually visiting these two wineries!

Aside from wine tasting, there is much to do in the Dry Creek Valley area. Choose from hot air balloon rides, bike riding, hiking, sightseeing and boating at nearby Lake Sonoma. And the charming town of Healdsburg, chock full of wonderful restaurants and boutiques, is just a short drive away.

Have you ever visited Dry Creek Valley?

Reminder:

How I Wear My: Blue is happening next week!

Monday, 2/6 is the deadline for submissions.

Visit the How I Wear My page for details on how to participate.

Disclosure: Our tour and tastings at Comstock Wines were part of our stay, which was complimentary in exchange for my review. Our Quivira Vineyards tasting was also complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

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