We started in December last year with big birthdays and other life
cycle events, and continued in January with my mother-in-law’s 75th
birthday. We had a nice simple
lunch, with the group meeting in Auburn, somewhat equidistant between people
coming from Reno, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa. And somewhat close to my mother-in-law in the Placerville
area. Not too much to report from
the lunch, but we did have a great time, including our granddaughter having her
chocolate ice cream for her dessert.
On the way up to Placerville we decided to stop at Auriga Wine Cellars, in El Dorado County
in the Sierra Foothills. We had
been there before, a few years ago, and had really liked their Sangiovese. Great taste, great value. Actually, we liked it so much that we
bought it for our younger son’s wedding
rehearsal dinner. This time we
weren’t looking for wedding wine, just for some nice wine for everyday
drinking. And we found some.
When we arrived there the
owner/winemaker, Richard Sturgis, was behind the bar and, not surprisingly for
a Friday afternoon, the tasting room wasn’t crowded. We tasted through almost their whole selection: sparkling french columbard, sauvignon
blanc, sangiovese, super tuscan, barbera, zinfandel and syrah. We didn’t taste the dessert port-style
wine. This is a pretty typical
range of varietals for a Sierra Foothills winery, because these are the grapes
that grow well in the Foothills.
We’re not huge fans of sparkling wines, but we really liked this
one, and with a few more – events grandchildren being born, weddings, big
birthdays – coming up this year we thought a few bottles might be good in the
cellar. On to the others now. Most of the reds were from 2010. We weren’t as excited about the
Sangiovese this time, but we really loved the Super Tuscan, which is a blend of
Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel (only a “dash”). The other one was the Barbera. And while we enjoyed the wines, the
best part was talking with Richard about his wines, grape growing in the
Foothills, other winemakers, and more.
PS. We now have opened one of those Auriga Sparkling French Columbards, for the birth of our second grandchild, another granddaughter. It was delicious, especially the first sip for the new mom!