Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day Trips from Le Puy - our valley

We had friends visiting and a light weekend at the inn, so we decided to be tourists in the valley for a day.

Our friends were wine club members at Solena, so we started our day there.  Solena's tasting room is spectacular.  The open air fermentation room presents an impressive profile as you drive up to the winery.  Solena is biodynamic as well as featuring a prominent solar array.  The wines from the Pinot Gris to Pinot Noir to some deeper red varietals will satisfy any palette!

From Solena, we went to WillaKenzie Estate.  This is a favorite spot of ours since we first started coming to the valley.  WillaKenzie offers the opportunity to taste the subtleties of pinot noir due to clones, soil and location in the valley.  The winery itself, also biodynamic, is a beautiful new structure offering plenty of space inside and outside to enjoy the views and wines.

Then it was off to one of the valleys newest winery buildings, Alexana.  With sweeping views of the coastal range, wonderful wines and a terrace with indoor/outdoor fireplace - it is a not to miss in any season.

From there, we drove to the top of the Dundee Hills - White Rose.  Jesus, the winemaker, will win you over with his smile and beaming happiness at making wine.  His wines are as lovely as he is!

Finally, we needed a palette break and some food.  So, down to the town of Dundee and Red Hills Market for a late lunch.  The open face roast beef sandwich is the best with its creamy blue cheese sauce!  I recommend drinking water with lunch in order to squeeze in one more winery!

Utopia, sitting on Ribbon Ridge, is open until 6pm, so it offered the final winery to an incredible day.  The views from Utopia are spectacular and Dan and Kathy have just added a nice wrap-around terrace where you can enjoy wine, a picnic or just a peaceful escape!

Paulee, for dinner - a new restaurant in Dundee at the site of the former farm to fork.  We tasted from the raw bar menu as well as shared plates from each menu course.  Their sommelier expertly paired a glass of wine with each course as well.

So much bounty in our valley!