Somebody recently wrote and told me he and an his familial entourage are taking a tour of Napa Valley. He forwarded me their itinerary and asked if I knew anything about the wineries on the list:
So, even though I know nothing about these wineries nor the wines, I wrote a long and convoluted email back.
Carneros is an appellation that is known for their Chardonays and Pinots. I’m guessing they capitalize on the hot days and cool breezes…but I don’t know if they get the cool breezes from the Bay or from the Petaluma Gap.
…quick google search says from San Pablo Bay.
I know about the Carneros Inn because the lady at PlumpJack Cafe wanted me to send Bush-Field there. …now a google search indicates that the Carneros Inn is part of the PlumpJack family and probably resides in the Carneros appellation…and has nothing what-so-ever to do with Domaine Carneros except the proximity. So–you’re going to have to let me know what you think. Judging by their website, you’ll be suitably impressed.
Rubicon…that’s the sister winery (or parent winery?) to Rosso & Bianco Winery. Rubicon is the original FFC (Francis Ford Coppola). My little intern–Cindy–has just spent the last three months at Rosso & Bianco. She toured Rubicon in late August for a day. She says it’s much nicer than Rosso & Bianco .. except Rosso & Bianco is pretty damn nice (see: An Afternoon at Rosso & Bianco Winery).
Oh. Side note—Francis Ford Coppola apparently started a community concert band in St. Helena. He plays the tuba.
Other than that…I know nothing about their wine. I do know, however, that I don’t like the new Rosso & Bianco label….it doesn’t pop. The label is red and sits on a red bottle. Nothing to make it stand out on the shelf.
I have attached a picture of the winemakers from Rosso & Bianco winery in my back yard. We had them over for dinner! Cindy (my housemate until this Saturday. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her because she’s made a huge difference in my life–but I digress yet again). Cindy has been the winery intern at Rosso & Bianco for the past three months. About a month ago, she made an evening of French cuisine local to her region in France. She invited her colleagues. That was a funny story.
She’d brought over some homemade preserves. Her family are farmers–so everything is grown and preserved right on the farm. One thing she’d brought over was her Mum’s foie gras.
Everybody was tasting a bit of this and a bit of that and somebody asked her how she made the foie gras. (Keep in mind, that when she arrived, she spoke in broken English–she now speaks in less broken English–but she has greatly improved).
At my parents, we have ducks.
In the spring, we start to feed them a lot of mais…What is mais?
Corn–we piped up.
Ok. So. We feed them corn. A LOT of corn. Maybe three of those bowls a day. She pointed to a dish on the table.
Ok. We said. So you feed them a lot of corn.
Yes. She continued: They eat a lot of corn for two or three months then…bup! She motioned with her hands like she was cutting off their heads. Bup! We harvest them.
What? We exclaimed. That’s it? You harvest them?
Yes. She nodded her head. We harvest them. We kill them and take their liver…and…Voila! Foie gras.
Don’t you do something to their livers? You know, before we eat it? We asked.
No. She shook her head. Harvest the liver. Put it in the jar. Cover it with oil and Voila! Foie Gras.
Nobody ate the rest of the foie gras. We just let it sit on the table while we ate the gratin and salads and prunes—even though they were harvested in much the same fashion.
So, now I’m laughing at my ADD. I’m sorry. But it was a funny story. It’s only one of many I have to put on my blog about my time with Cindy. But, now I’ve written it. I think I’ll post it.
Regardless. If you’re up as far as Calistoga, you might as well dine in Healdsburg. There are some pretty nice places to eat here. I have to make sure I go to Cyrus before I leave. When it’s in your own back yard, there is certainly no excuse.
So. That’s it. That’s the story about how I know nothing about Domaine Carneros and Rubicon Wineries. But, I do know a little bit more about Foie Gras.