Anderson Valley Goes for Gold at Alsace Varietals Festival

18 02 2010

Looking for a way to bring some spring sunshine into your weekend?  Whether or not the weather cooperates, Anderson Valley Winegrowers will hold their 5th Annual Alsace Varietals festival this weekend, Saturday and Sunday February 20-21, 2010.  The wines focus on varieties grown in the French region of Alsace, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Gewurztraminer and a bit of Pinot Noir.  Alsace shares a border with Germany and over time has flip-flopped between the two countries.  As a result of the Germanic influence and the northerly climate the varieties they use are more Germanic than French.  These varieties are also pleasantly at home in the cooler climate of Anderson Valley, part of Mendocino.  The area is known for it’s winding roads, friendly and casual feel and quaint comfortable lodging.  As soon as you begin winding up the roads north of Sonoma you will notice the difference in climate, topography and just the attitude.  Alsace varieties love the cool climate that results from the opening to the sea at Mendocino and “air conditioning” from cool air during the summertime.  This results in wines that are more racy than most with refreshing acidity and moderate alcohol.  Add to that the lovely aromatics of these Nordic varieties, and you will find them a perfect accompaniment to watching the alpine events at the Olympics!  If you can tear yourself away from the Olympics, you’ll find that the wines exemplify the precision of Lindsey Vonn with the gusto of Shaun White and the razor’s edge of Apolo’s skate blade.

The weekend includes a technical conference Saturday morning where you can geek out about viticulture and vinification of these varieties followed by a fun tasting during the day and a winemaker’s dinner at the Boonville Hotel Saturday night.  If you can only make it for the day head on up for a number of open houses in the region Sunday Breggo Cellars, Claudia Springs, Esterlina Vineyards, Greenwood Ridge, Handley, Husch, Lazy Creek, Londer, Navarro, Phillips Hill Estates, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Toulouse Vineyards, and Zina Hyde Cunningham.  For tickets http://www.avwines.com/store/

If you can’t make the journey, get in the spirit with a glass of Claudia Springs Klindt Vineyard Pinot Gris at Pacific Catch 9th Avenue in SF or Corte Madera.

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