If Uzi had his way, he would check in on “our” vineyards at least once a week.  And, actually, as the harvest gets closer he would be there everyday. While he is not able to go that frequently, the 5 of us did pile in the car Father’s Day weekend and drive up for a visit.  I think he likes to see the 2 guys who own the vineyards almost as much as he likes to check on the grapes.  And after meeting them for the first time, I can see why.  Chris Ritcey (Corona Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast) and Steve Beresini (Beresini Vineyard, Carneros) are providing us with grapes this year.  Each took our family on a private tour of their vineyards and resident farm animals. Both of them are super nice and down to earth.  

First stop:  Corona Creek vineyard, Sonoma Coast.  Chris Ritcey first led our kids down to see his sheep and feed them. One sheep, endearingly named #5, took a liking to us and the bucket of feed Chris gave us.  Then he took us on a tour of the vineyard and gave us a short lesson on the ripening of the grapes.

kids and #5

kids and #5

Chris and Uzi

Uzi and Chris

Chris in Sonoma Coast vineyard

Chris

Next we headed east to Carneros.  After a quick stop for brunch at the Boon Fly Cafe at the Carneros Inn (yummy housemade doughnuts,) we crossed the street to Beresini vineyard.  Steve came out to greet us, led us into the vineyard and immediately starting clipping the small, unwanted suckers he came across.  As Uzi has written before, Steve is always making wine in the vineyard.

Steve Beresini making wine

Steve Beresini "making wine"

carneros Pinot grapes

Beresini pinot 6/09

The berries in Carneros were a little bigger than the Sonoma Coast berries.  That may be an indicator they will be ready for harvest earlier or it may just be the clone.  Either way, the countdown has begun.  90 days (+/-) to harvest and counting…

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