Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Taste of Redwood Valley: Mendo AVA Celebrates 25th "Taste"

This year's Taste of Redwood Valley brought hundreds of visitors to this AVA located in Mendocino County, northeast of Ukiah.

Redwood Valley has red soils, redwood trees, and, unlike the rest of Mendocino's Ukiah corridor, a gap in the coastal ridge which allows Pacific fog to flow into the valley, giving it hot days and cool nights that differ as much as 50 degrees in a 24 hour cycle.

The first wine grape growers here were Italian immigrants. Today its main varietals include Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon along with Petite Syrah. Barbera is also planted here.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of "Taste of Redwood Valley" and the Friday evening dinner was sold out. After a wine tasting in which dozens of Redwood Valley wines were poured by the winemakers, guests sat down to a hearty meal of salad, pork, pasta, lasagna and vegetables, followed by the Italian dessert zabaglione - and dessert wines.

Martha Barra, wife of Charlie Barra, of Barra Vineyards welcomed the participants, reminding them that all the wineries in Redwood Valley were family owned and operated. "We don't have any corporate wineries here," she said.

The Taste event continued on Sat. and Sun. with hundreds of people in attendance. Most wineries offered specials, reducing prices as much as 35% (at Graziano's) and Frey (some 50% off specials.)

More photos coming soon!

Mingling before the Taste of Redwood Valley dinner Friday night

Martha Barra, wife of winemaker Charlie Barra, welcomed guests; the event marked the 25th year

A hearty dinner was served by the Sons (and Daughters) of Italy

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