Kristen here! I’m not overly proud of the fact that I tried to fit all on Sonoma County into a single day, but I feel that it is my duty to tell you about one of the wineries in this region that really blew my mind.
Matanza Creek Winery
Start the morning with one of the most visually stunning vineyards in Sonoma. When I heard that Matanza Creek was not only a thriving vineyard but also a fresh lavender producer, I just HAD to see how the two industries commingled in a single estate. The love child I saw did not disappoint.
The Estate is massive with rolling hills of beautiful purple lavender plants (if you visit in the spring/early summer). The aromas were far from overpowering and instead attributed the ‘freshest’ air I had breathed all trip. As you wander past the gardens, the next stop is a high end promenade area filled with lanterns, corn hole, bocce ball courts, wine bottle ring toss, wooden tables, and manicured lawn area for an old fashioned picnic.
Impressed? That’s only the beginning. Travel up the stairs to the luxurious patio for a cheese and local wine tasting that will change the way you view the words ‘Food Pairing.’
Kristen’s wine tasting speed notes: (first the wine then what it was paired with)
Glass one: 2014 Helena Bench Sav Blanc – ‘Foggy morning’ 3-4 week old soft cheese with Yuzu fruit jelly
The Sav Blanc was mineral, rocky, almost volcanic with white peach notes. Acidity that cut through the creamy and rich cheese and balanced the sweet ‘pop’ of the yuzu jelly.
Glass two: 2013 Journey Chardonnay – ‘Mt tam’ triple cream brie with orange glazed Marcona almond
The Chard was surprisingly crisp with green apple subtleties but still full thanks to the malolatic fermentation and french oak aging process. Hints of pineapple mix with the orange almond and brie mimic a deconstructed tropical mixed.
Glass three: 2013 Malbec, Cabernet Savignon, Cabernet Franc Blend – ‘Midnight Moon’ Sheep milk gouda with dried cherry jam
This blend was medium to heavy in body, bright in cranberry and pomegranate flavor that stood up equally to the dense gouda cheese. Cherry jam on top gives wine a whole new layer of depth, that caramelized the cheese.
Glass four: 2012 Estate Merlot Bennett Valley, Jackson Park – aged dried Jack with cocoa rind with fig and onion marmalade
Rich merlot reconstitues dried cheese yet cocoa enhances the mocha from the merlot. Red onions and figs from the jam give pairing a holiday feel of brandied chocolate fruits for xmas.
Surprize glass five: Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Dessert wine – White chocolate and Estate Lavender truffle
Exclusive wine not for purchase on company website and not normally poured with this tasting. Sweet enough to warrant ‘dessert wine’ classification but no where near intensity of Port or Sauternes. Closer to sweet moscato but kept refreshing tang of sav blanc, gave balance to waxy white chocolate and was perfumed by the floral lavender.
Finally after a relaxing patio tasting, the tasting bar inside the large main building is available along with the wine shop, lavender products room, clothing swag table, rentable conference room, and walk down the hill to the lavender barn to witness how the plant is processed into products.
*Fun Fact* there are two types of lavender, one is edible (Grosso) and one is only used for its smell in bath products (Provence)
Please if you are ever in Sonoma, you must visit this vineyard not only for grounds but the wine and food pairing truly is something out of a dream. Don’t forget the chamomile lavender hand cream on the way out!
Feature Image from www.matanzascreek.com