RAVENSWOOD CHARDONNAY, SONOMA COUNTY 2006
WHAT: This bright, crisp chardonnay is perfect by itself or with light summer food. It starts with tropical and floral aromas with some hints of vanilla. It's a medium-bodied wine with lots of citrus and mineral flavors. The grapes come from the cool-climate regions of Carneros and the Russian River, which allowed the grapes to spend a longer time maturing on the vines. The result is plenty of powerful flavor. It's ready to drink now, and likely will do well with three to five years' aging.
WINERY: This is a great example of Ravenswood's County series of wines, which are crafted from individual sites in the county on the label. After aging for 12 months in French oak, the wines are blended to produce an expression of regional terroir. That is, they reflect the special characteristics of the region in which they are grown. The individual wines in the blend often are as good as more expensive wines, but because there isn't enough for a separate vineyard-designated wine, they go into this midlevel blend.
GOES WITH: Salmon, chicken, rich pasta.
Reach Dennis Sodomka at email@example.com. Read his column on pinot grigio/pinot gris in the June/July issue of Augusta Magazine.
Friday Wine Fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Beer tasting, Wine World, 5-8 p.m.; $4, but $3 rebate with purchase of six bottles of featured beers
Saturday Wine Fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 1-6 p.m.
Drop-in tasting of Two Hand wines at the Vineyard Wine Market, 5-6:30 p.m.; no reservation needed
Wine and cheese-tasting to benefit the Lydia Project, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Earth Fare, 368 Furys Ferry Road, Martinez; $15 per person, $25 per couple; purchased in advance at Earth Fare or the Lydia Project's office, or the night of the event
JULY 31-AUG. 1
Wine Fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, 1-6 p.m. Saturday
First Friday tasting, six wines and cheese sampling, Wine World, 5-8 p.m.; fee, but rebate with purchase of a featured wine
Wine dinner, Cadwallader's Café, with Steve Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Family Winery;, for reservations, call (706) 860-7444
Bus trip to Chateau Elan Vineyard Fest; bus leaves from Vineyard Wine Market at 9:30 a.m.; festival includes wine tasting, food, live music and grape stomping; $75 for the festival, $25 for the bus ride; call The Vineyard for information, (706) 922-9463; reserved seats required for bus ride
Paso Robles seminar in-shop tasting at the Vineyard Wine Market, reservations required; (706) 922-9463
Fourth annual CSRA WineFest, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 1-4 p.m; sample more than 200 wines, plus cheeses and food prepared by local chefs; $30 in advance, $35 at the door; tickets at the Vineyard Wine Market and Ninth Street Wine Market