This was my first year attending the annual Russian River Valley Winegrower’s Paulée Dinner and it was fabulous. For those of you not familiar with the event it features over 30 Premier Russian River Valley Wineries pouring Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc wines.
“In the spirit of the Paulée tradition, which originated in Burgundy, the Russian River Valley Paulée brings winemakers and collectors together to enjoy an elegant multi-course meal paired with wines from winemakers and guests’ personal cellars, including special, limited and rare vintages. The intimate feast welcomes guests, winemakers and growers to specialties from renowned local chefs and personalities. The truly engaging dining experience includes family style seating which fosters the spirit of community and an ideal format for the shared love of great wine, great food and celebration of friendship, both new and old. Prepare to be wowed by an array of wine personalities, exquisite food and, of course, unforgettable wine.”
Arriving pre dinner for the wine reception. This set up was beyond beautiful over looking the picturesque croquet lawns which, fun fact are the only professional croquet lawns in the world!
The amazing music by Dustin Saylor. Dustin also performs at Hotel Healdsburg’s happy hour (5-7pm daily) and is incredible. I first heard him perform at Dry Creek Kitchen and was so happy to see him here again for this evening’s festivities!
Diane and John Bucher of Bucher Wines! Read more about Bucher Wines and Grand Cru Custom Crush where you can taste Bucher Wines, Black Kite and many more here.
Winemaker Mike Zardo who makes one of my most favorite Russian River Chardonnays at Ten Acre Winery.
Brian with Gary Farrell Winery, another Russian River Winery favorite of mine. Read more about Gary Farrell Winery here and see why both their stunning winery and their beautiful wines are so adored.
This was the first time I tasted Limerick Lane and fell in love with this Rosé. It was so light, beautiful and just lovely!
Limerick Lane Winemaker Jake Bilbro.
Winemaker Mike Sullivan of Benovia Winery. This was another wine I really enjoyed and tasted for the first time at this event.
Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Family Vineyards
Me and Winemaker Jeff Stewart of Hartford Family Wines. Read more about Hartford Family Wines in my Top 10 Russian River Wineries post here.
Me and a friend and fellow blogger, Amy Lieberfarb of Sip On This Juice. Amy is a Sonoma local and my favorite gal to attend any wine festival with as she knows everyone, has the most amazing energy and we have had so much fun together over the years on wine media trips such as last summer’s Trip to Franciacortia Italy. See more about our Franciacortia Media Trip here.
The team fromTongue Dancer Wines. I’ve been drinking Jim MacPhail’s wines for years and just like his other brands, this was a favorite the moment I tasted his Chardonnay!
Chad Richard and Bob Zeches from Furthermore Winery. This was my first time meeting them and they were great and so were their wines!
The beautiful table spread for our amazing dinner. Thanks to Sonoma-Cutrer for hosting this amazing evening at their stunning winery. Their team did an incredible job with the beautiful set up, decor, and every detail. This was a night to remember!
This Bucher Wines 2013 Russian River Pinot Noir was the wine I brought to share with guests and it was lovely!
Donald Patz sharing some Zinfandel with guests.
The lovely Kerry MacPhail sharing Tongue Dancer Wines with guests.
Chef Ben Davies of Russian River Vineyards and Chef Thomas Schmidt of John Ash & Co. Restaurants.
Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker Michael “Mick” Schroeter sharing a Founders Reserve Chardonnay with guests. This was a 2002 vintage and was divine.
One of the advantages of sitting next to Brian, the Marketing Director at Gary Farrell was that I was guaranteed a glass of this delicious 2005 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir. This is another winery I adore on my Top 10 Russian River post, read more about Gary Farrell Winery here.
My friend the lovely Bettina, General Manager & Partner of Laurel Glen Vineyard a fabulous Napa Winery I adore.
The delicious dessert we enjoyed. Sadly I was mingling so much during dinner (which was a good thing) but I missed taking pictures of the dinner so you’ll just have to imagine and focus on this amazing dessert and all the wines we tasted during this evening.
Rod and Lynn Swan Bergland of Joseph Swan Vineyards.
The very very old and delicious 1939 Gancia Sparkling WineRod and Lynn brought to share with guests. They were so generous I had a chance to try this and it may be the oldest wine I’ve ever tasted.
My new friend Landon McPherson being the perfect wine model!
A huge thanks to the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association for hosting me to this incredible evening of food, wine & fun! This was a magical evening at the Sonoma-Cutrer Winery that I loved attending and getting the chance to experience.