Concierge Fam Tour Fall 2010
At least once each year, Wine Road, working with Rick Spear of Blue Heron Custom Tours, brings up concierges from San Francisco’s hotels to acquaint and familiarize them (thus “Fam” Tour) with our Wine Road members. We take them out on a tour date to show them what their guests will enjoy when they come up here. We try to visit two of our AVA’s and have some sort of festive Wine Country lunch-this is one of my favorite days! This year, Rick and I had a very lively group:
Calvin Lam- Mandarin Oriental
Tom Wolfe- Fairmont
Lane Sandman- Prescott Hotel
Ken Gallant- Intercontinental
Rick picks up our concierges in the Financial District at 8:30 and heads up the easy Highway 101 to Wine Road just about 60 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first stop this morning is Robert Young Estate Winery in the Alexander Valley. We meet with Manager Jeff Noel and then Kelly Sheehy, granddaughter of Robert Young, who begins our tour at this small, exquisite estate winery where “family” and “estate grown” are the key words.
Kelly gives an in-depth tour- complete with crush pad, starlings in the vineyards- incredible Hitchcockian swarms of birds- the llama, Felix- the history on the “farmhouse”, cool family stories- just great!
Now into the cave for an incredible experience of romantic tasting at a table that seems to just appear magically in the depths of the darkness, floating in candlelight:
Next stop is Francis Ford Coppola Winery and RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites for lunch. After a look-around at the pool, movie memorabilia, tasting bars and gift shops, we are seated on the terrace for lunch. The temperatures today are in the low 80′s- so very strange for November. Lunch is fantastic- pizzae, salads, entrees, wines- ciao, bella!
Next stop is in the RRV:Robert Rue Vineyards where Robert, Carlene and Wilson, the Smiling Dachshund are awaiting us!
Carlene and Himself, Robert Rue, are amazingly personable- though Rue is synonymous with zinfandel, we also taste their amazing estate grown sauvignon blanc. We view the adjacent vineyards and see the WHOLE operation. An amazing ending to an amazing, lovely day along the Wine Road.
Here’s looking at you, kids.