Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center
Jenna Weber of eatliverun.com suggests the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center for wine and garden tours. We headed to Kendall Jackson yesterday afternoon after perusing the town of Petaluma. We had investigated the website the day before and found that there were culinary gardens and a tasting menu that paired with reserve wine selections. I don't really enjoy the taste of wine and have found that unless I drink an organic wine (ie, no nitrates) I'll have a raging headache. I decided to imbibe in the wine tasting but with only a small sip of each. I'm glad I did - sadly, I was the only one without a headache at the end of the day.
The food pairings were delicious. Enough for a few bites, they also made the wine taste totally different. Apparently, wine should be enjoyed with food - not alone. I didn't love the wine, but I have to admit that it was much more pleasant with the food.
We enjoyed our tasting on the patio of the center, and the surroundings were breathtaking. The mountains in the background provided the perfect backdrop, the weather was amazing (75 degrees and sunny), and the company was delightful.
After our tasting, we headed for a self-guided tour of their gardens. They have so many different fruits, vegetables, herbs, and orchard trees - anything you could imagine. The fruits and vegetables are harvested by the culinary staff for tastings and events. Of course, they have small sections of each of the grapes used to make their various wines - white and red. The Kendall-Jackson company, still headed by the original owner, cultivates over 14,000 acres of vineyards - from Santa Barbara to the northern end of the state.
Here are some sights from our tour.