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Monday, June 4, 2012

West Side Road - Russian River Wine Country Magic

Late spring/early summer in the Russian River Valley is a sight to behold. The vineyards are lush with their flowing leaves and craggy old vines, the poppies and wildflowers seem to be painted on every hair pin turn on Westside Road, our favorite drive in the valley. This rugged landscape is what draws people to the Russian River and the Sonoma Coast. No matter how many times you visit this glorious land, there is always something new to see.

Our latest discovery was DaVero Organic Farm on the northeast side of Westside Road as you head into Healdsburg. This certified biodynamic organic farm produces both food and wine which has received rave reviews by acclaimed chef Mario Batali and wine critic, Alice Feiring of the NY Times.

What caught our eyes as we drove by their property were the olive trees and unfettered lay of the land. It reminded us of a Mediterranean landscape where you are immersed in the symbiotic relationship of the farm, animals and terroir. As we drove into their Davero's parking lot, we found the grounds spacious and beautiful. With our picnic lunch packed in our car, we were happy to have discovered this place.

The tasting room was laid back, which makes wine tasting fun and relaxing. There was a chalkboard filled with food and wine events on the wall near their winebar, all of which looked like a great way to spend a weekend on the river. We greeted our lovely host who explained to us that the Russian River Valley lies in the same equator grid as Italy. This makes sense as to why the Italians immigrated here and that why many of the vineyards in this area have Italian names. It also explains why growing olives, fruits, herbs and crafting wines that focus on the traditions of Italy is DaVero’s specialty.

We sampled the many wine varietals they had to offer, all of which were wonderful and reasonably priced. It was difficult to choose which one we should serve with our lunch and we settled on a bottle of their 2009 Falco Tannat, which ran neck to neck with their Rose. It was absolutely delicious! The Tannat is a unique and interesting wine, very earthly with bold flavors of coffee, lavender and vanilla. We enjoyed our lunch and their wine as we settled into their secluded patio garden enclosed in natural fauna. It was a nice to have the privacy in such a beautiful setting.

We highly recommend visiting their winery when visiting the Russian River Wineries and Healdsburg. Their friendly and knowledgable service made for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. We will definitely be back!

Click here for their website