John on Wine: Summer vacation
Originally published in the Ukiah Daily Journal newspaper on Thursday, August 13, 2015
Few would choose Yuma, Arizona as a place to vacation in the summer but, as you read this, that is where I am. For those unfamiliar with Yuma in summer, pull out an illustrated Bible and flip to a picture of Hell. Same thing.
My son Charlie leaves for U.S. Army Infantry training at Ft. Benning, GA in two weeks, on Aug. 24, and we made plans to visit my step-father Lyle before Charlie leaves.
Joining the Army, and choosing to be an Infantryman, would not be my first choices for my son, but he follows in a long line of Cesano males who make questionable choices in youth.
I was a U.S. Army Infantry Sergeant. My brother showed up at the Army enlistment office. My father and step-father were both Army. The Cesano clan isn’t necessarily bright, but we serve.
While in Yuma, in an air conditioned house, we will enjoy tastes of Crispin Cain’s Rye Whiskey from Redwood Valley, and Zinfandel from throughout the county to go with meat cooked outside at night after temperatures drop to 90 or so.
Charlie and I will also be visiting my brother Thomas just before Charlie leaves. Thomas is out with Kelly Clarkson, and we’ll see him in Mountain View on the off day preceding Kelly’s concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre. On a previous tour, earlier this year, my brother was out with the Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO) Group, and band members ordered wine to go on their tour bus when we caught their shows at Yoshi’s in Oakland.
Afterward, the opening band Gundriver came to Hopland, parked their bus in front of the tasting room, and ended up doing a wine tasting. It was great fun to see and pour for R Ev Jones, Tomes, Tom, Alex, and the whole Gundriver crew. Quite a bit of wine ended up going on that bus too.
Kelly’s production manager is a “wine head” and we’ll take the McFadden tasting room show on the road, with the help of the tour’s caterers, and do a tasting for the crew when we visit.
It is gratifying to spread the message about the quality of Mendocino County’s wines through unconventional outlets, and tastings for popular musicians is just one more way to do it.
While Charlie and I are visiting my brother Thomas, on Saturday Aug. 22, the Yorkville Highlands Growers and Vintners Association will host the Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival at Meyer Family Cellars, 19750 Highway 128, Mile Marker 34.2 between Yorkville and Boonville. The event starts at 1 p.m.
This year’s festival will celebrate 13 years of wines from the Yorkville Highlands. Highlights will include tasting award-winning wines made and grown within the Highlands around Anderson Valley. Tickets are $60, and $30 for designated drivers; the price includes a delicious farm-fresh lunch and dessert, a silent auction, and a grape stomp. Head to Meyer Family Cellars for this year’s celebration of Yorkville Highlands wines.
Yorkville Highlands member wineries include: Bink Wines, Halcon Vineyards, Judson Hale Winery, Le Vin Estate Winery, Lone Oak Ranch Vineyards, Maple Creek Winery, Mariietta Cellars, Meyer Family Cellars, Route 128 Winery, Theopolis Vineyards, and Yorkville Cellars.
Visit http://www.yorkvillehighlands.org to purchase your tickets.
Attend the Pure Mendocino Organic Dinner & Farm Tour on Saturday, Aug. 29, if you can, for a summer evening enjoying the perfect blend of Mendocino County’s bountiful harvest, generously offered by local farmers and producers. This unique celebration honors Mendocino County’s leadership in organics and community health, and is the major fund raising event for the Cancer Resource Centers.
Held at Paul Dolan’s Dark Horse Vineyard at 5341 Old River Road, Ukiah, attendees will enjoy a wine tasting and appetizers reception beginning at 5 p.m. with the farm-to-table dinner at 6 p.m., and, after dinner, dancing under the stars to live music from Mendocino’s talented selection of artists. A silent auction will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m..
Chef Olan Cox and friends will showcase the community’s finest organically grown food and wine. Participating wineries include Barra Vineyards, Bink Wines, Bonterra Vineyards, Frey Vineyards, Golden Cellars, Handley Cellars, Jeriko Estate, Masút Vineyards, McFadden Vineyards, Oster Wine Cellars, and Yorkville Cellars.
Tickets are $135, online at http://www.puremendocino.org.
Pure Mendocino is a memorable celebration of the uniqueness of this community, its people and our bounty. Nationally recognized, Cancer Research Center Mendocino County is the only direct-service organization of its kind in Mendocino County, and 100 percent of all donations stay in the county to provide information, support and advocacy services free of charge to those facing cancer.
CRCMC’s vision is that no one in Mendocino County faces cancer alone, and the funds raised at this dinner will help provide support services to over 300 people.
Please join Pure Mendocino in a commitment to the sustainability and care of our community. The feeling you will get helping fight cancer, making someone’s fight a little easier, will make you feel pride for having helped in your way. Again, please attend if you can.