The year 2017 was not a merciful year. Most of us were happy to say goodbye to 2017. Hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, and everything that comes with it; you name it! We saw the bad, but we also saw the good. I mean the good in people trying to reach for each other, to help wine country recovery.
The wildfires that devastated North California Wine Country in October 2017 were a clear reminder nature does not discriminate. Nonetheless, we also saw forces that unite us beyond the devastation and sadness. The fires hit Napa and Sonoma during the harvest, and businesses had to close their doors while recovering. Danger lasted only a few weeks, but the wine country recovery has taken longer than we all wanted to.
The rainy season is here, and with it is bringing emerald green grasses, mustards, lush valleys, and new scenery. Wine Country is beautiful this time of the year and it is open for business, hoping that a new year brings seeds of hope for a new future.
Wine Country Recovery: The hashtags #NapaStrong and #SonomaStrong have become symbols of healing.
Though Sonoma and Napa saw the worst of the wildfire devastation; all Northern California wine Country was affected. Fires spread all the way from the Bay area to Mendocino County. In recognition of wine country recovery, we are launching a series of wine pairings with northern California wines in the hope that you are inspired not only to buy the wines but also to visit us.
Our first pairing showcases wine from the Carneros AVA. One of the first wineries in your way from San Francisco to Sonoma through Highway 37 and 116; Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards.
Photo, Julie Santiago
Gloria Ferrer is a mandatory stop to start your Sonoma Wine Country visit. With gorgeous vineyards, your visit starts with the view of an eye-catching Spanish style winery building. From Gloria Ferrer’s terrace, you will understand why we recommend this winery as you of your first stops. With views of the San Pablo Bay and the Mayacama Mountains and a glass of glorious bubbly on hand, you will understand why. Bring your Fido companion along, Gloria’s terrace is dog-friendly, so they get to enjoy as well!
Photos, Julie Santiago and Edgar Solís
Gloria Ferrer was founded in 1982 by the Ferrer family, who’s Catalan winemaking history dates back to over 600 years ago. The Ferrer family also owns Freixenet S.A., one of Spain’s primarily Cava producers. They acquired 156 acres of cattle ranch land in Carneros early 1980s, and an additional 100 acres when was the production began. The winery was named after José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria. The Sparkling wine production started in 1986 and on the 1990s added still wines to their lineup.
To date, Gloria Ferrer owns 335 acres of estate-owned vineyards and also work with other grape growers throughout the region to make their wines. Their wines have gained them wide recognition in California and beyond. Over the last five years, they have won over 400 Gold medals and thirty outstanding ratings from various prominent publications. Including their most recent recognition by 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition with three Best in Class; and two Gold, two Silver, and one Bronze Medals.
About the wine
2005 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuveé, disgorged on October 22, 2015
This beautiful late disgorged Sparkling wine has aromas of brioche and hazelnut and with hints of citrus fruit. In the palate, it is mouthwatering with hints of tart green apple. It is elegant with bright acidity, nutty and lingering hints of sweet caramel; wine to enjoy alone or pair with seafood.
About the Pairing
We chose to pair the 2005 Carneros Cuveé with Seafood Linguini. This rich dish pairs well with the nuttiness of the Sparkling wine and its bright acidity goes well with the creamy texture of the pasta. Hope you enjoy it as we did. The recipe follows.
1 lb linguini pasta
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 large sweet onion, cut into thin half moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup shrimp stock or clam juice
1 lb large shrimps
1 lb frozen seafood mix (scallops, calamari, shrimps)
12 Kumamoto oysters, steamed
4 oz Serrano ham, cut into strips
8 oz crab meat
2 to 3 T of fresh parsley
1 T Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream
4 T of cornstarch mixed in 3 T of stock
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 T of salt and the pasta and cook according to package directions.
In a large sauté pan heat the oil and the butter. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for few minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch. Cook in medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Take 2 or 3 T of the liquid from the pan to dissolve the cornstarch, and add back to the sauteé pan. Cook for few minutes or until it thickens. Then, add your pasta “al dente.”
To serve place on a family-style platter and add the steamed Kumamoto oysters. Finish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6 generous portions.