Tuesday, February 21, 2012

02/21Fort Ross Vineyard, Bouchon Bistro, Beverly Hills Wine Festival

02/21 What's Cookin' Today


Nestled on a sunny coastal ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile below, our “True Sonoma Coast” vineyard is one of the closest, if not the closest, to the ocean in all of California. From the vineyard you can see the breaking surf and the misty silhouettes of Bodega Head and Pt. Reyes far below. The vineyard’s high elevation above the coastal fog and its proximity to the ocean provide a gentle, sunny and temperate climate that has proved to be very favorable for the slow and even ripening of Burgundian varietals.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has just approved the establishment of the Fort Ross-Seaview viticultural area in western Sonoma County, California. The ruling establishes the region, which lies within the larger Sonoma Coast AVA, as separate and distinct from all other wine growing regions in California. Fort Ross-Seaview is located on the steep coastal ridges above the Pacific Ocean approximately 80 miles northwest of San Francisco. Work on the petition began in 1999 by a group of coastal vineyard owners and was first submitted to the TTB in 2003. The petition called for the inclusion of 27,500 total acres, of which only 506 were planted to vineyards. It was finally approved on December 14, 2011. Says Linda Schwartz, owner of Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, “This is a very good day for us and our neighbors. After years of analysis and review, the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA has finally been approved! Those of us who farm these ridges along the Pacific Ocean have always known that Fort Ross-Seaview is a unique grape growing region. Now it’s official. Our cool maritime climate, rugged topography and marine soils are unique to our area. Our wines reflect their terroir with a character, structure and flavor that distinguishes them from wines produced in other regions.” Most vineyards in the Fort Ross-Seaview viticultural area are located along the Pacific coastline and are at elevations between 920 to 1,800 feet. This puts them above the natural fog line, creating a climate with more sunshine and warmer temperatures than the surrounding, lower-lying areas. The amount of wine produced in the region will always be limited as yields are low and most of the terrain is too steep to farm. A number of highly respected wineries have vineyards in the new AVA including Fort Ross, Flowers, Hirsch, Wild Hog, Marcassin, Failla, Pahlmeyer, Martinelli and Peter Michael. Fort Ross, at less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, is the closest vineyard to the ocean.


French bistro food is my favorite - steak fries, a two-inch high quiche with bacon and onions, a salad with an egg on top finished with a perfect vinaigrette, a croque madame, some oysters and a glass of champagne. These are foods that represent the most I'mportant kind of cooking there is because they're rooted in tradition. A Bouchon can be, and should be, Whatever you need it to be. It's a casual place, a social place, a Place where people come to relax talk and to eat. A kind of home. Bouchon is based on my memories of the amazing Bistros I would frequent while traveling in France, such as Chez Paul and Hugon, where they serve meals almost family Style in very small dining rooms. Often times the husband cooks and the wife greets and serves. First courses, Headcheese or a charcuterie plate, may be passed from table to table. These neighborhood places serving simple.


BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL FEB 26, 2012 Beverly Hills Wine Festival 2012 - The Taste of Ultimate Luxury is brought to you by the Beverly Hills Wine Festival.

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