Posts Tagged 'Preston Winery'

Food at Preston of Dry Creek Farm Day

Entertainment was lively and local

Entertainment was lively and local

I tried to come up with a catchy title for this post but it really all boils down to the food.  It was fantastic.  The beginning was a savory peach focaccia that compelled me to eat a whole slice.  After the walk there was a great display of cheese, crackers and Preston cured olives.  Of course, the wine was being served.  Vin Gris was a real hit with the refreshing fruit flavors.  Preston of Dry Creek wines are primarily Rhone-style and fit well with the farming emphasis.

Robert is a great asset to the Preston tasting bar!

Robert is a great asset to the Preston tasting bar!

The meal was prepared by Dino Bugico, chef of Diavola Pizzeria in nearby Geyserville.  The centerpiece of the menu was the boned and rolled pork from the farm.   A lamb was, also, prepared in the wood burning oven.  The complementing side dishes were fresh vegetables prepared in a variety of ways.   Everyone had plenty to eat and drink. 

Entertainment was a bluegrass band that kept the afternoon hopping.

This is an event that is open to Wine Club members of Preston of Dry Creek.  Most wineries have wine club parties but none are as informative and relaxed as Farm Day.

Lou Preston and Chef Dino preparing the pork

Lou Preston and Chef Dino preparing the pork

What a spread!  Lunch was enjoyed by all.

What a spread! Lunch was enjoyed by all.

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Fran at Porter Creek

Fran at Porter Creek

Today was a fun day of taking friends from Hawaii, Texas and Louisiana around our favorite wineries.  We covered the Russian River and Dry Creek appellations which are only minutes from our home in Forestville.  We focused on small, local wineries that give fabulous personal attention to tasters.  The day started with a visit to Sunce Winery.  The staff is fabulous in the tasting room and once they discovered that we had serious wine groupies in our group they took us into their barrel room.  The tasting continued with full explanations until I pointed out that there were other places to go and we had spent over an hour at our first winery.  The second stop was Porter Creek Winery which gives a new definition to “small”.  The tasting room is a very small, old barn behind the vintage family home.  The next venue was Armida Winery with fabulous views and great wines.  There is a wonderful deck shaded by oak trees where we had a picnic lunch. 

After lunch we stopped in at one of the great winery experiences ever – Preston Winery.  Preston is known for their organic vegetables, bread oven and olives as well as Rhone style wines.  It is always a favorite.  From casual farmstyle to Italian elegance we traveled to Ferrari-Carano Winery.  Meticulously groomed gardens and bronze statuary lead to one of  the best wine gift shops in Dry Creek.  Our final stop was at Moshin Winery with the welcoming hummingbird.  Moshin is known for pinot noir and they have a few other great offerings.

We finished the day with dinner at Zazu on Guerneville Road and Willowside Road west of Santa Rosa.  A fabulous time was had by all.

Composting for a Sustainable Garden

One of my favorite pastimes is to garden and this last year I became totally inspired by the composting that is done at Preston Winery.  Each Spring I mulch my flowerbeds prior to the weeds getting a good start and I was always bringing more and more mulch into the yard.  It was starting to pile up and roses where looking like they were planted in holes – which is not a good thing.  Preston Winery has a FARM DAY each July and I somewhat begrudgingly attended.  My thought was “I do not need a day of sitting around eating and drinking when I am trying to live a healthy life!”  Was I in for a surprise.  The FARM DAY was terrific.  We had a tour of the new creek bed plantings that were designed to establish a healthy ecosystem.  New hedgerows were planted to provide habitat for the beneficial insects and bugs.  Various crop rotations were being tested to support the grain being raised for making the breads available at the winery.  I had a fabulous time and will not complain again about going to any event there.  The best part of it was seeing their composting operation. 

Compost Bins at Preston Winery

Compost Bins at Preston Winery

After seeing this simple (but large) compost bin, I decided to learn more.  I attended a class by a local Master Gardener, George, who lives right in Forestville and learned quite a bit about the correct materials to compost and how to build a garden compost bin.  It was wonderful to learn that I did not need to buy anything.  The material most needed were loading pallets which can be picked up along the side of the road for free.  It was only a day or two before I saw pallets at Harmony Farm Supply on my way home for work.  My neighbor was out working in his front yard and I asked if he was going to be going to Sebastopol in his pickup soon.  He was planning on leaving in a few minutes for Harmony Farm Supply so he just picked me up 5 pallets.  I immediately built myself 2 bins and began composting.

George was not sure about my rose clippings because he does not have so many roses as I do.   I was not discouraged and I began composting rose clippings and oak leaves – two things that I have in abundance.  It was only a few weeks and I had rich, dark, wormy compost.  I needed more bins.  My son and his wife came to visit and they picked up four more pallets in the back of their pickup.  I now have four bins and am busy keeping them going.  My husband, Tom, makes cheeses at our home so I have a ready supply of whey which helps the composting process.  Here is my compost operation.

Compost Bin at the Shula's
Compost Bin at the Shula’s
Two Compost Thermometers
Two Compost Thermometers

                             Friends think that I am nuts but I asked for a compost thermometer for my birthday last year.  I got two.   I have them in the same bin for purposes of demonstration.   It is hard to see in this picture but it is about 90 degrees F which is a reasonable temperature for just having turned the pile a day or two ago.

As you can probably tell, I am very excited about my compost.  It is saving me money and hauling mulch from the driveway.                                     


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