ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

Matanzas Creek Winery’s 16th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender is this Saturday, June 30, 2012

Matanzas Creek Winery’s 16th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender is this Saturday, June 30, 2012. The winery’s Lavender Garden features some 5,000 plants. The cultivars “Grosso” and “Provence” line the entrance to the winery and are the basis of its Estate Grown Lavender product line. Photo: courtesy Matanzas Creek Winery.

 “lavender, sweet lavender;

come and buy my lavender,

hide it in your trousseau, lady fair.

Let its flovely fragrance flow

Over your from head to toe,

lightening on your eyes, your cheek, your hair.”

Cumberkand Clark Flower Song Book 1929

 

Ask any California gardener and you’ll find that lavender is an herb that is easy to fall in love with—it grows like a dream, has a calming fragrance, and its deep purple hues are treasured by almost everyone.  And luscious culinary lavender has endured long past its trending phase to become a gourmet staple.  This Saturday, at Matanzas Creek Winery’s 16th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender, you can put your problems aside and escape to a lush lavender oasis in Bennett Valley’s rolling hills.  The winery’s breathtaking lavender garden will be in full fragrant bloom and the day is geared towards tasting exquisite wines and sampling all things lavender—from artisan breads dusted with lavender flour to lavender lemonade to Matanzas’ rejuvenating Estate Lavender line.  This popular event always sells out early and draws a crowd of 400 from all over California for a leisurely and relaxing summer afternoon.  Designed in 1991 by landscaper extraordinaire Robert Kourik, with 5,000 impeccably cultivated plants; this is the largest planting of lavender in northern, CA.  It’s surrounded by a border of exotic trees, shrubs and tall grasses and the overall impact is reminiscent of the enclosed secret gardens of classical Europe.  If you’ve never been up to Matanzas Creek, the event this Saturday is just about the best introduction you could have to the sprawling estate and its rich offerings.

There will be ample opportunity to taste the wines of Matanzas Creek, featuring Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and the unique Dénouement ® (day-nu-ma), a fabulous dessert wine made from Sauvignon Blanc that experiences botrytis, or ‘noble rot,’ which is prized in France for its ability to produce stylishly luscious fruit characteristics.  Velvety and sophisticated on the palate, this wine is led by aromas of baked peach and honeysuckle which transition elegantly into flavors of baked apricot with hints of brioche and hazelnut.   Delicacies featuring edible lavender and that pair well with the wines will be prepared by Matanzas Creek’s estate chefs Justin Wangler and Eric Frischkorn and their culinary team.  Last year, Chef Eric Frischkorn prepared out-of-this-world homemade artisan breads featuring lavender.  Some of these breads were created from a unique wild yeast starter dough from yeast Frischkorn collected on the vineyard’s grapes.  This year, be sure to try his special foccacia with Chardonnay Grapeseed Oil and lavender and his Kalamata Olive Sourdough with herbs de Provence which  is made from Frischkorn’s grape sourdough starter.

Chef Eric Frischkorn will be baking and serving his fabulous artisan breads this Saturday at Matanzas Creek Winery’s 16th Annual “Days of Wine and Lavender.” Photo: Geneva Anderson.

This year’s menu:

Assorted Local Artisan Cheeses & Charcuterie 

Paired with Sauvignon Blanc: Drakes Bay Oyster Shooter with Cucumber Consomme

Paired with Chardonnay: Lavender Honey Glazed Scallops, Sardinian Couscous Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Paired with Merlot: Lavender Roasted Leg of Lamb with Confit Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans & Salsa Verde

Paired with Sauvignon Blanc: Lemon Grass Chicken Lettuce Cups with Toasted Almonds & Pickled Vegetables

White Chocolate Lavender Mousse with Caramelized White Chocolate Cremeux, Lime Streusel & Vanilla Bean Meringue

Justin Wangler assured me that there is a “subtle difference” between various culinary cultivars that fine palates can distinguish.  “Lavandula x Intermedia,” commonly named “Grosso,” is a strong and vigorous hybrid, grown on the Matanzas grounds that was developed in France in the early 18oo’s for its heightened oil content.  It yields a robust purple violet bloom and produces one of the highest quality culinary grade lavenders to be found and is favored by the culinary team.

This Year’s Highlights Include:

  • Learn first hand from winemaker Marcia Monahan, what sets Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc apart from the rest.  Featuring a sensory experience by tasting fruits, herbs and spices to discover exotic tasting notes.
  • Visit the Journey Tasting Room for an elevated experience and taste amazing wines.
  • Indulge in a chair or hand massage while surrounded by our gorgeous estate.
  • See a live demonstration how a dish is prepared and why it pairs beautifully with Matanzas Creek wines.
  • Take an immerging walk through lavender gardens in high bloom.
  • Groove to live music and just have a great time exploring our estate gardens, grounds and vineyards.
  • The Lavender Barn will be open with Estate Lavender culinary items, lotions, soaps, massage oils and much more available for purchase. And this is not your ordinary lavender spa line–of course, there’s a pure lavender scent from the finest essential oil.  Several lavender products have also been blended with ingredients like tangerine, neroli and rose to create modern invigorating scents.   There’s also a men’s line that features a handmade soap with a spicy earthy lavender-infused scent that’s worth stocking up on.
  • Tantalize your taste buds by indulging in unique desserts, local cheeses served by local vendors.  Try Marshall’s Farm estate lavender-infused honey which utilizes Matanzas Creek’s estate lavender.

Details: Saturday June 30th, 2012, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $85 General Public and $70 Wine Club members.  Matanzas Creek Winery is located at 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95404.  Phone: 800 590-6464

The winery is known for its crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and fruity, earthy merlots.  To learn more, visit www.matanzascreek.com.

Advertisements

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matanzas Creek Winery’s 15th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender kicks off this Saturday, June 25, 2011

Matanzas Creek Winery’s 15th Annual “Days of Wine and Lavender" is this Saturday, June 25, 2011. Photo: Matanzas Creek Winery

Ask any gardener around Sonoma County and you’ll find that lavender is an herb that is universally praised—its fragrance evokes a Zen-like calm and its deep purple hues are treasured in the garden and home.  And that luscious scent has spilled over into flavoring as well–culinary lavender has rapidly become a staple for Northern California gourmets.  This Saturday, at Matanzas Creek Winery’s 15th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender, you’ll get to stroll the winery’s breathtaking lavender garden in full fragrant bloom and sample all things lavender– from artisan breads dusted with lavender flour to lavender teas to Matanzas’ rejuvenating Estate Lavender  line.  This popular event always sells out early and draws a crowd of 400 from all over California for a leisurely and relaxing summer afternoon in the Bennett Valley hills.  Designed in 1991 by landscaper extraordinaire Robert Kourik, with 5,000 impeccably cultivated plants; this is the largest planting of lavender in northern, CA.  It’s surrounded by a border of exotic trees, shrubs and tall grasses and the overall impact is reminiscent of the enclosed secret gardens of classical Europe. 

There will be ample opportunity to taste delicacies featuring edible lavender prepared by Matanzas Creek chefs Justin Wanglerand Eric Frischkorn and their culinary team.  Justin Wangler assures me that there is a “subtle difference” between various culinary cultivars that fine palates can distinguish.  “Lavandula x Intermedia,” commonly named “Grosso,” is a strong and vigorous hybrid, grown on the Matanzas grounds that was developed in France in the early 18oo’s for its heightened oil content.  It yields a robust purple violet bloom and produces one of the highest quality culinary grade lavenders to be found and is favored by the culinary team.  

Delicacies on Saturday’s menu will be prepared with lavender salt rubs, highly concentrated lavender oil and dried lavender.   The menu (subject to change) includes: Lavender Coconut Ceviche, Lavender Poached Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce Crab Claws, Whole Roasted Lavender Chicken, Israeli Couscous with Oranges, Green Olives, Lavender and Mint, Kobe Beef Sandwiches with Lavender Red Wine Dijonaise, Sweet Potato Tots with Lavender Salt, Lavender

Chef Eric Frischkorn will be baking and serving his fabulous artisan breads this Saturday at Matanzas Creek Winery’s 15th Annual “Days of Wine and Lavender.” Photo: Geneva Anderson.

Cheesecake with Blueberries.  These dishes will also be served with complementary Matanzas Creek wines including Matanzas Creek 2010 Helena Bench Sauvignon Blanc from Knights Valley, 2010 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc and several library wines (well-aged older vintages).

Chef Eric Frischkorn will also be serving his popular homemade artisan breads featuring lavender.  Frischkorn has created a unique wild yeast starter dough from yeast collected on the vineyard’s grapes and Saturday’s sourdough bread will come from this starter.   

 Event Highlights Include:

  • The Tim Hockenberry Blues Band: They will get you movin’ and groovin’ under the oaks.
  • Photographer Marlene Smith:  a professional photographer who will take a portrait of you against the spectacular backdrop of the lavender fields to remember your day at Matanzas Creek Winery.
  • Marin French Cheese: Enjoy hand-crafted Artisan soft-ripened cheese paired with Matanzas Creek wines.
  • Desserts:  gourmet sweets paired with Matanzas’ new release of their dessert wine, Dénouement.
  • Bocce Ball Courts: Guests can try their hand at “Lavender Ball” in the Bocce Ball Courts by the Lavender Barn.
  • Open Air Jeep Tours:  tours to the neighboring Jackson Park Vineyards featuring a spectacular view of the lower winery, vineyards and gardens.
  • Local Artists: Sonoma County Artists who specialize in photographing or painting lavender fields and vineyards in Bennett Valley will have works on display. Chalk artist Robin Burgert will create a colored chalk artwork on the parking lot blacktop.
  • short complimentary hand and shoulder massages utilizing Estate Lavender products 
  • The Lavender Barn will be open with Estate Lavender culinary items, lotions, soaps, massage oils and much more available for purchase. And this is not your ordinary lavender spa line–of course, there’s a pure lavender scent from the finest essential oil.  Several lavender products have also been blended with ingredients like tangerine, neroli and rose to create modern invigorating scents.   There’s also a men’s line that features a handmade soap with a spicy earthy lavender-infused scent that’s worth stocking up on.  

On-going Lavender Education Series:  Matanzas Creek hopes to inspire wine and garden lovers with a series of quarterly educational seminars on growing and using lavender.  All classes are held at 9 a.m. and include a wine-tasting and lunch.  Cost is $75 per person, or $55 for 55 for Custom Crush wine club members.  Upcoming seminars:

Matanzas Creek Winery's Lavender Garden features some 5,000 plants. Terraced rows of the lavender cultivars "Grosso" and "Provence" line the entrance to the winery. Photo: courtesy Matanzas Creek Winery.

July 19, 2011 “Explore the Wonders of Honeybees”:  This seminar will delve into the busy life of the honeybee. Local natural honey purveyor Marshall’s Farm will join us for an in-depth look at beekeeping and a demonstration of how to make lavender-infused honey.   This is a hands-on course.

Sept. 20, 2011 “Cooking with Culinary Lavender”:   Matanzas Creek’s culinary team will teach attendees how to incorporate culinary lavender into every-day cooking.  This is a hands-on course.

Nov. 8, 2011 “Making Lavender Gifts for the Holiday”:  This workshop will show participants how to make a lavender sachet, holiday potpourri and a lavender rock salt warmer.  This is a hands-on course.

 Details: Saturday June 25th, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $75 General Public and $60 Custom Crush members.  Matanzas Creek Winery is located at 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95404.  Phone: 800 590-6464

 The winery is known for its crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and fruity, earthy merlots.  To learn more, visit www.matanzascreek.com .

June 22, 2011 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment