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Geneva Anderson digs into art

Love Lavender? Mataznas Creek Winery’s 19th annual “Days of Wine and Lavender” is Saturday, June 27, 2015

Matanzas Creek Winery’s Lavender garden features roughly 5,000 lavender plants that have flourished in the estate’s magic terroir.  Spectacular terraced rows of the cultivars “Grosso” and “Provence” line the winery’s entrance and are the basis of its lavender product line.  Guests at “Days of Wine and Lavender” stroll the fragrant gardens in dazzling full bloom.  The relaxing afternoon includes sampling the winery’s crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and dazzling pinots and its marvelous feast of lavender inspired cuisine.

Matanzas Creek Winery’s Lavender garden features roughly 5,000 lavender plants that have flourished in the estate’s magic terroir. Spectacular terraced rows of the cultivars “Grosso” and “Provence” line the winery’s entrance and are the basis of its lavender product line. Guests at “Days of Wine and Lavender” stroll the fragrant gardens in dazzling full bloom. The relaxing afternoon includes sampling the winery’s crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and dazzling pinots and its marvelous feast of lavender inspired cuisine.  This year’s celebration is Saturday, June 27, 2105, noon to 4 PM.

Nestled between three mountain peaks in Sonoma County’s bucolic Bennett Valley, the Matanzas Creek Winery and vineyard is home to over three acres of lavender gardens.  Planted in 1991 and nurtured by the vineyard’s gardeners, these spectacular plants frame the entrance to the winery and are now in full bloom. On Saturday, June 27, 2015, from noon to 4 PM, Matanzas Creek celebrates its bounty with its festive 19th Annual Days of Wine & Lavender.  The wonderful afternoon includes Matanzas Creek’s special wines, including its latest releases of crisp, aromatic Bennett Valley Chardonnay and its exclusive, hedonistic, Journey label which includes its 2013 Journey Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Bennett Valley Pinot Noir which has hints of rose petals.  Attendance is limited at this special gathering, so guests never feel overcrowded as they stroll the expansive property, taking in the vineyards and the vibrant bust of purple.  The healing fragrance of lavender wafts through the air while the bees buzz.  Live music keeps the tempo celebratory as guests partake of special food and wine pairings to their heart’s content.  Many of these creative gourmet delights are lavender themed.

There are photo booths, opportunities to paint in the lavender fields or just zone out in comfy lounge chairs and take in the view. Not only do I love this event for the food and wine, but it’s wonderful to stock up on Matanzas Creek’s lavender bath and body products which are made with the finest ingredients and beautifully packaged.  The concentration/staying power of their fragrance and nurturing qualities are evident immediately and these products make wonderful gifts.  Don’t miss the opportunity to bliss out by spritzing yourself with their amazing Lavender Mist.  A personal favorite, used by all members of our household, is Matanzas Creek Lavender Blend After Shave Lotion which has warm spicy notes and leaves your skin as smooth as silk.

Good Deeds: The event benefits the Ceres Community Project, a non-profit that involves local teens as gardeners or chefs.  Ceres aims to bring 88,000 nutrient-rich meals to those with serious illnesses or to those in need in Sonoma and Marin counties this year.  For more information about Ceres and its wonderful classes, visit http://www.ceresproject.org/.

Details:  Saturday June 27th, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $95 General Public and $75 Wine Club members.  Advance ticket purchase is essential as the festival sells out in advance each year.  To purchase tickets, click here. Matanzas Creek Winery is located at 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95404   For more information, phone: 800 590-6464

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June 19, 2015 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luscious Lavender—Matanzas Creek Winery’s 18th Annual Days of Wine & Lavender is Saturday, June 28th

Matanzas Creek Winery hosts its 18th Annual Days of Wine & Lavender this Saturday, June 28th, from noon to 4 PM.  The special afternoon celebrates the vineyard’s exclusive wines and its rustic lavender gardens and benefits the Ceres Community Project.  Photo: courtesy Matanzas Creek Winery

Matanzas Creek Winery hosts its 18th Annual Days of Wine & Lavender this Saturday, June 28th, from noon to 4 PM. The special afternoon celebrates the vineyard’s exclusive wines and its rustic lavender gardens and benefits the Ceres Community Project. Photo: courtesy Matanzas Creek Winery

Tucked in the hillside of beautiful, hidden Bennett Valley, the Matanzas Creek Winery and vineyard is also home to 3 acres of lavender gardens planted in 1991.  To celebrate the beauty of this remarkable rustic estate and the special knack that its caretakers and designers have for coaxing beauty from its fertile soil, the winery hosts its 18th Annual Days of Wine & Lavender this Saturday, June 28th, from noon to 4 PM.  The wonderful afternoon celebrates Matanzas Creek’s special wines, including its newest releases of crisp, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and its exclusive, hedonistic, Journey label.  Guests stroll the expansive property, taking in the vibrant bust of purple and heady fragrance of lavender fields in full bloom while eating and drinking to their heart’s content. Live music keeps the tempo celebratory.

New This Year:  The festival will offer three sensory seminars with winemaker Marcia Monahan-Torres and Matanzas Creek wine experts: Sauvignon Blanc and Seafood Pairings; Merlot and Mushrooms Exploration; Exclusive Tasting of our Journey wines.

There will also be special food and wine pairing stations throughout the event, a tour of the Lavender Barn showcasing how its luscious lavender products are made, photo booths, exceptional views and much more.

Good Deeds: The event benefits the Ceres Community Project, a non-profit that involves local teens as gardeners or chefs.  Ceres aims to bring 88,000 nutrient-rich meals to those with serious illnesses or to those in need in Sonoma and Marin counties this year.  For more information about Ceres and its wonderful classes, visit http://www.ceresproject.org/.

Details:  Saturday June 28th, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $95 General Public and $75 Wine Club members.  Advance ticket purchase is essential as the festival sells out in advance each year.  To purchase tickets, click here. Matanzas Creek Winery is located at 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95404   For more information, phone: 800 590-6464

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Food | , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Lavender Season! See it, Savor it, and Discover it at Matanzas Creek Winery’s 17th Annual “Days of Wine & Lavender,” Saturday, June 29th

Matanzas Creek Winery's Lavender Garden features over 5,000 lavender plants. Terraced rows of the cultivars "Grosso" and "Provence" line the winery's entrance and are the basis of its Estate Grown Lavender product line.  Guests at "Days of Wine and Lavender" stroll the gardens while sampling crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and fruity, earthy merlots.

Matanzas Creek Winery’s Lavender Garden features over 4,500 lavender plants. Terraced rows of the cultivars “Grosso” and “Provence” line the winery’s entrance and are the basis of its Estate Grown Lavender product line. Guests at “Days of Wine and Lavender” stroll the gardens while sampling crisp sauvignon blancs, luxurious chardonnays and fruity, earthy merlots.

Aside from its beauty, there are few things more sensual and soothing than the aroma of lavender in full bloom.  Whether you prefer to casually take in the sweetness in the air or rub your fingers over its sticky flowering stalks, the experience is magical.  Matanzas Creek Winery’s 17th annual “Days of Wine & Lavender” festival is Saturday, June 29, 2013 and offers an unforgettable afternoon, an immersion of the senses, as guests stroll through the winery’s two-acre lavender gardens while sipping Matanzas Creek’s bright and refreshing wines. With its more than 4,500 individual lavender plantings creating a sea of purple and perfuming the air, the bucolic Bennett Valley estate, set in the rolling golden hills of Sonoma County, is an oasis of respite.

There are lavender festivals popping up all over Sonoma but “Days of Wine and Lavender” is known for keeping it small, manageable, elegant, so tickets are limited, and those who come once tend to return year after year.  The fine cuisine keeps many coming back.  A highlight of this year’s event will be Michelin-starred Chef, Douglas Keane’s special epicurean pairings designed for the winery’s Journey wine collection.  Since closing his acclaimed four-star Cyrus, Keane has been managing his Healdsburg Bar & Grill and he’ll be one of the chef contenders on season five of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, competing for a $100,000 donation to his Green Dog Rescue Project charity.  The festival will also feature a menu created by the estate culinary team, including dishes with estate-grown lavender as a culinary ingredient.  Past scrumptious delicacies have included Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates Chef Eric
Frischkorn’s
homemade artisan breads delicately flavored with lavender and Executive Chef Justin Wangler’s inventive use of lavender in grilled dishes such as Lavender Honey Glazed Scallops or Lavender Roasted Leg of Lamb with Confit Fingerling Potatoes.  Paired food stations will be set-up around the winery for guests to see how the food is prepared and then sample as many items and as many times as they like.  This is an excellent opportunity to observe how salt rubs, concentrated oils, and lavender grilling sticks are used by the pros.

Winemaker Marcia Monahan will lead guests through a sensory exploration of several of the winery’s distinct Sauvignon Blanc wines.  Additionally, renowned oyster guru, Rowan Jacobsen, author of A Geography of Oysters…the 2008 James Beard Award winning guide to all things oysters, will demonstrate how to pair oysters Matanzas Creek’s different handcrafted wines.

Other activities include a showcase of the winery’s lavender barn and lavender product-making techniques, a sneak peak of new wine releases, culinary demonstrations, beekeeping demonstrations and lavender-infused honey tastings by Marshall’s Farm, sustainability tours of the estate, chair massages and live music.

Matanzas Creek’s small-batch lavender luxury bath and body care products are crafted with the same care and dedication that goes into their wine.  The Lavender/Chamomile Soothing Balm ($13.50/ 2 oz) is an all-purpose highly-aromatic balm that is perfect for healing and soothing sun-exposed skin, sore muscles, and nourishing dry skin.  Just a dab goes a long way and it makes the perfect gift.

Details: Saturday June 29th, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $95 General Public and $75 Wine Club members.  Advance ticket purchase is essential as the festival sells out in advance each year.  To purchase tickets, click here.  Matanzas Creek Winery is located at 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95404   For more information, phone: 800 590-6464

June 21, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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