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St. Francis Winery and Vineyards
by
Kathy Sullivan

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsSummary: St. Francis Winery and Vineyards offers a memorable experience with numerous wine and food pairing opportunities available for visitors. The wines created by St. Francis Winery are made with 100 percent Sonoma fruit and paired with foods created by Executive Chef David Bush.

St. Francis Winery’s newest facility features a mission-style building with roofs of red tile and cream colored walls. A small bell tower adds to the sense of a mission. The founders of St. Francis Winery, Joe and Emma Martin and their business partner Lloyd Canton, chose the name St. Francis because St. Francis was a protector of nature.

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsVineyards

Established for 33 years, St. Francis Winery is one of the pioneer wineries in Sonoma County. The founders were the first vintners to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley. Today there are 600 acres of prolific grapevines with varieties including Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Mourvedre. The vineyard within view of the winery is Wild Oak Vineyard with Hood Mountain in the background. The views are picturesque.

Besides the hundreds of acres of vineyards, St. Francis Winery maintains a two-acre sustainable vegetable garden enabling the chef to provide “farm to table” cuisine. The chef can be found in the garden picking tomatoes, onions, lettuces and more in the morning for use in the St. Francis Winery kitchen.

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsIn addition to the quality wines produced at St. Francis Winery by winemaker, Tom Mackey, the winery has numerous food experiences created by Executive Chef David Bush. Besides wine and food pairings, special food events include winery dinners and an Annual Holiday Open House.

Fine Wine and Food Experiences

St. Francis Winery offers different Wine and Food pairing experiences. During the warmer months visitors can enjoy Charcuterie on the Patio. When the months become cooler look for the Fireside Charcuterie. A special wine and food experience is available five days a week. This is a special and unique experience with the chef offering a variety of petite dishes created to pair with wines.

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsExample of the Special Wine and Food Pairing Event

Reservations are recommended for the Wine and Food Pairings event. The wine and food pairing event uses Riedel stemware. Pictured is a wine and food pairing event that took place in November 2011.

While we gathered prior to the event, we enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay 2010. The wine was a bright straw color, offered an aroma of pear with light pear tastes. In another area of the facility, the group settled in a circular seating pattern for the wine and food pairing. This arrangement facilitated dialogue amongst all present.

 

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsViognier 2009 was a dark yellow to gold color. There were notes of tropical fruits on the aroma and taste. The finish offered a bit of tannins. The food paired with Stuffed Butternut Squash. The squash dish matched the tropical fruit nose of the wine.

“Old Vines” Zinfandel 2008 was produced from vines 80 to 100 years old. The wine was dark ruby with dark fruit notes. The crisp finish offered mild tannins and was fruity. Pairing with the wine was Torta Cubana. The ingredients were house-made chorizo, Jabon de Paris, fire roasted Salsa, shredded butter lettuce and smoked paprika fromage blanc. The spicy peppery aftertaste somewhat overpowered the fruitiness of the wine.

Cabernet Franc 2007 offered notes of dark fruits. The finish had mild tannins and was chewy. This wine was paired with Steamed Sea Bass, fermented black beans, bok choy, bacon lardons, soba noodles and green onion chiffonade. The Cabernet Franc matched well with the steamed sea bass dish. We also tasted the 2008 Rock Pile Red. This wine was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The aroma had smoke nuances. The taste was of dark fruit and spice and then the smoke kicked in. The wine had tannins on the finish. This would pair perfectly with sausage on the grill. The wine needs food preferably grilled.

Malbec 2007 was a dark purple with a ruby rim. The aroma was of dark fruit with a hint of licorice. The taste was smooth with dark fruit notes. Tannins were on the finish. The dish paired was Seared Sonoma County Duck Breast with duck confit fried rice, poached quail egg and house-made red curry. The Malbec matched well with the duck breast.

St. Francis Winery and VineyardsPort 2009 offered jammy and dark fruit notes on the aroma and taste. The finish had just a bit of heat. The Port was paired with a dessert that included blue cheese and chocolate. The Port matched well with the saltiness of the blue cheese. Port and chocolate always match well together.

The experience was friendly and very enjoyable. In addition to the wine and food experience, everyone talked and there were many side conversations. St. Francis creates the ideal environment for: wine, food and conversation.

Enjoy a delightful visit to St. Francis Winery in Sonoma, California. For a very special experience reserve a spot for the Wine and Food Pairings.

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards
100 Pythian Road at Highway 12
Santa Rosa, CA 95409

GPS: N38º 26.209’ W122º 34.635’

 


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