Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Fun Fall Day - California Wine Country Style

For my birthday our friends, Doug and Wave, treated us to a day in the gorgeous California wine country. The day was perfect for our destination to Healdsburg, California where a wonderful winery atop a hill awaited our arrival.

The wine country was in its fall splendor with the vines changing their colors from green to amber, burgundy and gold. The sunlight bounced off the hills, showcasing the jewel toned colors along each turn of the road.

A must stop for a quick sammy and picnic accoutrements is at the Dry Creek General Store which is owned and operated by our hometown girl, Gina Gallo, granddaughter to the famous Ernest and Julio Gallo. Gina and her brother also own and operate Gallo of Sonoma.

An assortment of packaged cheeses...

...and of course plenty of wine....

..and pretty decorations...

...make this little general store warm and cozy and a perfect spot to relax on the porch and savor a special treat and soak up some fall sunshine.Healdsburg, California is a charming town and just one of many in the world famous California wine Country. We stretched our legs a bit and did a little window shopping.

Lovely old buildings line the streets....

...and even a friendly canine, or two, linger while their master shops.

Art galleries are tucked in here and there with amazing paintings and photographs that I could have spent hours gazing at.

Isn't this a fabulous chair?

Powell's Candy Store offer you a sweet nibble...

...or a little gumball to tire your jaw with.

Christmas decorations and holiday splendor about,

...though you would not know it isn't still summer with these geraniums still showing off their marvelous red blooms.

These fabulous boots caught my eye... did this smart pair of trouser shoes.

Rolling hills painted with their glorious fall colors....

..are home to many small wineries, as well as some of the larger ones.

I wonder where this road takes you?

Well, we won't go there as it is marked private property, however we will head on to our actual destination for this fun day.
Duhgall and Maude ask Doug if we are almost there! Doug tells them to hold on as he drives up the hillside along a twisty little dirt road to...

Pezzi King Vineyards. Ta da! We are here! Are you asking why we would take our dogs? is because Pezzi King winery is the home of Riley and Monty, two Wheaten Scottish Terriers. Duhgall and Maude are so excited to meet the infamous Riley!!!

Here Riley is meeting Duhgall, my little lad.

But I do believe that Riley fancies Miss Maudie McPhee, Wave and Doug's lass. Monty did not come out to visit as he was not feeling so swell after having had some dental work done.
Now this is why Mr. Riley is so famous...He has a Zinfandel wine named after him.

Riley's Red is a FABULOUS Zin. The label reads:

"Living The life of Riley, Riley Rowe would say for a blonde Scottie dog from Houston, living in Dry Creek Valley at Pezzi King vineyards is pure heaven. Riley spends his days chasing feral cats and wild turkeys and attending more parties than he can remember. Even his dog tag crowns him the "Party Animal". Riley knows his wines and he's heard Wind Club Members purr, "Oooh, aaah, delicious! Such round and ripe flavors of mocha, black cherry and carmel." This wine is no Dawg! Any self respecting Scottie would put his name on it....drink now before Riley gets his paws on it."

Riley, the Patriarch.

Below is Cynthia Rowe (owner of Pezzi King), with Riley and her lab, Evie.

Cynthia's husband, Jim could not make it down for the tasting, but we would like to tell him that we loved the wines!

Riley is also featured in The Wine Dog book, a book that showcases dogs who live at wineries. What a life, huh?

Pezzi King winery is located at the top of a hill in the Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg, CA. For more information you can click here to take you to the Pezzi King website.

Their wine is made the building down below their home.

This is the view of the Dry Creek Valley from the deck where the wine tasting is held.

Guests can linger and take in the views, sip wine and snack on cheeses and chocolate covered pretzels and almonds.
Jim and Cynthia's lovely home.

Doogs is taking in the view from atop a rock wall....
...while we enjoy a toasty fire on the patio and sample delicious Cabs and Zins!

Fall colors are prevalant around the winery.

'Tis time to bid farewell to our new friends. To Cynthia and Jim, and of course Monty, Evie and Riley, thank you for a beautiful afternoon at your winery. It is truely a day to remember. Ta-ta, Riley!But before we bid you adieu....

Maude says, "Doogs....." as she tries to get his attention...

...."Becky", says Maude, "Doogie isn't listening, he is spacing out and I know it isn't 'cause he snuck in a few sips of wine either...."

....."finally," says a relieved Maude, "let's tell our friends..."

..."have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!"

From our house to yours, we wish all of you a day filled with love, laughter and full bellies!