Mar 10, 2020
By Laura DuPree
But why stop at one, as so many come to mind when characterizing Ferrari-Carano’s charming boutique and wine bar located on the Healdsburg Plaza – an enchanting place in and of itself, with plenty of storefront tasting rooms, art galleries, clothing boutiques, restaurants … and a lovely park in the center.
Seasons, located inside a building from the late 1800s that originally housed a shoe store, retains old world charm with its ornate tin-tiled ceiling, brick walls and an overall elegant décor. The staff is friendly and the space has a warm and inviting vibe. In addition to some really good wine, Seasons sells an assortment of unique, high-end merchandise, making it the perfect stop for those who want to taste and shop with glass in hand.
The gold-colored beverage in my glass has generally been Ferrari-Carano’s Reserve Chardonnay, or what I refer to as “Laura’s nectar” and some Millennials I know call “Cougar juice.”
Most of the fruit for this rich, full-bodied, California-style Chard comes from the Carneros region. The wine is aged in oak barrels and more importantly to me, undergoes malolactic fermentation (also known as MLF or just ML), a secondary fermentation process that converts malic acid (think of tart green apples) into lactic acid (think of milk) resulting in a soft, buttery tasting Chard.
That said, it would be a waste of Executive Winemaker Sarah Quider’s talent to produce just one delicious Chard; so, she makes six, or seemingly one for every palate. Four of them are available at Season’s (all six at Ferrari-Carano’s estate) along with the winery’s ever popular Fume Blanc (which for those who don’t already know, is literally Sauvignon Blanc), a Pinot Grigio,Gewurztraminer, two types ofRosé and over a dozen reds – everything from Pinot Noir to Cabernet.
But by now, some of you may have gathered I’m a Chard gal and I’ve done my homework, so you don’t have to.
Seasons isn’t alone on the Healdsburg square. La Crema, Stonestreet, Hartford Family, and Selby wineries also have tasting rooms downtown with excellent Chardonnays on their menus, among other varietals. I really like the Dave’s Reserve at Selby and all six of the single vineyard Chards at Stonestreet, though they are pricey – ranging from $55 to $125 a bottle. La Crema and Hartford Family Chardonnays also speak my language, as in buttery, oak aged and my favorite phrase, “malolactic fermentation.”
Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. INFO: www.seasonsofthevineyard.com | 707-431-2222.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. INFO: www.lacrema.com | 707- 431-9400.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday ~ Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and closed Wednesdays. INFO:www.stonestreetwines.com | 707-473-3377.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. INFO: www.hartfordwines.com | 707-887-8031.
Selby, 215 Center Street
INFO: www.selbywinery.com | 707-431-1288.
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