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by Fred McMillin
for December 13, 2000

 

That Creek Mystique


Prologue

Lazy CreekDear Fred,
We make a trip to the Anderson Valley at least once a year to pick up a case or two of Lazy Creek Gewürztraminer.

...Melissa Hogan-McBride


The Rest of the Story

Is Melissa the Lone Ranger on this wine? Let's see what the experts have to say about
a) the Anderson Valley, and then
b) the Lazy Creek winery.


Taa-Bo-Tah Talk

The American Indians called the little valley, 2 by 25 miles, Taa-Bo-Tah. Later it was named after an early (1851) settler, Walter Anderson.

Unlike the north-south valleys of Napa and Sonoma, the Anderson Valley runs west to east. Cool, fog-laden marine breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean give it a distinctive climate, which cause the critics to say...

New York Times: The Anderson Valley's cool climate may be California best area for Gewürztraminer. Its small, little-known wineries deserve a higher profile. (by Eric Asimov)

Grape Guru Bob Thompson in his California Wine Atlas: Nowhere else in California does Gewürztraminer achieve such memorable depths of flavor and firmness of texture as in the Anderson Valley. Challenging for the head of the class is Lazy Creek Vineyards!


Up A Lazy Creek

"Lazy Creek does not advertise its presence. Only the eagle-eyed will spot the miniscule sign and take the tiny little dirt road across two wooden bridges above tree fern-lined gullies which lead to the winery." (I don't have eagle eyes, so I missed it the first time we drove by the little road.) "The winery is justly renowned for its Gewürztraminer."...by Aussie author James Holliday.

This leads us to our...


Wine of the Day

1999 Lazy Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer
Anderson Valley, Mendocino County
Proprietors: Mary Beth and Josh Chandler
Contact: (707) 895-3623, FAX (707) 895-9226
Tasting Notes—Classic honeysuckle aroma and flavor, carefully balanced with refreshing acidity, courtesy that cool climate.
Rating -HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Food Affinities—We tried it with Asian (Adobo—spicy Philippine chicken wings), French (spinach soufflé) and American (freshly-smoked Pacific salmon). Super with the soufflé and wings; salmon was so strong, I'd prefer the Lazy Creek Pinot Noir, but that's another story.
Price of the Gewürztraminer— $14
Address—Lazy Creek Vineyards, P.O. Box 176, Philo, California 95466
Capacity—About 5,000 cases annually


Postscript

Philo?? Unusual name. Where did it come from? In 1868 the first postmaster was Cornelius Prather. He named the town after his favorite cousin, a girl called Philomena.

 

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 
 


 
 

This page created December 2000

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