On March 6th, I hopped on a San Francisco-bound plane to work with a client on an upcoming event. That weekend I spent some time with friends in Marin, and our visit to Chalk Hill Estate was my last public outing before COVID got serious in California. I flew home on March 8th and woke up on Monday, March 9th to an entirely changed world. For a moment, let me go back to that time BC (before Corona). We took a jaunt to Sonoma and enjoyed the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill Estate. And WHAT an experience that wine and food pairing was.
Chalk Hill Estate, in the Chalk Hill sub AVA of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma is a GORGEOUS 1300-acre sustainable property. There are 300 acres planted under vine and while there, vineyards are in your line of vision as far as the eye can see. This bountiful property gives us 26,000 cases of wine annually, and 90% of the produce served onsite comes directly from the property. Talk about farm to table. Truly.
Below are the fabulous wine and food pairing courses we enjoyed as a part of the Culinary Tour.
Executive Chef: David Thater
Chef de Cuisine: Alec Graham.
Lemongrass Custard | Root Vegetable Granola | Tomato Powder
2017 Felta Chardonnay $75
A weighty and full-bodied Chardonnay. Super-duper creamy, and I’m here for it. This wine and food pairing really worked. The custard really brightened up the wine and showcased the fruit: both citrus and green fruit.
Carrot & Parsnip Sofrito Blue Corn Tortilla | Avocado Mousseline | Pickled Cippolini
2016 Estate Pinot Noir $48
Bright red fruit plus cracked black pepper (both on the nose and palate). This pairing sings. The pepper from the wine plays well with the spice on the dish.
Roasted Pork Belly | Vegetable Dashi | Charred Broccoli & Romanesco
2015 Syrah $60
Dark fruit plays with medium plus tannins and a full body. Super smoky on the backend. This smoke danced with the charred vegetables and the roasted pork notes. Divine.
Angus Ribeye | Estate Sunchokes | Bok Choy | Onion Soubise | Sherry Vinegar
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon $85
There is no question that Cabernet Sauvignon is in your glass. Distinct pyrazines (jalapeño) on the nose, moving into dark black fruit. Well-integrated tannins that cut right through the fat in the rib eye. Ab fab.
When life gets back to normal, I’d HIGHLY recommend you consider the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill Estate. Your day begins with a brief excursion through the estate vineyards. Following the vineyard tour, guests are led through the new culinary garden where organically-farmed produce is the inspiration for the Estate Chef’s culinary artistry. You will then arrive at the Pavilion – a conservatory overlooking the equestrian center with panoramic views of the Chalk Hill valley. There, you will enjoy a sit-down tasting of Chalk Hill wines paired with small plates prepared by their Estate Chef.
By Appointment | $120 per person | 2.5 hours
For appointments visit ChalkHill.com or contact Chalk Hill at (707) 657-4837.