Wine,Wine Country,Wine Writer

High Five ~ My Best 2008 Five Images of Sonoma County ~ with a Couple More from France’s Viticulturist Gilles Leige

Sonoma County has the Pacific on its most western side. This is where the Russian River meets the ocean at Jenner. Fog plays a significant role, as it winds its way up the river, deeper into the Russian River Valley. This was the beginning of the afternoon fog rolling in.

Moving into the Russian River Valley through Occidental and Sebastopol, what can be said about this one… Other than, “How’s the view?” The ocean is just off in the distance, left hand side of this image’s rock outcropping.

Moving into Sonoma Valley, just past Valley of the Moon, this was an irresistible shot located at Cornerstone Place… The absurd, using my Jose-Male-Model to prove the point.

At Cornerstone Place, I discovered this water lily pond. Never have a felt a more complete Monet moment, wishing I knew how to take what I was seeing and converting that to oil on canvas.

Sonoma has the Pacific Ocean which leads up the Russian River Valley into many counties. One which has a mountainous terrain, as well as a valley floor, is Alexander Valley. This image was of a perfect picnic afternoon with Charles and Corrine Reichel, Darryl Miller of Henry Wine Group, and his partner Karen Demostene of Murphy Goode at Reichel Vineyards. This is a vineyard shot taken in the Mayacamas Mountain Range, overlooking Geyserville, and onto the range in front of the Pacific Ocean.

This one was just sent to me by my friend Gilles Liege, who lives in France. Gilles first contacted me in May 2006, to share that his passion is Petite Sirah. Living and working in France’s wine country, this means that he’s living a very lonely life, viticulturally speaking… Imagine, loving France’s ostracized wild child, Pettie Sirah. He’s planted a vineyard with Petite included, and dreams of having France recognize Petite Sirah as one of their own in a manner of respect for what it’s become.

Gilles wanted me to be included in his world. At each turn, he sends an Email in French to me. Through the miracle of the Internet, I translate it, write my response in English, translate that, and send it back to him. We’ve carried on this way since his first Email, with his keeping me up on his own personal story of Petite Sirah now planted in France. This morning, he just sent these two image to me. I’m including them, because this is the world of a Petite Sirah vineyard owner in France. These two images taken by Gilles are amazing. He also wrote the following:

je suis allé faire un petit tour de Ski de fond au Mézenc ce Lundi à 14 heures pour faire qq. photos. Température 3 degrés, 1 mètre de neige , piste gelées………………….idéal !!!
Je peux vous assurer que la photo n’est pas Truquée, c’était FABULEUX.
Photo: Le Mézenc la grosse Roche, au loin le Mont Blanc.

One Response to “High Five ~ My Best 2008 Five Images of Sonoma County ~ with a Couple More from France’s Viticulturist Gilles Leige”

  1. Dan Crane says:

    Hi Jo,

    Very interesting to hear about Gilles Liege. I am the winemaker at All Saints Estate in Rutherglen, Victotia. The other great Durif producing region of the world!

    Last year we had a Rhone winemaker, Julien latour, come to do vintage with us. He loved working with Durif and was keen to do some in his home region (probably on the sly knowing their AC regulations)I know he would be delighted to hear about Gilles.

    Can you please send me a contact so I can put the two of them in touch.

    All the best.

    Dan Crane

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