If you enjoy wine, I can’t imagine why you would not want to taste Alexander Valley.

I was just reminded of this event by Lisa Mattson of Jordan Winery, who invited me to taste the valley on the weekend of May 16 and May 17. This is the Eighteenth Annual Taste Alexander Valley in 2015. I remember when it began, and it’s now grown into a three-day extravaganza, which showcases some of the best of northern Sonoma County’s wine country.

I have a lot of wine friends in this area… Near and dear to my heart is Field Stone Winery… If you ever get a chance, see if you can check out their teepee. The creator of Dances With Wolves teepees created it for the Staten family. I was in the tent with my Sioux friend Honey Airborne and John Staten, family Patriarch of the winery. She came to Californian to taste Petite Sirah, after being reactivated during 9/11 restoration. She then had to serve multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We spent 10 days together tasting the finest Petite Sirahs from member wineries of PS I Love You. Since Easter weekend fell in the middle of her tour, she stayed with Jose and me. (Wineries take this holiday, so I didn’t try to book her.) Today it’s clear, but we didn’t know it at the time, it was her resurrection, too. John Staten is also the ordained Reverend Dr. John Staten. He and I used to share some pretty interesting discussions on spirituality. Perhaps there was a nudge… Perhaps…

Trentadue Winery is near and dear to my heart as another major supporter of PS I Love you. They also entertained our Airborne vet, with a very sweet, from their hearts family luncheon. Then, our Vet invited Leo Trentadue to New York City, where he was honored on a float that traveled down Fifth Avenue as a Wold War II Vet. A lot of history exists for me in Alexander Valley, besides a lot of delicious wine…

[Photo of my sister Bonnie Bissonnette.]

I went to Jordan Winery years ago as a media person, when I was writing my winery cat story, “Cat O’Wine Tales.” Publish in The Wine News (no longer in publication), it was my favorite magazine at the time, because they were a bit fringe. I loved that Jordan cat, who was perfectly camouflaged… Hard to spot, but my sister did find it.

My story began a step away from the usual wine stories of the time, into the world of the peripheral… Integrated Pest Management, but with a real twist of sassiness… Probably my hallmark at that time. I certainly didn’t know anyone who wrote exactly what she was thinking in a wine magazine as I did. I had no advertisers to worry about, so I let it rip… I had one New York City wine broker (with whom I was working) who called me to take issue with my line about one of the cats, “She has all the finesse of a high priced call girl.” I thought, “Oh, Richard, get over it!”

So, here we are in Alexander Valley… With your own fun stories and memories to make. Thanks, Lisa Mattson of Jordan, for remembering me.


Winery Open Houses
Set amidst breathtaking vineyard mountain views, this event offers guests access to wine tasting, food pairings, and educational wine experiences at more than 25 Alexander Valley wineries.

Weekend Tasting Pass (Sat. & Sun.) $70, Early Bird price $60

You might also like to consider:

Magnum Dinner + Barn Dance (Friday evening) $150
This elegant night includes dining and dancing under the stars, special magnum selections from our Alexander Valley wineries and a menu specially prepared by local celebrity chef Dustin Valette (formerly of Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen).

Ultimate Weekend Package (all 3-days) $210, Early Bird price $200
Our premium weekend package offers access to our Friday night Magnum Dinner & Barn Dance PLUS a full weekend of tasting at participating wineries.

EventBrite tickets: Click here.