Spring has arrived in Healdsburgâ€”at least for today. Showers are forecasted for every day next week so I made a special effort to head out early and draw before winter reasserts itself. I drove downtown to Healdsburgâ€™s square and easily found an interesting place to draw, standing on the grass next to Foss Creek and looking east between the Bear Republic and Hotel Healdsburg. Every plant, bush, and tree was in bloom.
The town of Healdsburg is known for its wine, and this weekend happens to be the 33rd Annual Barrel Tasting event. I could easily tell because the downtown area was bustling with people holding wine glasses and laughing while walking to the next winery. This event provides a unique opportunity to taste wine out of the barrel (and purchase futures) before it has been bottled.
After I finished my drawing, I drove a couple of blocks away to one of my favorite local wineries, Malm Cellars, for a taste of wine right from their barrels. Brendan and Amanda Malm own the winery where Brendan is winemaker. I tasted 2009 Russian River Chardonnay (Baccigalupi Vineyard); 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Missyâ€™s Vineyard); â€œname itâ€ Red Zin a blend of four vintages (I put in my two cents with â€œFourscore Zinâ€); and a tasty 2010 Dry Creek Valley Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc. All the wines I tasted were excellent and I couldnâ€™t resist purchasing a few bottles. Looks like tonight its going to be a glass of Malm Sonoma County Pinot while Iâ€™m roasting chicken for dinner.