My wife and I just enjoyed another idyllic afternoon at the Dry Creek Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma on Saturday the 25th of June 2011! Wow!! The Summer of Zin 2011 was a delight. If you are a Beatlemaniac or just enjoy relaxing in the vineyard atmosphere of the wonderful wine country than this is the time and place for you.
How can you go wrong? Warm weather, great food – provided by Charlie Bruno’s Chuck Wagon – Mobile Comfort Food (the pulled pork and sweet potato fries were to die for) and Dimsum Charlies of Napa (Mobile Dimsum smelled wonderful!!) followed by a little sweetness from Molly Moo’s Ice Cream and of course great wines from Dry Creek Vineyards all assembled by Reenie Donahue, Hospitality and Marketing Coordinator and her team of fun-loving enthusiasts.
The venue consisted of lawn seating as well as picnic tables and a perfect area in front of the band for dancing or just swaying flower child style with soap bubbles floating in the air. You cannot beat the winery’s grounds with their tall redwood tree perimeter, landscaping, picnic area and the winery building itself to offer a more intimate and pleasant environment to relax and enjoy the show. The weather was exceptional with temperatures in the low 80’s and the redwoods provided some excellent shade as the sun moved over head and to the west.
The crowd was friendly and clearly there to relax and enjoy. Reenie’s team made sure all was perfect with wine available by the glass or the bottle. We enjoyed the 2010 Fume Blanc (crisp with a great fresh citrusy and green apple flavor – perfect for a summer afternoon) and the 2009 Heritage Zinfandel (nice aroma of jammy raspberry and red berry with some anise, very smooth and balanced).
The Sun Kings, lead by Drew Harrison, provided the musical backdrop for a magical kick off of this 2nd annual summer event in wine country. We have enjoyed many Beatles tribute bands but none can compare with the Sun Kings. The Sun Kings make no pretense of “looking like” the Beatles…rather… all their energy is around sounding like them…and they succeed to the delight of all.
It was especially enjoyable to experience the passion and talent of the group’s founder and leader, Drew Harrison. Despite the last name, Drew is John Lennon incarnate in voice and swagger. His insistence on making the Sun King’s sound realistic and reminiscent of the Beatles that the sound check an hour or more before show time was a show all by itself. Drew’s search for perfection pays off for the audience every time. His four band mates: Michael Barrett, Peter LoMenzo, Bill Zupko and Steve Scarpelli add the perfect mix of musicality, fun and Beatlemania to bring the Fab Four to life and to the stage.
All in all the Summer of Zin 2011 was a great kickoff to a Summer finally arrived in Sonoma after our unseasonal Spring of cold and rain. Today’s event made all that seem like a long time ago and only whetted our appetites for more days in the vineyards with music and fun and great wine. See you there next time.