On an amazing July afternoon, after a hike up Shirley Canyon where I had experienced the energy and power of rushing waterfalls born from massive snowmelt and the pristine mountain air, I headed to the Village at Squaw Valley to enjoy the Art and Wine Festival.
While sampling the wonderful wines and lingering at the displays of stimulating art works, I felt elevated. Adding to this were the always-dramatic mountain views and the sounds offered by the featured musicians — music ranging from bluesy folk-rock to Flamenco.
Lumen Wines delivered the honey, melon and orange notes this grape can bring with a refreshing streak that California versions usually lack.
I again realized how gifted those who live and visit here are and how much, at its essence, wine is about sensory stimulation. We smell, taste, feel and many times share our thoughts and feelings about our vino and how elevated that experience can be when matched with other sensory delights. As with most wine-walk events in our neighborhood, we are fortunate to be presented small-production artisan wines, as opposed to the high-volume usual suspects one sees at the grocery store.
And now on to the wines — highlights included two excellent offerings from Napa’s Green & Red Vineyard. We don’t usually think of Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel from this appellation but this winery’s unique green and red soils — hence the name — and cooler location high above the valley floor in Chiles Canyon make for lithe, aromatic and spicy wines from those grapes. The Sauvignon Blanc is a real lip smacker, just right for summer.
Another standout was the Experience Pinot Noir. Experience sources fruit from various locations and the grapes for this wine come from the Pinot hot bed of the Sonoma Coast. It walks the fine line between power and finesse and pulls it off beautifully.