Posted on September 15, 2009

This is the view from Craig’s deck looking West from Stryker Sonoma. The treeline in the mid-horizon is the Russian River, with the Coast Range in the background. One could get used to it.

What a great weekend. I ate amazingly well–highlights include dinner at Diavola (real Napolitano pizza from a wood-fired oven), lunch at Willi’s in Healdsburg (outstanding seafood–tuna tartare, oysters, and an incredible piece of halibut), and a home cooked meal from the Colorado house guests next door (most notably, a sweet potato dish with habanero peppers–a sublime blend of sweet and spicy).

Naturally, there was an abundance of wine. Craig’s colleagues, Tim Hardin, winemaker, and Jenn Berman, oenologist and assistant winemaker, were present when duty didn’t call. I know it’s work, especially now, with harvest in full effect, but, man, the geographic phenomenon that comprises the Northern California wine country is so spectacular, it makes one stop, and breathe, and for that moment, be grateful to be alive.

As for the cheese tasting, it turned out to be a wheel a night proposition. The good news was that each night, the cheese was well received, and consumed. Lots of compliments from folks who know food.

Buffy, Otis, Adrien, Graham, Bill, the two Michael’s, Brian, Ashley, Kathleen, and I’m sure I’m leaving someone essential out–the Stryker family is a lovely group of people–thanks so much for your hospitality. If you are able, stop by Stryker. The wines are fantastic, the views breathtaking, and the people, wonderful. I dare you not to envy, but you’ll let it go in a heartbeat, because good wins here.

Craig was the greatest host. When you have the sort of history we do, you pick up right where you left off, and with the benefit of age, the most major disagreement becomes such a minor pest, it falls away like an inconvenient piece of lint.

I’m going to finish here and go on to another post because I can’t figure out how to post more than one picture at a time and not mess everything up…so next to:

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