Ξ November 4th, 2008 | → 2 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, Tasting Notes, Wine Bars, Wine News, Winemakers, Wineries |
Let me start off by saying that I like Mr. Grahm. I have met him a handful of times over the past year. He’s an American original.
I was fortunate to be given a glimpse of Bonny Doon’s new tasting room. Randall Grahm has been overseeing the effort for what seems like an eternity. Now we know the last day of their tasting room on the outskirts of the hamlet of Bonny Doon will be the 16th of November. The new tasting room, at 328 Ingalls St. on the west-side of Santa Cruz, will open first for a wine club, subscriber-only event, Day of the Doon, November 8th and 9th. Over 300 souls are expected.
On November 15th the doors will then open to the general public. Coincidentally that Saturday is also the occasion of the quarterly Santa Cruz Mountains AVA Passport event. Bonny Doon’s new tasting room will be open 7 days a week, from 11:30 to 5:30 (though there is a hint of wriggle room concerning the hours of operation).
The room is quite expansive, the ceiling’s high, appointed with skylights. Plenty of natural sunlight pours in, and on cloudy days and late afternoons the warm wood panelling and tungsten lighting adds a rustic, country feel.
The space is divided into two main areas by a pair of intimate booths placed against towering floor to ceiling staves. The booths can accommodate 6 to 8 folks. On either side of the booths are passageways, one a simple decorated hallway rounded by a fountain, the headwaters of which are topped by a cow horn, a sign of the biodynamic wines Mr. Grahm now produces from his Ca’ del Solo vineyard. The other passage leads through a faux-barrel, as can be seen. Both lead to the second tasting area where Bonny Doon’s most exciting addition to the tasting room experience may be found, a well-appointed kitchen.
The kitchen is the territory of a fine local chef, Sean Baker, currently of the Gabriella Café. He will design the menu of tapas-style dishes. The effort will be to provide small plates that strongly complement the wines poured that particular day or week. The menu will be updated regularly to best match the current flite. The tasting room café will be open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 to 5:30.
On average there will be 10 wines poured, all of Bonny Doon’s current portfolio. As many as 15 to 20 wines may be made available from time to time. The additional bottlings occasionally served will be spirits, past vintages, library wines or special cuveés from Bonny Doon Vineyard’s long vinous narrative.
To the immediate right of the second tasting bar pictured above, near the second door, there is a modest selection of gifts: sweaters, caps, locally produced lotions and soaps, etched or frosted stemware and decanters, and both industry-standard texts and biodynamic-themed books.
As all the photos above reveal the tasting room is in its final detailing. Work remains. Of particular interest will be how the Biodynamic Lounge comes together. Located in the main tasting area, tucked on the other side of the tasting bar, the Biodynamic Lounge has yet to be fully appointed. The space will be not only for general seating, for wine and food enjoyment, but also for after-hours winemaker dinners and other special events.
Indeed, speaking of after-hours, my understanding is that the entire tasting room may be rented out for special events.
In addition to a glimpse of the tasting room space I was treated to a taste of four of Bonny Doon’s biodynamic wines. This pleasurable experience will be the subject of a forth-coming post.