Take away the conventional dining room & insert a view of majestic hills covered in vines. Frame that with an edible bio-diverse garden… while enjoying a unique epicurean afternoon… and what do you have? A great day.
My favorite spot to take new visitors to Sonoma County for a first time ‘tasting room’ experience has long been Lynmar Estate Winery in the Russian River Valley. When asked to visit Lynmar for their Estate Picnic Pairing recently including a tour of the Estate & Bliss House Retreat, I was thrilled to return.
Enjoy straight from the garden fresh food, featuring items sourced locally, paired by the Estate Chef with handcrafted Chardonnay & Pinot Noirs. It is quite the experience. The greens in our salad were picked only moments before they were served. And came right from the dirt that we had just walked past on our tour.
When speaking of wine, food HAS to be part of the equation. Lynmar does a wonderful job of offering guests a rounded experience with lots to see and do on the property as well as offering food, events, tours and a lovely line up of wines to taste, of course.
The tour started in a garden that is both lovely and delicious looking at the same time. I visit Lynmar regularly. My last visit was only a month prior and the landscape was covered in tomatoes, flowers, corn, etc. A month later and the garden was covered in rows of leafy greens, hanging gourds and squash galore.
I have included photos of both of the seasonal garden plantings here and it is hard to choose a favorite. Most production gardens I find to be terribly geometric with straight rows of plantings.
Walking through the Lymar Estate garden and it is almost as though the plants are reaching out and grabbing you to tell you more.
Planted in what I would call an english garden style with ‘tended chaos’ allowed while the plants grow and find a spot where they are happiest. No straight rows of boringness here, just a freeform collage. Hummingbirds, butterflies & bees fly happily past. True signs of the organic stamp.
With each coming season, the gardener and chef have new opportunities to dream up a different style of landscape and style of plate.
Next, we moved to the Bliss House Retreat, after stopping briefly by the Pizza & Pinot groves and the small barn to sample 15 year Barrel Aged Balsamic…a hobby project by the Proprietor, Lynn Fritz.
Note to self: Need more hobbies. The balsamic was magical.
Surrounded by 360 degree views of the vineyards, the Bliss House is a spectacular retreat. One of the best features, if you ask me, is that it is located only a short walk from the tasting room. This 3 bedroom and 3.5 bath rental home is perfect for 6 guests.
Lynmar Estate Advocates Club Members receive priority access and preferred rates. And the members also receive wine….another great reason to join. The views, decor and kitchen would make any group or family quite happy for the weekend.
They offer 20 handcrafted Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, ranging from vineyard designates, to proprietary blends to appellation blends.
I have NEVER tasted a wine that I did not like at Lynmar. And I have been at it (tasting that is) for many years, following them since 2007.
Speaking of the Proprietors at Lynmar, we had the pleasure of having our picnic lunch with Anisya with Lynn stopping by to chat as well.
It was wonderful to see them both again and I think it is highly commendable when the owners of a large winery like Lynmar will take the time to stop in, greet guests and have a conversation as well.
While we ate, Aniysa & Estate Chef David Frakes told us more about the property, gardens and food pairings. For the Lynmar chef, the grounds offer a unique opportunity to build seasonal menus by planning not only what they would plant, but also when it would come into season.
When you have a great wine, pairing food is especially exciting. The food framed the wines perfectly. Impressive.
For our Fall seasonal menu, we enjoyed:
SUMMER HARVEST SALAD
Season garden lettuce, shaved scarlet radish, celery & golden beets, Mission fig-yuzu vinaigrette
SIGNATURE GOURMET WRAP
Smoked Willie Bird turkey wrap, Redwood Hill Farm goat cheddar, house verjus-pickled white onion, Gravenstein apple-raspberry aioli
Orchard peach cookies
Double chocolate wafer
Located at 3909 Frei Road, Sebastopol, California and is open daily to the public from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Picnic lunches are are by appointment Wednesday through Sunday from May through October so visit soon!
Raising my glass to Aniysa, Lynn, Aaron (& the new baby on the way), Andrew, Chef David as well as John and Linda Compisi who it was a pleasure to run into to while I was there, small world it si for us winelovers.
Great to see you all… and to spend some time.
December 9, 2014 – Today I came across a terrific contest by a Wine Writer aka ‘The Drunken Cyclist” that I read often and have much respect for….with only a few hours left in the contest, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I submitted this article once I came across the Theme : Serendipity. Chosen by the last winner, Talk-A-Vino. This was a serendipitous lunch that we enjoyed. And in Wine Country of course.
My best to ALL the writers who also threw in their hat, I look forward to reading through all the #MWWC13 posts.
To learn more about the contest, please read the article here or use the hashtag #MWWC13 to search for all things related. Then VOTE!!
RAISING A GLASS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATES