The Great Plotnik

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday at Rafanelli

The longer Plot and Duck live in Saint Plotniko the more they love Sonoma County. Napa is lost to devlopers and big viniculture, but Sonoma still has a sense of farming, culture and real people living there.

It doesn't hurt when your friends The Great Zinfandini and Mrs. Zinfandini have a wine club membership to Rafanelli Vineyards. They have been sharing their red wine bounty with Plot and Duck for several years, but yesterday was our first trip to the winery itself.

Fee came with us too. She is ten now and starting to get involved with modeling and playwriting, but she's still a little kid. Parents these days get their kids involved in so many activities it makes our heads whirl, but the driving factor is that no one has any choices. Families have parents working long hours far from home and they have to have things for their child to do.

Mrs. Z. brought a picnic lunch.

There was a spot with a picnic bench under an oak tree overlooking the vineyard and pond, which came with Milo, the Vineyard Dog.

And of course, the wine. Rafanelli raises the bar to a level others don't seem to reach. Why this is, Plotnik can't say. Perhaps the terroir, which is to say the particular spot the grapes are grown and the soils and microclimates involved, perhaps the skill of this particular family who has been raising grapes on this land for generations, perhaps it's all of these or none of these. A Rafanelli zinfandel or cabernet sauvignon are, to Plot and Duck's taste, always the best of the best.

Which, of course, is the whole point of wine, of food, of music, of everything that is subjective. You like what you like. If you're lucky it won't break the bank.

We've never tasted their expensive Terrace Select ($108/bottle) but Plot has to wonder how it can be three times better than this zin, this cab, this merlot/cab blend.

Sigh. Maybe a piece of land somewhere in Sonoma is in Plot and Duck's future. With a hound who loves to follow you down the path. Who knows?


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