Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Trip to Lucas Winery

It's hard to believe it's 2012 -- little MC is growing up and is quickly becoming a full-fledged asset to the cheese community in San Francisco and to our little neighborhood on Valencia Street. We couldn't have survived the last 10 months without the help of our partners, specifically, the cheese makers, brewers, and wine makers whose passion-filled products fortify our menu and our lives with quality, not to mention heart and soul.

It's time to pay tribute to one such amazing partner, Lucas Winery. Last November, we were invited to beautiful Lodi, California for a tasting and vineyard foray at Lucas, the producers of our delicious CTZN Zinfandel and Zinfandel Rose. The winemakers, Buck Lucas, David Lucas, and Heather Pyle-Lucas, (not to exclude Harlow the dog), greeted us with pruning shears in hand and immediately set us to work trimming the over 30 year old vines in their ZinStar vineyard.
We were told how to maintain the candelabra-like shape to best reflect sunlight and retain heat. It was difficult to manage the pruning with a glass of the beautiful 2010 Rose in one hand, but we were proficient in our duty.

Next treat was barrel tasting in the spectacular barrel room designed by Heather, whose oenological pedigree includes the names Mondavi and Opus 1. It was utterly fascinating to sample the same wine from different barrels -- French versus Russian; Aged versus new.

The resulting sample was completely different in character and flavor and gave credence to the importance of all steps in the process from vine to glass.

I think my favorite part of the day was (not surprisingly, if you've met me) lunch. A large, wooden communal table was set up in the barrel room. The place setting included two glasses - one for the CTZN zin and one for the Estate. Where the CTZN is bright, grassy and forest floor, the Estate zin imparts approachable oak and a prune-like finish. Both wines worked in tandem to enhance the main course -- Heather's beef stew. During lunch Heather and David discussed the early beginnings of Lucas. The passion in their voices was palpable to all us there and we listened with insatiable attention.

Finally, the cheese made an appearance: Reading Raclette (cow), Txiki (sheep), and Coupole (goat) came to the table to make friends with the Lucas old vine zinfandel dessert wine. The pairings were equally delicious and put a satisfying capstone on the meal.

Thank you, Lucas family for your hospitality and spirit. We feel so honored to carry the CTZN wines and so privileged to include you all in the Mission Cheese family.

Blogged by Liz Rubin

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, That's great to have the trip with you though through post but i enjoyed and a sigh that how much you have great time over there.
    Chocolate Wine