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MARIN COUNTY: FINE-WINE DESTINATION

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Posted Monday, March 12, 2018 by MCVB Staff

By Joe Kukura

Wine awards and distinctions are pouring in for Marin County, making the Northern California getaway spot an up-and-coming wine destination.

You may not think of Marin County as wine country, but that might be about to change. Marin was just awarded with the most prestigious recognition a wine-producing region can receive, as the northern part of Marin County was recently named a distinct American Viticultural Area (AVA) called the Petaluma Gap.

When a wine-growing region is named as an AVA, a much greater pedigree is associated with that area’s wines. And that pedigree is richly deserved among Marin County wineries.

“Local winemakers have long known that grapes grown in the Petaluma Gap ripen more slowly than in surrounding regions, allowing later harvest times, which results in more complex flavor development while preserving natural acidity,” Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance board president Rickey Trombetta said in a press release last December. “With today's finalization of the AVA, wine lovers and members of the wine trade will have the opportunity to become more familiar with the distinctive quality and flavor profile of Petaluma Gap wines.”

Marin County wineries were also awarded in the world’s largest competition of American wines. The annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition winners list was just released, and Marin County’s McEvoy Ranch’s 2014 Red Piano Syrah was named a best syrah/shiraz in the $33–$36.99 category. You can enjoy the distinctive notes of brandied cherries, plums and bramble berries in this awarded syrah yourself, as McEvoy Ranch offers workshops, tours and tastings by appointment.

Marin County Wineries

McEvoy Ranch isn’t the only premier winery to tour and enjoy in Marin County. Novato’s Trek Winery has both a tasting room and a full winery estate that’s available for private gatherings, weddings and other large events. Having been named best local winery by Marin’s Pacific Sun, Trek Winery is also an entertainment hotspot with a live events calendar full of music, comedy and “sipping and painting” nights for the wine-loving artist.

In the charming town of Point Reyes Station, Heidrun Meadery will give you a new perspective on what wine can be. Heidrun Meadery makes mead, a sparkling, champagne-style honey wine whose aromatic bee honey is farmed on the premises. Numerous varieties of mead are served in both indoor and outdoor garden tasting rooms, and tours of the estate (and beehives!) are available by reservation on Saturdays and Sundays.

Marin County Dining

Marin County food and wine pair perfectly as the region is a leader in the locally grown, farm-to-table food movement. Known for its exceptional service, San Rafael’s Vin Antico is a stunning wine bistro with a mix of Italian fare and California cuisine and a wine list beyond compare.

Mill Valley’s Frantoio Ristorante is an organic food Italian eatery with locally sourced healthy fare and a wine list that’s a who’s-who of both Northern Californian and Italian wineries. Sammy Hagar’s nearby Spanish steakhouse El Paseo hosts monthly wine collectors’ dinners (bring your own bottle to share with fellow wine enthusiasts), and its beautifully designed heated outdoor patios are the perfect place to enjoy a glass. Novato’s Wildfox Restaurant, with an incomparable California wine country-focused list, specializes in gourmet American cuisine, served in a gorgeous hillside setting.

You can also make your whole day a wine excursion with a Marin County wine tour from West Marin Food and Farm Tours.

You’ll hear it through the grapevine that Marin County is an emerging wine destination with an exceptional bouquet of wineries and magnificent wine restaurants. Uncork a wine getaway to Marin County, where the wine, cuisine and scenery are of an outstanding vintage.

For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.

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