Friday, Jan. 19, 2018
My dad was visiting from India, where wine tasting isn't as popular as it is here in Northern California. I wanted him to have a great first impression of California's wine country, so I brought him to Anaba, which is one of my favorite wineries in the Sonoma area. (I had been here once before to celebrate a special occasion with my husband.)
We got a table in their patio with a splendid view of the hills and the valley. We spent a good portion of a couple of hours chatting away with our host, Christian Ellingson, who was very friendly and forthcoming with information and just as generous with his pours. Although the tasting included six pours, Christian offered us additional pours of a Pinot Noir, a Syrah, a Syrah blend, and the Port. He went out of his way to compare and contrast a couple of different Pinot Noirs, the Syrah with the Syrah blend, and the port with the late harvest Roussanne; guided us through blind tastings; and helped us pick a couple of wines to bring home with us. My dad appreciated Christian's elaborate explanations of each of the wines and the friendly conversations with Christian, as well as the overall experience of having a relaxed tasting in the windy Anaba patio.
We were just returning from the Sonoma hot air balloon festival (in Windsor) that morning where we were unable to get a ride on the balloons due to unfavorable weather conditions; Christian gave us helpful pointers regarding wind and temperature patterns that make for suitable conditions for hot air balloon rides, for our future reference. The overall splendid experience at Anaba more than made up for not being able to get a ride on the balloons that morning!