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Almost Magical

Posted Jul 19 2009 10:45pm

Gosh, this morning in Healdsburg was almost magical. Despite the fact that I think I only slept for 45 minutes last night, it still was such a wonderful morning and I am learning so much!

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You know when you are so dead tired that you just can’t sleep? That’s me. Last night I tossed and turned for hours and hours and I honestly don’t know if I ever DID fall asleep. I finally got up and showered around 7:00 and made my way downstairs for breakfast.

They have a WONDERFUL buffet at the hotel for guests and I was so pleased to see healthy options as well! Even though my appetite is rather finicky right now, I loaded up my plate with plain yogurt & granola, a banana, a hard boiled egg, smoked salmon and a slice of bread.

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I know by now y’all know I do eat, but I just haven’t eaten very much while I’ve been here. Its totally a combo of NERVES, lack of sleep and jet lag. I picked at this and ate most of the yogurt, the bread (which I smeared with strawberry jam) and a bit of the egg. I didn’t end up eating the smoked salmon. The freshly squeezed grapefruit juice was amazing though as well as the yummy English Breakfast tea! :)

And then at 9:00 we all met at the Tasting Room and loaded up into cars to go to the vineyard. Oh my gosh, it was an experience I will NEVER forget. The beauty of peacefulness of Alexander Valley just touched me to the very core and I think I really could spend the rest of my life here! The pictures I took doesn’t do the vineyard justice at all but is rather a brief snapshot of a shard of its beauty captured

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We all huddled around Dave Ready, Murphy-Goode’s Rockstar (aka winemaker) as he passionately discussed the ins and outs of viticulture with us. So much goes love goes into these grapes and its definitely captured in Murphy-Goode’s wines. Did you know that Murphy-Goode actually still handpicks ALL their grapes for harvest rather than using machines? I think that alone is a testament to the love that goes into these bottles. I posed the question about organic wine and Dave told me that at Murphy-Goode they aim to use the least amount of “anything” possible on their grapes and practice sustainable farming more than anything, which is great for the environment. Everything, really, is very “green” (no pun intended!) over here and it brings a smile to my face!

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After exploring the vineyards, we traveled up the mountain for a panorama view and a taste of some juicy red!

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Lunch was back at the Tasting Room and was catered by Bovolo, a chic little Italian restaurant in Healdsburg. I snagged an eggplant panini with pesto, grape tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. Divine!!! On the side was a very tasty quinoa tabbouli!
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I ate about half of everything. I promise my appetite shall return shortly!!!
After lunch we headed inside to be “mad scientists” for the afternoon, aka create our own Meritage blends! This was SO fun. I felt like a little kid creating a magical potion or something. My only regret was wearing white!!!!
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My special blend didn’t win the spa treatment grand prize but I still liked it! hehehe there’s just always so much to do and learn…its endless!

I’m currently getting ready for my tasting at 3:30! I think a few blog readers are coming (!!!) and also my friend Mike from culinary school. Mike lives and works as a chef in Napa and I’m excited to see him again! After our tasting we have a few hours off and then we are heading over to the Murphy-Goode house (where the future employee will LIVE!!) for dinner. I think I mentioned this before, but I AM taking a LOT of video footage and will be creating a whole movie of my time here! I can’t wait to show it to y’all!
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