On Saturday afternoon, our daughter Maya and her boyfriend joined us for an afternoon at Post Ranch in Big Sur, for part of the Big Sur weekend wine and food extravaganza. What makes this event different from other wine and food events is that you can sip wine, eat and then work some of it off walking from one station to the next on the Post Ranch’s spacious 100-acre grounds. Guests wander the ranch’s picturesque paths while visiting seven stations in which there are at least four boutique wineries pouring their finest wines paired with a delicious assortment of small plates prepared by the executive chef of Post Ranch’s Sierra Mar restaurant. Although the day had started out as a harbinger of drizzle and fog, the weather forecasters were proved wrong (again). The sun came out as we drove through the gatehouse and we were not disappointed! With map in hand, the four of us enjoyed a beautiful day of eating and drinking. At the first station, we were treated to both French and local California wines. One of our favorites was the Adelaida white (Version 2008), a combination of Rousanne and Grenache, which we happily sipped along with nibbling on mushroom crostini, fresh sardines topped with an herbal breadcrumb topping, and two types of cured, smoked salmon. And that was just station number one!
Along the way, approximately 200 guests were scattered around the tables so we never felt as if we were in a crowd. It was so refreshing, compared with other wine and food festivals, to walk around the grounds, including a sustainable vegetable garden and beautiful sculpture, as we worked up an appetite and metabolized the alcohol (or hoped we did). The eclectic range of wines from less well-known vineyards, some of which were poured by the winemakers themselves, was truly superb as well as very personal. Wine professionals, including importers and distributors, were on hand to discuss their favorites so for us it was a mini-seminar on wine and pairings. This was our second year attending this event, and we were so happy that some of the vintners remembered us from last year (the inaugural event). We think we will make this an annual celebration!
There were orange wines as well as rose cavas, including one we had first tasted in Spain three weeks ago: Raventos i Blanc. Sparkling and delicious! We had the cava at station number seven, the last station, on the crest of the hill –a 1200-foot cliff– on the patio of the Sierra Mar restaurant, overlooking the ocean with its panoramic views, next to the infinity pool. With our cava paired with raw oysters on the half shell, a buffet of pates (which I never wanted to stop eating) and platters of chocolate truffles and other scrumptious morsels of dessert, we all waddled down the hill to our car, content and waiting to return next year for more!