4 October, 2019
A Picnic Lunch and Overnight Stay at Jordan WineryPosted in : Cabernet Sauvignon, Champagne / Champenoise Style, Dining in Healdsburg - CA, Events, Food, Tasting Rooms in Sonoma - CA, Wine on by : The Gourmez
This past summer, Jordan Winery added a new slate of activities for guests to enjoy at their estate in Healdsburg, CA. And why not? They just remodeled the estate’s formal dining room, and winery chef, Todd Knoll, has been perfecting his culinary artistry at Jordan for over a decade and a half. My first taste of his work, which I loved at first bite, came at an autumn feast and tasting at Jordan Winery’s estate a few years back.
In August, I was delighted to accept an invitation to try one of those activities and enjoy Chef Knoll’s food again. The Jordan Winery picnic lunch features exquisite cuisine, the estate’s beautiful grounds, and of course, Jordan wine.
Obligatory disclaimer: Jordan Winery personally invited me to this picnic lunch and an overnight stay at the Winery Chateau. Thus, everything mentioned in this post was entirely free to me. From the moment the Chateau rose before us as we drove up, I knew I’d made a great choice to come.
The lawn on which the picnic was held lies just in front of the Chateau’s guest rooms. Patrons were greeted by a Jordan employee offering splashes of the Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble.
The measured effervescence of that champagne was just what I needed to encourage me to relax and take in a beautiful afternoon in wine country. We were ushered to the remodeled dining room to retrieve our picnic baskets and a chilled bottle of Jordan Chardonnay.
Next step was to claim a spot to unroll the picnic blanket. That’s not as easy of a task as you might think. There were multiple lawns overlooking the countryside and part of the estate vineyard blocks The decision to maximize views and shade was difficult, but I managed.
My location chosen, I headed back up to the butler’s pantry, where Chef Knoll’s creations came packed in mason jars for easy portability.
Such gorgeous colors and tastes of summer were captured within those jars. There was, of course, charcuterie, olives, cheese (including a luxurious burrata with balsamic vinegar), bread, and pork and salmon rilettes for more meat. But a quartet of amazing salads starred, which very much pleased this lover of produce. For the pickled carrots, farro, and roasted beet option, an orange thyme dressing enlivened each bite.
In another salad, I learned that cantaloupe and tomato make for an unexpected but amazing complement. It balanced sweetness and acidity in a new way for my taste buds to appreciate. Each jar opened or bite of cheese provided a succulent surprise.
I was glad I saved a taste of the champagne for dessert, as its creamy finish worked so well for that course.
You know I took one of each, even the olive oil lemon cake topped with blueberries, though blueberries are one of the few fruits I dislike. That dessert in particular paired well with the champagne’s backbone of acidity, which highlighted the lemon’s own vibrancy. I found that combining a spoonful of the lemon curd with the very rich chocolate mousse made for a great surprise pairing as well.
By this point, Jordan’s 2015 Cabernet had also come out to play.
A picnic is a great time to try it, as it connected me with the soil beneath my feet. Its notes of wet bamboo leaves and abundance of blackberry and cassis woke me up after the prior food and wine had begun to lull me to sleep. Can you blame me? Another delicious feast at Jordan Estate Winery complete!
Spending the night in a Chateau suite the prior evening only added to the experience.
Yes, the beautiful furnishings and influx of golden hues beckoned me, as did the thoughtful touches such as the Jordan label, which portrays the Winery Chateau, appearing on the matchsticks for the fireplace.
But what most appealed about that suite is something only wine lovers understand. With delight, I realized that a door off the dining area opened into the winery’s barrel room. My breath caught as I flung it open and stepped out onto a balcony overlooking the French oak casks that have been used for every Jordan wine vintage.
Having that view all to one’s self is amazing. But it’s another thing entirely when you breathe in the rugged sweetness of fermenting wine that lingers in a barrel room. I occasionally question whether I’m truly a wine enthusiast, but oh, one inhale of that smell, and I’m sure of it.
Thank you, Jordan Winery, for hosting me and my husband for this overnight wine country escape.
The Jordan Winery picnic lunch will return in the spring. In the meantime, they offer tours, tastings, and a cabernet and charcuterie tasting with views of the new Chateau Block through the end of October. To RSVP or for more info, head here.
Guest rooms at the Winery Chateau are available throughout the year for members of Jordan’s loyalty reward program, which is free to join.
This picnic lunch took place 9 August 2019.