Sonoma County’s climate and soil are the closest to that of Italy than any other area in the world. So, it’s no wonder we’re known for our fine food, wine and other unique libations. There are plenty of wineries and restaurants doing things “Italian,” but there is only one Farm+Winery that is truly living the “Italian Way,” and that’s DaVero in Healdsburg, CA.
Ridgely Evers bought this gorgeous piece of land in 1982. It was mostly planted with vines at the time, but Ridge had bigger dreams. His partner, Colleen McGlynn, came on to the scene in 1993 with a passion for farming and culinary creativity passed down from her family. They wanted to produce the greatest olive oil Sonoma County had ever tasted, so they traveled to Italy and brought back cuttings from the best olive trees in the whole country. Before planting anything on the land, Ridge and Colleen discovered that the soil had been abused for many years, and they knew they needed to replenish the earth before they could plant the dream farm that they both had in mind. As a result of their soil amendment efforts, DaVero is now a certified biodynamic farm. Click here to learn more about the origin and definition of Biodynamics.
When referring to his land Ridge will say, “Look at what God has done here. She has done some amazing work. And if you’re wondering about the gender I have assigned to her, just look around. There’s no way a man could have created this beauty.”
Ridge was kind enough to invite me, and staff and guests of Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar for a tour and tasting on July 2nd, 2015. We toured the property and ate fresh strawberries off the vine. I got to practice using my new camera to take some pretty cool pictures. After the tour, we sat at a long farm table under a trellis of recycled Wisteria vines and tasted their wines. Colleen served us plates of fresh veggies and dried fruits, all from the garden, as well as some incredible cheeses. Winemaker and cellarmaster, Evan LaNouette schooled us on traditional Italian winemaking while Ridge helped pour and tell stories.
Evan and Ridge were destined to work together. Sagrantino is the wine that brought them together and they are making an amazing vintage of their own. My personal favorite was the 2011 Carignano from Testa Family Vineyard in Mendocino. I keep discovering that the wines I tend to love the most come from that area. I am a sucker for foggy climates and earthy undertones. You can learn more about their current releases here.
The most enjoyable part of the whole experience was seeing the passion behind everyone who works there. Ridge and Colleen are living the dream in every aspect of the phrase. Winemaker, Evan came to Sonoma County to do one thing, make reputable Italian wines with people whose love, passion and drive met his, and that’s exactly what he found in Ridge and Colleen. Each person working on the farm is rocking a beautiful smile on their face. Even the ones making fertilizer are passionate.
The Rosso Family is so proud to serve DaVero olive oil and wine in our restaurants. We are looking forward to hosting them this time for our Winemaker Wednesday event at 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA on July 8th at 4:30pm. All are welcome to join us! We will be serving freshly picked ingredients from their garden, pouring DaVero wines and making Dry Creek peach lemonade prosecco cocktails. Gotta love summer!