The travel section of the August 21 San Jose Mercury-News had a column on the town of Forestville, a village on the west edge of the Sonoma Valley. We know Forestville quite well because we visit regularly to see one of our favorite wineries: Hartford Family Winery.
The Merc’s columnist Carole Terwilliger Meyer described Hartford as having, “a pinot for everybody.” She must have missed their excellent chardonnays and zinfandels (although the last few have topped 15% alcohol, a little high for us old folks). We’ve been proud members of the Hartford wine club for quite a few years. Last summer, my brother Tom and his wife Ginger were visiting. After tasting a few Hartford wines they signed up for the club on the spot!
Ms. Meyers mentioned two specific pinots: the Far Coast vineyard 2007 and the Arrendell Vineyard 2008. Either Hartford or the Merc must have been picking up the tab. The Far Coast page doesn’t list a price, but the Arrendell goes for a cool $85 per bottle. We’re lucky enough to have a couple of bottles of Arrendell in our cellar so we can say from experience that it’s fairly priced. We were also pleased to see the return of the Fog Dance Vineyard 2008 on the pinot list. At $55 it’s about the lowest-priced Hartford wine you can get.
We try to attend the Hartford Christmas party every year. Good food, good wine, and great company. Don Hartford is actually the winemaker and the son-in-law of the late Jess Jackson. He really knows his stuff and would rather refuse to release a wine than sell you something less than excellent. Highly recommended.