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April 7, 2008
Passport to Spring Appetizers With Mike Dunne
"What with the grass getting taller, barns jutting up like Sierra peaks, and vines budding with new life, spring in the Sierra foothills provided the perfect backdrop for this weekend's 17th annual Passport Weekend sponsored by the El Dorado Winery Association...

- The two most impressive wines of the day fell at opposite ends of the style spectrum. On the light end was the Iverson Vineyards & Winery 2007 Sierra Foothills Grenache Rose ($18), austere in structure but all refreshing strawberries and pomegranates in smell and flavor. On the robust end was the Holly's Hill Vineyards 2005 El Dorado Patriarche ($30), a jammy, earthy, and complex blend of black Rhone Valley varieties.

- Holly's Hill Vineyards and Colibri Ridge Winery & Vineyard share the award for extra-step hospitality, the former for its complimentary espresso stand, the latter for Garrison Yeandle, who not only attentively directed traffic in the parking lot but quickly opened car doors for visitors and volunteered to take group photos under the oaks. We started the day at Colibri Ridge and ended it at Holly's Hill, and those considerate touches were perfect bookends.

View the entire blog at the Sac Bee website here.

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