The Wizard of Bolinas
Is there anything more fun than a one day vacation with your family virtually in your own backyard? Perhaps hard to believe, but there is ...
A one day vacation with a renowned winemaker in his back yard in Bolinas
So that is the one day vacation that Elizabeth, myself, my family and perhaps Sean's (AKA "The Wizard of Bolinas") greatest fan, Mike, did last Wednesday.
Good wine soldiers that we are, we trooped out to Stinson Beach for our K Rations (well, actually something better, if more expensive) at the Breakers restaurant to fortify ourselves for a grueling visit with the Bolinas legend.
After which we spent a non-grueling, incredibly enjoyable two hours with Sean at his original Bolinas winery. Which is where we were entertained and educated about Sean's story (equal parts myth and reality when recounted in the press) beside the open top fermentation tanks in the front yard, which are part of that fascinating tale:
In fact, I like to say that a bit of California Oak, dust from the hills and the odd mosquito which died happily in the fermenting grape juice, and who knows what else just add to the character of the wine.
We've certainly been fans of Sean's wines since we first tried them soon after opening the store in 2007. What we didn't know until last week is that we "sell" more of them then anybody else in the East or South Bay (evidently SF online sites take the overall title).
We think that is because the wines "sell" themselves with just a little guidance from us. From the Pleiades blend right on up to the Sirius and Orion reds they all deliver terrific value even though they range from the very low $20s to $80+, not our normal price range.
Those of you who have enjoyed these wines, and there are many of you, would undoubtedly agree that these wines are excellent consumed young and even better if you have the patience to put them aside for a few years - or decades!
In fact Mike has wines ranging back almost 20 years and raves about the old ones - even when he is practicing infanticide on new bottlings of Pleiades and La Pleiade (the white) with guests at his parties.
There is far too much to say about Sean, his vast collection of ancient winemaking information, how he sold his first commercial wine to Chez Panisse without trying to, his background as a high end Art Dealer, etc. to go on about here, but his is a great story.
for more information on Sean's story or feel free to ask us for tidbits of our visit if you're interested - we're happy to share!