Another wonderful friend and relatively new winemaker, on the East coast, is also creating outstanding wines, with similar respect for the land, the environment and the winemaking process. McCall Wines on the North Fork of Long Island has a similar sensibility to that of my cousins. I wrote about one delicious and fun weekend there, in a post here, over a year ago. Since then, owner Russ McCall has installed a windmill to provide clean and sustainable energy and added Charolais beef cattle to his estate.
What got me thinking about these two wine producers at once is a terrific blog post by Martha Stewart on McCall Wines and Ranch, just yesterday. Martha's sister and brother-in-law, Laura and Randy Plimpton, have put together a beautiful slide show of the McCall Vineyards and Charolais Ranch. Randy's sister, Nicola Plimpton, is engaged to Russ McCall. You've seen them all in my blog before, as well as Lisa Plimpton and Dan Brewer, another sister and brother-in-law of Nicola. (I don't usually mention my close friends' last names in my blog, but since Martha did, I figure it's okay, this time. Everyone in the world reads The Martha Blog!!)
If you are ever on Long Island, check out the newly opened tasting room at McCall Wines. It has been made out of the former horse stables on the property, and is a rustic and friendly spot to taste McCall wines. Laura has posted great pictures of it on The Martha Blog. Here are just two:
Russ and Nicola at McCall Wines tasting room
I'm hoping Jack and I will get a chance to visit McCall Wines' tasting room this fall, after our California trip, so I can tell you more about it myself. (While there is not yet a tasting room at Rancho Arroyo Grande, plans for one are currently in the works.)
Okay now - really - why am I MOST excited to get to San Francisco? I can't wait to see my "baby" Drake, our youngest son who is studying at the Culinary Institute of America, in the Hudson Valley, but has been doing his six-month externship at Farallon Restaurant in SF, which has been an amazing experience for him.
Drake in the kitchen at Farallon
Drake loves the restaurant and the city, and I'm looking forward to experiencing both through his eyes. We will be eating, not just at Farallon, but also at Chez Panisse, and other culinary treasures, so I promise to take lots of photos, and write in detail after the meals.