July 16th. Rootstock, first ever. Finally here, partially thanks to Mutineer’s propelling endorsement. People all around kept on about how fiercely they’d been waiting for this event. And the “wait was rewarded,” one gentleman from Healdsburg said to me. Presence of food, wine, music, even juice. Yes, Fuze was on the grounds, providing antagonizing vinyl by way of DJ Mini Mex. At first, you may have felt a bit stretched with direction, visual. Confounded. And, part of this is more than likely self-injected from the anticipation. Just to the right, Dry Creek Vineyard, pouring some Sauv Blanc, Cab, Zin among a hive of other emphatically poignant bottles. To the left, the all-so-well known and adored Benziger, pouring some of the event’s more impressionable Sauvignon Blancs, before a march of acrobatically notable reds. Event, underway. Work and play.
Of course, our hosting winery D’Argenzio had its varietals offered, aflutter. Everything from a Pinot trio, to an ’05 Cab, Petite Sirah, and an erotically set 2007 D’Amarone for dessert. Owner/Winemaker Ray walked around, greeting people in his genuine, warm, hospitable resonance. The day’s emcee, Ziggy the Wine Gal, introducing bands and carrying the crowd through Rootstock’s points and frames. Also sipping the stream of wine-teamed scene in Santa Rosa’s urban wine district, Mutineer Editor-in-Chief/publisher Mr. Alan Kropf. The event presented itself like a non-pretentious jubilee of wine enjoyment, and education. Colony of minds eased, from similar trees. Sipping, free.
One young lady from Santa Rosa told me, “I’ve never been to a wine thing like this in Santa Rosa…I don’t think there’s ever been one like this, that I know of.” She also went on to say how so many different wine styles were present, attracting consumers and wine lovers, just like so many different musical types attract listeners. I saw this observation as one of the inherent intents of Rootstock. It had to be, as the pairing was encompassingly triumphant. Dancing, tasting, 2pm to 7, fluidly. No rush or race seen. Just connection to tune, and glass.
Tough to taste all the participating wineries, but some made it possible, spitting. Among the over 30 participating producers were, Thumbprint Cellars, Simple Math Cellars, Krutz Family Cellars, Atascadero Creek, and Mounts Family Winery with its wildly irresistible Petite Sirah and Grenache, both ’08. Just past the Fuze Juice camp, you could swing by Squire Cigars, a gorgeous little corner for aficionados of the cigar’d fold.
As the event descended in intensity and population, people were still snacking, sipping, socializing, bathing in the beats, chords. “I can’t believe it’s already over,” a lady from Mendocino County said to me, sipping her red, nibbling on the remainder of a taco. She also shared with me, “This is how all wine events should be, laid-back, relaxed, a big deal but not a big deal.” I rose from the long white table realizing that I, and many other wine lovers, harbored such ardor.
Mr. D’Argenzio was kind enough to host a little after-party, wined wind-down. People could be heard, their vows to attend next year, how this was a pleasant surprise of a get-together. And that’s just what it felt like, a large group of friends meeting over some wine, food, and music. What wine should always be. And from those present at this first-ever Rootstock, that’s all one would see. Sip, sip…