More wineries should follow Alderbrook’s lead. On Saturday, December 4th, one of Dry Creek’s prized stars welcomed Archie the Alder Bear, purchased from an antique shop in Healdsburg. After picking up Archie, a trail of cars followed him to the Alderbrook parking lot. Cars could be heard honking, people seen staring, cheering. Once on the “Alder grounds,” he was comfortably situated by the front door, to welcome all who would attend the day’s event dedicated to him. Coupled with a scheduled wine club pickup, the moments progressed increasingly more lively, memorable. Having known this winery for a good deal of time now, the 4th of this year’s final month was just another installation in an already spritely wine and hospitality practice.
All of Alderbrook Winery’s reputable gems were poured: from the Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, from the parenting Terlato label, to the Pinot, Carignane, and Confluence (blend of 70% Zinfandel, 30% Syrah), not to mention their astoundingly rapturous Dry Creek Zinfandels. Karaoke started … and so did the party. Dancing, singing along. This was a comfortable, non-pretentious, genuinely enjoyable, FUN(!), event for club members, locals, and tourists alike. Countless people, asking to have their picture taken with Archie. As a big bear is cuddly and comfy, so was the feel of this event. The continuous fire in the fireplace didn’t hurt either, many told me. People would sit in front of the flames, just smiling, talking, sipping their respective pours, listening to original renditions of familiar tunes.
Archie definitely set the mood for the day. The succeeding hours were filled with singing, sipping, savoring. A winery having a mascot … sound silly? No! This was wine industry innovation that proved effective, entertaining and engaging. You can still visit Alderbrook, to see Archie, try the wines, and have a great time. Be ready to play games, as fun is an integral portion of their hospitality philosophy. Visit their website at www.alderbrook.com. AND, go give Archie a big hug, take a picture with him at 2306 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, CA, 95448. A refreshing, relatable, and entirely relaxing wine world experience should be expected. Where else can you have wine with an Alder Bear? Sip, sip…