In Vino Veritas: Part 1

Mimi ON Apr 07, 2009 AT 8:57 am

Jim Town Food

Jim Town Food

In Vino Veritas
An honest to goodness Wine Country wind down
By Bradley Tuck

If you’ve ever done a wine country tour, you’ll know just how painful they can be. Busloads of tourists in sandals with socks, grabbing and guzzling before piling onto the bus to hit another faux -Tuscan super-winery, it’s the very antithesis of the sensual high that wine should be. Sonoma County has its fair share of those, though it’s not as heavily tainted with the smell of hot flip-flop rubber as is Napa, its more established neighbor to the east.

Sonoma lies in the southwest of California’s Wine Country region. It has long been one of the USA’s major agricultural areas, with grapes, dairy products, prunes, and apples being among the cornucopia of plenty that’s produced here. Consequently, a trip to Sonoma County is high on any foodies list of must –do’s and there are few better areas in which to concentrate than the area around Healdsburg. In recent years, there’s been a huge swell of interest in locally grown organic foods, and artisanal producers. Nowhere is this more apparent, and more in your face than in Healdsburg and the surrounding areas. Healdsburg itself has a plethora of small restaurants, where the produce has for years been delivered by farmers sometimes just a mile or so away. A trip out to the surrounding countryside can put the food-loving traveler within arms reach of that cornucopia.

Jim Town Store

Jim Town Store

Within the Russian River area is the Alexander Valley, to the north of Healdsburg.  One of the tributaries of that river is Dry Creek, and Dry Creek Valley is where the inquisitive and khaki shorts allergic can find some of the wine country’s true pioneers.
           
Nestled in a corner of Dry Creek Valley, is the tiny hamlet of Jimtown. Founded by Jim Patrick in the late 1800’s, it’s located on Highway 128, one of wine country’s most beautiful rural roads. At the heart of this picturesque scene is Jimtown General Store (www.jimtown.com) and its owner Carrie Brown. An exceptionally pretty ex-New Yorker, Brown still looks as if she’s off to a Farmers Market in Silverlake or Brooklyn to buy goats cheese, despite being in the heart of a farming area. She and her husband, John Werner, were on a vacation to visit Carrie’s parents in Healdsburg in 1989, when they chanced upon the Jimtown General Store.

Click here to read part 2

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