I hereby anoint Cartograph Wines as the official winery of China’s Wings. Founded by Alan Baker and my dear friend Serena Lourie, Cartograph is a micro winery devoted to crafting “balanced, nuanced, and complex” pinot noirs and a “dry, crisp, balanced” Gewürztraminer. As a white wine guy, I particularly enjoy their Gewürzts, which focus on the dry and delicious taste of the grape rather than going in the direction of saccharine and banal, like most of the type.
Serena’s an extraordinarily socially gifted human being, and before she moved to Healdsburg with Alan to found Cartograph, I was happily tangled in the web of her enormous San Francisco social circle. I think there’s quite a number of us whose social lives haven’t really recovered from her move to the wine country, but I’m also sure all of us are happy to witness the success she and Alan have enjoyed with Cartograph and with the Garagiste Healdsburg tasting room they opened last summer. Garagiste is an fine place to while away a Healdsburg afternoon, one of their excellent wines in hand.
Last Friday night, Serena and Alan hosted a China’s Wings event at Garagiste, and it was a resounding success. (And a great delight to present my CNAC & William Bond slide show and talk with a glass of their Gewürztraminer in hand.) We were honored to have CNAC navigator Joe Brower (1947-1949) on hand for the event, along with his wife Gayle, and I got Joe to sign my personal copy of China’s Wings. Also at the show were two scions of CNAC pilots: Valerie Kendrick Parish (in the photo below) and Steve Michiels, son of CNAC pilot Joe Michiels — who took all the pictures.