MONTCLARION: May21, 2010
The Bay Area is blessed with some of the richest wine regions in the world. Napa. Sonoma. Moraga.
Moraga? Yes, the oldest winery in Moraga is celebrating its new releases this month. Parkmon Vineyards has several impeccable offerings, including wines made with grapes from the owners’ Moraga vineyard.
At a backyard wine tasting more reminiscent of Napa than LaMorinda, I enjoyed Parkmon’s new Pinot Noir, (using grapes from three Moraga vineyards) and Sangiovese, (using older vines in the area). Dave Parker and wife Shari Simon make and bottle the wine in their garage, and in 2005 started the LaMorinda Wine Growers Association. “There were 25 vineyards in the area back then, and we’ve grown to about 80 members today,” says Parker, who says this was a substantial winegrowing region in the 1800s – before cattle ranchers cleared the area for grazing.
Parker and the group’s co-founder, Joao Magalhaes, are working to develop a wine bar and welcome center in Moraga – a place where visitors can taste locally-grown wines. “It would put Moraga on the map” says Parker.
And after tasting Parkmon’s new releases…I’d have to concur.
Great night out: One of the best Bay Area entertainment bargains is the $25 same-day seat price at the Curran Theatre for the production of “In the Heights”. The Tony Award-winning musical is a sizzling song and dance review set in the barrio of Manhattan’s Washington Heights. But it’s much more than hot Latin rhythms and steamy street scenes; it’s a genuine feel-good story about hard working immigrants and the American dream. You’ll find yourself rooting for the characters – especially the young Stanford student whose parents have pinned all their hopes and dreams on her success.
Email bag: Speaking of performances, Bishop O’Dowd sophomore Sheila Springer proved that the show must go on – despite a bout of strep throat. I’m told she never let it get in the way of her lead role as Mrs Lovett in “Sweeney Todd”. Reader Regan McMahon (whose own daughter Hayley was also in the play) says Springer adjusted her singing down an octave and delivered such a dynamite performace that she got a thundering ovation at each curtain call.
“Corny” story: It was the top of the 3rd and the A’s were beating the Rangers 2-zip. A left handed batter hit a foul ball to the second tier near 3rd base – headed right for Sarah Meads. It was hubby Phil’s chance to be a hero. The former Montclairion and Little League baseball player didn’t have a mitt, so he grabbed the first thing he saw. The ball landed right in his outstretched bag of Kettle Korn. Yes, the kernels were crushed, but Mead’s quick thinking saved his wife from a nasty knock on the noggin. Sign him up, A’s!