Wine Country Here We Come!

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It's All True!
house view from the river

A view of our house from the Russian River

The Redwood Tree House

After a twisting, turning drive up and around Healdsburg's Fitch Mountain, we finally arrived at The Redwood Tree House, the home base of the Canadian contingent's activities. We took a long look at it, awed by what we saw. Then we entered, to be warmly greeted by Canadian Zinfan, Zinchick, that rascal Mr. Flippy ,and their cohorts (whom we'd never met); Mr. Gumby, Ras Lass, and Botritys Boy. Mr. Flippy presented us with a nice glass of 1995 Beringer Napa Chardonnay, and we continued to marvel at the structure we were in.

How many times have you stood in a house (which could easily be called a well equipped cottage) with a Redwood tree growing up through it? A REALLY BIG Redwood tree! (We'd seen a drawing of the place,
but it hadn't even begun to do it justice.)

The house was originally built in 1927; at that time, it was little more than a single room. Additions were constructed around the giant tree, so that now, it can be viewed through windows from three sides.

It must have measured at least 5 feet in diameter, not much by the great California Redwood forests' standards, but an impressive site, nevertheless.

house view from the garden

A view of our house from the garden

What's more, there were another four of its only slightly smaller siblings growing around the perimeter, thus, the Tree House tag. All five couldn't have been less than 150 feet tall, and literally towered over the house in close unison, creating a dramatic scene, when viewed from the Russian River, which runs a stones throw from the back deck (and about 40 feet below).

The Tree House sleeps at least ten comfortably, with two bedrooms, each furnished with two queen-sized beds, and a cozy little guest house for two tucked away on the southwest corner of the property. The kitchen was more than amply equipped (although Mr. Gumby brought his own knives), which was important when Zinfan and crew were creating brunches and dinners.

Bastardo photo

Bastardo inside the front door tree - in his jammies

The dining room, just off from the kitchen, sat eight; however, most meals were taken on the deck, which ran around the east, north and west sides of those rooms. The bathroom features a whirlpool tub/shower that was only used for the latter function, while we were there. The only time I saw anyone in the homey sitting room with the fireplace was when SFJoe needed a place to crash. The front door, also seldom used, was framed by the stump of a Redwood that had been even larger than the center tree, evoking visions of fairy tales and Tolkien.

We had barely begun to take this all in, when the call came to saddle up and ride. We were going to Lytton Springs.

C.Z. and Zinchick rode with us, and as I drove, they told us of their experiences, prior to our arrival. Two aspects, in particular, stood out in their narrative, which the Zinfan recounts here.


A giant man-eating slug attacked Canadian Zinfan.

An enormous Redwood tree was growing through the middle of our cottage.

We saw clover the size of a lumberjack's fist.

The wines are among the biggest and richest in the world.

Could it be something in the water?



HOME Gang of Pour Home Page PAGE

Gang of Pour Unleashed Directory

Prologue - Blast me off to Sonoma

More Ridge Lytton Springs

Rafanelli Commentary

Power Tasting - Day One

The Music

Ridge ATP Party

Opus One - Day Two

Beringer - Day Two

Valley of the Moon - Day Three

Jason Brandt Lewis - Day Four

Newton Vineyards - Day Five

Bodega Bay - Day Six

Morning Reflections - Day Seven

More Wineries - Day Seven

SFJoe and Tasting Notes - Day Seven

Dinner Party and Tasting Notes - Day Seven

Departure and Epilogue - Day Eight