by Steven Doyle
Don Carano and wife Rhonda opened Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in 1985 on their 70-acre Dry Creek Valley estate in Healdsburg, California. Carano is a fourth generation Reno resident of Reno, Nevada and Don studied gaming law. He also owns the Eldorado Hotel and Casino, Silver Legacy, Eldorado in Bossier City. The casinos make Carano money but the wines make him smile.
Ferrari-Carano bottles about 25-30 wines, and boasts a wide range of wines in their portfolio at an equally varied price point which will please any level of wine enthusiast. Like the makers of the wine, Ferrari-Carano exhibits both style and elegance. The vineyard is also on the cutting edge of sustainable farming techniques, such as recycling organic matter for use as mulch in the vineyards, planting cover crops and other plant species to avoid soil erosion, add desirable nutrients back to the soil and to attract desirable insects, and integrating animals to naturally enhance biodiversity and nutrient recycling.
We had a chance to sit with the makers this week and enjoy dinner at Marquee Grill prepared by chef Tre Wilcox and thought you might enjoy a look at this feast along with the significant pairings. The dinner itself allowed Wilcox to step outside his normal menu and create this whimsical dining experience for the intimate gathering. Marquee does not do these wine dinners often, but they can be nothing short of amazing.
Grilled Columbian River Wild King Salmon with curried green yogurt and cucumber mint emulsion.
Ferrari-Carano Bella Luce 2011
Crispy Duck Confit Leg with apple fennel puree, grilled endive and a balsamic huckleberry sauce.
Ferrari-Carano Lazy Creek Pinot Noir 2009
Grilled Colorado Lamb with a gorgonzola walnut Ravioli, golden beets and porcini lamb jus.
Ferrari-Carano Tresor 2008
Chocolate Chile S’Mores with coriander brittle and salted caramel ice cream.