In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach got smitten by the grape growing bug, and went off in search of a winery to purchase. At the same time, winemaker Louis Barbieri was looking for a buyer for his old-vine vineyard west of Santa Rosa. Those two entrepreneurs struck a match and lit the fuse on the De Loach line of fine wines. Just a few years ago, De Loach sold off his namesake brand and went on to found Hook & Ladder, a smaller project that would focus on the best products of his Russian River Valley estate vineyards. Today, Hook & Ladder Wines are attaching themselves to wine lists of some of the best restaurants in town, and one that you should definitely consider is Hook & Ladder's red blend, known as The Tillerman, which is a term for the driver of the back end of a hook & ladder fire truck.
The robe of the Hook & Ladder The Tillerman is violet garnet. The nose reveals subtle spice, such as white pepper and nutmeg. Berries and more spice punch their way across the palate, and the finish is lingering. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and sangiovese works well with all manner of red meats and game, yet is not too snobbish for pizza. Website is www.hookandladderwinery.com. Get bitten by the grape bug yourself, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!