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Ledson Winery and Vineyards

Author: Julie Fadda Powers
August, 2014 Issue
“The Castle,” as many people refer to Ledson Winery and Vineyards, first began to take shape in 1989. It was intended to be the home of winemaker/owner Steve Ledson and his family. But once they noticed how much it attracted the attention of passers by, they decided to build their home elsewhere and turn the 16,000-square-foot Gothic, French-Normandy style structure into a working winery and tasting room. The winery’s first harvest was in 1993, but it didn’t turn out its own label until the following year. It mostly sold its grapes to other wineries, and opened to the public in 1999. Today, its wines are only available through the winery or at its hotel and restaurant, Ledson Hotel and Centre du Vin in downtown Sonoma, as well as other select restaurants.
It offers a wide variety of premium wines annually (70+!), both from its 17-acre estate vineyards at the winery and planted elsewhere in Sonoma, Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley . The winery also purchases grapes from select growers in up to 20 appellations. If you visit the winery (highly recommended), you’ll also find its gourmet marketplace, which offers fresh sandwiches, salads, bites, souvenirs and more.
Ledson’s 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc is 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc and has distinct citrus, apple and mineral characteristics and bright acidity. Its lively flavors sing out for a simple summer dish—shrimp scampi, anyone?
According to Chef Justin Bruckert, the 2012 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc “pairs perfectly with the shrimp scampi, because the acidity in the wine goes great with the acidity in the scampi.” He says the garlic butter sauce is great for soaking up with a piece of toasted San Francisco sourdough, too, so don’t forget to add that to your shopping list!
Shrimp Scampi
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. (16 to 20), peeled, deveined, large shrimp, tails attached
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
Heat 3 tbsp. butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper, and add to skillet.
Cook, turning once, until beginning to turn pink (about three minutes). Transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add chile flakes, garlic and shallots to skillet; cook until soft (about three minutes).
Add wine, juice and zest; cook until reduced by half (about five minutes).
Add reserved shrimp and remaining butter; toss until evenly combined.
Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with parsley and enjoy.
Pair with Ledson 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Serves 4

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