The Watkins family has been growing grapes in Sonoma County since 1979, but it wasn’t until 2003 when production was increased to include people beyond friends and family. The winery specializes in producing small amounts of mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and a Zinfandel/Petite Sirah blend. We tried its 2004 Cabernet from the Barn Block Vineyard of Mt. Veeder, which is young and rich with elements of dark fruit, minerals, currants and coffee. Winemaker Randall Watkins grew up in the Sonoma Valley, and after traveling to produce wine even as far away as Chile, has returned to his roots. His 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is paired here with a recipe from chef Carlo Cavallo of Sonoma Meritage restaurant (just off the Plaza in downtown Sonoma).
Rack of Veal with Porcini Mushrooms
1 rack of veal (4 double veal chops)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 slices pancetta
4 cups dry white wine
2 fresh Porcini mushrooms (Portobello can be substituted)
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the veal rack in a roasting pan, rub with garlic and herbs, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the meat with the pancetta and roast for 20 minutes on one side. Turn the meat, add the white wine, and roast for another 20 minutes. Cook until meat is medium rare to medium. Cut into double veal chops, serve over mashed potatoes, and top with Porcini mushroom condiment (recipe below).
Brush the mushrooms to remove any excess dirt. Slightly rinse and dry well. Thinly slice the mushrooms and toss with the lemon dressing and Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve over the veal chop and top with chopped chives.
Owners Randall and Nichelle Watkins
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