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My Greek Odyssey – Alpha

Poseidon’s Temple Greece

Being a wine ambassador for an amazing Greek winery (Domaine Porto Carras) and 2 regions of Greece, the Mount Melaton PDO and the Sithonian Peninsula PGI comes with more than a couple of incredible perks but the topper was the trip to Greece.
It started with a 22 hour multi leg flight from Los Angeles through JFK, on to Rome and finally landing in Athens. You would think after a flight like that all we’d want to do was get 22 hours worth of sleep; well you’re right about that, but the Greeks weren’t about to let that happen! We arrived and were welcomed with a wonderful home-made luncheon at our friend’s family’s house with traditional food like fresh feta and bread, tomato-cucumber-green pepper salad, pastitsio, and tzatziki in Kavouri Athens and took a 2 hour nap. Then we headed out to Nea Smyrni where we were staying, and starting at 10p.m. it was out until 2 a.m. in the town square where we had souvlaki and cocktails with friends and friends of friends. One of the things I noticed about Greece’s restaurants/cafes/tavernas in general is they are all indoor/outdoor and people rarely if ever sit inside. Read more…

Wines of Sithonia (PGI) and Mount Meliton (PDO)

Driving on the west side of Sithonia, the traveler’s eyes admire a unique landscape: It is there that Meliton lowers its slopes in order to mingle with the crystal waters of the Toroneos Gulf. Read more…

Cabs of Distinction 2015, Part Deux

Adelaida Vineyards

So part 2 of the Cabs of Distinction is all about the winery open houses. Unfortunately I was on a bit of a time limit so I only had an opportunity to attend 2 of the many open houses that day. The two I picked were Adelaida and Daou both established, well-respected wineries and supportive neighbors of each other. The age difference however is vast, with Adelaida having been started 34 years ago after having purchased their 50-year-old HMR vineyard from Doc Hoffman, one of the original pioneers of Paso. The Daou’s on the other hand, purchased and established their winery located atop Hidden Mountain Ranch and also including a part of the HMR vineyards in 2007. Since the winery’s inception, brothers Daniel and Georges have quickly made a name for themselves. Read more…

Cabs of Distinction 2015, Part 1

Cabs of Distinction

One of my favorite local industry events, the Cabs of Distinction just came around again, and once again I was lucky enough to attend. You may remember my blog from last year’s event Distinctively Cab. This year’s event was done both similarly and differently than last. This time the opening event was a warm, welcome reception and short presentation on the Paso Robles newly designated 11 Sub-AVAs and an En Primeur & Current Vintage Tasting of all 24 member wineries. Read more…

I love my mother…Earth

Earth Day Food & Wine Fest at Castor Cellars

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE my planet. Whether you call her Earth, Gaia, Mother, or Terra she is the only planet we have and celebrating Earth Day is a celebration of all that we as a species should hold dear. The 8th Annual Earth Day Food and Wine Festival held at Castoro Cellars, was quite an event and according to vendors, one of the most well-organized events they’ve ever participated in. Read more…

What a (Greek Wine) TRIP!

The Gang’s all Here

After spending a week in SoCal, it was time to head back home for the weekend, and make our way up to NorCal with stops at Lido at Dolphin Bay, UC Davis and Pathos Organic Greek Kitchen. Read more…

Are you Blu in The Republique of Wine Country?

Prepping for the Taverna Blu tasting

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. We went from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles down to San Diego and back to LA, then it was up to the Central Coast, Davis and Berkeley. The first leg of our trip headed down to San Diego and included a stop at a great little Greek restaurant, Taverna Blu, owned by George Katakalidis a great guy who is an ex professional soccer player turned restaurateur. Read more…

Fundamentally Awesome!

Fundamental LA / Porto Carras wine dinner

Being the Wine and Brand Ambassador for the largest winery in Greece is pretty freaking awesome! Yliana Stengou, the owner of Domaine Porto Carras is in California for her Spring tour, which means hosting wine and food pairing dinners at amazing restaurants up and down the state of California (OH darn! It’s a tough job, but you know someone has to do it. LOL). Read more…

They Call Me…Mrs. Ambassador!

Domaine Porto Carras’ Mount Meliton Vineyard

Domaine Porto Carras

On the slopes of Mount Meliton, on the Sithonia Peninsula in Chalkidik (aka Halkidiki) Greece, sits the Porto Carras Grand Resort. A resort playground to the rich and famous, it houses Domaine Porto Carras the 475 hectare (4750 acres) organic vineyard and historic winery. A winery, that has been practicing environmentally friendly wine-making techniques for the last 40 years while producing some of the world’s most unique and exquisite wines. With the assistance of University of Bordeaux Professor Emile Peynaud (known as the father of modern wine-making) who planted the first crop of “Greek” Cabernet Sauvignon on the property and Professor Vassilios Logothetis from the University of Thessealoniki they’ve created a turning point in the Greek wine industry. In this enchanted location they are bringing back to life ancient varietals like Limnio and Malagouzia, that for a time were thought to be extinct. Read more…

Distinctively Cab!

Cabs of Distinction

This blog posting is long over due. In fact it’s since April 2014 over due, because that’s when this event occurred.  I have already written a couple blogs on the Cab Collective but the Cabs of Distinction event is my current favorite. It was a collaboration between the acclaimed SOMM Journal, Parker Sanpei, and the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective (PRCC) it was 4 days (I was only able to attend 3 of the days) long and included a “camp” for Sommeliers and Press with the entire event culminating in a Gala tasting for the public. The first 2 days took place at the ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn, and 28 wineries were present. Read more…

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