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Archive for the tag “Wineries”

It’s all about the Chardonnay baybee!

Chardonnay Symposium

 

The Chardonnay Symposium is the sister event to the Cabs of Distinction, and is equally awesome. The 2016 event yet again did not disappoint. We were able to pick from a list of several different great seminars, thankfully some were similar to those I went to last year, so I was able to attend other ones that also interested me. The 2 seminars I chose were the Wente Clone Comparative Tasting, and the Hone Your Chardonnay Blind-Tasting Skills but I also got to attend the Pét-Nat Sparkling Wine & Oysters Gala, La Paulée Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony (thanks to my date Glenn from Adelaida), and of course the Saturday Grand Tasting. Read more…

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Wine and Fire, Ha-cha-cha-cha…

Wine and Fire Santa Rita Hills

Sometimes one needs to step away from the familiar of one’s immediate surroundings and spend some time exploring areas that are close but oft forgotten. So when the opportunity came up to go to Wine and Fire put on by the Santa Rita Hills Wine Alliance and region, located about an hour south of us, in Lompoc, it was a no brainer. First it helped get my bearings as I was always confusing Santa Lucia Highlands (north in Monterey County) and Santa Rita Hills (south in Santa Barbara County) with each other. Aside from the directional confusion, I realized that the Highlands focus more on Bordeaux and Southern Rhone with some Burgundian varietals thrown in, where as the Hills focus on Burgundian and Northern Rhone varietals with a little Bordeaux thrown into the mix. Read more…

Roll out the barrels

ROTB16

Every Spring the SLO Vintners Association has a weekend long event, Roll Out the Barrels that focuses on the San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley wine regions; with a kick off music, food and wine event in the Mission Plaza naturally called Barrels in the Plaza. The wineries literally “roll out” their latest offerings and various local restaurants provide the food and well-known local bands provide the music for this Grand Tasting event. In previous years, though I have gone to the winery open houses and events, this year was the first time I got to attend in the Plaza. It was a great time. Read more…

The Cabs are Back in Town

Cab Collective 2016

It’s that time of year again and one of my favorite educational red wine events is back. Every year I think the Paso Robles Cab Collective (PRCC) Cabs of Distinction, can’t get better and every year I’m wrong! This year actually blew my mind. This year though it was a smaller, more intimate event and held at the new and stunningly beautiful Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. Aside from the En Primeur & Current Vintage Tasting there were 3 separate seminars. The first “The other Cabernet” a discussion on Cab Franc was hosted by CIA instructor and Master Sommelier Bob Bath, the second “Know Your Cab Clones” about the clonal varieties and the third and final which was the real mind blower was the “Judgement of Paso” a play on the 1976 Judgement of Paris wine tasting. Read more…

Wine Touring 101

 

The 101 Wine Tours, Media Tour

This is going to be one of my longer posts because the tour I went on was so choc-o-bloc full of incredible tastings and things to do! My day started by meeting up with Laura of 101 Wine Tours for an invitation only Media Tour at their office in Arroyo Grande. Scott was our driver and Laura our tour guide/Sommelier. Other members of the media Kathy and Photographers Amy and Donny from Tolosa Press also met up with us, and we all climbed aboard the 11-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Van. We headed over to the Madonna Plaza and picked up the rest of our group Haley of New Times and Edible SLO, Sally from The Tribune, and winemaker Adam from Center of Effort Winery and then, we were off. Traveling up the coast toward Paso Robles, the landscape after rain bursts with emerald vine-covered hills, rolling down to meet the smokey sapphire colored ocean, providing views almost too spectacular to describe.  Read more…

A Heavenly Emporium Experience

Heavenly Emporium

I had the good fortune of attending an awesome brownie and wine pairing evening at the Grape Emporium owned by David and Annie Wilson in Atascadero and Heavenly Squared Brownie Company. You may remember I’ve written about David before as he was my Greek Ambassador counterpart, and I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed on his radio program on several occasions. The thing about doing a tasting event like this at the Grape Emporium, is that David is a brilliant mad scientist when it comes to blending various wines and creating something all together new, which is an unusual experience in any wine shop. Read more…

My Greek Odyssey- Beta

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

Restaurant at Sounion (with the blue roof)

After leaving Lantides winery and Peloponnese; we went back to Athens and had an amazing day with Michael’s uncle who took us to Cape Sounion where the Temple of Poseidon is. Going to the Temple was probably one of the most spectacular and spiritual places I’ve ever been. Because it takes a bit of a drive to get there since it is about 40 miles east of Athens, at the southernmost point of Attica, the temple isn’t overrun with tourists like the Parthenon and Acropolis were. Read more…

Pass me Somm Chardonnay -Segment 2

Final day Grand Tasting

The final day included another seminar-Diversity in Balance at Edna Valley Winery, a second Grand Tasting this time at Dolphin Bay Resort, and a Taste like a Somm Double Blind Winemaker Dinner at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort with Chef Michael Avila. Read more…

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…

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…

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