Exciting Virtual Wine Country Encounters

Each year we plan on taking a trip to a far off wine country or to a wine country we have not visited. With the Pandemic and other issues, travel afar is not possible. But we can see the world-famous wine country in a virtual experience. Here are some exciting virtual wine events to mark … Read more

Quivira Farm-to-Table Dinner Series for 2016

Biodynamic vineyards at Quivira

Quivira Introduces New Farm-to-Table Dinner Series for 2016 Introducing a new Quivira Farm-to-Table Dinner Series for this summer. The Farm-to-Table Dinners showcase talent from some of the Bay Area’s top chefs and the winery’s own bounty of Biodynamic and organic foods. Beginning in July, Quivira will partner with four chefs on a series of multi-course menus … Read more

40 years after Judgement of Paris – strange facts

Stags Leap 1972 Cabernet

40 years after Judgement of Paris – strange facts Both Chateau Montelena and Stags Leap Wine Cellars are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the “Judgement of Paris.” It’s a great anniversary in wine and a great PR event for these two wineries and the entire Napa Valley wine industry. The blind tasting results shocked the world of … Read more

Two important Wine Country Charity Events

#LakeCountyRising Charity Wine Auction The devastating Valley Fire of 2015 destroyed many homes in Lake County. Please help the people of Lake County by your presence at the #LakeCountyRising Charity Wine Auction. Congressman Mike Thompson and grape grower Andy Beckstoffer will be present to assist the legendary auctioneer Fritz Hatton. The auction will take place on … Read more

TAPAS Society Wine Tasting

What a gorgeous setting the Presidio of San Francisco makes for an afternoon of wine tasting. Forty wineries poured a variety of red and white wines of the Spanish grape varieties. Most of the wineries were from California, several other were from Oregon, and two from Arizona.

Big Surprises at the Chilean Wine Tour

With stops in Chicago and San Francisco to promote the wines of Chile, the Chilean Pro Wine Tour made a surprise announcement to those attending a seminar for the wine media. We attended this event in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 9, and learned that there is a new appellation law in Chile that divides the country’s wine regions vertically into three distinct viticultural areas. The law is so new that moderator Joshua Green, Editor of Wines & Spirits, stated, “Many in the wine community of Chile do not know about the new appellation law as yet.”

Costa, Entre Cordilleras, and Andes Appellations

The reason for the new appellations is that the old ones were too broad and did not benefit the consumer. The old wine appellations amounted to political areas, with little to do with the regions’ soil and climate conditions. As you can see on the Chilean wine map, the new appellations are divided from West to East. The Costa Appellation is influenced more by its marine climate of the Pacific Ocean and, in many areas of the coast, its limestone soils. The Entre Cordilleras zone is made up of the center valleys of Chile, where there are many microclimates and soil types. In general, the temperature range in this zone will be the highest of the three appellations. On the eastern edge of Chile, the Andes Appellation includes the vineyards that are on the slopes of the great Andes Mountain Range. In order for any bottle of wine to be labeled with one of these three appellations, 85% of the wine must be made from grapes from the new zones.

Chilean wine appellations, Costa, Entre Cordilleras, Andes Zone
The new wine map of Chile

Read more

Top Things to Do in Wine Country in January 2011

Now is the best time to travel to the wine country. I know it can be cold or rainy this time of year, but it so peaceful and relaxing because the huge crowds are missing. Here are some recommendations for formal and informal events that are happening in wine country in January.

San Francisco: “How Wine Became Modern” + the 20th Annual ZAP Festival

Etienne Meneau, Carafe No. 5, 2008, fabricated 2009

Well, San Francisco is technically not wine country but there are two events that are sure to attract wine lovers. The first one is happening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, “How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now” on view through April 17, 2011. S.F. MOMA is offering enticing promotions to encourage you to visit this wine exhibit: If you not currently a member, you can receive a 10% discount if you join between now and April 17th. After you visit the exhibit, you can use your ticket stub to receive wine-related discounts in San Francisco and Sonoma County. Additionally, you can enter the SFMOMA Uncorked contest to win a Luxury Wine Adventure in exchange for bringing natural used corks to the museum for recycling. Wow!

Read more

Albariño on the Rise at the Tapas Grand Tasting 2010

It seems like a lot of California wineries these days are jumping on the Spanish Albariño bandwagon. Why? Because this wine is tasty, crisp, and refreshing. It is a wonderful diversion from the popular varietals of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It screams for seafood. At the Tapas Grand Tasting we were delighted to find a good number of the wineries pouring samples of Albariño wine.

We love everything about Albariño wine and we drink it often. When we were in Spain in 2007 we visited the tiny town of Cambados. The town is the center of the Rias Baixas wine region where the Albariño grape is almost exclusively grown. We happened to be in Cambados at harvest time. What a treat! There are many very small Albariño vineyards, farmed by homeowners, surrounding Cambados. They passionately farm their vineyards with many using no poisons or fertilizers. We watched at the Martin Códax co-op winery as these farmers proudly brought in their grapes to be part of the co-op bounty.

An Albariño cluster characteristically has two branches, small & large
An Albariño cluster characteristically has two branches, small & large

Read more

TAPAS Wine Tasting 2010 — Our Favorites

Tapas stands for Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society. Some 50 wineries poured Tempranillo and other Spanish and Portuguese varietals at Fort Mason’s Herbst Pavilion this past Saturday, June 5th. It was a pleasant but somewhat eerie atmosphere in the Herbst Pavilion, with wineries spread out along the perimeter walls. We are used to four times as many wineries and a ton of trade and media representatives packed like sardines at Fort Mason tasting events. At the Tapas we had plenty of elbow room and, best of all, many opportunities to talk to the winemakers and winery owners.

We spent four weeks in Spain in 2007 and explored the Toro, Ribera del Duero, and Riojo wine regions where Tempranillo is king. Ever since that visit, we have been constantly on the lookout for great-tasting Tempranillo wines. The Tapas tasting is the perfect opportunity for wine lovers like us to discover Tempranillo and other Spanish varietals.

Read more