Lodi Wine – Dancing Fox Winery, Brewery, Bakery, and Restaurant

And so begins the 9th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California. Three hundred wine bloggers will converge on the town of Lodi from Thursday to Sunday, August 11 to 14. Janelle and I are here a day ahead to attend a pre-conference in Amador County wine country. Our home base is the Hampton Suites in … Read more

Art inspired by wine in Corning, New York

market street corning

Art inspired by wine Wine and Design is one interesting art education venue. Lessons are given centered around a featured piece of art. When we popped our heads in, the adult students were in the midst of creating their paintings and enjoying a glass of wine. The wine certainly must improve one’s creativity! Wine and … Read more

Santa Barbara Fisherwoman Stephanie Mutz

fisher woman stpehanie

At the recent Wine Bloggers Conference in the Santa Barbara Wine Country, a small group of bloggers enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Bridlewood Estate Winery in the Santa Ynez AVA.  The entrance to the winery is impressive, with its Spanish Mission style of architecture.  Our Apple Basket lunch of local sandwiches and salads was … Read more

Annual Wine Bloggers Conference starts today

wine bloggers conference

Fifty wine bloggers will get a head start on the 7th annual wine bloggers conference with a pre-conference adventure to the Paso Robles wine country. The Paso Robles Wine Association will entertain the wine bloggers with several seminar sessions and wine tastings over a day and a half. The purpose is to showcase the Paso Robles … Read more

Winemaker Andrew Murray

andrew murray winemaker

Meet winemaker Andrew Murray Andrew Murray is one of the Santa Barbara wine country’s premiere winemakers. He has been making wine for the past 24 years. His Andrew Murray Vineyards winery is located on the Foxen Canyon Road Wine Trail. While traveling in France with his parents at age 18, he found his passion in … Read more

Santa Barbara wine country will host wine bloggers in 2014

At the conclusion of the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia, on Saturday, June 8th, it was announced that Santa Barbara wine country has been selected to host the 7th annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference for 2014. The conference will be held at the Santa Ynez Marriott Hotel in Buellton from July … Read more

Napa Valley bashing at the Wine Bloggers Conference

The Napa Valley is recognized as one of the top wine regions in the world. When you are top dog, expect to take some shots from your rivals. Napa Valley wineries had their share of good-natured bashing from Oregon wineries at the 5th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference held in Portland, Oregon, this past weekend.

Oregon wineries needle Napa Valley
Willamette Valley winemaker

What we heard along the way

“In Willamette Valley the weather cools rapidly from afternoon winds from the Van Duzer Corridor. Night time temperatures drop dramatically. In the Napa Valley it is hot all the time.”

“The Napa Valley Pinot Noirs from Carneros are too big.”

“Here in the Willamette Valley the winemakers and owners share their knowledge and help one another. In the Napa Valley, it is all corporate.”

“One thing that differentiates the Willamette Valley from the Napa Valley is that each year the growing season in the Willamette is very different. The climate varies significantly year to year. Napa does not have that fluctuation so their wines are always the same.”

“Here in the Willamette Valley you are likely to find a winemaker or family member working the tasting room. That is something you won’t find in the Napa Valley.”

What Oregon wineries should be saying to Napa Valley

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First Impressions of Virginia Wine – Wine Bloggers Conference

When the venue for the 4th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference was announced, many in the audience gasped. Virginia was chosen over Paso Robles and the Finger Lakes region of New York. How could that be, many cried? I heard one blogger shout out “Virginia wine is not that good.” We attended the wine bloggers pre-conference on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and had the opportunity to visit four wineries in the Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. I have to conclude that after tasting wines at these four wineries, the wine is very good in this part of Virginia, and a few of their varietals are stellar. I’m not about to suggest the wines are overall as good as California wines or those of the Napa Valley, but several I tried certainly measure up to our standards. I know these wineries were hand picked by the local tourist office, but this did gives us an eye opener into the quality and potential for Virginia wines.

We visited Tarara Winery, Breaux Vineyards, Chrysalis Winery, and Boxwood Winery. At each winery the winemaker and owner presented their wines, and much like at any winery in California spoke glowingly about their wines.

We loved all the Viognier we tried, and we can easily see why this wine is so popular in Virginia. I wish I’d had some California Viognier on the spot for comparison. These Viognier wines have excellent floral and tropical characteristics and a great mouth feel. I was less impressed with the Chardonnay wines and maybe that is because I just don’t drink that much Chardonnay to begin with. At Breaux Vineyards I rated their Meritage and the Nebbiolo at 90 points. I had not tasted as delicious a Nebbiolo in some time.

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Wine Adventures in Washington

We are in the state of Washington until Monday for the 3rd annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference. We have tasted Washington wines before but never to the extent that we will be tasting over the next few days. Over 50 wineries are set to pour and entertain 300 wine bloggers. I’m anxious to find out about … Read more

Napa Valley Vintners Wine and Dine Bloggers

At last year’s first-ever wine blogger conference, the Napa Valley wineries were noticeably absent from all activities. At this year’s conference it was another story. The entire day on Saturday, 12 hours’ worth, was all Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Vintners wined and dined the conference attendees showing off what the Napa Valley is all about – wine, food, and beauty. I’m guessing the Napa Valley Vintners think that those who blog and use Twitter and Facebook are very important and influential, because they really did roll out the red carpet to impress all of us.

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