At the last three wine bloggers conferences, I lucked out both with amazing pre-conference excursions and great conference expeditions as well. In 2010, a small group of us traveled on a press trip Seattle to Walla Walla and back, tasting along the way. In 2012, on our pre-conference excursion we dined at King Estates then learned about pinot noir with Robin Pffeifer, then went by TRAIN from Eugene to Portland where I was on the infamous #cuffedincarlton bus.
In 2013, I joined the Seattle to Lake Okanagan trip by way of the Lake Chelan AVA and went on the OK Falls hike where I discovered Painted Rock which I wrote about here also. When the announcement that Wine Blogging Wednesday #80 was Dry Rose, I didn’t have to think too hard about which wine I wanted to write about: “My Derby Wife” rose Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, review, travel and wine, Wine Bloggers Conference, Wine Blogging Wednesday, wine review, wine travel
Tagged angela jacobs, krysztof nemeth, lake chelan, Lake Chelan AVA, My Derby Wife syrah rose 2012, Washington rose
In part one in this series of posts, I review two white wines from Steven Kent Wines, the luscious LaRochelle Chardonnay (pictured) and the lively Lola, a Bordeaux blend, and I wax enthusiastic about Rafters Restaurant, which is one of three restaurants and four bars at the Sierra Nevada Resort in Mammoth Lakes CA.
We were up in Mammoth for a holiday weekend ski trip where I also had a twitter tasting with Steven Kent Wines and Jim Demetriades, owner of Rafters hosted me! And what a gracious host! I was able to use a beautiful side room for the tasting, sommelier Chip Irmish set me up with the correct glasses I’d need as well as a dump bucket, and an ice bucket. Staff brought water, and either Chef Kerry Mechler or various staff brought out the six dishes that chef had chosen to pair with the six wines.
Here in Part 2, I’ll move from the whites on to the Pinot Noirs, one from Carneros and one from Santa Lucia Highlands, near Monterey. (Want to read about the Lola and the Dutton Chard?)
Posted in adventures in wine, review, road trip, travel and wine, wine review, wine travel
Tagged Donum Estate, LaRochelle, Lola, Mammoth Lakes California, pinot noir, Pork belly, rafters restaurant, Sierra Nevada Lodge
How did I get from Idaho and Walla Walla back to California for the Petite Sirah Symposium? By way of some Oregon Pinot Noir of course!
Read on to get a taste and see where I went and what I did; more in depth blog posts to come about my stops in Willamette Valley AVAs including Barrel Fence in the Dundee Hills (pictured) and Coleman Vineyards in the McMinnville AVA (photos below).
via art predator
Posted in adventures in wine, NW Road Trip 2011, road trip, travel and wine, wine review, wine travel
Tagged coleman-vineyards, oregon-pinot-noir, reviews, road-trips, ryan-randy-kim-coleman, spruce-goose, willamette-valley-ava, wine, writing
Thanks to Wine Blogging Wednesday founder and this month’s host Lenn Thompson of the blog Lenndevours: The New York Cork Report who prompts us this month to visit a winery–to taste and blog about a wine after visiting the source with bonus points for actually tasting with the winemaker. Here’s the complete story on his blog.
Where should I go? Well, it wasn’t much of a question as I had limited time available. While I am fortunate to have Sideways wine country practically in my backyard, I simply contacted Michael Meagher, winemaker at Old Creek Ranch Winery, which is about 15 minutes away from my home near the beach and Michael invited me over last Friday for when his first load of grapes arrive–viognier!
To hint at what kind of experience I had: I came home happily covered in grape juice, tasted the delish grenache blanc about to be bottled with the winemaker, and brought home the recently bottled but not yet released and not even labeled yet 2008 viognier!!
A little background: Old Creek Ranch Winery, established in 1981, is up Highway 33 on the Old Creek Ranch between the towns of Ojai and Ventura, California on a historic winery site. On the left is a picture of what remains of that winery; in the foreground is the native food plant, narrow-leaf milkweed, for monarch butterfly larva.
According to the Old Creek Ranch website:
The Ranch is part of a Spanish 22,000 acre land grant awarded to Don Fernando Tico, dating back to the early history of California. In the late 1800’s Antonio Riva of northern Italy purchased the ranch. He was a chef in Paris, London and later in San Francisco. He built a winery on the ranch at that time.
Wines were made without electricity and utilized gravity as a means to move the wine in the processing. Riva produced wine until about 1942, including the prohibition years. Wine purchasers would leave an order and money on the clothesline and would return later to pickup a jug of red wine left at the base of an oak tree.
My first experience with Old Creek Ranch Winery Continue reading
Murphys Calaveras County California: think wine, not beer!
So you didn’t know that Murphy’s California is a big name in wine? Check out this article from the Los Angeles Times Travel section for more!
Although the author didn’t mention my favorite Calaveras County winery, Twisted Oak, you can see why this is a fun town to visit! Last time I was there was in 2003 when I gave a featured poetry reading hosted by Nila NorthSun. No wine tasting for me on that trip however–I was 6 months pregnant! We just visited there between skiing Badger Pass and camping in Yosemite and skiing Bear Valley and camping at Calaveras State Park– and I tasted my way through town! More to come on that soon!
In the meantime, see what the LA Times has to say: Murphys rings in St. Patrick’s Day with green wine – Los Angeles Times. which advises that “this town knows how to have a good time, with 18 wine-tasting rooms within a few blocks of one another.”
“You can literally sip wine from one end of town to the other,” says River Klass, who owns two restaurants on Main Street.
“I think Murphys is just a cool little walking, pedestrian-friendly town,” says Dorian Faught, owner of the Murphys Historic Hotel and Restaurant.
The hotel features nine rooms, each named after the famous guests who have stayed there, including Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant and Susan B. Anthony. A short walk from elm-lined Main Street is picturesque Murphys Community Park, which has a white gazebo (also with shamrocks on it) and bubbling Murphys Creek running through.
They predicted a heat wave for this May weekend and since the road and campgrounds at Pine Mountain summit in the Los Padres National Forest CA just opened for the season, Friday night we climbed up from the coast up and up and up highway 33 past the Ojai Valley and up and up and up past Rose Valley and up and up along Sespe creek and up and up and up to Pine Mtn Summit at 6,000 and then up the rough but periodically paved Pine Mountain road and up past snow patches and up to 6 site Pine Mtn campground and 6 site Reyes Peak Campground to nestle for the night in the big ponderosa pines, big enough to encircle your arms and hold tight, bury your nose in for a whiff of rich vanilla, yellow, blue and purple lupine, periwinkle phacelia, orange wallflower, green grasses…
As the sun faded from the sky, Kathy popped a bottle of Bollinger champagne–crisp and balanced with fine spray of delicate bubbles–which we enjoyed with cold artichokes and mayo while we heated up already baked potatoes to enjoy with perfectly beautifully little filet mignons…and an RBJ theologicum 2001, a blend of grenache and mourverde, not too heavy, but just right for the night…
Lots of waxing moon (full Monday night) to light our way to explore the boulders on the ridge, enough light to see to the sea…pancake breakfast and lazy morning in the pines exploring and bouldering, view gazing, reading and writing a poem too.
Then down down down to the other end of the watershed to spend the night at the boy’s preschool with his friends and then the day at the beach…
Of course, living here by the beach, it’s rarely hot–even now, when everyone else in socal is roasting, we have all the windows and doors wide open and cool breezes swim through the house and it’s heaven here with corn on the barbecue, a cold Fat Tire in hand, and the house finches celebrating the hatching of their second clutch in the nest on the heart shaped wreath on our front door…
I’m the Wine Predator aka the Art Predator and I will be your guide to stalking, finding, and slurping delightful affordable and drinkable wines!
I love to travel, camp, and eat and drink well, and I will share my adventures in dining and drinking and unusual places! Some of these posts I will import from one of my other blogs, Art Predator.
I’m no wine snob–merely someone who loves wine and writing, and who wants to learn more about wine while writing about it. My wine posts will cover some beginning basics and help us all grow to enjoy wine with more sensitivity and sophistication. I especially love good deals on great wines!
Bring on your questions! If I don’t know the answer, I wil find it!