This past weekend I attended a barrel tasting organized by the Ventura County Winery Association which “promotes the production and appreciation of fine wines grown or produced in Ventura County. Member wineries produce more than 250 different white, rosé, and red wines using grapes grown in Ventura County and throughout California. They range in size producing less than 500 cases annually to more than 200,000, with most members producing between 1,000 to 5,000 cases. Located less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, Ventura County is short drive for visitors to enjoy an easy getaway to enjoy the region’s urban wineries, beautiful beaches, and fine dining.”
And while I only made it to three wineries, I had an absolutely awesome educational experience!
The story goes that Mike Brown, winemaker at Cantara Cellars, Continue reading
Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak pulls out a barrel sample for me to taste in April 2017. This weekend 8 wineries in Ventura County will offer barrel samples.
As a wine blogger, one of the best privileges is the opportunity to taste wine from the barrel — and often with the winemaker! Even though I’ve done this many times, as recently as at Kessler-Haak in April where we tasted a half dozen or so different barrels of Pinot Noir and at wineries as varied as Painted Rock in British Columbia following the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2013 to Basel Cellars in Walla Walla during the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2010 and, more locally, at Bridlewood with David Hopkins in Santa Barbara County, with Ventura County’s Bruce Freeman of Clos de Amis last fall, with Micheal Meagher of Vino V, and with Mike Brown of Cantara Cellars.
Sometimes at tastings, they will pull a barrel sample to taste alongside other vintages and that can be fun too: you can taste a wine BEFORE it’s bottled and get a sense of a vintage. Wines are super fresh and often intense, but they give you a looking glass into the future of a wine.
No wonder Barrel Tasting Passport Weekends are so popular!
This coming weekend, June 24 and 25, seven Ventura County vintners will open up their barrels Continue reading
Happy Summer Solstice!
And what wine should you toast the longest day of the year with?
LAMBRUSCO! Continue reading
This should be where I wax poetic about the delights of this wine from Burgundy in a post titled “Bourgogne with Beef Bourguignon from an Instant Pot” for this month’s French Winophiles excursion into Burgundy Part 2 with LM Archer following last month’s amazing trip where we paired this Chablis with seafood and beurre blanc sauce:
Still looking for Dad or Grad gifts? If so, consider:
- a wine club membership either far away or close by
- a bottle of wine from that winery or region, for example a bottle (or pair!) of Pinot Noir from The Ojai Vineyard
- a wine opener like this one from Avina
- a book to read while drinking wine like Vertical
- a breath analyzer to make sure that it is safe to drink and drive
Tomorrow is the second Saturday of June — which means it is Rose Day! Cheers!
Join us on June 10 in celebrating this festive, pretty in pink wine! Go sweet like my grandma or dry like the traditional style from Provence France or explore the world of Rose and its many variances in style, sweetness, color, technique of production, and grape!
This month on #WineStudio, we are once again going pink! On Tuesdays from 6-7pm PST, we are tasting wines from four different regions starting with France, traveling to Spain on June 13, then two sites in California: Mendocino and Napa.
6 June – We were joined on twitter by fourth-generation vine grower and first generation vigneron Jean-Claude Mas who says “Languedoc is a destination for fine rosé, thanks to the wide variety of soils and ideal varietals.” We tasted Coté Mas Rosé Aurore 2016 Sud de France $11 and Arrogant Frog Rosé 2016 Languedoc $10 (and compared them to two wines from Lodi) plus
Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé Brut NV St. Hilaire Languedoc $16 which is a great wine to toast Rose Day with!