Wine Blogging Weds #61: At the source & drinking the juice–a visit to Old Creek Ranch Winery

WBWlogo 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 practiOld Creek Road Winery open 909cally 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!Winemaker MM at OCRW with 2009 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. historic winery now monarch butterfly preserve

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.Old Creek Road ends at the winery

My first experience with Old Creek Ranch Winery Continue reading

Wine Blogging Wednesday #61: Go to the source!


Wine Blogging Wednesday founder Lenn Thompson of the blog Lenndevours: The New York Cork Report and who started Wine Blogging Wednesday five years ago says he likes “to hop in and host at least once a year. It’s fun to force people to drink what you tell them to. It’s a power rush.” Here’s the complete story. Continues Lenn:

Rather than walking into your local wine shop to pick up a wine for WBW, I want you to actually visit a winery and taste a wine there. Bonus points if you can taste it with the winemaker or the vineyard manager.

Post Wednesday September 16, and let Lenn know you want to play with a comment on his blog or an email.

I’m definitely playing along. I contacted Michael Meagher, winemaker for both Vino V and Old Creek Road Winery, and he invited me over on Friday for when the viognier arrives! So I get to check out harvest and do some tasting with a winemaker! So come back for that post next Wednesday, Sept. 16. Later, over on his blog, Lenn will do a round-up of all the participants.