After 18 wineries in five days last week in El Dorado County and the Lodi AVA, Sue and I made it back home to Ventura, and it looks like the summer is going to be FEVERISHLY HOT and busy as we continue to visit wineries looking to update and add to the Slow Wine Guide.
This week we started assessing three Ventura County wineries, The Ojai Vineyard, Clos des Amis, and Topa Mountain Vineyard, as well as two from Santa Barbara County, Melville and Camins 2 Dreams with most of the grapes coming from the Sta Rita Hills AVA. All five wineries plus Anna’s Ciders will be featured in my upcoming article for Ventana Monthly’s July/August issue; we did our tasting and wine pairing dinner Monday at Ventura’s Vintage Trailer Park, Waypoint!
Next week for Slow Wine Guide we’ll visit lots of Santa Barbara wineries and the following week we head further north. (Should we visit you? Email me!)
Before we leave for SB, on Weds July 7 at noon Pacific I’m leading a ZOOM interview and tasting with Luis Duarte, who was named winemaker of the year in Portugal in 1997, 2007, and 2014. Learn more and RSVP for the event; you can also order your wines here and sip along with us! Ventura Locals can pick up the wines at warehouse in Ventura. When ordering, use the discount code IWILLPICKUP and then coordinate to pick up the wine by emailing email@example.com.
Today was also the deadline for the current version of the Murphy-Goode job contest. For some reason, the Murphy-Goode people think that the best response to the pandemic unemployment crisis is to recycle their Best Job in the world campaign just in time for April Fools and Earth Month. I thought I’d recycle my video from 2009 but I was just to busy producing copy and just didn’t get around to it. Read about the contest and why they should hire me anyway here.
Today is ALSO the deadline for the Wine Writing Contest sponsored by Jancis Robinson. The theme this year is Old Vines which I’ve been passionate about since my days at Ridge Vineyards. I was very inspired by the old head trained vines at Lodi’s Lucas Vineyard, especially Magdalena who was planted in 1933 and died prematurely of tractor blight.
In my 1200 words (2k allowed) I also worked in stories from my days at Ridge as well as picking zinfandel last summer at the 40 year old Block Vineyard in upper Ojai (read more here) and training the toddler vines in Fillmore.
Above is a photo of the head trained young vines from a recent visit by Gretel to Fillmore. They’ve got fruit and hopefully there will be a crop this year as long as the bears and the deer don’t eat them first! There’s a reason why we lovingly call this vineyard Caca de Osos! Read more about it here.
Along with my son graduating from high school then rafting, hiking, and camping adventures in El Dorado County over Dad’s Day AND practicing with Kristen Shubert and Lisa Stoll for the World Wine Blind Tasting Competition (more on this soon!) in hopes that we will be a team competing in France October 2021
…means not as much time as I’d like to visit Ventura County Vineyards.
I did make it to Clos des Amis’s South Mountain winery for another bottling day, this time for the South Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from Paso Robles.
Since it took place on Rose Day, I insisted that we enjoy a bottle of Clos des Amis Rose with our lunch.
How can tomorrow be July 1 already!
Next thing you know we will be picking grapes for the 2021 harvest!
Even with the drought, the vines are growing great seems to me!
And I have an exciting scoop too coming soon! Yes I know how to keep a secret…
Read more about Clos des Amis and Ventura County wineries and vineyards in this mostly monthly series:
- May: Chardonnay Day Chardonnays
- April: Rose Bottling at Clos des Amis
- March 2021: Party time? Pinot and Paella
- February 2021: Works of Art: Open That Bottle Night
- January 2021: Clos des Amis VeroTalk planned
- December 2021: Clos des Amis Wine Club
- November 2020: Local Love –wines and vines
- October 2020: Harvest 2020
- September 2020: Music in the Malbec–Harvest 2020
- July 2020: Birds and the Bees and the Zinfandel Trees
- July 2020: Verasion: Heading toward Harvest
- June 2020: ZOOM BOOM
- MAY 2020:BLAME IT ON…
- APRIL 2020: PASSION
- March 2020: Bud Break, Spring Break, Jailbreak, Chavez Break: Ventura County Vineyards Report March 2020
- February 2020: Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My: New Wood and Old Cars in Ventura County Vineyards
- January 2020: Deadwood
- December: 2019 Going Out with a Chambang!
- November 2019: Dormancy and Syrah
- October 2019: Final Harvest and #MerlotMe
- September 2019 in Ventura County Vineyards: Focus on Grenache
- August 2019: Fogust Harvest — Chardonnay for CHAMBANG!
- July 2019: No Sky July and Verasion
- June 2019: June Gloom and Etiolation
- Ventura County Vineyards: May Gray
- April 2019: Leaf Pulling
- March 2019: Gretel Meys Compton, Clos des Amis co-owner, co-winemaker
- February in Ventura County Vineyards
- January 2019: Pruning