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Long Island Winery Collecting Toys for Tots

clovispoint5Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery on Long Island is accepting toys for the well-known TOYS FOR TOTS organization until Saturday, December 10. Wine enthusiasts and visitors are encouraged to drop by the winery tasting room with a new and unwrapped toy.

The collecting of toys for TOYS FOR TOTS will end with the winery’s 2016 Holiday Open House  scheduled for 3 to 7pm.

Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery’s website explains the TOYS FOR TOTS mission. “The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.  The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

While visiting several wineries on Long Island, Terry and I stopped by Clovis Point to taste wines and discover their story. Our article about Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery is available online.

Do you remember a special toy from your Christmas? If you will be visiting Long Island soon, add a little joy to your heart and to a child’s Christmas by stopping by Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery with a new toy for a less fortunate  child.

While dropping off the toy, be sure to stay for a wine tasting and perhaps purchase a bottle of wine for one of your holiday meals.


Justin Vineyards & Winery Donates to Local Organizations

Isoceles Reserve Wine

Isosceles Reserve Wine

This year while visiting wineries in Paso Robles, our itinerary included a stop at Justin Vineyards & Winery. It is a large winery and vineyard in San Luis Obispo County.

Justin Vineyards & Winery recently made news when it was announced that the winery’s Justin Community Grants program has provided $5,000 grants to 20 local organizations. A wide range of community organizations benefited from the generosity of Justin’s program.

Below is a list of the organizations that benefited this year from Justin Vineyards & Winery’s donations.

• Adelaida Historical Foundation

• Boys and Girls Club of North SLO County
• CASA San Luis Obispo County
• El Camino Homeless Organization
• Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County
• Jack’s Helping Hand
• NCI Affiliates Inc.
• One Cool Earth
• Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services
• Paso Robles Library Foundation
• Paso Robles Main Street
• Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation
• Rise San Luis Obispo County
• Studios On The Park
• The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
• The Wellness Kitchen and Resource Center
• Transitional Food & Shelter
• Transitions Mental Health Association
United Cerebral Palsy of San Luis Obispo County
Vineyard Team

Wine barrel caves at Justin

Wine barrel caves at Justin

If you are visiting the Paso Robles region of California, you will want to consider visiting Justin Vineyards & Winery for a wine tasting. Tours may also be scheduled but keep in mind that the tours of the winery and barrel room are at another nearby location but you have to check in at the tasting room first.

For an idea of what to expect when visiting Justin Vineyards & Winery, read our online article.


Appetizer Ideas for the Holidays

During all of the many holiday celebrations at this time of year, appetizers and hors d’oeuvres are especially delightful to have on hand for friends and family. Below is a recipe from J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, California. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of Pinot Noir.

If you are looking for other appetizer ideas, check out the recipes available on Wine Trail Traveler.

Wild Mushroom Duxelles


Mushroom Mixture:
1 pound Shiitake mushrooms, diced (remove stems)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons J Pinot Noir Robert Thomas
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup creme fraiche
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil, thyme, and garlic. Transfer to sheet pan large enough to hold the mushrooms in one layer. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir every ten minutes.

2. Saute the shallots in butter over medium heat until nicely browned.

3. Add the Pinot Noir and reduce for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and add vinegar and lemon juice.

4. Add roasted mushroom mixture to shallot mixture. Return to stove top at medium heat, add creme fraiche. Mix well, cook for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

5. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and toast for 7-8 minutes. The center of bread should be soft to the touch when done. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the bread slices and serve warm or room temperature.

Duxelles are a mixture of mushrooms, shallots, and herbs slowly cooked in butter. It’s used to flavor sauces, soups, as well as served on its own. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms lends itself nicely to the fruity and sometimes spicy flavors of Pinot Noir.

Recipe provided by J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, California.


Local Wineries & Businesses Celebrate Thanksgiving

Brandborg Vineyards in Elkton, OR

Brandborg Vineyard & Winery in Elkton, OR

Elkton, Oregon is a small town located south of Eugene where life is about the country life. Though it is very small with a population of 170, the area boasts four wineries.

On our way from Medford, which is home to many wineries and vineyards, we stopped by Brandborg Vineyard & Winery in Elton, where we learned about The 6th Annual Elton Art & Wine Thanksgiving Weekend.

On November 25, 26 and 27 Elkton will be featuring a community event with a focus on “Buy Local and Celebrate Community.” The hashtag for the event is #BLACCFriday.

The 6th Annual Elkton Art & Wine Thanksgiving Weekend includes a special raffle. “Visit at least 5 of the participating  businesses to be entered for the raffle. No purchase necessary-but please take time to enjoy your visit!”

The participating businesses are listed below with the wineries and vineyards listed first:

Bradley Vineyards
Anindor Vineyards
Brandborg Vineyard & Winery
River’s Edge Winery
Gillirose Vineyard

Other participating businesses:

ECEC Gift Shop and Crafters
C & I Rustics Woodwork, Jewelry & More
Trudy Wilkinson, Weaving
Jane Wood, Painting
Marsha Mello, Etchings
Hiroshi Ogawa Pottery
Firebug Pottery
Nancy Watterson Scharf, Painting & Cliff Scharf, Jewelry
Tomaselli’s Pastry Mill
El Guerrero Azteca, food
Elkton Food Center
Far West Iron Metal Art

I like the idea of small businesses working together to support each other. The 6th Annual Elkton Art & Wine Thanksgiving Weekend, is wonderful way to celebrate and discover what small businesses can do to help each other. If you will be traveling in the Ellton area, be sure to check out these wineries and crafts that add to the culture of our lives.

Cheers, Kathy

Pearmund Cellars Supports WWII Veteran’s Wish

Pearmund Cellars supports WWII veteran wish

Pearmund Cellars supports WWII veteran wish

A well-known Virginia winery has taken the initiative to support the wish of an elderly WWII veteran. Chris Pearmund owner and head winemaker at Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, Virginia, sent out an email to the followers of his delightful winery. Chris is seeking support for a 93-year old who wishes to receive the Purple Heart which he was denied but so richly deserves.

According to the email from Pearmund Cellars, “Chilton “Chilly” Raiford served in the Navy on the USS Randolph during WWII. During the war, he was wounded when Japanese Bombers attacked his ship. For many years after, Chilly was a member of the Kamikaze Survivors Association, which has now been dissolved due to most all have died.”

The email explains that Chilly’s Purple Heart recommendation was not accepted because of a youthful indiscretion. Chilly was turned down for the Purple Heart medal because in his youth he had run through the barracks for women. At the time he was given a non-judicial punishment.

Chilly served our country during WWII and was injured, doesn’t he deserve to receive the Purple Heart while he can still enjoy it? If his story touches your heart, sign on to change and add your voice to support his wish to receive the Purple Heart.

A petition has been created on change.org requesting that Congress give Chilly the Purple Heart that he deserves.

Congratulations to Chris Pearmund, who not only makes delicious wines in Virginia but also shows that he cares about others.

If you have an opportunity, be sure to visit Pearmund Cellars, Broad Run, Virginia. You will find an assortment of wines including: Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Ameritage, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Manseng.


Exploring Southern Oregon Wine Scene

Vineyard Views in Rogue Valley, Oregon

Vineyard Views in Rogue Valley, Oregon

This week we are exploring the Southern Oregon wine scene. Our first winery visit was to Kriselle Cellars where we discovered the beauty of acres of vineyards in full fall colors. This winery is located in the Rogue Valley near the famed Table Rock. The Rogue Valley is also the home of the Harry and David gift basket phenomena.

According to the Southern Oregon Winery Association, the region is divided into five areas: Applegate Valley, Illinois Valley, Rogue Valley, Upper Rogue and Umpqua Valley.

Yesterday our first winery visit of the day was to Quady North where we met the owner Herb who described his winemaking style as well as his custom crush facility and his journey into a vineyard management business. We still don’t know how he has enough hours in the day for everything!

Red Lily Vineyard in Applegate Valley

Red Lily Vineyard in Applegate Valley

Next we traveled into the Applegate Valley, not far from Rogue Valley. Here we discovered how the mountains seem to close in together, and had to marvel at the vineyards that seem squeezed in between. There seems to be quite an emphasis on Tempranillo wines. Our first stop in the Applegate Valley was Red Lily Vineyards where we met Rachel Martin, owner, winemaker, and bottle washer whose energy level knows no limits.

Dynamic view of vineyards and mountains of Applegate

Dynamic view of vineyards and mountains of Applegate

Our final visit was to Serra Vineyards where we met Scott Fernandes owner and winemaker and assistant winemaker Liz Wan. We enjoyed learning about their wine journeys and experience the stunning views of the colorful fall vineyards against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains.

Everyone we have met so far in Southern Oregon is enthusiastic about the quality of the grapes being grown in the region. It is obvious from those we have met, that they are putting their hearts and souls into producing the best wines they can from the grapes growing in the area. With numerous microclimates in the region, the winemakers are still learning what wine grapes will do the best here.

Relatively new to the winemaking scene, Southern Oregon is an up and coming wine region that will be quickly making headlines. Some of the wines are already winning double gold medals.

When planning your vacation, you may just want to plan a visit to Southern Oregon. For our visit we flew into Medford, Oregon. The airport is very small and one where it would be difficult to become lost. For your convenience the rental car offices are close to the luggage carousel.

Watch for our upcoming articles about the individual wineries and the wines we tasted coming soon.

Kathy and Terry

The Proseccos of Conegliano Valdobbiadene

Process from

Conegliano Valobbiadene Proseccos

We had the opportunity to discover the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Proseccos last week in Washington, DC. A very informative  presentation was held at the Capitol Wine School by US Ambassador of Prosecco DOCG Alan Tardi. The main idea of the presentation was, “There’s more than one prosecco.”

Alan Tardi, Ambassador for Prosecco

Alan Tardi, US Ambassador of Prosecco DOCG

Tardi who lives in Italy offered good insight into the importance of why the proseccos are must-try sparkling wines.  Proseccos are becoming very popular. Tardi believes that it is important that people become more aware that there is more than one prosecco and what distinguishes them.

Tardi noted that Prosec is a town near Trieste, and possibly the origin of the word prosecco. There was also a reference to prosecco as early as 1593. Many Americans first tasted prosecco in the 1970s when it was used in a popular cocktail called Bellini. Tardi talked about the history behind prosecco, saying that originally the name prosecco may have originated in Slovenia.
In 2009, when the Prosecco DOC was created, Conegliano Valdobbiadene was designated a DOCG.

Description of Prosecco



There are three types of proseccos:

  • Spumante which had 3.5 bars of atmosphere. This style accounts for 95% of the production.
  • Frizzante with 1 to 2.5 bars of atmosphere
  • Tranquillo, a still Prosecco.

Residual Sugar of Proseccos

  • dry, 17-32 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • extra dry, 12-17 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • brut, 0-12 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • extra brut, 0-6 grams of residual sugar per liter*
  • brut nature, 0-3 grams of residual sugar per liter*

*These two levels of sugars may be mentioned on labels in 2017.

Proseccos may be made with two methods. The first method is the Charmat (Martinotti in Italian) and the traditional method (refermentation in bottiglia).

Good to Know Labeling Hints

Consumers should be aware of the prosecco labels. Superiore only applies to Spumante.  Rive is a hillside or or village or hamlet. The name of the village follows the word Rive. Cartizze Sub-Zone is located in the western part of the DOCG.

Prosecco 2

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

The Conegliano Valdobbiadene region is located about 45 miles from Venice. Tardi emphasized the diverse topographical nature of this small region. The vineyards may be found on flat areas or extreme hillside terraces, where, during harvest, baskets filled with grapes can be seen on wires transporting them up or down the hilly terrain. Of course, the grapes are hand harvested.

Grape Varieties for Prosecco

The large majority of grapes used for producing proseccos are of the Glera variety. Glera grapes must be 85% of the grapes in a bottle of prosecco. Other grape varieties that may be used in small proportions include: Verdiso, Perera, Bianchetta, Glera Lungo, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Of all these varieties, the proseccos we tasted this week were produced with Glera, although one of the wines also had Verdiso.


The DOC proseccos are from a larger region and the DOCG are for wines that are from a smaller designated area. The DOC proseccos tend to be a little less expensive than the DOCG proseccos. Neither designation should be used to determine whether it is a wine you may enjoy more than the other.

Tardi noted that the wines from Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG are distinctive compared to other Italian proseccos. He noted that “over the past few decades, prosecco has skyrocketed.” One of the slides he portrayed, showed a sign “Keep Calm and Drink Prosecco.”

Prosecco Tastings

We tasted the prosecco wines listed below along with our perceptions of each wine tasted.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra-Dry 2015 Produced by Val d’Oca, $14.00

This wine with 11% alcohol had a residual sugar of 16 g/l. The wine was a light yellow color with columns of bubbles. There was a small amount of mousse forming on the surface. The prosecco offered notes of apples, citrus and mineral. The mouthfeel was lively.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra-Day Produced by San Feletto, $17.00

With a 11.5% alcohol, the prosecco had a residual sugar of 13 g/l. The wine had a light yellow color with multiple columns of bubbles forming several small mousse on the surface. There were notes of citrus and apple. The mouthfeel was soft.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra-Dry Miraval Produced by Bellenda, $16.00

The alcohol was 11.5% and the residual sugar was 16 g/l. The yellow colored wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming several small mousse on the surface. There was a creamy mouthfeel. The wine offered notes of floral, citrus and mineral.

Valdobbiadene Proseeco Superirore DOCG Brut Producer Vettori, $16.00

This yellow colored wine offered multiple columns of bubbles forming multiple mousses on the surface. The prosecco offered notes of citrus and mineral. There was a lively mouthfeel.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Producer: Frassinelli, $12.00

This prosecco had 11% alcohol and 8 g/l. The yellow colored wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming multiple mousse on surface. Like the other proseccos, this wine had apple and mineral notes. There was a lively mouthfeel.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG G e G Millesimato 2015 Producer: De Faveri, $31.00

The wine had 11.5% alcohol with 6 g/l. The yellow colored wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a large mousse on the surface. The prosecco offered green apple notes and mineral with a smooth and lively mouthfeel.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut “Otreval” Zero zuccher (Rive di Guia 2015 Producer La Tordera, $20

This prosecco was produced with 90% Glera and 10% Verdiso. The wine had 12% alcohol and 0 g/l. The yellowed colored wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a small mousse on the surface. This prosecco offered notes of apple and pear. There was a lively mouthfeel. This prosecco was very dry and had mineral notes on the finish.

Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore di Cartizze Dry Producer Le Colture, $35.00

With 11% alcohol and 23 g/l, this yellow colored prosecco had multiple columns of bubbles forming a large mousse on the surface. There were notes of green apple, a lively mouthfeel and some sweetness.

Our final prosecco of the day was a bit more unusual from most proseccos. Le Vigne di Alice: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG Frizzante rifermentato in bottiglia “Col Fondo” 2005, $20.00, was a cloudy yellow color. This prosecco offered floral and grapefruit notes with few bubbles and no mousse. The mouthfeel had effervescence. This prosecco was produced with second fermentation in the bottle without disgorgement, which accounted for the cloudy appearance.

We enjoyed tasting these nine proseccos and learning about the region. In our final analysis we talked about the differences we found in the proseccos and agreed that we both preferred different proseccos that were available.

It’s That Cookie Time of the Year!

While we many of us are planning some great get-togethers for Thanksgiving, it is not too early to start making plans for the cookies and special treats for the whole holiday season. Today I am adding this recipe for shortbread to my list of treats to bake during the holidays. This particular recipe calls for 4 ounces of Pinot Noir. Of course, when you open the bottle for the recipe be sure to plan to enjoy the rest of the bottle for dinner that night!


Chocolate Almond Shortbread with Pinot Noir Dried Bing Cherry Puree


Chocolate Almond Shortbread:

8 ounces butter (at room temperature)
2 ounces granulated sugar
1 ounce powdered sugar
1 ounce cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces all purpose flour
1 ounce chopped almonds

Pinot Noir Dried Bing Cherry Puree:

8 ounces dried Bing cherries (or other Fruit)
4 ounces J Pinot Noir
2 ounces water


Chocolate Almond Shortbread

1. In mixer on low speed blend butter, sugars, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Then add flour, and nuts. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 of an inch.

2. Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour; this will make it easier to cut into desired shapes.

3. Bake 350º for 8-10 minutes.

Pinot Noir Dried Bing Cherry Puree

1. Combine all the above in small saucepan and bring to a boil, then adjust heat to low and cook until cherries are soft, about 10 minutes. Pour into blender and puree.

2. Allow mixture to cool then place in a pastry bag for piping.

Recipe provided by J Vineyards & Winery located in Healdsburg, California.

Christmas Idea for a Wine Lover!

3 Wine Trail Traveler books

3 Wine Trail Traveler books

Looking for delightful Christmas gift to please your favorite wine lover? Why not give the wine gift that can keep on giving? Choose a wine book!

Of course, we suggest one of the three books we wrote, or perhaps all three. The Wine Trail Traveler books are all available on the Wine Trail Traveler website. Order now so that you will receive the books before Christmas – just in time to be wrapped and sealed with a smile.

The wine books currently available are:

Georgia, Sakartvelo: The Birthplace of Wine

Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine

Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine Special Price: $14.00 plus shipping
(if shipping to Maryland 6% MD sales tax)

The country of Georgia is located to the east of the Black Sea between the Greater Caucasus Mountains and the Lesser Caucasus Mountains.  This is a land with a Mediterranean climate where wine, history, food and religion intermix. The people in this region have been making wine continuously for 8,000 years. Discover the qvevri winemaking method that has been used to make natural wine for centuries. Terry and Kathy take readers into Georgia’s culture with an emphasis on wine and history.

A Tourist's Guide

A Wine Tourist’s Guide

A Wine Tourist’s Guide: Visiting Tasting Rooms Special Price: $10.00 plus shipping
(if shipping to Maryland 6% MD sales tax)

This quick guide will help newcomers to the world of wine, as well as those more experienced wine enthusiasts. A Wine Tourist’s Guide covers tasting room expectations, etiquette, wine tasting, and wine aroma charts. Also included are some common wine myths and misconceptions. Readers will find a suggested wine tasting form, a discussion of common grape varieties, and suggestions on how to plan a trip to wineries.

A Wine Journey

A Wine Journey

A Wine Journey Special Price: $12.00 plus shipping
(if shipping to Maryland 6% MD sales tax)

The book continues with Terry’s and Kathy’s attempts of making wine, both at home and at wineries. Their journey recalls experiences they had while visiting and writing about over 850 wineries. Anyone can follow the same journey whether it involves wine learning, winemaking or wine travel. Discover the Sullivan’s journey in A Wine Journey, then go out and start or continue your wine journey.

To place your order, visit the Wine Traveler Bookstore online.

For fun we came up with a chart comparing the benefits of receiving a wine book compared with a bottle of wine. Check this out!


2016 Beaujolais Nouveau, November 17

Each year on the third Thursday of November a unique wine is released and celebrated around the world. This is known as Nouveau Beaujolais and began as a way for Beaujolais producers to get people and the industry aware of the potential of the current Beaujolais vintage. Around the world shops and restaurants are required to keep their Beaujolais wines under wraps until 12.01am on the third Thursday of November, when the wines are allowed to be poured and enjoyed.

For 2016, the Beaujolais Nouveau Day takes place Thursday November 17.

The Nouveau Beaujolais tradition began as a result of producers wanting people to be aware of the potential of new Beaujolais vintage months down the road. Of course, the Beaujolais  Nouveau celebrations are particularly well-known in France, but wine enthusiasts and wine lovers can find these celebrations in other countries.

According to the Beaujolais Nouveau Day website, “The wine actually originated about a century ago as a cheap and cheerful drink produced by locals to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The idea of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage was conceived and this attracted much media attention. By the 1970s, the race became a national event. The races spread to neighbouring countries in Europe in the 1980s, followed by North America, and in the 1990s, to Asia.”

Need to Know:

  • According to French law, the Beaujolais Nouveau wine is to be released each year at 12:01am on the third Thursday of November
  • The Beaujolais Nouveau wine are young, tend to be fruity without tannins.
  • These wines are not intended to be aged but should be enjoyed soon.
  • In France, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is celebrated with festivities including music and fireworks.
  • Beaujolais Nouveau is produced with the Gamay grape variety.
  • Grapes in the Beaujolais region are harvested by hand.

Beaujolais Nouveau Celebrations

Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival
Date: November 18
Location: Seattle, Washington
Sponsored by French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest
Website Information

16th Annual Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau 2016
(features a 3-course menu)
Date: Thursday, November 17
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Website Information

Child Link’s Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Fest
Date: Thursday, November 17
Location: LaGrange, Illinois
Website Information

Beaujolais Nouveau Party
Date: November 19
Location: New York, NY
Website Information

Beaujolais and Beyond Festival
Date: Thursday, November 17
Location: Denver, Colorado
Website Information

As Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2016 quickly approaches, check out festivities that may be taking place in your neighborhood.


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