Tuesday, 30. June 2009
Willamette Valley wineries are celebrating July 4th with Red White and True Oregon wines. A large number of wineries will have special events or activities for visitors from July 3 to July 5. Experience games, picnics or BBQs depending on the wineries you choose to visit.
We had the opportunity to visit several wineries in Willamette Valley and discovered quality wines and friendly tasting rooms. Some of the wineries we visited included Cooper Mountain Vineyards, Duck Pond Cellars, Erath Winery, The Four Graces, Kramer Vineyards, Montinore Estate, Ponzi Vineyards and Sokol Blosser Winery. To find out more about these wineries go to Wine Trail Traveler Oregon articles. There are many other wineries in Willamette Valley that you may want to experience. Remember to ask about the special Riedel stemware made specifically for Oregon Pinot Noir wines.
Not only will you benefit from visiting these participating wineries but so will the Ecotrust’s Farm to School Initiative. On the website page announcing this celebration of July 4th a comment proclaims patriotism. “Be patriotic – support locally crafted wines AND healthy food & kids in local schools.”
Enjoy your vacation in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Monday, 29. June 2009
Last night we had our first of the summer season pizza on the grill. It’s easy to make, light and it has that fresh garden flavor that is missing from frozen pizza or pizza made with canned pizza sauce. Last night our pizza was topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil straight from the garden and diced fresh tomatoes.
While there are a number of red wines that would pair well with this seasonal pizza, we chose to have a Petite Syrah produced by Keyways Vineyard & Winery in Temecula Valley, California. This wine, Spellbound, offered a very fruit forward aroma of dark berries especially blackberries. The taste was smooth and the finish offered intense fruit flavor.
This wine is part of the Famina Vita series. The series was developed to celebrate women’s lives and support women. Other wines in the series include First Crush (Rosé of Syrah), Contentment (Rhone blend) and Sweet Surrender (late harvest Sauvignon Blanc.) The artistic labels are based on artwork by artist Jessel Miller. To see the original artwork, visit the Keyways tasting room.
To find out more about Keyways, read the article on Wine Trail Traveler.
Friday, 26. June 2009
“It takes a lot of beer to make a good wine.” This frequently heard comment is from several winemakers who believe that a good beer can be as satisfying as a good wine. Even if you don’t care for a beer, try a beer tasting.
This weekend there are a couple of beer festivals in Colorado. Now I know that Colorado wineries produce some wonderful wines so perhaps Colorado breweries offer some great beers. Check out these two Colorado festivals: Rails and Ales Brewfest, June 27, 2009, Alamosa, CO and Colorado Brewfest, June 27-28, 2009, Oldtown Fort Collins, Colorado.
While in Wisconsin earlier this month, we toured and tasted beer at Sprecher Milwaukee’s Original Microbrewery. Normally I do not care for beer but at Sprecher there were a couple of beers that I actually enjoyed tasting. Terry enjoyed several other beer tastings after our tour.
No matter where you live consider participating in a beer tasting. Beers do vary in aromas and flavors as wines do. Enjoy the experience.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, 25. June 2009
You may want to consider visiting wineries in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. It’s almost the end of June. Have you made your summer vacation plans yet? The region has a lot to offer. A couple of days ago Terry wrote an article about wineries in this popular vacation area of New York. The article has been reviewed by numerous online visitors. In case you are interested in visiting the Finger Lakes region of New York State, you may want to read this article online.
More information and photos about New York wineries is available on the Wine Trail Traveler website.
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
Wednesday, 24. June 2009
I enjoy receiving newsletters from wineries. Some are better than others but they all let readers know what’s happening at a particular time of the year at their winery. Some go above and beyond by also including recipes, wine information and dramatic photos.
One of my favorite winery newsletters is from Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan, Texas. Their newsletter is informative and uplifting as are the owners, Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo, who we met on our trip to Texas earlier this year.
Their most recent online newsletter arrived yesterday. It includes information on how to taste wine, events including what’s happening for July 4th and harvest contests. Visitors to the website can sign up on the Messina Hof’s home page.
To learn more about Messina Hof, check out the article on Wine Trail Traveler.
Tuesday, 23. June 2009
This month Vinopolis in London is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Several events are planned throughout the summer. If you are planning to be in London, consider a visit to Vinopolis, an experience you will always remember. Vinopolis is a museum and wine tasting center located under brick arches built in the 1800s.
Here are some of their summertime events.
June 30th Balloon Launch of 1,000 balloons - Each balloon has two tickets for a free tour at Vinopolis. Oz Clarke will be on-hand to launch the release of the balloons.
July and August: Wine & Dine specials for £19.99 – includes a tour ticket for a Vinopolis Grapevine self guided tour
Check out the Vinopolis website for more summer events.
If you would like more information about what a visit to Vinopolis is like, go to the Wine Trail Traveler Vinopolis article.
Monday, 22. June 2009
Sunset Splash was a demi (half-size) bottle of wine we had in our cellar. We decided to open it Friday afternoon and discovered how delightful it was. The color was a pale straw color. It was perfect for a warm, summer day. Door County Sunset Splash was a semi-sweet wine with 11.5 percent alcohol. The wine was delightfully refreshing and offered a pronounced fruity aroma. The taste was of pineapple, mango and banana with a finish that lingered.
Door Peninsula Winery in Wisconsin produces the wine. Sunset Splash has won several awards in competitions including at the 2009 International Eastern Wine Competition (Silver) and the 2009 Florida State Fair International Wine and Grape Juice Competition (Silver).
If you have the opportunity, give Sunset Splash from Door Peninsula Winery a taste.
Friday, 19. June 2009
Door County, Wisconsin has trolley tours, and one of these tours is a Premier Wine Tour. Since we were on a schedule we were not able to take part in the trolley ride but it looked like a great idea to us. We saw the trolleys at two of our winery stop Simon Creek Vineyard and Winery and Door Peninsula Winery. The bright red and yellow trolleys gleam in the sunshine. The Premier Wine Tour travels to four Door County wineries and includes a gourmet lunch. Tour tickets can be purchased at Orchard Country Winery. The tours for this summer have started and will end October 24, 2009.
This is a great concept for wineries to consider doing especially those that are located farther apart. Just relax, enjoy the scenery and leave the traveling to the trolley.
Wednesday, 17. June 2009
During our visit to Wisconsin wineries in June, we had incredible weather. Since this was our first visit to Wisconsin we were unsure as to what clothes to wear – would it be cold, cool or warm? We arrived on the first day with sweaters and a coat. It was not exactly the best choice; the weather was warm and comfortable with no humidity to speak of. As our visit progressed, the days continued both sunny and warm. We mentioned what a nice place to live to several winemakers and their immediate response was to talk about the cold winters in Wisconsin. At a winery near Madison, we learned that they had experienced five straight days of -30 degrees last winter. Another one said that people run from one warm building to another during the harsh winters.
So what kind of grapes can grow in Wisconsin? Depending on the area cool weather grapes and cold weather grapes can do well. For the most part vinifera grapes perform poorly and many winemakers prefer to source vinifera grapes from outside the state.
If you can tolerate and enjoy cold weather, Wisconsin has some beautiful farmland. You may want to consider a move to Wisconsin and plant a few grapevines in your yard.
Tuesday, 16. June 2009
There is a lot of controversy in the wine world about whether a fruit wine (produced with fruits other than grapes) is a wine or not. The dividing line may depend on whether or not you like or appreciate fruit wines. While many fruit wines are sweet, many are also available that are not sweet. We have come across fruit wines made from apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Probably one of the more unique fruit wines we discovered was on a trip in Wisconsin where a winery produced a Maraschino cherry wine. There were light maraschino nuances throughout the tasting.
Some wineries create a fruit wine by taking a traditional grape wine and adding fruit flavoring. The aroma on these is usually very fruity and the taste is fruity. However, I prefer a fruit wine that is made with the actual fruit.
There’s always a time and a place for different wines. I enjoy a fruit wine especially on a warm, summer day relaxing under the shade of a tree. However, with dinner I enjoy having a traditional grape wine.