Tuesday, 29. June 2010
We have visited the wineries in the Palisade, Colorado area a couple of times. During one of our stays we had the privilege of staying at the Wine Country Inn located within a stone’s throw of Interstate 70, which extends almost from the east coast to the west coast. We had a delightful time while at the Wine Country Inn.
Recently Jean Tally, owner, wrote that Wine Country Inn had received a special honor. In a Wine Enthusiast Magazine, June 2010 article, Sleeping with the Grapes the inn was selected as “of the best places to dine well, relax in comfort and contemplate the vines.” The article is available online at http://www.winemag.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Magazine/June-2010/Sleeping-with-the-Grapes/.
This summer the Wine Country Inn has a series of summer events, “Hot Summer Notes.” These events will feature live music by Project Groove. Visitors will discover tapas, informal courtyard dining, cool cocktails, wine, beer, great funk, blues and rock. If you have an opportunity check it out.
Anyone who is contemplating a visit to this delightful region of Colorado with photo opportunities of the Colorado River and Bookcliffs should look into staying at the Wine Country Inn, which has many amenities and seems to be reasonably priced. You can read our review at http://lodging.winetrailtraveler.com/colorado/winecountryinn.php. For more information: http://winetrailtraveler.com/listings/colorado/winecountryinn.php .
Tuesday, 29. June 2010
This is TravelTuesday, as Twitters like to call it, so here are some wine festival/events to consider traveling to in the U.S. Enjoy planning a trip to a wine festival. Many wine festivals offer an array of other activities including live music, arts & crafts to browse and perhaps buy, food to enjoy, short wine classes and camaraderie.
States included in this selection are New York, Ohio, Missouri, Florida and Michigan. Also, check out the wine events in “your own backyard.”
Finger Lakes Wine Festival http://www.flwinefest.com/ July 16-18, 2010
Hudson Wine Festival, Hudson, Ohiohttp://www.hudsonwinefestival.com/ July 16-18, 2010
Missouri Wine Festival http://www.visitesprings.com/Missouri_Wine_Festival.html Excelsior Springs, Missouri July 17, 2010
A Taste of the Space Coast, Food & Wine Fest http://www.atasteofevents.com/ Melbourne, Florida July 17
Sunrise Side Wine and Food Festival, at Harrisville Harbor, Huron Shores, Michigan http://huronshorescc.com/events/winefoodfest.htm July 17
Monday, 28. June 2010
Do you have plans for July 4th? If you’re planning a large get-together, how about encouraging everyone to bring a dish prepared with wine as an ingredient. If you are having difficulty coming up with these type of recipes check out the Wine Trail Traveler recipe section at http://winetrailtraveler.com/recipes/food.php. Here you will discover an array of over 150 recipes including appetizers, salads, beverages, entrees and desserts.
Picnic and Barbecue Suggestions
Assuming someone will bring a bottle of wine to the gathering, bring a corkscrew. If you are providing wine decide what you like best for a hot, summer day. Many wine lovers like a crisp, fruity wine for warm afternoons.
Whatever foods are brought to the picnic or barbecue, the advice that is usually given is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Add red and white-checkered tablecloths and flags for color.
Have plenty of sunscreen on hand.
Have a great time!
Sunday, 27. June 2010
Barrel Oak Winery located in northern Virginia is a winery that offers a range of events. Many of these events focus on a wide range of charities. Charitable events are labeled as “A PAWS FOR THE CAUSE BENEFIT.” In the recent past, including one today, events have included benefits for Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training (GRREAT), the Fauquier Family Shelter Services, the American Heart Association, Lucky Dog Adoption and Leeds Pine Ridge Project effort benefiting Native Americans living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Barrel Oak Winery is housed in a modern facility and the winery is one of the greenest wineries in Virginia. They also support access to organic foods. Check their events page for these events. As Barrel Oak Winery is a partner of Wine Trail Traveler we have enjoyed following their progress since their beginning in 2008. We are delighted that they contribute in so many ways to charity and the green environment. To find the winery’s calendar of events visit http://www.barreloak.com/events/index/event_calendar
When you have the chance, check out Barrel Oak Winery. Their website is available at http://www.barreloak.com/
Friday, 25. June 2010
I just finished reading an excellent article suggested by the website Drinklocalwine.com. The article Indigenous American Grape Varieties, A Primer by David Mark Brown is available on Plate Press. The author begins with the question, “Can American Vitis species produce wines that compare with those made from vinifera on a global stage?”
In this article, Brown emphasizes the six species in the Vitis genus, which are native to North America. The six included in the article are rotundifolia, vitis rupestris, vitis mustangensis, vitis labrusca, vitis riparia and vitis aestivalis. For the wine lover, look for names such as Muscadine, Scuppernong, Concord, Niagara, Baco Noir, Marechal Foch, Frontenac and Norton.
Brown included a photo of the oldest known grapevine in North America. It is a muscadine grapevine located on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. This immense grapevine is called the Mothervine.
I found Brown’s summary very interesting and agree with him. “So make an effort to discover which hybrids and native varieties are best suited to your region and sample the best that your local wineries have to offer. You may be surprised to find that your new favorite wine has no European heritage at all.”
As you visit local wineries be on the look out for some of these unusual wines and decide for yourself which ones you enjoy.
Thursday, 24. June 2010
When we finish a trip to visit wineries, the work begins. We returned from visiting two wineries in West Virginia and eleven in Ohio. Now we start to write articles, edit photos and assemble web pages. That should take us another week. At the same moment we are planning our next travels, this time to Washington. We plan to visit wineries near Seattle and in the Walla Walla region. Even after we complete the thirteen articles about the recent winery visits, we will continue to write related articles for Examiner.com and Suite101.
People like to point out that we have a nice job and that we do this full time. What they don’t see is the writing, editing and publishing part. Yes we get writers block. Although we set our own deadlines, we do try to stick to them. We even run into days that we can’t write at all because we let our list of chores pile up. That usually happens frequently the week after we return from a road trip.
Kathy can seem to write anytime of the day. I do my best writing from 5:00 am to 10:00 am. After that I should just go do something else like watch my Dornfelder grow and inspect the fruit and vines for black rot or some other vengeful disease. What is interesting is that we do enjoy the writing. Bringing to paper (or in our case a webpage) a visit to a winery or vineyard tasting room to share with thousands is challenging and fun. So on to the paper and pen. Although during the evening I am starting to use hands and the screen of an iPad.
Wednesday, 23. June 2010
Yesterday we spent a significant amount of time touring one of Ohio’s largest wineries. Raven’s Glenn Winery is very enjoyable. They provided us with a tour, tasting and dinner selections paired with many of their wines. A few acres of vineyards are located here on sandy soil and more are only five minutes away on a hillside with vines growing in clay soil.
Although Raven’s Glenn is a winery first, they also have a wonderful restaurant with a gift room. Many of the items on the menu include wine in the ingredients. We especially enjoyed the Zinfandel Chocolate Cake drizzled with chocolate.
The restaurant with a pavilion overlooks the Tuscarawas River providing a delightful ambiance. While visiting Ohio, be sure to visit Raven’s Glenn and check out all that they have to offer. The winery and restaurant are located in east central Ohio on U. S. Route 36. The Wine Trail Traveler review will be available next week.
Wednesday, 23. June 2010
Wine grape growers are faced with weather conditions that make grape selection for vineyards crucial. Growers simply cannot plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay and hope for the best. Fortunately several universities around the world create new hybrid grapes that have promising results in vineyards.
Cornell University at their Geneva, New York Agricultural Experiment Station developed a hybrid grape called Noiret that we are beginning to see in our travels. The grape produces a red wine that we tasted at Presque Isle Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania and recently tasted the grape in a dessert wine produced by Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant in West Lafayette, Ohio.
The Presque Isle Wine Cellars Noiret 2007, was a dark opaque purple. There was a pepper and spice aroma. The taste was smooth with black fruit and pepper. The finish had pepper with mild tannins. At Raven’s Glenn Winery, Noiret is used to make a Port-styled dessert wine called Scarlet Raven. It did not have the peppery tastes common with this grape. There was a dark berry jam fruit on the aroma and taste. There was no heat on this 20% alcohol dessert wine. Although sweet, there was enough acid on the finish to cut the sweetness.
If searching for wines made from Noiret also search for the spelling Noriet and NY73. This hybrid grape was created from a cross of the grape created by crossing NY33277 and Chancellor and then taking that grape and crossing with Steuben.
Tuesday, 22. June 2010
I read on Twitter a comment that a wine was overpriced. Then I began to think about what this statement means. It seems way too subjective. If one is not willing to pay more than $15 for a bottle of wine, is a $20 bottle of wine overpriced? Suppose the cost to produce a bottle of wine is $35, if someone who is willing to only pay $15 says that $35 bottle of wine is overpriced, is it really overpriced? What criteria are used to determine an overpriced bottle of wine?
This question requires more thought. For sake of argument, lets say that a price set for wine is the cost of producing the wine. I’d like to use the $35 figure for this example. One may claim that cost is too high (overpriced?), however if one uses premium grapes the cost to produce wine is greater. If one uses a double sorting table to sort grapes, the price increases. If the wine is aged in French oak, the price increases. If the wine is aged past the next harvest, the price increases. It is very possible to produce a $35 bottle of wine. Now the producer should be allowed a profit for the wine made. Now things get interesting. If the producer only makes $5 a bottle, that raises the price to $40. However the price will have to be much higher if the bottle has to go through the three-tier system of producer, distributor and retailer. The $35 bottle of wine may have to sell in a wine shop for close to $80. That will include the cost to produce the wine and a profit for the producer, distributor and retailer.
If the cost is over $80, one may have a case to say that it is overpriced. But can someone who only pays $15 for a wine legitmately state that the $80 bottle of wine is overpriced. I don’t think so. It appears that a criteria for overpriced wine is a wine that cost more than the price to produce it and a profit for the producer, distributor and retailer. Perhaps bloggers should take this criteria into account before making statements that may be factual or totally subjective.
Tuesday, 22. June 2010
Do you ever decide to buy a bottle of wine based on the name of the wine? Do some wine names entice you to wonder what’s inside that bottle? Have you heard of any of these wine names Educated Guess, Chaos Theory or Debauchery? These are actual wine names.
According to an article, It’s think ‘n drink as wine labels get quirky by Michelle Locke there are wine names that are “a new breed of quirkily named wines that aim to make you think while you drink.”
If you are interested in why Educated Guess or Chaos Theory were chosen by wineries as wine names read the article available on the wtop.com website.
What unusual wine names have you come across? How did you like the wine?