Premier Pinot AVA Entices Wine Aficionados with Exclusive Tastings, Winemaker Dinner and More

2014 Pinot Classic email header image (2).jpgFor those who just can't swing a trip to France this May, the Russian River Valley is an obvious choice for some of the very best Pinot Noirs. Over Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25), this premier destination for wine and magical hospitality will host its annual celebration - the Pinot Classic. Comprising three separate events and opportunities to enjoy the abundance found in the Russian River Valley, the Pinot Classic truly does offer something for every style of wine drinker, from the scientifically minded, to the elegant connoisseur, to the weekend warrior who simply enjoys great wine and spectacular scenery. 

Five of the most compelling reasons to attend this year's festivities are detailed below:

1. You're a seasoned wine lover with a sophisticated palate.  Overall, more than 40 wineries will participate in the 2014 Pinot Classic, allowing guests to differentiate their tasting experiences with access to yet-to-be-released wines and exclusive barrel tastings. The elegant Paulée Dinner also presents a rare opportunity to enjoy favored wines shared from vintners' personal cellars.

2. You're NOT a seasoned wine lover with a sophisticated palate.  With more than 40 diverse wineries welcoming guests for unlimited tastings throughout the Valley, the Passport to Pinot (May 24 & 25) is the ideal time to sample, compare and expand your appreciation for good wine with insights from resident experts and proprietors.

3. You love wine, but you also really love food.
  Between vertical tastings comparing various vintages throughout the years, you'll also enjoy perfectly paired bites of some of the Russian River Valley's finest local foods.  Once you've visited the experts on their turf, proceed to DeLoach Vineyards for the Paulée feast, artfully prepared by Chef Michou Cornu of Boisset Family Estates. Think such delicacies as Omble Chevalier with grilled white asparagus and organic petit lapin with fallot mustard sauce and roasted shallot potatoes...

4. You geek out when it comes to viticulture.  The Russian River Valley AVA is a veritable smorgasbord of rich soils, varying micro-climates and distinctly nuanced wine-making techniques.  The Neighborhoods Seminar on May 24 at 10 a.m. features an expert-led panel discussing the distinguishing characteristics of three of the region's separate neighborhoods; how these are expressed in the wines produced in each. 

5. You're out to impress with a magical location to uncover.  Bring a date, your parents, your high school friends who voted you "most likely to... nothing," and splurge on the Pinot Classic experience. Buy a ticket to all of the weekend's festivities and you'll create some amazing Russian River Valley memories. 

Besides, the French don't even observe Memorial Day, so it's still just a two-day weekend there.

2014 Pinot Classic email footer image.jpg



Gloria Ferrer Catalan Festival

|
A Spanish Heritage of Wine, Music and Food



Transport yourself to the beauty and culture of Spain without the expense! Visit Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards this summer, July 19-20, 2014, for their annual Catalan Festival. This two day celebration was established by the Ferrer family of Spain to honor the opening of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in 1986, the first Catalan-owned winery in California.

Each day of the lively festival, guests will stroll Las Ramblas, replicating Barcelona's popular main street filled with the colors, smells and sounds of Spain.  Along the way they will sample savory tapas, enjoy paella and cooking demonstrations, and participate in educational seminars, cocktail demonstrations, food & wine pairings and a festive grape stomp.  Acclaimed Gloria Ferrer Carneros sparkling and estate varietal wines, as well as select wines from the Ferrer family's Spanish wineries, will be available for sipping. 

Those captivated by the mood may also learn to dance the traditional Sardana or learn about Havaneras. This year, music and entertainment will be provided by Makru Music and Sol Flamenco.  Finally, each year the handmade artistic replica of the Gegants de Mataró made specifically for Gloria Ferrer is presented during the festival. These 15-foot-tall paper mâché figures represent the Catalan Medieval King & Queen and are traditional to every Catalan town festival.

Tickets range from $60-90 per person and are on sale now at www.gloriaferrer.com or call the winery directly at (707)933-1917. The winery is located at 23555 Carneros Highway in Sonoma Wine Country. This is a popular event, so buy your tickets early!

Vintage Napa Valley 2012 TV Series

|
What are you watching on television lately? The Olympics, the ongoing drama at Downton Abbey or waiting for new episodes of Scandal? What about VINTAGE: Napa Valley 2012?

Step outside the box and watch a new 6-part series that highlights the winemaking process and the glorious 2012 harvest season at three different Napa Valley wineries - Markham Vineyards, Chimney Rock Winery, and Rutherford Hill.

vintageNapaValley2012_TvSeries.jpgIn 2012, Mother Nature produced the "perfect" growing season in California's Napa Valley -- yielding a rare combination of quality fruit and an abundant crop load. Growers and winemakers across the Valley expressed high expectations for a classic year that would surely produce epic wines.  This outstanding vintage sets the backdrop for the new six-part public television series VINTAGE: NAPA VALLEY 2012.  Each half-hour episode takes viewers into three renowned Napa Valley wineries and the lives of the people who make the wine. Watch video trailer

"VINTAGE is a unique and engaging concept, and I am very pleased APT has agreed to distribute the program," said Daniel Soles, chief content officer for WTTW. "I believe the viewers will be invested in stories of the harvest," he added.

"Harvest is the most action-packed part of the winemaker's year, when some of the most important, and nail biting, decisions need to be made," says Peter Backeberg, the show's creator and producer. "We were granted fantastic access to follow the winemakers and their teams and I'm sure the viewers will enjoy the ride," he added.

The series started in early January in some areas like Chicago, but you can still catch the last few episodes. Be sure to check your local listings. Visit www.vintageseries.com for more information, details, and videos.

Mendocino County Winemaking Legend John Parducci Dies

|
Winemaking legend John Parducci, a champion of Mendocino County viticulture for the better part of eight decades, died Tuesday at his home east of Ukiah. He was 96.

Parducci, who traveled alone cross-country at the age of 14 to sell his family's grapes during Prohibition, was the first to put Mendocino County and, later, the Anderson Valley, on wine labels.

Family and friends described him as a skilled winemaker and great salesman who helped put his home county on the winemaking map.

"I would call him the godfather of Mendocino wine country," said Mendocino County Supervisor Carre Brown, a rancher and longtime friend of Parducci.

Click Here to read full story on Press Democrat.

----


The Perfect Pair on Valentine's Day

|
by Kathy Babcock, healdsburg.com

Ahhh, Valentine's Day...the veritable sweetheart day that arrives annually, ready or not.  Set aside for romance, flowers, music, perhaps a cozy fire...but, along with it, comes the daunting task of figuring out a sexy menu for two.  Not a problem when Lambert Bridge Winery and Chef Bruce Riezenman put their considerable pairing skills together and create the ultimate luscious offering for your seductive pairing. 

Food and Bottle shot-Lam Bridge.png
Put the apron away and retire your whisk for now (no one likes a tired sweetheart) and head to Healdsburg for the most romantic treat of all.  Fall in love with the bucolic vineyard hills, the quaint but oh-so-hip plaza with abundant shopping, art galleries and acclaimed restaurants, then take your special someone to the gorgeous candlelit redwood Barrel Room at Lambert Bridge; tastings available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11 am, 1 pm & 3:30 pm by reservation (try to get in a hello to the resident sommelier, Summer Jeffus while you're there).  Enjoy their expertly paired unique flights with artisan small bites, prepared by Chef Riezenman, owner of Park 121 restaurant, Park Avenue Catering Co., and a foremost speaker on the subject of food & wine pairing (he's even developed an app for it:  pairit! with over 1,000 dishes and 20,000 pairings).

This experience is sure to please your special someone. Then impress them again by preparing some of the delights of your day in Healdsburg at home, with their inspired menu.  Valentine's Day will give new meaning to a perfect pair.

Categories

Archives