Friday, July 22, 2016

Check out Livermore Valley's newest winery, Leisure Street



Leisure Street tasting room opened this past March at 503 Leisure Street which is just off Vasco Road in an industrial zone a stone’s throw from I-580.  The owners are insurance brokers Rick and Kelly Volpatti.  In fact when they decided to open their winery, they moved their insurance offices from downtown Livermore to a site next door to the winery. 

Kelly and Rick have always loved wine and a few years ago Steve Burman of 3 Steves winery suggested that she try to make her own wine.  They jumped at this chance and found that winemakers of Livermore Valley are a family with a passion for making wine that reflects the great style and variety of Livermore Valley.  Several winemakers were there to help her produce her first Chardonnay.  Besides the Steve’s of 3 Steves, she had help from Mark Clarin, the award winning winemaker at McGrail, plus Collin Cranor of Nottingham Cellars and Rhonda Wood of Wood Family.  They all provided her an education in winemaking and in crafting her wines.  They have grown from a half of ton of Chardonnay that first year to 5, 8, 12, and now 18 tons of grapes, resulting in over 1000 cases.  They have also picked up several barrels of wine from the Thomas Coyne Winery estate, especially some of the great Rhone style grapes that Thomas used to produce. 

Now as new winemakers, owning their own insurance brokerage, developing their winemaking skills and building two companies simultaneously, Rick and Steve definitely are not on Leisure Street yet in their careers. 


Their 2013 GSM with 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, a very nice Rhone style blend wine.  I hope you enjoy the nice blend of fruit on the nose and the palate with cherry and blueberry, combined with the spice of the Syrah and backed up by the earthiness of the Mourvedre.

A fantastic Taste Our Terroir in Livermore Valley

The 2016 Pairing Competition of Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, took place from July 221, provided food and wine lovers a chance to check out the best of Livermore Valley.  This event was sold out and 700 attendees got to sample wines and food from local wineries and restaurants.  Judges Deborah Parker Wong of The Tasting Panel Magazine, culinary instructor and author Linda Carruci and wine writer and educator Fred Swan tasted 18 gourmet food and wine pairings at Livermore Valley’s Taste Our Terroir event. In addition, guests had the chance to taste all 18 pairings and then cast votes for People’s Choice awards for Best White and Best Red Pairings.  The winners were:
 
Best Classic Pairing: Rodrigue Molyneaux and Gan Restaurant
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux 2013 Chateau Molyneaux Merlot, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Garry Rodrigue)
  • Wedding Cheeks with a Charred Korean Pepper Soubise, Crisp Potato and Pickled Red Daikon (chef: Peter Jee-Oh Chung )

Most Innovative Pairing: Dante Robere Vineyards and Lazy Dog
  • Dante Robere 2013 Roberitage, 50% Syrah 50% Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley (winemakers: Dan Rosenberg and Bob Bossi)
  • Minced Chicken in Lettuce Spears with a Sweet Hoisin Sauce (chef: Adrian Rodrigues) 
Judges' Best Pairing: Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
  • Wente Vineyards 2014 Small Lot Serenity, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Karl D. Wente)
  • Berkshire Pork Sausage with Bing Cherry Mostarda and Riesling Fermented Kraut (chef: Mike Ward)

The coveted People’s Choice Awards were given to:

Best White Wine Pairing: Longevity Wines and Johnny Garlic’s
  • Longevity Wines 2015 Pinot Blanc, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Phil Long)
  • Won Ton Taco with Ahi Tuna, Mango Jicama Salsa, Wasabi Cream and Eel Sauce (chef: Ulises Rodriguez)

Best Red Wine Pairing: McGrail Vineyards & Winery and Beets Hospitality Group 
  • McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Mark Clarin)
  • 12-Hour House Smoked Dry Rub Brisket with Homemade Smoky Paprika Pimento Cheese in a Crispy Risotto Shell (chef: Clay Brunton)

Over the following three days wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Most of these events were sell-outs.


A fantastic Taste Our Terroir in Livermore Valley

The 2016 Pairing Competition of Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, took place from July 221, provided food and wine lovers a chance to check out the best of Livermore Valley.  This event was sold out and 700 attendees got to sample wines and food from local wineries and restaurants.  Judges Deborah Parker Wong of The Tasting Panel Magazine, culinary instructor and author Linda Carruci and wine writer and educator Fred Swan tasted 18 gourmet food and wine pairings at Livermore Valley’s Taste Our Terroir event. In addition, guests had the chance to taste all 18 pairings and then cast votes for People’s Choice awards for Best White and Best Red Pairings.  The winners were:
 
Best Classic Pairing: Rodrigue Molyneaux and Gan Restaurant
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux 2013 Chateau Molyneaux Merlot, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Garry Rodrigue)
  • Wedding Cheeks with a Charred Korean Pepper Soubise, Crisp Potato and Pickled Red Daikon (chef: Peter Jee-Oh Chung )

Most Innovative Pairing: Dante Robere Vineyards and Lazy Dog
  • Dante Robere 2013 Roberitage, 50% Syrah 50% Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley (winemakers: Dan Rosenberg and Bob Bossi)
  • Minced Chicken in Lettuce Spears with a Sweet Hoisin Sauce (chef: Adrian Rodrigues) 
Judges' Best Pairing: Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
  • Wente Vineyards 2014 Small Lot Serenity, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Karl D. Wente)
  • Berkshire Pork Sausage with Bing Cherry Mostarda and Riesling Fermented Kraut (chef: Mike Ward)

The coveted People’s Choice Awards were given to:

Best White Wine Pairing: Longevity Wines and Johnny Garlic’s
  • Longevity Wines 2015 Pinot Blanc, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Phil Long)
  • Won Ton Taco with Ahi Tuna, Mango Jicama Salsa, Wasabi Cream and Eel Sauce (chef: Ulises Rodriguez)

Best Red Wine Pairing: McGrail Vineyards & Winery and Beets Hospitality Group 
  • McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Mark Clarin)
  • 12-Hour House Smoked Dry Rub Brisket with Homemade Smoky Paprika Pimento Cheese in a Crispy Risotto Shell (chef: Clay Brunton)

Over the following three days wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Most of these events were sell-outs.


A fantastic Taste Our Terroir in Livermore Valley

The 2016 Pairing Competition of Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, took place from July 221, provided food and wine lovers a chance to check out the best of Livermore Valley.  This event was sold out and 700 attendees got to sample wines and food from local wineries and restaurants.  Judges Deborah Parker Wong of The Tasting Panel Magazine, culinary instructor and author Linda Carruci and wine writer and educator Fred Swan tasted 18 gourmet food and wine pairings at Livermore Valley’s Taste Our Terroir event. In addition, guests had the chance to taste all 18 pairings and then cast votes for People’s Choice awards for Best White and Best Red Pairings.  The winners were:
 
Best Classic Pairing: Rodrigue Molyneaux and Gan Restaurant
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux 2013 Chateau Molyneaux Merlot, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Garry Rodrigue)
  • Wedding Cheeks with a Charred Korean Pepper Soubise, Crisp Potato and Pickled Red Daikon (chef: Peter Jee-Oh Chung )

Most Innovative Pairing: Dante Robere Vineyards and Lazy Dog
  • Dante Robere 2013 Roberitage, 50% Syrah 50% Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley (winemakers: Dan Rosenberg and Bob Bossi)
  • Minced Chicken in Lettuce Spears with a Sweet Hoisin Sauce (chef: Adrian Rodrigues) 
Judges' Best Pairing: Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
  • Wente Vineyards 2014 Small Lot Serenity, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Karl D. Wente)
  • Berkshire Pork Sausage with Bing Cherry Mostarda and Riesling Fermented Kraut (chef: Mike Ward)

The coveted People’s Choice Awards were given to:

Best White Wine Pairing: Longevity Wines and Johnny Garlic’s
  • Longevity Wines 2015 Pinot Blanc, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Phil Long)
  • Won Ton Taco with Ahi Tuna, Mango Jicama Salsa, Wasabi Cream and Eel Sauce (chef: Ulises Rodriguez)

Best Red Wine Pairing: McGrail Vineyards & Winery and Beets Hospitality Group 
  • McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley (winemaker: Mark Clarin)
  • 12-Hour House Smoked Dry Rub Brisket with Homemade Smoky Paprika Pimento Cheese in a Crispy Risotto Shell (chef: Clay Brunton)

Over the following three days wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Most of these events were sell-outs.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Santa Cruz Mountains wineries invite wine lovers for Passport in July

Santa Cruz Mountains is a unique treasure in the South Bay with a mixture of wonderful wines and beautiful scenery.  A drive through the mountains on Passport day delivers a relaxing afternoon as you explore the wines in this wild region.  It is home to over fifty great wineries producing legendary wines.  Take a drive through the idyllic Santa Cruz Mountains on Saturday July 16 Noon to 5:00 p.m. to visit some of the small wineries hidden among the trees.  Passport is always a great time to visit Santa Cruz Mountains wineries - from Half Moon Bay to Gilroy - your experience is bound to be unique and memorable. Passport holders will be invited to tour the facilities, meet the winemakers, and sample the fruits of their labors - including special wines poured only for participants in the Passport Program! From mountain top vistas to passing llamas along the winding drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains each winery has a flavor that will leave you wanting more.

Information about Santa Cruz Mountains Passports
  • Passport Days occurs four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November.
  • Wineries generally closed to the public are only open on Passport Days.
  • Passport is your opportunity to meet our legendary Winemakers of the Santa Cruz Mountains and taste some fabulous terroir driven wines.
  • Use the MAP in the Passport as a rough guide only. Please make sure to read the directions for each individual winery.
  • At each winery you visit, a page of your Passport will be given a unique commemorative stamp.
  • You must have your Passport to have your tasting fee waived at each participating winery.
  • Many wineries have limited access and parking. Before hiring a stretch limousine or bus, call the wineries you propose to visit and make arrangements.
  • Passports can be purchased at any participating winery.


For more information, or to order your passport, visit the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers web site at http://scmwa.com/event/july-2016-passport/  You can also purchase a Passport at any participating winery.

Participating Wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains Alfaro Family Vineyards, Armitage Wines, Bargetto Winery, Beauregard Vineyards, Big Basin Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Bottle Jack Winery, Bruzzone Family Vineyard, Burrell School Vineyards, Byington Winery, Cinnabar Vineyards, Clos LaChance Wines, Clos Tita Winery, Cooper-Garrod Vineyards, Dancing Creek Winery, Domenico Wines, Equinox Wine Cellars, Fellom Ranch Vineyards, House Family Winery, La Honda Winery, La Rusticana Vineyards, Left Bend Winery, Loma Prieta Winery, McHenry Vineyard, Michael Martella Wines, MJA Vineyards, Muccigrosso Vineyards, Muns Vineyard, Naumann Vineyards, Nicholson Vineyards, Odonata, Poetic Cellars, Portola Vineyards, Radonich Brothers Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Roudon-Smith Winery, Russian Ridge Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, Ser, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Silvertip Vineyards, Stockwell Cellars, Storrs Winery, The Mountain Winery, Villa del Monte Winery, Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery, Woodside Vineyards, Wrights Station Vineyard & Winery and Zayante Vineyards.

For directions and to make sure where each winery is pouring for Passport, visit the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers website.

For more information: 


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Taste of Terroir coming to Livermore Valley Wine Country July 21-24

The premier food and wine affair for Livermore Valley’s, Taste Our Terroir, is returning to Livermore Valley July 21-24 as the historic region celebrates and educates wine lovers about its unique wines.  Over the four days, Livermore Valley wineries will offer several different events, including the popular food and wine pairing competition, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and vineyard tours.  All event tickets are on sale now at www.LVwine.org.

Taste Our Terroir 2016 will begin Thursday night, July 21, 6-9pm, with the region’s signature event, the annual “Quest for Pairing Excellence” at Casa Real in Pleasanton.  Wine and food judges participate in a blind tasting and present awards to the winning teams.  Be sure to cast your vote for the People's Choice White and Red pairing awards. on.  VIP tickets ($125 until sold out) grant access to the event one hour early. General admission tickets are $85 in advance and $95 after July 10 at www.LVwine.org. This event sells out every year—there will be no tickets available at the door.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Visit https://www.lvwine.org/event-lineup/2248/Taste_Our_Terroir/Lineup.html for tickets and details on all events.

For information:






32nd Annual Winesong coming to Mendocino Coast

Tickets are now on sale for the 32nd Annual Winesong event — a spectacular weekend of award-winning wine, fabulous food, fine art, music, merriment, and charitable giving. Produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, the main event – featuring a grand food and wine tasting and a live and silent auction – takes place at the gorgeous Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens on Saturday, September 10th, and on Friday, September 9th, the nearby Little River Inn will host ‘A Pinot Noir Celebration’ showcasing local winemakers. Proceeds from both events go towards supporting the local Mendocino Coast District Hospital that serves so many in the area.

Sponsors are a vital part of any event - they help offset costs of production, provide auction lots, and add value to the attendees’ experience.  Some sponsors have been with Winesong for years, while others are new to the family, but all contribute to helping to raise essential funds for the rural Hospital. This year, there is a wonderful mix of local, national, and international sponsors that will assist in making the 2016 Winesong our best event yet!

The main sponsor, Celebrity Cruises, is proud to support Winesong and the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation for the second year as part of their commitment to enhancing the life of the collective community here in Northern California. Celebrity Cruises is also excited to participate in such a unique food and wine tasting event, as the modern luxury experience they offer on their ships is focused on culinary excellence and an extensive selection of wines and handcrafted cocktails.

A host of additional local and national businesses will also be sponsoring this year’s event, including Harvest Market, North Coast Brewing Company, JetBlue, Mendo Lake Credit Union, The Coast FM – KOZT, Savings Bank of Mendocino, Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc., Safeway, CalStar, Air Ambulance, and Birchware Compostable Utensils. For further information the 2016 Winesong event sponsors, please visit http://winesong.org/sponsors-2/.

In addition, Winesong recently announced the revered artist and long-time Winesong supporter, the late Lowell Herrero, as this year’s Artist of the Year, and named Grace Family Vineyards as the 2016 Honored Winery.

Further details regarding the Winesong events:

A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers
Friday, September 9, 2016 | 1 to 4 p.m.
The weekend kicks off with a prestigious Pinot Noir tasting, presented by Winesong and hosted by Little River Inn. Attendees will enjoy Pinot Noir from renowned Anderson Valley, along with wines from other award-winning pinot regions, alongside tastes of Little River Inn’s finest culinary offerings. General Admission Tickets for A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers are $75 per person.

Wine & Food Grand Tasting in the Gardens
Saturday, September 10, 2016 | 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond. You can sample beer, spirits, and food from 50 of Mendocino County’s finest purveyors. The tasting is accented by various musical groups performing a variety of styles including jazz, classical, blues, calypso and folk rock. General Admission Tickets with festival seating at auction and access to wine and food tasting are $150 per person.

Silent & Live Auctions
Saturday, September 10, 2016 | SILENT: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; LIVE: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The centerpiece of Winesong weekend is the Charity Auction, featuring both a silent and live auction.  More than 200 lots will be on offer, featuring spectacular wines from the world’s most prestigious wine producers, rare vintages, large format bottles and special vertical and horizontal collections, as well as original art from acclaimed California artists (including Lowell Herrero) and highly coveted international and domestic vacation packages. Auction Reserve Tickets with assigned seating under the auction tent (w/catered lunch) and access to wine and food tasting are $250 per person.

Tickets to all events are available for purchase at: https://winesong.ejoinme.org/purchase-tickets-winesong-2016.

For further information, please visit http://winesong.org or call (707) 961-4688.

About Winesong & the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation
Winesong is produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Its mission is to help the small rural Hospital provide the best possible medical care to residents as well as the many visitors to the Mendocino Coast. Winesong proceeds have enabled the Hospital to purchase chemotherapy equipment, portable ultrasound machines for the Emergency Room as well as a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Center, Cardiology Equipment, and most recently, a Bedside Medicine Verification System.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Barefoot Spritzers refreshed in a can

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly has long been known of producers of fun and friendly wines.  Their motto is “Get Barefoot and have a Great Time.”  In 2013 they launched their newest product, Barefoot Refresh, a light-bodied spritzer that’s perfect for outdoor occasions like pool parties, days at the beach and backyard barbecues. 

But you cannot always take your favorite spritzer to the beach or pool party if it is in a glass bottle.  So Barefoot introduced the new Spritzer can.  As they say, they provide “Your favorite wine, refreshed in a can.”  In cans, you can bring your Barefoot Spritzer to any of your outdoor events, no need for a corkscrew, thus, no glass, no opener and no problem!

The Crisp White Spritzer Is made with Chenin Blanc and Riesling grapes and delivers the aromas and flavors peach, lemon-lime and crisp apple.  It only has 6.5% alcohol and is delightful on a hot summer day at the beach.

The Summer Red Spritzer is made with Moscato, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir grapes that together give you aromas and flavors of raspberries, orangs and ripe berries.  It also has 6.5% alcohol and is nicely balanced as a refreshing summer wine.

For more information:  Barefoot Wine Spritzers

Anaba Wines - elegant wines from Sonoma



Anaba is named for the anabatic winds that come off the bay which are driven by the heating of the slope the warm wind become intense. The air over the top of the slop is now warmer than air at a similar altitude. Anabatic winds are very useful to soaring glider pilots you see around Carneros. As they winds journey up the slope they form a sweet spot over the Anaba vineyards providing a more temperate climate that slows the ripening process, producing robust flavors and distinctive varietal characteristics.

Not only do the winds empower the vines, but Anaba Wines also uses the winds to power the winery. In 2009 Anaba Wines became the first winery in Northern California to utilize wine power when the owner, John Sweazey installed a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine on the property to harness these winds. The wind turbine generates electricity for the tasting room, storage area, office operations and irrigation pumps for two vineyards. The wind turbine also provides power for the electric car charging station at the tasting room.

Anaba wines are handcrafted from the best Rhone and Burgundian grape varieties grown at the estate vineyards in Sonoma County.

The 2013 Anaba Viognier from Sonoma Valley comes from the Landa Vineyard, located in the shadows of the eastern hills in Sonoma Valley.  You will love the iconic aromas of white flowers that lead on to lemongrass and minerality.  As you taste the wine, enjoy the multiple layers of flavors of melon, candied lemon peel and minerality.  It is nicely balanced with a medium plus finish:  The price is $28.

The 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a premium wine sourced from exceptional vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA.  Grapes are incorporated from select lots from Roberts Road Vineyard, Dutton Ranch, Las Brisas Vineyard, Moore Ranch and Simpatico Ranch.  The result is a wine that is complex and interesting.  It is loaded with rich and lively notes of red plum, sweet red cherries, baking spices and toasty oak.  This carries on to the palate where you will enjoy cherry, plum and wild raspberry.  It is a nicely balanced wine with a long finish.  The price is $36.


For more information: Anaba Wines

Anaba Wines - elegant wines from Sonoma


Anaba is named for the anabatic winds that come off the bay which are driven by the heating of the slope the warm wind become intense. The air over the top of the slop is now warmer than air at a similar altitude. Anabatic winds are very useful to soaring glider pilots you see around Carneros. As they winds journey up the slope they form a sweet spot over the Anaba vineyards providing a more temperate climate that slows the ripening process, producing robust flavors and distinctive varietal characteristics.

Not only do the winds empower the vines, but Anaba Wines also uses the winds to power the winery. In 2009 Anaba Wines became the first winery in Northern California to utilize wine power when the owner, John Sweazey installed a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine on the property to harness these winds. The wind turbine generates electricity for the tasting room, storage area, office operations and irrigation pumps for two vineyards. The wind turbine also provides power for the electric car charging station at the tasting room.

Anaba wines are handcrafted from the best Rhone and Burgundian grape varieties grown at the estate vineyards in Sonoma County.

The 2013 Anaba Viognier from Sonoma Valley comes from the Landa Vineyard, located in the shadows of the eastern hills in Sonoma Valley.  You will love the iconic aromas of white flowers that lead on to lemongrass and minerality.  As you taste the wine, enjoy the multiple layers of flavors of melon, candied lemon peel and minerality.  It is nicely balanced with a medium plus finish:  The price is $28.

The 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a premium wine sourced from exceptional vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA.  Grapes are incorporated from select lots from Roberts Road Vineyard, Dutton Ranch, Las Brisas Vineyard, Moore Ranch and Simpatico Ranch.  The result is a wine that is complex and interesting.  It is loaded with rich and lively notes of red plum, sweet red cherries, baking spices and toasty oak.  This carries on to the palate where you will enjoy cherry, plum and wild raspberry.  It is a nicely balanced wine with a long finish.  The price is $36.


For more information: Anaba Wines

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc is pure New Zealand


Nikola Nobilo comes from a long line of winemakers, calling upon over 300 years of tradition when he came to New Zealand from Croatia in 1943.  As he planted his first vines, he turned his dream of championing premium New Zealand varietals into pure classic wines of distinct regional character.  Nobilo vineyards now span New Zealand from Marlborough to Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and beyond.  Now, Nobilo and Nobilo Icon wines have international fame and awards, particularly the classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 

The Nobilo Regional Collection 2015 Sauvignon Blanc represents the best of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand with classic flavors you expect from a Marlborough wine.  Most of the fruit is from the Awatere Valley vineyards that provide the crisp, fresh citrus flavors and then small amounts of fruit from Marlborough’s Wairau, Southern and Waihopai valleys, adding in layers of tropical fruit. This pale yellow wine delights you with aromas of freshly cut grass along with honeydew melon, jasmine and citrus.  On the palate you are treated to flavors of ripe tropical fruit with notes of peaches and pairs.  This would pair nicely with lemon herb chicken, summer salads and light seafood dishes.

Nobilo Icon is the flagship wine collection of Nobilo Wines.  The Nobilo Icon 2015 Sauvignon Blanc lives up to your highest expectations of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  The grapes primarily come from the renowned Castle Cliffs vineyard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley.  This vineyard runs from the foothills to the coast with cool invigorating Antarctic winds and glacial gravel soil.  You will be treated to aromas of citrus and wet stone and a touch of floral notes.  On the palate it delivers fresh and lively flavors of lemon and white stone fruit, with juicy acidity and minerality. 


For more information:  Nobilo Wines

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Miner Family Winery unveils Emily's Cuvee

The 2013 Emily’s Cuvee is an eponymous offering in remembrance of Emily Miner, cofounder of Miner Family Winery who lost her battle with lung cancer in 2011. This blend is as expressive and elegant. They honor her by crafting a decadent and rich wine layered with aromas of black fruit and hints of mocha, espresso and toasted oak. This is truly an iconic Napa Valley wine for a truly iconic woman.  This blend is from the various Napa vineyards and is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.  It has been aged for 21 months in 55% new French Oak barrels. 

Miner is a dynamic family-owned winery tucked along the eastern hills of the Oakville appellation in the heart of Napa Valley. Founded in 1998 by Dave and Emily Miner, Miner Family Winery crafts reserve-style wines by sourcing fruit from Napa Valley and other specially selected California vineyards.

Winemaker Stacy Vogel uses a combination of old world winemaking techniques and modern technology to make wines that reflect the unique characteristics of individual vineyards or “terroir” where specific varietals grow best. This fusion of superb vineyard sites and thoughtful winemaking allows Miner to deliver elegant, expressive wines.  The suggested price is $50.

As a tribute to Emily Miner and to continue the fight against cancer, the Miner Family will be donating 10% of sales of Emily’s Cuvee to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  The foundation was formed by ESPN and Jim Valvano in 1993, and aims to find faster solutions and better answers to fight cancer.  Since its founding the V Foundation has awarded more than $150 million in cancer research grants nationwide.

Lung cancer alone kills more Americans every year than the next three most common cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.  And one in five women who contract it will be non-smokers.

“Emily’s diagnosis of lung cancer in 2008 was a big blow to our family and community as she had never in her life smoked cigarettes,” said David Miner, Owner of Miner Family Winery and Emily’s husband.  “She fought her four-year battle with dedication and conviction and was the honoree at the V Foundation Wine Celebration in 2009, when more than $1 million was raised for lung cancer in her name.  I know she’d be proud to see that we are continuing to fight this deadly disease.”

“Emily and Dave Miner were one of the first donors to the V Foundation Wine Celebration years before Emily was diagnosed with lung cancer,”  Julie Allegro, Founder and Chairwoman, V Foundation Wine Celebration.  “Throughout her fight, she lived by the mantra ‘Never Give Up’ and was a passionate spokesperson for additional cancer funding.  Emily was a wonderful person inside and out and her spirit will live on in us as we continue to fight for a cure.”

For more information:  Miner Family Winery



Carpene Malvolti - a family passion for over 145 years

Passion, tradition, research and innovation have been part of Carpenè Malvolti as fathers passed down their knowledge to sons for over 145 years.  It was founded in 1868 by Antonio Carpenè, a forerunner in the application of biology to the art of wine making.  Antonio, in contact with the great scientists of the century, Pasteur and Koch, published practical and theoretical tracts on the subject of wine making, which for many years was considered classical texts on the subject.  In 1873, at Conegliano, he established the first Oenology school in Italy dedicated to the study of grape growing and wine making.  Today’s custodian of the family traditions and expertise is the great-grandson of the founder, Etile Carpenè Jr. 

At the forefront of innovation, technique and style, Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco di Conegliano DOCG has been the standard bearer of the forward thinking wine approach so emblematic of Italy’s most modern wine producing region.  The superior qualtiy of the Prosecco grape, and that of Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco DOCG, comes from hillside vineyards of typical red flaky soil, limestone marl and grey-green chalk.  Located about an hour’s drive from Venice, these slopes are often very steep and so the care of the entire production process of the vineyard, including harvesting, is accomplished by hand.   This guarantees the utmost quality of the raw material.  Thirteen decades of tradition, effort and commitment have guaranteed the highest level of quality.  Carpenè Malvolti was the first, in Italy and the world, to perfect and promote the production of “method charmat”, or sparkling wine, in large vats.

As you taste the Carpene Malvolti 1868 Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG you will enjoy the aromas of bread crusts and pear fruit.  On the palate savor the delicate pear fruit with a nice full long finish.  This wine is ideal as an aperitif and excellent with fish.  The suggested price is $18.99


For more information:  Carpenè Malvolti

Bokisch Vineyards delivers the whites for the summer

Bokisch Vineyards recently released their summer series of white wines, perfect for those long hot days of summer.  These crisp, refreshing 2015 white wines were from the earliest harvest on record for the Bokisch family.  The Verdelho came in on July 27th.  All of the wines have fantastic flavors and natural acidity.  The summer whites including the following wines from Bokisch.

The 2015 Albarino from Terra Alta Vineyard delivers great aromas of tangerine, pink grapefruit and orange zest with orange blossom and Magnolia blossoms coming in at the end.  It delivers a bit of the salt air quality you expect in Spanish Albariños.  On the palate you will enjoy the flavors of tart orange rind, kiwi and key lime pie with a long lingering finish.  Price is $18.

Try the 2015 Albarino from Las Cerezas Vineyard to enjoy a smoother neutral oak aged Albarino that still delivers the luscious tropical notes of lychee fruit, pineapple and mandarin.   Price is $18.

You can always count on bright flavors from a Garnacha Blanca and the 2015 Garnacha Blanca from Vista Luna vineyards is no exception.  On the nose you will enjoy the aromas of honeysuckle, honeydew melon and dried apple.  The lush full bodied flavors include melon, peach pie and lemon sorbet.  The price is $18.

The 2015 Rosado Terra Alta Vineyard wine is made with 99% Garnacha and 1% Graciano, producing a dry Spanish style Rose with a light salmon color and notes of strawberry, watermelon, pink grapefruit and a touch of caramel apple.  The price is $16.

You do not often find a good Verdejo in California, but you will discover that Marcus Bokisch can produce the best in his Lodi vineyards.  The 2015 Verdejo from Clay Station Vineyard reveals aromas and flavors of fresh honeydew melon, Asian pear and hints of fennel and tonic.  As you enjoy the medium bodied wine you will detect some nice minerality with flavors of honey mead, pear, key lime and plantain.  The price is $18.

Verdelho is a famous Spanish and Portuguese varietal often found in wines from the Azores and Madeira.  The 2015 Verdelho from Vista Luna Vineyard is a zesty and fresh wine that will take you to the islands enjoying the sea breezes and the warm sun.  Aromas of fresh pineapple, kiwi and Meyer lemon are followed up with flavors of Granny Smith apple, grapefruit and lime balanced with great acidity and minerality.  The price is $18.

For more information:  Bokisch Vineyards

Matua Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect bright refreshing summer wine

Now that summer has arrived and you are finding the days not only longer but also warmer you need a bright, refreshing wine that delivers fruity taste and an aromatic nose.  Matua has been producing quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc since 1974; in fact they were the first to bottle Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand.

Matua was founded by two brothers, Bill and Ross Spence who come from a long line of winemakers.  With the help of their grandmother, these brothers purchased their first block of land on Matua Road in North-West Auckland with the goal of growing the finest grapes and producing quality wine.  In 1969 they planted their vineyard, including their first commercial planting of Sauvignon Blanc.  They initially sold their fruit to other winemakers but in the early 70s they got their wine license and bought a tin shed to use as their first winery.  Starting with small amounts of various wines, they put the name Matua on the label.  In 1974 they produced their first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc, first for them and first for New Zealand.

As Matua grew, the brothers purchased properties around New Zealand including Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Gisborne.  In 2001, Beringer-Blass Wine Estates invested in Matua but over the next few years the Spence brothers continued running the Matua operation until they retired.  In 2012 the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London awarded Matua the Producer of the Year award.

The 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is overflowing with tropical aromas of passion fruit and guava with a wrapping of citrus and a long refreshing finish.  It is fruity and aromatic wine hailing from Marlborough, one of the world’s top regions for Sauvignon Blanc.  It is situated between the Pacific Ocean and picturesque mountain ranges, making it an ideal location for this variety.  In fact, over 85% of all New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc originates here.  This particular vintage of Matua Sauvignon Blanc is a product of grapes from over 100 vineyards within Marlborough, encapsulating a full spectrum of flavors that delight the palate.


For more information:  Matua Wines