Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Lodi Wine and Chocolate Weekend Coming February 9-10 - What Could be Better?


Valentine’s Day is a time of love and a time to share with your loved one.  And it is a time to fall in love with the wines of Lodi at the exciting 22nd Annual Wine and Chocolate Weekend in nearby Lodi Wine County February 9-10. Over 50 wineries will open their tasting rooms and are waiting to spoil your taste buds with handcrafted Lodi wines and decadent chocolates. Check the website for a list of participating wineries.

Lodi is a wonderful jewel in California’s wine regions. Many of the wineries are extensions of the wine growers that have been growing grapes in this region for many decades. As you travel through this area you are taken back to rural agricultural California. Here you will find Zinfandel grapes growing on vines that are over 100 years old and younger vines of Cabernet, Chardonnay, and a wide range of Spanish and Italian varietals. The location is ideal for wine grapes with plenty of sun and the cooling influences of the delta.

During the Wine and Chocolate Weekend, Lodi appellation wineries will please your palate, pairing hand-crafted wines with an assortment of decadent chocolate treats. Travel from winery to winery while you enjoy the winery’s hosted activities such as wine and chocolate pairings, live music, barrel tasting, cellar tours and more. Meet the local vintners and growers as they share the wine and hospitality that makes Lodi Wine Country California’s newest fine wine region! And be sure to taste some of the medal winning wines from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Tickets, good for both days of the event, are $65 in advance. A commemorative wine glass, a chocolate treat from Brix Chocolate, event map/guide and admission to participating wineries is included. Hours for the event are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

For more info:



Niles Canyon Railway Romance on the Rails Valentine's Wine Tasting Excursion

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and a chance to treat your loved one to a romantic tour through gorgeous Niles Canyon while sampling some the best wine available from Livermore Valley Wine Country aboard the Niles Canyon Railway Romance on the Rails Wine Tasting Trains. On Sunday, February 10, there will be two trains, one leaving the Sunol station at 12:00 noon and another leaving at 3:00 p.m.

Bring your loved one and share a bit of romance, history, fine wine and delicious food as you experience the magic of a bygone era traveling for two hours through scenic Niles Canyon on a vintage Southern Pacific 10040 Parlor/Diner Car newly restored to its elegant 1920’s appearance.  The car is climate controlled for your comfort and attendants on board are there to assist you during the trip.  There will also be an open-air car so you can take a break outside enjoying the weather. Note that the Parlor Car is not wheelchair accessible due to the narrow passage of this vintage rail car.

Fine premium wines from Livermore Valley wineries have been hand-selected by Wine Educator Steve Ferree. The wineries represented on the Romance on the Rails are:

  • McGrail Vineyard and Winery 2017 Peyton Paige Sauvignon Blanc
  • Steven Kent Winery 2015 Merrillie Chardonnay
  • Las Positas Vineyards 2017 Estate Rose
  • Cuda Ridge Wines 2016 S&M Sangiovese and Malbec blend
  • Occasio Winery 2015 Telos
  • Cedar Mountain Winery & Port Works Tortuga Royale

Steve, the WineProGuy, will be on board to provide you with information about the wines and the cheeses that are being paired. In addition hors d’oeuvre will be served.
The Romance on the Rails Wine Tasting Train is sponsored by the Pacific Locomotive Association and proceeds of the event support their railroad historic preservation programs. All seats are reserved and tickets are $80 and are available at their ticketing site.

For more information:



Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte becomes the Official Partner of Cirque du Soleil Touring Shows in USA/Canada


Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has announced an exclusive multi-year contract with Cirque du Soleil as the first ever official Champagne partner of its touring shows throughout the USA and Canada. The partnership will begin in September 2018 with the premiere of VOLTA™ in Redmond, Wash. and will continue through December 2020. 

The partnership will see Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte served at more than 800 performances annually (including shows such as Cirque du Soleil VOLTA™, LUZIA™, Amaluna™ and Alegría™) in major U.S. and Canadian cities. including: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. as well as Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. 

"We are thrilled to have our two incredible brands working together," said Christophe Juarez, CEO for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. "Both Nicolas Feuillatte and Cirque du Soleil were founded on the strong ideals of constantly reinventing ourselves and creating moments of awe and inspiration. Their artistic prowess and our Champagne bring enchantment and pleasure to life. We look forward to bringing exceptional experiences to guests through this unique partnership," Juarez continued. 

The partnership will take on different forms, including a Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Lounge where guests will be invited into an immersive experience which will include Champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Cirque du Soleil concessions will serve Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, and digital and retail integration will also be offered.  

"The values we share with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of celebrating the present moment, creating joy and wonder, as well as the passion and expertise we both pour into our respective products makes this partnership a natural fit. We are looking forward to working together in offering our guests a memorable experience," said Richard Davies, Vice President, Corporate Alliances at Cirque du Soleil.

The natural association with Cirque du Soleil is part of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte's latest brand campaign, Enchantment Awaits: an invitation to celebrate life's precious moments with emotion, intensity, generosity and boldness. The initiative includes the launch of a new immersive website and a refreshed visual identity for its full range of Champagnes worldwide, both debuting in the U.S. in September 2018. 

For full list of show dates and locations, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com. 

ABOUT CHAMPAGNE NICOLAS FEUILLATTE: Founded in heart of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Champagne hillsides, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is the youngest of the major Champagne houses, and the biggest wine growers' brand. It embodies the commitment and passion of its 4,500 associated growers spread across the appellation. In the course of just 42 years, Nicolas Feuillatte has quickly reached the first rank of Champagne brands in France, the third worldwide and the fourth in the USA. Its claim: Champagne is a wine born in a unique terroir. It need not be reserved for exceptional circumstances but is meant to be shared and to enchant life during the most cherished moments. The range of Champagnes by Nicolas Feuillatte is diverse, as the richness and diversity of the terroirs (5,189 acres of vines) and grapes sourced from the highest quality of crus. It is a demonstration of the unique savoir-faire of its Chief Winemaker and unique signature style made of finesse and elegance. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes are available in more than 100 countries worldwide with 10.3 million bottles sold in 2017 alone. Travel to is flagship state-of-the-art new winery and visitor center, the Éspace Nicolas Feuillatte in Chouilly, or visit www.nicolas-feuillatte.com. 

ABOUT CIRQUE DU SOLEIL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP: Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in live entertainment. Established in Montreal, the Canadian organization has brought wonder and delight to over 180 million spectators with productions presented in close to 450 cities in 60 countries. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists, from nearly 50 countries. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group creates content for a broad range of audacious projects. On top of producing world-renowned shows, the organization has extended its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art. For more information about Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, please go to www.cirquedusoleil.com/entertainmentgroup.