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Tasting Event

Looking Forward to Hospice du Rhone 2012

Hospice du Rhone 2012 will take place in Paso Robles, CA on April 28 & 29. You shouldn’t miss it. I certainly won’t.

Hospice du Rhone (HdR) is the largest event in the world focused on Rhone-variety wines. It draws producers and enthusiasts from around the world, not just the West Coast. “It’s my favorite event of the year,” Dave Powell, founder of Barossa Valley’s Torbreck winery once told me.

What is Hospice du Rhone?

hdr_20_year_sealHospice du Rhone is an event for wine producers, trade, media and consumers who are passionate about Rhone variety wines. The event includes four seminars, each structured around a tasting of six to twelve wines. There are two (extremely) grand tastings and festive lunches. One lunch is focused on the rosés of Tavel. The other is a live(ly) auction. Attendees can buy tickets for events individually, or a weekend pass for the whole shebang. If you’d like to go, I highly recommend you purchase tickets in advance.

In anticipation of this year’s event, I interviewed John Alban of Alban Vineyards. His was the first winery in the United States to focus solely on Rhone varietal wines. John Alban has also been part of Hospice du Rhone from it’s inception 20 years ago and led the event for much of that time. [The interview will be posted in segments here at NorCalWine.com over the course of this week.]

HdR “is really a coming together of a fraternity... a trade-based celebration to which the public is invited,” John Alban told me.

Hospice du Rhone seminars often go into depth, but are not overly technical. “We urge presenters to keep things fun focused and not get bogged down in chemistry and various things,” says Alban. The audience at seminars often asks detailed questions, but those are as likely to come from consumers as trade attendees. “We have intentionally tried to structure the event so that there’s something for everybody, but not diluted so there’s not enough of anything for anyone,” he explained. “It’s a big lavish buffet {of events].” Here’s what’s on the menu this year:

Hospice du Rhone Events for Friday, April 27

Seminar One: Why Spain (continues to) Rock! 

 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Presenters: European Cellars | Eric Solomon Selection Portfolio Producers
Exciting viticultural and winemaking practices have been taking place in the Priorat and beyond. European Cellars | Eric Solomon Selection will bring some returning and new producers from their portfolio to feature in this seminar. The panel will star Rhône variety practitioners from Spain.

Seminar Two: The Return of the Bionic Frog

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Presenter:
Christophe Baron of Cayuse, Walla Walla, Washington
Christophe Baron from Cayuse Vineyards
in Walla Walla, Washington will update you on his efforts since his first appearance on the Hospice du Rhône scene in 2000. Since 1997, Cayuse Vineyards has been farmed organically. In 2002, Cayuse became the first domaine in the Walla Walla Valley to implement biodynamic farming—a chemical-free approach designed to produce healthier soil and produce. Cayuse focuses its efforts in the vineyards with the goal to create food-friendly wines that express unique individuality, personality and character. Cayuse wines are created with minimal intervention, to protect the minerality, other aromas and flavors the vineyards give to the wines. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Rosé Lunch

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Friday’s lunch has always celebrated pink wines and for the 20th year we will continue to toast these beauties. Don your best pink attire as we raise our glasses to the vast variety of Rosé wines that have traveled far and wide to be with us for the 2012 revelry. To highlight these lovely pink quaffers, Chef John Toulze of the girl & the fig from Sonoma, California will return to delight guests with Rhône inspired cuisine.

NEW -- BIG Rhône Rendezvous Tasting

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Twenty years calls for a BIG Rhône Rendezvous don’t you think. Producers from far and wide will be pouring BIG bottles at this BIG, lively affair. Many have dusted off wines from their cellar and others have created something unique to celebrate this momentous occasion. To complement this BIG evening of BIG bottles highly-acclaimed chefs hailing from esteemed Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee will be serving up a taste of the South in a BIG way. Tables flowing with charcuterie and cheese will span the Tasting Pavilion throughout the entire evening. An hour into the tasting, Blackberry Farm will unveil food stations billowing with robust and scrumptious bites. This will be the only event throughout the weekend that the "Number 1 Resort in the Continental U.S. and Canada" as voted by Travel + Leisure for their 2011 World's Best Awards, will showcase their culinary talents.

Hospice du Rhone Events for Saturday, April 28

Seminar Three: A Collective Quest

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Presenters: Yves Cuilleron, François Villard and Pierre Gaillard of Les Vins de Vienne, Chavanay, France
Three vintners, three approaches to winemaking and growing. Les Vins de Vienne have succeeded in producing an alchemy that combines three sensibilities into a high-performance team spirit. This collective commitment to the production of quality wines is brought about by each individual experience. The wines and philosophies of these three long time amigos of Hospice du Rhône will be explored.

Seminar Four: Research, Revelations and the Art of Being Differen

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Presenter: Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Numerous studies, both geologic and sub-regional have taken place since Chester’s last presentation in 1999. The ever dynamic Chester Osborn of d'Arenberg will be detailing these studies and will explain and show you how this information has impacted his viticulture and winemaking practices.

Lunch and Live Auction

12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Raise your fork and your paddle while dining on a meal carefully paired with Rhône wines in mind. Long-time friend, Chef Rick Manson of the Far Western Tavern from Guadalupe, California will treat the crowd to delectable dishes. Enjoy this unique opportunity to bid on rare and one-of-a-kind auction lots generously donated by Hospice du Rhône friends and Rhône producers. Wines for this lunch will be provided by the attending producers at the 2012 event.

Grand Tasting


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Private Hour for Media and Trade (tickets must be purchased in advance)
             
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Consumers

One of the most comprehensive tastings of Rhône variety wines, this event boasts producers from throughout the world. It has been noted that to duplicate this tasting one would require a passport, numerous flights and a few weeks of travel. To complement the wines poured, Specialty food purveyors will be stationed throughout the venue to share their wares. In addition to food and wine tables, nationally acclaimed chefs will show-off their talents in the demonstration kitchen.

Farewell BBQ

7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Gather at the Farewell BBQ with all of your friends for one last hoorah as we close out 20 years! A BBQ with a fiesta twist will be prepared and served by Chef Maegen Loring of The Neon Carrot of San Luis Obispo, California. Beyond the food and conversation, try your hand at the Blackjack table or give the craps table a whirl. Cash in your “chips” for Rhône prizes that are oh-so-ever Hospice du Rhône inspired! Dance the night away to local favorite and legend Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band! Wines will be provided by the many attending producers and importers in attendance.

Jeff-Cohn-w-Hula-Hoop-1000
Jeff Cohn got into the spirit at last year's Hospice du Rhone Farewell BBQ.

Learn more about Hospice du Rhone.

Buy tickets for Hospice du Rhone.

Watch #HdR2012 on Twitter for updates before the event and live coverage during.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Event descriptions courtesy of Hospice du Rhone. Photos by Fred Swan. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Hospice du Rhone 2010 Auction and Realized Prices

A lot of wine events these days include silent auctions. These auctions typically help sustain the non-profit organizations putting on the event and are therefore quite important. And sometimes you can get a good deal on some very nice and/or unique wine in the auctions.

The downside of silent auctions is right in their name. They are silent. And, unless you're engaged in a passive-aggressive bidding war with some guy who keeps upping the ante on the lot you really want, most of these auctions are pretty boring.

Hospice du Rhone is never boring. Even it's auctions are exciting. The lots are unique and super-sized. The auction is also totally non-silent. We're talking a live auction run by a real, live, fast-talking, quick-witted livestock auctioneer with a team of guys pointing, encouraging, and yelling "Hah!" every time someone bids. To make things even more exciting, the auction takes place after a lunch during which multiple bottles of wine sit on every table and are poured freely. The wine continues to flow during the auction.

If you would like a little taste of the Hospice du Rhone auction action, watch this video featuring auctioneer Todd Ventura from this year's event:

Here's a list of this year's auction lots and the prices they sold for:
Lot 1: (the girl and the) fig Weekend for Four
Hands-on cooking or Salumi class with Chef John Toulze
Wine dinner at the girl and the fig
Wine dinner at ESTATE
Brunch at the fig café
Magnum of Tres Bonnes Annees Syrah
Winery visits arranged by Sondra Bernstein
Sold for $5,000.

Lot 2: Jonata vertical in magnum
2004 - 2007 Syrah La Sangre de Jonata

Sold for $1,400

Lot 3: Domaine Francois Villard, 3 magnums each
2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Reflet

2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Mairlant
2007 Cote Rotie Le Gallet Blanc

2007 Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes

Sold for $5,500

Lot 4: Torbreck
2005 The Struie, 3 liter
2005 RunRig, 3 liter

2005 The Steading, 3 liter

2005 Descendant, 3 liter
Sold for $4,600

Lot 5: Rhone Rangers, Paso Robles Chapter
37 magnums, one from each member of the chapter
Sold for $5,000

Lot 6: Wines of South Africa Seminar Sampler
2006 Boekenhoutsloof, 3 liter

2006 De Trafford Shiraz, magnum

2008 Mullineux Family Shirah, magnum
2009 Mullineux Family White Blend, magnum

2007 Sadie Family Columella, magnum
2003 Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards Syrah Theta, magnum
Sold for $1,700

Lot 7: Boulevard Restaurant Dinner for Four
Four-course dinner
2005 Chateau Grillet

2007 Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc “VV”

2007 Saxum, James Berry Vineyard

2007 Clos de Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape
1995 Guigal La Mouline

Sold for $5,000

Lot 8: Three Winery Paso Robles GSM Blend
Hug Cellars, half-barrel (10 cases)
Herman Story, half-barrel

McPrice Myers, half-barrel

Sold for $5,600

Lot 9: Domaine Mathilde et Yves Gangloff
2004 Condrieu, one magnum

2006 Condrieu, one magnum
2005 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, two magnums

2006 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, two magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, one magnum
2006 Cote-Rotie, La Barbarine, three magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie, La Barbarine, two magnums

Sold for $5,500

Lot 10: Long Shadow Vintners - Justin Vineyards Collaboration
50-50 blend of Columbia Valley, Washington and Paso Robles Syrah

Winemakers John Duvall & Kevin Sass

10 cases

Sold for $3,800

Lot 10A: Wines from the “Four Amigos”

Yves, Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard, Yves Gangloff & Francois Villard
2008 Condrieu, magnum

2008 Cornas, magnum

2007 Vin de Pays, 2 magnums

2008 Cote-Rotie, 2 magnums
2008 Saint Joseph, 2 magnums

...and more!

Sold for $3,300

Lot 11: Alban Dinner for Four with Cellar-Selected Wines

Dinner prepared by John Alban, Vicki Carroll and José Dahan (Et Voila Restaurant)
2004 Alban Roussanne, Edna Valley

2003 Linne Calodo, Stick and Stones

1999 Alban Grenache, Edna Valley

1998 Sine Qua Non, Hospice du Rhone Exclusive, Central Coast

1998 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape

1998 Chateauneuf du Pape (Alban Family Cellar Selections)
Sold for $5,500

Lot 12: Syndicat Tavel
14 different Tavel rosé producers, 1 bottle each
Private tour of Tavel with Sandra Gay of Syndicat Tavel

Sold for $2,600

Lot 13: Le Vins de Vienne

2007 Cote-Rotie Les Essartrailles, 3 magnums

2007 Saint Joseph, Les Archeveques, 3 magnums

2007 Taburnum Vin de Pays Collines Rhodaniennes, 3 magnums

2006 Hermitage Les Chirats de Saint Christophe, 3 magnums

Sold for $3,000

Lot 14: Qupé
2008 Syrah Sonnie’s Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, Edna Valley
One 3-liter, two magnums, six 750ml

Sold for $2,100

Lot 15: Domaine Yves Cuilleron
2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Les Serines, 6 magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie Terres Sombres, 6 magnums

Sold for $6,000

Lot 16: Bonny Doon Vineyard
Dinner for 12 with Randall Grahm at the Cellar Door Cafe with Library Wines

2008 Le Cigar Volant, 6 signed magnums plus 18 750ml bottles

Sold for $3,000

Lot 17: Three Hundred Point Lot

One magnum each of three Rhone wines that received 100 points from Wine Advocate
2007 Les Combe des Fours

2007 Deus Ex Machina
2007 Santus Santorum

Sold for $4,500

Lot 18: Saxum Vineyards
2007 Saxum Bone Rock, James Berry Vineyard, 3-liter bottle
Sold for $3,100

Lot 19: Miner Family Vineyards
2007 Odyssey Rhone Blend, 6 magnums
2008 Odyssey Rhone Blend, 6 magnums

2007 La Diligence Syrah, 6 magnums
2008 La Diligence Syrah, 6 magnums

Sold for $3,800

Lot 20: Villa Creek
Villa Creek Locavore Feast for Four with Cris and JoAnn Cherry
Wines to include:
2001 Cellars Cacpanes Cabrida Falset

2002 Three for One, Cuilleron/Gangloff/Villard, Rhone Valley

2005 Alban Vineyards Lorraine, Edna Valley
2005 Clos Erasmus, Priorat

2007 Chateau de Saint Cosme, Valbelle, Gigondas
2006 Saxum 32 James Berry Vineyard

2006 Sine Qua Non Raven No. 1, Central Coast

Plus two rooms at the hotel and a VIP barrel tour at the winery

Sold for $3,900

Lot 21: L’Aventure Winery
2008 L’Aventure Estate Cuvée, magnum

2008 L’Aventure Cote a Cote, magnum

2008 L’Aventure Le Grand Vergot, magnum

2009 L’Aventure Roussanne Estate, magnum

VIP Tour and Tasting for Six, including barrel tasting

Sold for $2,100

Lot 22: Paul Lato Wines
Winemaker Dinner for Six, seven courses prepared by Paul Lato

Served with Paul Lato wines
2008 Syrah Bien Nacido, six 750ml bottles to take home

Sold for $6,200

Lot 23: Eric Solomon Selections
Priorat Experience for Four & Top of the Priorat Wine offering

One night accommodations at the Cal Llop in Gratallops boutique hotel
Dinner with Eric & Daphne Solomon at their home in Gratallops with wines from their cellar

Vineyard tour of Priorat with the Solomons
Cellar tour and barrel tasting at Clos Erasmus

Cellar tour and tastings at other Priorat wineries 
(airfare not included)
2005 Closa Batllet Tinto, 750ml

2005 Bodegas Mas Alta La Creu Alta, 750ml

2006 Mas d’en Compte Planots, 750ml

2006 Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles, 750ml

2007 Celler de l’Encastell Roquers de Porrera, 750ml
2007 Vinya del Vuit, 750ml

Sold for $5,500

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Top Wines from the 2010 Pinot Days Grand Tasting

The 2010 Pinot Days Grand Tasting was held on June 27 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. More than 212 wineries were on hand pouring their Pinot Noir wines. I would be surprised if there were fewer than 1,000 wines available to taste.

I allocated most of my time to several wineries whose wines have impressed me in the past. I also took some time to try wineries who’s wines I’d not tried previously. In the end, I tasted more than 70 wines. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the wines, even given the fact that I had been selective in my tasting. Of all the wines I tasted.

Smoke taint in the 2008 vintage due to the massive forest fires in parts of Mendocino County and Sonoma County has been widely discussed. Several of the wineries I spoke to at the event chose not to make 2008 wines from certain areas. Other producers were extremely selective with the fruit and therefore have less wine available, though 2008 was a very productive year in some vineyards which somewhat mitigated the loss of fruit to smoke. None of the wines I tasted had any smoke influence which I considered to be a flaw.

The following is a list of those wines I tried and thought to be among the best. The list is in alphabetical order within each section. I only tasted a fraction of the wines on offer, so the absence of a wine or winery from this list should not be taken as a negative.

Very Highly Recommended
2007 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley

2008 Dunstan Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard2008 Failla Pinot Noir (blend)

2007 Failla Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

2007 Pey-Lucia Vineyards Pinot Noir

2008 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Oppenlander

2007 Sand Hill Wines Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir San Giacomo Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2006 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir

2006 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2007 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2007 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Estate

2005 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Haynes Vineyard

Highly Recommended
2008 Coterie Cellars Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2007 Coterie Cellars Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2007 Donum Estate Pinot Noir

2007 Donum Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2007 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2008 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Tondre

2008 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Sonoma/Santa Rita Hills

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Occidental Coast

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Seven Springs

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge

2008 Failla Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2007 Failla Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge

2008 Fess Parker Winery Pinot Noir Pommard

2008 Fess Parker Winery Pinot Noir Clone 115

2007 Flying Goat Cellars Dierberg Vineyard, Santa Maria

2007 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir

2005 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Reserve

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Akiko’s Cuvee, Sonoma Coast

2007 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Jenkins Vineyard

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Quail Hill

2007 Pey-Marin Pinot Noir Trois Filles

2008 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Beeson Tree

2007 Pisoni Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard

2007 Pisoni Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Gaps Crown Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Sonoma Coast

2008 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir

2008 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Sonoma County Cuvee

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain, Carneros

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Hawk Hill Road

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Adastra Vineyard

2007 Tondre Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2005 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley

2003 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Haynes Vineyard

2008 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

2007 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

2006 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

At the tasting, I wasn't taking the time to ask for prices and individual wines were not listed in the tasting guide which was given out. However, I did not the price for the 2006 Suacci Carciere because they were offering it at a Pinot Days discount for $30 per bottle. They only had 15 cases left at the time, one of which a friend and I bought. If you'd like to get in on the last of that wine, the winery will extend the same $30 price to you. Just mention that you heard about the wine here. (Note: I'm not compensated in any way for mentioning this deal, I just think it's something you may enjoy.)

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

10 Entertaining Wine Events for September 24 - 25, 2011

iStock_woman_drinking_wine_XSmallWhile the calendar thinks Summer is coming to a close, the weather thinks otherwise. Days are heating up and harvest is in full-swing. What better time to get outside and enjoy some wine events? Here are a few that promise to be especially amusing:

Gold Country

A Taste of the Gold: Saturday, 1 - 4pm
Head out to the Nevada County Fairgrounds for this fun and tasty event, featuring some of the Northern Sierra Foothill's finest restaurants and wineries. Find your favorite wine, and with glass in hand, nibble your way through more restaurants than you could possibly visit in a long weekend. While you're there, don't miss the Draft Horse Classic.

Scott Harvey Wines Grape Stomp: Saturday, 1:30 - 5:30pm
Work out the week's frustration by stomping grapes with a friend. Just take your shoes off first... There's also complimentary wine tasting. If you work up an appetite, there'll be tasty hot dogs for sale. 

Lodi

Taste of Lodi: Saturday, 1 -5pm
Taste wines from over 40 wineries and culinary specialties from local favorites. Participate in wine seminars, learn the latest from local vintners, be entertained by chef demonstrations from Lodi's celebrity chefs, and enjoy live music from one of the area’s premier bands.  And don't miss the Port, Cigar and Chocolate Pavilion.

Napa Valley

Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting: Saturday, 1 - 4pm
The Hess Collection Winery is hosting the 12th Annual Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting. More than 20 Mount Veeder wineries will be pouring at the event, which will also feature selected food pairings, live music and a raffle.

Hot Harvest Nights at Peju: Saturday, 6 - 10pm
Date night! A fun-filled evening that will include a winemaker seminar, wine tasting, then a harvest dinner with the family and dancing in the gorgeous flower gardens.

Country Fair & 125th Birthday Party at Trefethen: Sunday, 11am - 2pm
The Trefethen Family will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of their historic winery building by hosting an old-fashioned country fair, complete with a tractor parade, carnival games, gourmet food trucks, some of Trefethen Family’s own & winemakers in a dunk tank, and excellent wine.

Paso Robles

Calcareous Vineyard Outdoor Concert: Saturday, 6 - 9pm
Enjoy the music of Soundhouse, a local favorite, while drinking Calcareous wines high up in the hills of Paso Robles. Bring a picnic or buy snacks there.

San Francisco

SF Wine Market: Sunday, 1 - 4pm
Meet up with winemakers, taste their wine and buy it right there. Many excellent wineries participate. It's near Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradelli Square, so make a day of it.

South Bay/Peninsula

Barrel Tap Wine Market: Saturday, 1 - 5pm
Check out the amazing dirigible hangar at Moffett Field while you enjoy tasting wine from some top Californian and import wineries and sample gourmet items from celebrated local food vendors. You can buy wines at the event too.

Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk: Saturday, 2 - 6pm
Sip, savor and shop your way through Los Gatos. 30 local wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley will pour wine for your tasting pleasure at various shops and locations throughout downtown and in Old Town. And do some window shopping too! 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Photo 03-04-11 © aldra. All rights reserved.

You Be the Judge at Romancing the Rhones

The judges votes are in. They have tasted hundreds of Rhone-variety wines from North American producers. The 40 best wines have been chosen. Now it’s your turn to judge at Romancing the Rhones.

RomancingTheRhonesBlock1On July 14, Romancing the Rhones gives you the opportunity to taste up to 40 wines — blind — and the vote for your favorites. List of aromas and flavors common to Rhone-variety wines will be handed out to help you describe the wines. After the event, votes will be tallied and the consumers’ aggregate scores will be published online alongside those of the official judges.

If you love Rhone-variety wines, are curious about blind tasting, or are just looking for an enjoyable afternoon with wine, get your tickets now.

Don’t worry if blind tasting isn’t something you want to try, there’s much more to Romancing the Rhones.

  • Explore 100+ Rhone-variety wines from 40+ producers 
  • Lunch with Winemakers @ Chez Papa Resto in the Mint Plaza (San Francisco). Limited seating. Requires Gold Bar Ticket ($85) 
  • VIP Barrel Tasting in the historic Vaults at the Old Mint in SF. Requires Gold Bar or Silver Dollar Ticket ($65) 
  • Blind Taste top-scoring wines from the Rhone Shootout. Rhone Lovers Ticket ($45)
  • Sample perfect pairings for Rhone-variety wines – 8 succulent wines with 8 brilliant bites ($20 supplement) 
  • On-site wine sales – take home your new favorites!

It all takes place on Saturday, July 14 at The Old Mint in downtown San Francisco. Getting there is easy: it’s close to BART and there’s also a parking garage across the street.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.