Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Santa Barbara County Wine Event Weekend

If you didn't have a reason to get out of town already. Here are a few more that might motivate you to head up to the Santa Ynez Valley this weekend. You might even want to call in sick on Friday and head up for an early start on the fun.

Its the annual Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival. This event features wines from over 100 wineries in the area plus great food and music. Event is 1-4pm on Sat April 19th 2008 at River Park in Lompoc.

To compliment the festival, Pick up a Vintner's Visa at Wine Country in Los Olivos. ( $35 w/o festival ticket, $25 with your ticket). This gives you access to an amazing array of events running from Friday to Monday.

The list of events each day is just overwhelming. The standout on Friday looks to be a winemaker dinner with Flying Goat Cellars, Norm Yost's winery, at the La Purisima Mission. Additionally, Foley Estates will be open till 8pm and have light hord'oeuvres and wine tasting. Ken Brown Wines will also have an open house and library tasting. ( 11am- 4pm)

Saturday the big event is the festival of course but there is lots of other cool stuff to check out as well.

  • Babcock will be having an open house.
  • Palmina will be having a Friulian Symposium & Brunch prior to the festival.
  • Longoria will be having a Production Facility Open House so stop by there in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto prior to heading over to the festival.
So now you've gotten out of the festival and you're wondering what you can do now. There are tons of great winemaker dinners to choose from. Foxen's dinner at Alisal Ranch, Palmina's dinner at the Santa Ynez Inn, Buttonwood Farm's Taste the Futures dinner in the Vineyard featuring New West Catering, Core Dinner at Wine Country, and the Longoria dinner at the Ballard Inn. Check out this link for more information. Any of these would be amazing. You can't go wrong.

You still haven't had enough food, fun, wine. Well then there's Sunday!
  • One of my favorites is the ABC open house. For $15 bucks you get to taste wines from Au Bon Climat, Qupe, and Verdad. This is one of the two times a year that Jim Clendenen with Bob and Louisa Lindquist open the doors to their facility tucked away at Bien Nacido Vineyards. (11am-3pm)
  • Alma Rosa will also be having an open house with wine, food, and the music of Francisco Gonzalez a founder of the well known "Los Lobos". Admission is $15 dollars. ( 11am-5pm)
  • Jeff Wilkes of J Wilkes wines will be pouring over at Wine Country some of his new wines, library wines, and barrel samples. ( 11am-5pm)
  • Hitching Post wines will have an open house featuring their current releases and selected library wines, complete with Hitching Post appetizers! $15 per person (11am-3pm)
  • Kathy Josepth, of Fiddlehead Cellars, will be featuring a special library tasting so you can check out the aging potential of her wines. She will also have a great selection of cheeses and bbq.
This is just a taste of what's coming your way this weekend. To read more go to the check out the SB Vintner's Association Site. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WBW: How Old World Cab Franc Reminds Me of Spring

The first days of spring growing up always seem to coincide with my preseason practice for softball. The smell of fresh cut grass, still dewy with March rains. The hint of leather in the air from your well worn glove. The breeze carrying faint floral scents that mingle with the dust of the infield. My old world Cab Franc after a swirl or two took me back to those memories with its nose of roses, celery, dark berries, green pepper, and leather. This wine was spring in a glass. Now I just have to dig out my old glove and get outside. I'm a big fan of Cabernet Franc and my wine for Wine Blogging Wednesday did not let me down. The other good news, is that I did not break the bank.

Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon "Les Chiens- Chien" for $15.99
This wine is a lovely balance of spice and silkiness with a pleasing gravely mouth feel that allows the finish to linger. This red is produced from 40-80 year old vines. I highly recommend this wine.

My wine was from Domaine547. While everyone is sold out of the 2004 we had, Domaine 547 has the 2005 if you are looking for your own supply. Snap it up now!

Thanks to Gary V for hosting Wine Blogging Wednesday#44!

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