It is quite the rare occasion here at Vinopanion (WL, FB, Tw, IG) when we greenlight a guest post. But, recently a Vinopanion reader contacted us about possible recommendations for a lovely planned trip to Paso Robles Wine Country (WL, FB, Tw). We had been in Paso again earlier in the year, for my Wildflower Triathlon. One of our favourites that trip was Proulx Wines (WL, FB, IG) along Vineyard Drive, which Roy Jurgens and his Lady (and pooch!) were also able to visit. Proulx’ array of estate dry rosés really rocked our vinous world. I asked Roy for a recap of their own favorite Rhone-styled wineries and he sent back a fantastic, thorough recap. So now, let’s let Vinopanion Roy Jurgens take it away, with their tour of Paso food and wines!
It’s been quite some time since the last post in our “5 Questions With…” series, but after tasting a phenomenal #wine and then learning its even more interesting backstory, I decided a revival was needed! I think it’s no non-surprise for my regular readers that we are huge fans of rosé here at #Vinopanion. YC Media sent me a bottle earlier this year by a brand new producer from one of the finest regions in the world Provence, France. I was thoroughly blown away by this first time effort; the 2013 release from Mirabeau Wine (WL, FB, Tw, YT, IG) had all the characteristics that make up a complex, yet extremely tasty rosé: crisp acidity, juicy red fruits, fresh herbs, and even some fine floral notes. I was hooked. Then I found out that this wine was made by a former financier that completely upped and moved his family to Provence to make wine, job-quitting included. I had to know more.
And so here we are, 5 Questions with Stephen Cronk of Mirabeau Wine, after the leap!
Earlier this year, during a beautiful stretch of Spring weather, The Lady (Tw) and I had the distinct pleasure of taking in a media stay at Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery (WL, FB, Tw, YT, P). Set amongst the emerald hills of Carmel Valley, the ranch has a history in the valley since 1928, when it was founded by Gordon Armsby as a very exclusive resort for much of Hollywood’s elite. Skip forward quite a ways when current owners Thomas and Jarman Lowder purchased the ranch in 2006 with an eye for not only restoring all of its original majesty, but also greatly expanding the now many amenities and products produced by Holman Ranch.
More deets after the leap!
It would be an understatement to say that the Lady and I love the country of Spain. We’ve been twice together and I’ve been one additional time, on top of those adventures. Indeed, two years time we hope to take the pilgrimage of Camino del Santiago, during my sabbatical from work. The people, the food, the landscapes, and of course the WINE…all of it continues to pull me back to this venerable country. I was recently introduced to wines from a Spanish Denominación de Origen for which I had little familiarity: Cigales D.O. (WL, Tw, FB, YT). Once again, I was presented with wines that show off great complexity and straight-up tastiness, but with nary an expensive price to be seen.
More deets after the jump!
Over two weeks have passed since a significant earthquake hit Napa and the surrounding cities, at 3:20am Sunday morning 08/24/14. Named the South Napa earthquake by USGS, the 6.0 quake hit Napa particularly hard, despite what could be considered a quake of intermediate intensity. Due to the east-west nature of the quake movement, “river valley sediments,” and the fact that the rupture “propagated NNW” in direction, the bulk of the quake’s energy was sent “NNW towards Napa,” according to USGS scientists. All of these factors resulted in very significant damage that was almost entirely localized to the city of Napa, especially to its historic downtown and to the southwest neighborhood of Browns Valley, my childhood neighborhood and still where my parents reside (ShakeMap copyright USGS). The Lady and I live about 1 mile NE of Browns Valley, on aforementioned river valley sediment/silt, in fact. It is for these reasons that it can be hard for even other Bay Area residents to understand just how much this earthquake has affected our dear valley. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this natural disaster is that has hit in the middle of an early harvest, so the Valley must recover while still going through its annual vinous renewal.
The Chevalière of the French bubbly scene in Napa is the elegant and indomitable, Domaine Chandon (WL, FB, Tw). It is the first French foray into domestic bubbly by the esteemed Moët & Chandon in 1973; the producer of arguably the most famous Champagne in the world: Dom Pérignon. Indeed, when many consumers think of sparkling wine in the US, they think of the name “Chandon.” And it is at this beautiful estate, biking distance from our home, that we happily enjoyed media passes for their étoile Prestige Tour, followed by lunch at their in-house resto, also named étoile. We attended courtesy of the winery, and oh!, what a visit it was…
Find all the tasty deets, after the jump!
As my lovely #Vinopanion readers already know, I am a *huge* fan of Spain, Spanish culture, food, and of course, #wine! Indeed, I have had the great fortune to attend media trips to both the Navarra and Murcia wine regions of that Iberian country, and I just hosted two events for #MurciaWine at #WBC14 last weekend. The Lady Beth Fontaine (Tw) also attended the Murcia trip and we are constantly on the prowl for Spanish culture here in the US (including the fantastic Zuzu in our Napa hometown). Indeed, our very first trip together to Europe was an epic tour through Spain, finishing with some downtime in the equally beautiful land of Portugal. It was on this very trip that we discovered our most beloved city in all of this fair world: Barcelona. The jewel of Catalan culture has bewitched us ever since, with its glorious and unique districts, tapas crawls, #Cava sparkling wine, and many MANY amazing sites, architecture and museums. This brings us to the featured event of this love story to Catalunya y España:
Over the last 7 years (yes, my blogo-versary was just last month!), I’ve managed to overwhelm everyone I know with my mad passion for vino. So, it might come as some surprise to casual readers that the last 1.5 years have seen a new passion start to share space alongside my wine fridge: triathlons. I have mentioned this healthy kick a couple of times here on Vinopanion, but this is the first time that those two passions have collided into a wonderful blend of health, wine, and healthy wine. I’m very happy to announce that I will be partaking in the 2014 Rodney Strong Vineyards Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon this Sunday, June 8, while proudly sponsored by none other than the kind winemaking folks over at title sponsor, Rodney Strong Vineyards (WL, FB, Tw, IG, YT)! Vineman (FB, Tw, YT) has a rich history of triathlons and multisport competitions in the Sonoma County area and this is the second year for this new USAT-sanctioned, olympic distance triathlon.
More #triathlon & #wine details after the leap!
There are plenty of #wine fests these days, celebrating this region or that grape varietal, indeed the Napa Valley has plenty of its own festivals throughout the year. When you think of the Napa Valley in particular, what wine comes to mind….umm, yeah CABERNET SAUVIGNON. And then strangely, you realize that there is no festival that celebrates King Cab here in the Val. That is…until this year! The newly relaunched Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater (FB, Tw) hosted the very first wine festival devoted to Napa Valley Cab, #CabFestNV 2014, in March of this year. We were fortunate enough to attend all three days on a media pass and we were very impressed by the inaugural festival.
More recap deets after the leap!
As mentioned previously on these vinous epages, the Lady and I have happily ensconced ourselves back in the wine country of our roots. Our move to #NapaMode has been just about as cool as anyone might ever dream…yes, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, point zero for #wine & #foodie heaven definitely has its benefits, I won’t blathe. One thing that we’ve come to learn in this fine place is that you can’t get anything DONE during the weekends, however! Apparently, when one is surrounded by beautiful land to traverse by bike, foot, or DeLorean; wine to sip and food to savor, you just kinda want to do that every day that you’re not in the grind. Huh…who’da thunk?
That said…what if you were here on a vacation…that’s free…and filled with free food & wine activities? Why, a #winecation is just the antidote for getting your guilt-free glutton-on! The new wine marketplace Underground Cellar (FB, Tw) has you covered!
More details after the leap!