Guest Post: #Vinopanion Roy Jurgens visits Paso Robles

January 12, 2015

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!

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#NapaQuake: A harvest of recovery

September 11, 2014

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.

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#SpainLove: Gloria Ferrer’s 22nd Annual Catalan Festival 07/19/14 & 07/20/2014

July 16, 2014

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:

The Gloria Ferrer 22nd Annual Catalan Festival, happening this weekend in Sonoma, CA! All the deets, after the leap!

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#Napa: Here comes the rain again (finally)

February 26, 2014

Jerry Brown, Governor of CA, declares a drought - Governor of the State of CAWhile not everyone pays attention to the crazy going-on’s on the Left Coast in California, you might have heard about the quickly accelerating and unprecedented drought that is beginning to devastate its traditional agricultural backbone.  Contained within that agricultural spine are vineyards and winegrowing, of course.  It is here that we get to the crux of why I felt it was so important to share the weather going-ons here in the NorCal: the weather, this third winter in a row, is beginning to severely impact our precious wine grape vineyards here in wine country.

More news after the jump!

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Longtime Murphys/Calaveras County Winery for sale

February 24, 2013

A longtime winery just outside of Murphys, CA in Calaveras County is up for sale.  Chatom Vineyards, established in 1981 by San Franciscan Gay Callan,  boasts 13 grape varieties planted on across 65 acres, all in the small and picturesque valley of Esmeralda of the Sierra Foothills. In 1990, Callan built the estate winery and tasting room along Highway 4, nicely situated only 2 miles outside of the wine tourism center of downtown Murphys.  The winery makes 3 whites, 8 reds, and one very tasty dessert wine.

More after the jump, including an intro video by First Choice Business Brokers!

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Kickstarting Block122.com

January 27, 2013

I have some very exciting news to share with my happy and wine-loving Vinopanions!  While I hinted at this news earlier this year, I can now announce the official Kickstarter campaign for the fantastic new wine store and web destination, Block122 (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).  Founded by four BOULEVARD restaurant employees, Block122 will showcase the finest, small production producers of wine from the left coast, much of which lies along the meridian 122° west of the Prime Meridian.  These boutique wineries are those that many times, only produce wines for 1-2 small stores or restaurants, have no distribution, and can’t even provide an online web store. It is these vinous finds that Block122 will revel in sharing with you on their website with stories, videos, and a retail store; all inclusive, with all snobbery excluded.

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TasteLive!: Pinot Noir & The Influence of AVA

June 21, 2011

TasteLive!Some of my favorite wine events don’t actually exist. Well, that’s not quite right…they don’t actually exist, physically. Some of the most interesting and educational tastings that occur each month take place virtually, over on the rather snazzy TasteLive! (Twitter, WineLog) Twitter-based tasting platform. Just in the last month they’ve had a phenomenal tasting of affordable Bordeaux hosted by Planet Bordeaux (Twitter, WineLog) and an even more comprehensive tasting of Spanish wines from Navarra, hosted by Wines of Navarra (Twitter, WineLog). Join us tonight 6-7pm PST, as we taste through three Pinot Noir for “Pinot Noir & The Influence of AVA.”

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The Renaissance of Huge Bear & Knights Bridge

May 19, 2011

Huge Bear WinesDespite the 460+ years that separate modern times from what many scholars consider the end of the Italian Renaissance, we still hear the term “Renaissance Man/Woman” tossed around with great regularity. Heck, running around learning stuff, spouting verse with a paintbrush in my hand sounds great. Luck in love aside, I had a chance to share some food and wine with a fascinating man for these modern times and one whom is a true Ren-man: Timothy F. Carl, Ph.D, Co-Founder of both Huge Bear Wines (WineLog, Twitter) and Knights Bridge Winery (WineLog).

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Clos LaChance, the PGA and the Frys.com Open

November 18, 2010

Clos LaChance at the PGA Tour Frys.com OpenSometimes wine can take to you places that are just plain cool. Well, cooler than the usual cool things that come with wine…or something. In any case, last month I had one of those experiences where my interest in wine took me to something new: my first PGA Tour tournament, complete with a winery on site. A golfer for the last few years, this understandably had me a bit fired up. Golf and wine!? Heck yeah! After graciously accepting a PGA Tour Media pass, the Lady, Steve and I headed into the Frys.com Open at Cordevalle and Clos LaChance for a day of sunshine, wine, incredible golf and new vinopanions, all along the cart path.

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Clos LaChance, the PGA & Original Wine

October 13, 2010

Frys.com Open - PGA TourYes, yes, yes…I *know*! It’s been some time since my last post. Well, that’s just what going on vacay for 2+ weeks to Carmel Valley, Spain and Portugal will do to you. Actually, I take that back. It’s what going back to work AFTER that vacay, that will get ya! Anyhow, I’m back and ready to reengage my fellow vinopanions and boy do I have two cool pieces of vino news to disseminate!

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