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:
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!
An interesting piece of news crossed my vino desk this week, coming to us from the Ovation (FB, Tw, YT) cable television network. “The Art of“ series, covering the bleeding edge of non-traditional art, is in its third season on Ovation. The new season will cover a topic near and dear to Vinopanion – WineLog.net: wine country. “The Art Of”: Wine Country” will premiere this Sunday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET. This half hour episode will cover the intersection of #food, #wine, and of course #art within the context of our very own wine country. Longtime Vinopanion favorites Artesa Vineyard and Winery will be featured, alongside Sonoma Valley Lasseter Family Winery (WL, FB, Tw) and famed Napa farm to fork chef pioneer, Cindy Pawlcyn (FB, Tw). Check it out this weekend! #theartof
A special video preview of the Artesa segment alongside Vinopanion wine reviews after the break!
There are many a wine app for iOS and (growing) on Android. Wine+Tech wünderkinds VinTank, have done extensive research on iOS apps (iPhone) over the last few years with the most recent count at 450+, as of 04/14/2011. Indeed, my own content is distributed on two mobile apps, Hello Vino and Wine by the Bar. With that many apps out there for a very specific genre, you can imagine that there is a lot of noise and a lot of well, mediocre (at best) apps for wine. So, it is a refreshingly rare circumstance when one comes across an app that kicks some serious vinous booty. And the new app (iPhone, Android) from Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (Twitter, WineLog) by MacroView Labs (Twitter) gets my vote for kickin’ that booty.
Two weekends back, the Lady and I had the very fortunate experience of a tour, a tasting and an overnight stay at the breath-snatching estate of Jordan Vineyard & Winery (Twitter, WineLog) in Alexander Valley. Blessed with a perfect harvest weekend of weather, we we able to visit courtesy of Communications Director (and photographer/videographer extraordinaire) Lisa Mattson. After dropping off the Pug with the parents in Napa, we headed across the valleys in the brilliant morning sunshine. The weather really was tremendous that weekend, sunny, a few puffy clouds and about 80 degrees at its peak. I really had no idea what to expect for the next couple of days however, since the Jordan site didn’t really have a whole lot of information about the four suites or homes that were available for overnight visits.
I solved a wine mystery recently, one that had been bothering me for years. Around the time that The Lady and I bought our home in the Bay Area, I was allowed able to buy a decent wine fridge, my Danby 75/100 bottle. Just as I was headed out the door from Wine Hardware with my affordable new wine storage, I spotted an interesting book on their shelves entitled, Cold Surveillance. It was interesting not that it was a set of wine memoir columns (right up my alley), but that it was written by a Wine Country private eye…¿que? I turned back to the counter and added the book to day’s purchases!
Making perhaps, one of the biggest viral marketing coups in the nascent wine social mediasphere, Murphy-Goode Winery in Healdsburg has blown up the interwebs with its A Really Goode Job search and marketing campaign. The basics are these:
– Live on the property in northern Sonoma Valley in Healdsburg in a private home.
– Work by using all means of social media to promote Murphy-Goode and its wine and the whole of Sonoma County with the provided camera video camera, handheld device and/or smartphone. You’ll “need” to taste hundreds of wines for free and eat all over the Valley, as well…shucks.
– Get paid 10K/month for a 6 month contract.
The reach and influence of wine bloggers and wine social media mavens have exploded over the last couple of years, particularly in the last 12 months. Major wine critics have have noticed and responded, wineries and all three tiers of the wine business oligarchy have also taken notice and begun to capitalize on that influence (or are already playing catchup). The recent exhaustive and outstanding industry whitepaper by VinTank, Wine & Social Media is the first to encapsulate and quantify this influence and serves as a very important reference for these interactions between wine business, their consumers and the key social media mediators (human and software/websites) of these connections. It is a groundbreaking accomplishment and a signpost of the rapid, continuing maturity of the wine social media sphere.
Today we were focused on the whole reason we included Sonoma on this particular trip and a reason for which I had quite a bit of excitement…a semi-trade, private reserve tasting at longtime Sonoma Valley stalwart, Chateau St. Jean.
My family from my grandparents down to my sister and I have been making our way over to our neighboring Valley for decades to picnic and tool around the beautiful grounds. I have to admit however, that despite having many of their more mass-produced wines, I couldn’t remember ever tasting any of their Reserves or winery-only limited run wines. I was about to cross those off my list!
Friday was the sandwiched day of our trip, a continuation of the 4th wine trip that I’ve taken with Pops. I wrote about the first day when we visited Flora Springs via GiftyBox and Pope Valley Winery. It was the beef in our burger, cold cuts in the sammy, ice cream in the It’s-It, or…ok, enough! Anyhow, Friday was our transition day to from Napa to Sonoma. It was also the only day on the trip where Pops and I had no set plans.
We started the day as usual, having coffee at Brown’s Valley Yogurt & Espresso Bar, with Pops’ buddies. Following that, we headed out, alllll the wayyyy to Sonoma (it’s about 20 minutes max, from my Parents’ home in Brown’s Valley, Napa). Our first stop was actually a couple miles South of Sonoma at one of our favorite diners, the Schellville Grill. It’s been serving great down-home food for decades and almost just as consistently, flooding every Winter. The all-important big wine-tasting breakfast accomplished, we headed further South to the Sonoma portion of Carneros after some thoughtful planning over our country potatoes.