Pops & Son Wine Trip 6: The Mountains of Murphys

March 21, 2011

Dad caught the Frickin' at Twisted Oak! - PSWT6This was a trip so epic, that it took a year to digest and to prepare the story-telling…that’s the story I’m stickin’ to anyway! Pops & I have taken many a wine trip together over the years, this was the sixth, in fact. Each one has been in a different appellation or sub-appellation around NorCal. Following my pre-WBC09 Twisted Murphys visit with some other vinopanions in crime, I decided that Pops and I needed to definitely take over Murphys and its Calaveras County wine country for our upcoming trip later that year.

I spoke a lot in that earlier Murphys post about the exciting, up and coming aspects of the Calaveras County wine region and how it has already reached at least the wine crafting quality of it’s larger and surrounding appellation of the Sierra Foothills and is coming into its own as a true wine destination. Murphys, the historic Gold Rush and logging town, has completely reinvented itself as a more boutique, yet still nicely rustic wine and food mecca, tucked underneath the stunning Sierras and Calaveras Bigtree National Forest. Pops and I decided that we needed to dig a bit deeper this time and really get to know this comfortable piece of wilder wine country.

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5th Pops & Son Wine Trip in Napa: Day 2

March 9, 2009

Stags Leap DistrictThe second and last day of our latest Pops & Son Wine Trip series took a dramatic turn, ie, Pops was no longer involved, unfortunately! That cold that was was starting to come over him in the morning of the first day and then really kicked in during the afternoon? Well, it hit big time and he woke up this day feeling terrible…no wine for Pops! Poor guy ended up in bed all day…so our plans changed!

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5th Pops & Son Wine Trip in Napa: Day 1 Afternoon

January 31, 2009

The afternoon of our first day on the 5th Pops & Son Wine Trip continued the vinous adventure that we had started in the morning at Kirkland Ranch and William Hill. As we traveled up Silverado Trail on the Western side of the Valley, we mused about which winery to next visit, as we had plenty of time before our 2:30 appointment with the highlight of the day, Terra Valentine on Spring Mountain. We passed numerous wineries along the way, including many Stags Leap favorites such as Regusci, Darioush and Clos du Val. As we approached the Oakville appellation, Pops asked if I’d ever visited the large contemporary building that housed Miner Family Vineyards. I had not done so and just that easily, we had picked our next winery!

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5th Pops & Son Wine Trip in Napa: Day 1 Morning

January 22, 2009

Vaca Mountains in Stags LeapAnother holiday season means another wonder trip to wine country with Pops. I usually get the week off between Christmas and New Years from the day job and with that extra time I like to spend some quality father and son time spent, well honestly, what else but drinking wine? We also recently added a summer trip to the roster, as one trip is usually not enough for the two of us. We decided to continue to explore parts of Napa that were still new to us for this trip, especially with the economy in a wonderful tailspin.

The first stop of the day was intended to be at one of the best value-driven brands in the marketplace, Cartlidge & Brown off of Green Island Road. Unfortunately, they weren’t open and thus we weren’t able to taste nor pick up Pops’ wine club selections. Seeing as how we were in the Southern-most part of the Valley, we decided to then head over to Kirkland Ranch Winery, off of Jamieson Canyon Rd (SR-12).

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Pops & Son 4th Wine Trip, Day 3: Chateau Jean-Gene-ie via WineTwo and tha Kaz

August 30, 2008

Chateau Jean-GeneDay 3 of our wine trilogy was my last day with Pops on this, our 4th Wine Trip together. I wrote about the first day in Napa, here and the second, more freestyle day in Sonoma, over here.

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!

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Pops & Son 4th Wine Trip, Day 2: The Good and the Bad

August 20, 2008

Carneros MapFriday 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.

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Pops & Son 4th Wine Trip, Day 1: Giftybox, Flora & the Pope

August 4, 2008

GiftyBoxOK, so I wasn’t off gift shopping for some flowers to take to the Pope, I admit it. His continent was involved, however. A few weeks back, my sister and my mom headed off into the skies towards a three week trip in London and Paris. Freed from familial ties, my Dad and I decided that it was time for another Pops & Son Wine Trip, this time in the Summer. Previous wine trips taken during my week off from the day job during the holidays have included Glen Ellen and surrounding Sonoma wineries, Healdsburg and surrounding wineries and wineries in Napa that we had yet to visit. This time we were planning on doing a hybrid of both valleys.

Earlier this year, Jason and Kim sent me this really great wine gift package to review, from Giftybox.com. I figured that this would be a great time to use my Winery Tour & Tasting package.

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Pops & Son 3rd Annual Wine Trip – Napa

January 3, 2008

Ehler's Estate - St. HelenaMy father and I started a new annual tradition in 2005, the year that I started at Genentech. While not an obsessive like myself, Pops is a wine-guy (kind of hard not to be while living in Napa). We decided back in ’05 that we should start taking a wine-tasting trip every year that I get the week off between Christmas and New Years. The first year we stayed in Glen Ellen and hit much of the Southern region of Sonoma Valley. Last year we stayed in Healdsburg and took care of the Northern regions.

This year we decided to make it a little cheaper and just stay at the house and go to the many places in the Napa Valley that we hadn’t hit yet. Indeed, we stayed very low-profile on Thursday, just taking a taxi downtown and hitting some of the many tasting rooms that have or are about to open up in the city of Napa. The Napa downtown has (finally) come into its own again over the last 3-4 years, somewhat coinciding with the completion of the Napa Valley Opera House restoration. There are almost no empty storefronts any longer and there is actually some building going on and further restoration work happening in various places. The other part of the resurgence has been the proliferation of tasting rooms. The Napa Valley Register published a list of 17 tasting rooms downtown (15 are currently open already) earlier this year in August (thanks Na!) and we used that list to plan out our day. We heard later that there are supposed to be up to 10 additional tasting rooms that are to open downtown in 2008!

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St. Supéry Winemaker Toutsuite

March 20, 2013

Napa ValleySt. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery (FBTwYTWL).  Located in the Rutherford appellation, dead center for some of the best vineyards in all of Napa, St. Supéry has been producing fantastic wines at enticingly low prices since the 1980’s. They have also been the hosts of some fine tastings, including a Bloggers’ Forum, a visit during the Pops & Son Wine Trip 5 (#PSWT5), and another great tasting by family owners, Skalli Family Wines.  Now all of us have a chance to speak live online via ToutSuite with their winemaker Michael Scholz. A lot of the history of St. Supéry has been discussed there, so I won’t rehash their wonderful story right now, but suffice it to say: St. Supéry makes some of the finest Napa Valley wines…the majority priced at a level that we can refreshingly afford.

More tasting event details after the jump!

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Pre-WBC09: Twisted Murphys Wine’n!

December 31, 2009

Twisted Oak Winery - Pre-WBC09 Murphys/Calaveras CountyWhat happens when you get bunches of wine bloggers all together to take over a small wine country town? Mine cave-ins, death, destruction and mass group arrests! OK…that didn’t quite happen, but mass chaos, super amounts of fun and the realization that Calaveras County is an up-and-coming wine region with Murphys leading the charge as a boutique wine destination definitely DID occur. The Twisted Oak Winery Pre-WBC09 Murphys/CalaCo wine event had dropped, and there was no going back!

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