Jordan Vineyard & Winery occupies a rambling French-style “chateau” in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. Since its founding in 1972, the operation has been almost as much about food and hospitality as it has been about its French-inspired wines. Each tasting experience at Jordan involves wine and food pairings, and the estate even has its own executive chef.
“If you didn’t know,” Patsy McGaughy with Napa Valley Vintners told a group of wine writers last week, “you wouldn’t know.”
She was addressing the tenth annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, a place many called ground zero for last month’s wildfires.
“The valley floor is just as beautiful as ever.”
Orlando has been buzzing about New York’s Finger Lakes wine country lately.
Central Florida Women for Winesense sent a hefty delegation there in July for the national organization’s “Grand Event”; fellow Central Florida blogger Melissa Radley-McConnell of Time to Unwine-d visited the area this summer too.
So when I ended up there last week, I felt a little late to the party. But it was definitely better late than never – especially since I was there during harvest!
I had just one day to hit the highlights of this beautiful and prolific wine region, so I chose four wineries to visit: Dr. Konstantin Frank, Ravines, Hermann J. Wiemer, and Standing Stone.
My itinerary spanned two lakes, with stunning vistas and early fall colors around every turn, and a wide array of grape varietals and winemaking styles.
The Finger Lakes have won national and international acclaim for rieslings, and the varietal remains the regional specialty. But the area has diversified into many other varietals too; and while I’m a huge riesling fan – I even hosted a riesling tasting at my house recently – I was even more captivated by some of those other grapes.
In two previous posts, I started counting down the top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not focused on wine – I only visited one winery – but it did include a number of unexpected and delightful wine-related encounters that might not have happened on a highly-researched wine-centric itinerary.
The top two experiences on my list sit firmly in that category.
In my last post, I started counting down my top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not wine-centered, but in Italy, wine has a way of reaching out and grabbing you, sometimes even when you don’t go looking for it.
I did go looking for Number Three on my list, though. It was an experience that began in Orlando and ended on a remote patch of land in Tuscany.
If you follow Orlando Wine Blog on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve been in Italy for a couple of weeks. The focus of the trip was family, not wine, but you can hardly take a breath in Italy without also taking a sip of wine. And while I ached to fully immerse myself in winery visits, I did have some very special wine experiences that were almost entirely unplanned and unexpected.
Over the next several posts, I’ll count down my top 5.
South Florida is hardly considered a Mecca for adventurous wine palates. On a visit there last week, I found a handful of places that are trying to change that.
The standout among them is Uvaggio Wine Bar on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile (ok, it’s a little south of Miami). This little bar-restaurant and its completely unpretentious sommelier Heath Porter are making wine waves. Just check out this wine list!!
21 wines by the glass and half glass, plus Coravin specials … and not a cab or a pinot grigio in sight. The most conventional thing on the BTG list is a Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande near San Luis Obispo, California.
Everything else ranges from the sublime (half glass of Barolo, anyone?) to the completely weird and obscure (read on!). This place is a wine geek’s paradise. I wanted to try everything.