Busy Orlando Wine Week Features Italy, South America, and a Winemaker

It seems the summer lull is well and truly over for Orlando’s wine community. Next week’s calendar is brimming with tastings and classes competing for your time, attention, palate, and wallet.

It’s so busy, in fact, that I’m re-invoking my two daily events rule. I’ll highlight a maximum of two events per day here, but you can always find the full listing on the Wine Events Calendar page.

Without further ado, let’s get to the highlights of …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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Hidden Wine Country: RYME Cellars Turns Eclectic Grapes into Some of the Most Exciting California Wine You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Photos by Steve Mort

When you imagine California wine country, you probably don’t picture the Sonoma County town of Forestville.

It’s less than half an hour west of bustling Santa Rosa and the same distance south of upscale Healdsburg, but Forestville feels a world apart. Its downtown main street is only about three blocks long, hosting a handful of casual restaurants, a strip mall with a coffee shop and a laundromat, a county park with a friendly cat, a hardware store, a pharmacy, and a gas station.

Forestville Cat
Forestville cat welcoming me to town

There are also a few tasting rooms on Forestville’s main drag, but RYME Cellars is not one of them.

In this installment of Hidden Wine Country, I venture off the main street to a simple tasting room at the terminus of a dead-end road. I step inside what used to be RYME’s production facility (scroll down for a photo) and discover surprising wines made by a husband and wife team who aren’t afraid to go beyond the usual grape suspects.

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Hidden Wine Country: Napa’ School House Vineyard Keeps Things Quietly Classic

All photos by Steve Mort

Napa and Sonoma, the two counties at the heart of California wine country, are famous for lavish tasting rooms, Michelin star restaurants, and deluxe accommodations. Drive even a few hundred yards along Napa’s main thoroughfare, Highway 29, and you’re likely to pass five or six big name wineries ready to put on an impressive, pricey, and often thoroughly enjoyable show for you.

But hidden behind them, there’s another world — a place that’s more about passion than money, more about soil than manipulation, more about history than trends, and more about experimentation than safe bets. You have to look a little harder for this hidden Wine Country, drive a little farther to get there, and pay a little more attention when you arrive. But it’s well worth the effort.

Part 1 of this series takes us to School House Vineyard, a Napa stalwart making elegant wines that remain largely unknown, even to many of the Valley’s most ardent fans.

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This Week’s Orlando Wine Events are Sweet, Cool & Blind

Welcome to summer, Orlando! Who am I kidding, we all know it’s been summer here for months, but now the calendar has officially caught up to our weather. It’s time to take refuge from the heat with some wine events that will keep you cool and quenched. Read on for the highlights of …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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California, Italy, and Argentina on Tap for This Week’s Wine Events

It’s that time of year when the thermometer starts to inch up, but Orlando’s wine calendar shows no sign of cooling down. This week, hang with a winemaker from Santa Barbara, sample wines from Mount Vesuvius, sip some classic Napa cab, and much more. Here are some highlights of …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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