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.
Weekends are when I usually tell you about the plethora of wine events in the coming week … but next week is looking a little slow, what with the holiday and all.
So what better time to discover a new favorite wine place?
If you haven’t checked out the Wine Venues Guide in awhile, you’ll notice a few new spots on the list, including a couple I hadn’t visited in several years, simply because they’d fallen out of my usual rotation.
One of those is Quantum Leap Winery in the Mills-50 district, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. On a recent visit, I found a friendly space and passionate people who are taking risks, breaking rules, and making some pretty cool wines.
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’re like most Central Floridians, you know Chef Jamie McFadden because he catered your wedding, or your company’s holiday party, or your favorite charity’s fundraiser.
Jamie’s Cuisiniers Catering company has been a mainstay in Orlando for almost two decades, and Jamie himself is well known as a top-notch local chef.
But I know him in a different context – as an oenophile.
Floridians travel to Colorado a lot. Only California and Texas send more tourists to this land of snow and yogis. If you find yourself heading to the Centennial State for some skiing or hiking or yoga (or, ummm, partaking of recreational substances) it’s worth checking out the local wine too.
In a state known – beverage-wise – for beer, and more recently for spirits, winemaking in Colorado has long played third fiddle. And it still does. But on a recent visit, I was pleased to find that the quality of Colorado’s wine is nothing to sneeze at. If you know where to look, you can find some lovely, cool-climate Old World-style wines, some of them even age-worthy.