Burgundy, Italy, and Washington State Headline Orlando’s Week in Wine

The dog days of summer march on in Central Florida, although at least we’re not in Michigan where it’s even hotter!

The heat is no reason not to get out and enjoy some cool wine events, and there are a few gems coming up this week. Check out the details 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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Post-Holiday Wine Events Abound

I hope you all celebrated well on the Fourth of July. I enjoyed some lovely Champagne and this amazing view of the fireworks over Orlando’s Lake Eola!

Our local wine merchants are emerging from their holiday stupor (as are we all), and they have some fun things in store for next week. Read on for highlights of …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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Slipping Slowly into Summer Wine Season

Temperatures continue to warm in the City Beautiful, and I can feel the tempo beginning to slow down on the wine scene, as Central Florida slips into its languid summer pace. But there are still plenty of events to enjoy and plenty of recurring events to check out too.

Given the slower pace, I’ll go ahead and share event highlights for the next two weeks. It works out well, since I’ll also be a little busy in the coming days. As I write this, I’m winging my way to California wine country – be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for updates on my adventures!

Without further ado, here are …

ORLANDO’S NEXT TWO WEEKS 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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Magic Hosts First Orlando Wine Festival; Lots of Events Coming Up This Week

This weekend was a big one for Orlando’s wine scene, with the inaugural Orlando Wine Festival on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. The Orlando Magic organized the event and invited me to attend the al fresco grand tasting.

It featured mostly Napa wines, and while those big reds were a little challenging to drink outside on a warm day, it was worth it to taste some of the classic wines on hand – Dunn and Heitz were among the biggest names. I also enjoyed making a few new discoveries, including one of Argentina’s first GSM Rhone-style blends from Corazon del Sol, a project of Napa’s Revana Family Vineyard. All the winery representatives were lovely and informative too.

My only regret is that the festival’s high price tag (the cheapest package was $2500 per couple) kept many members of Orlando’s robust and active community of wine lovers away. Of course, the Magic sees the event primarily as a fundraiser for its Youth Foundation, but it would be nice if the team could find a way to make it more accessible to Orlando oenophiles who regularly support local wine establishments.

There are plenty of wine events coming up this week with significantly lower barriers to entry, though. Read on for the highlights.

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