Exploring Bordeaux, France

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Bordeaux France is one of those places that we always wanted to visit, but had never made it there. On this trip to France, we planned to rectify that gaping hole in our wine education (not to speak of our appreciation) with a few days visit in September during harvest. As we searched for touring [Read more …]

Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and the Mina's Basin

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Our next stop in Nova Scotia was the Annapolis Valley, a 150 km-long valley that runs along the Mina’s Basin, an estuary that is separated from the body of the Bay of Fundy by the mountainous Cape Blomidon. The region is notable for a number of reasons, including; It’s geology and microclimate, which makes it [Read more …]

The Glories of Growers Champagne

You would love to celebrate a special event with a nice French champagne, but are intimidated by the nosebleed prices of the most popular brands. Relief may be on its way, thanks to the efforts of Champagne de Vignerons, a syndicate of about 5,000 small, mostly family-owned wineries authorized to label their Methode Champenoise wines, [Read more …]

Willamette Valley Restaurants

We love exploring restaurants. We were, however, otherwise occupied during our six-day visit to the Willamette Valley. The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) kept us full occupied for two and a half days (not to speak of another evening for our Pre-IPNC Dinner at Cristom Winery. And even during our time visiting wineries, we seldom [Read more …]

Best of our Willamette Valley Winery Experiences

We enjoyed (and typically bought) one or two wines from the vast majority of Willamette Valley wineries we visited. In other words. We bought a lot of wine! A number of wineries, however, four stood out: Wineries were we enjoyed virtually every wine we tasted. Among this rare breed were: [Read more …]

Carlton/Yamhill and Eola-Amity Hills Area Wineries and Restaurants

Yamhill-Carlton is at the northern end of the Willamette Valley, while Eola-Amity Hills is at the southern end. Given the diversity in the Valley, and among these two AVAs, one might expect the wines from each to differ greatly, as do those from the contiguous Newberg and Dundee Hills AVAs. Surprisingly, while the soil types [Read more …]

Dundee Hills Area Wineries and Restaurants

As a reminder form our previously posted Primer on Willamette Valley AVA and Vintages, the Dundee Hills AVA is generally characterized by red volcanic (Jory) soil which holds heat, resulting in deep, red cherry and plum-based fruit-focused wines with iron-based minerality and spices such as cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Of the three vintages we [Read more …]

A Primer on Willamette Valley AVA and Vintages

Although we know that we enjoy relatively earthy, less fruit-forward Willamette Valley wines, we did not know enough about the region, not to mention the roughly dozen different AVAs, to understand why, and which wines we were most likely to enjoy. This trip was an attempt to decipher some of what have been to sum [Read more …]

Santa Rita Hills Wines

Foggy Morning in Fiddlestix Vineyard

We recently had an opportunity to attend a wine tasting with the Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance, which showcased 17 wineries from the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The wineries were (in alphabetical order) Cargasacchi Clos Pepe Cold Heaven Cellars DAlfonso-Curran Dragonette Fiddlehead Cellars Flying Goat Hilliard Bruce Hitching Post Huber Kessler-Haak Lindley Liquid Farm Longoria [Read more …]

Day-Tripping through Burgundy

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We have taken longer trips to France’s Burgundy region, touring the Hospices de Beaune, tasting our way through Caves des Cordeliers and experiencing pre-scheduled tastings at wineries. This time, after a morning drive from Mulhouse (at the base of the Alsace Wine Road), we had far less time. We arrived in Beaune France at noon [Read more …]