Posts Tagged ‘HdR’

Part 5 of The 12 Days of Wine Christmas: Wine Seminar Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for Wine Event Lovers and Rhone Hounds

I can’t think of a better gift you can buy tonight or tomorrow to put in a stocking or under the tree: Seminar passes to two of my most beloved wine events of the year: Hospice du Rhone and the generic levitra australia Rhone Rangers March Grand Weekend.

If you  have a loved one that lives in the Bay Area or Paso Robles, is already into wine, or keen to learn a lot more, these two weekend events, and their seminars, are an amazing experience.

Hospice du Rhone – 20 Year Anniversary. April 26-28

You will here me gush more as this event gets closer. Held every in Paso Robles, this event is a complete immersion of Rhone education of tastings, pairings, and seminars. This years event looks like it will trump all others. HdR is different from the Rhone Rangers event in a number of ways, one being its focus on International as well as domestic producers. Its a global event, literally.

The Seminars usually are not sold a la carte, and this is only the second year, and in limited quantities. Seminars so far are:

Seminar One: Why Spain (continues to) Rock!

Seminar Two: The Return of the Bionic Frog

  • Christophe Baron of Cayuse will take us through his wines of Walla Walla, Washington.

Seminar Three: A Collective Quest

  • Pierre Gaillard, Yves Cuilleron and Francois Villard take the stage to share their wines of Les Vins de Vienne

Seminar Four: Research, Revelations and the Art of Being Different

  • Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg, Australia will take the guests on an in depth tasting and discussion of his wines and research.

These seminars are $155 a piece. Or show them you REALLY love them and but the whole weekend experience, seminars and tastings, for $795

Tickets and info are here.

The Rhone Rangers: A Weekend Celebration of American Rhones. March 24-25th


year Fans of American Rhone wines gather for the  Annual Rhone Rangers San Francisco Tasting.

This event has grown in scope and success and is the largest American Rhone wine event in the country. Over 2,000 consumers and members of the trade  attend for the opoortunity to taste over 500 of the best American Rhone wines from more than 100 Rhone Rangers member wineries.

While many thin

k of the event as just the Ft Mason Grand tasting, its actually evolved into  two days with three seminars, a winemaker dinner, the Grand Tasting, and a live and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased a la carte, or for the best pricing use the weekend daytime events pass.

SEMINAR #1: RARE WINES, COME TASTE THE UNUSUAL, Saturday, March 24, 2012, $45/ticket

SEMINAR #2: WINE & SWINE, A PAIRING OF RHONE VARIETIES WITH BACON, Saturday, March 24, 2012 $65/ticket

SEMINAR #3: AMERICAN SYRAH FROM A VARIETY OF REGIONS, Sunday, March 25, 2012, 11 AM, Fort Mason $55/ticket 

Tickets information and purchase is here.

Happy Holidays and Rhone On!!

Related Articles:

Part 4 of “The 12 Days of Wine Christmas” A gadget for geeks and tasting rooms – Vinassure Wine Preservation System

Part 3 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” THE Instant, Perfect, Holiday Gift: Wine Road Winter Wineland Tickets

Part Two of the ’12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Cork Fabric Gifts

Part 1 of “The 12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Why not Wine? Some Gift Pack Suggestions


Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting – A Complete Rhone Weekend, not just a Tasting. 

A Rhone Event Like No Other – Hospice du Rhone April 29-30 Paso Robles (OR – The French are Coming!)


A Rhone Event Like No Other – Hospice du Rhone April 29-30 Paso Robles (OR – The French are Coming!)

My taste buds are still a tingle from 2 days of Rhone immersion with the past weekend’s Rhone Rangers event in San Francisco.

Now in only a month, another Rhone immersion, with an International flare awaits. Hospice du Rhone (HdR) holds a special place in my heart as it was the event responsible for my conversion to a Rhone enthusiast to a borderline obsession. (What else do you call it when a busy man drives 6 hours with a trailer full of Grenache Blanc grapes?)

This year at HdR the French are back in droves. Over 30 will be attending and pouring, plus Rhoners from Australia, and even one from Italy. And of course the many world class producers that have emerged in the U.S. This list of producers attending can be found here.

Something For a Rhone Lover of Every Level

From the learning Rhone aficionado to the savvy Master Sommelier or Winemaker – something exists for everyone. If you have declared Rhone wines as one of your favorites, you will be inspired to a whole new level after this event. Serious fun. Serious wine.

If you have attended HdR before, perhaps skipped a year or two – this years model has some serious new curves to check out and drive.

For Rhone Lovers of All Levels: There are two walk around tastings: The Friday Rhône Rendezvous Tasting from 3-6 p.m. and the Saturday Grand Tasting, also 3-6 pm. 130 Rhone worldy producers will pour Rhone varieties and blends you may not have access to, short of flying around for a month. These tastings have been enhanced with food tastings and cooking demonstrations.

For The Knowledge Hungry & Explorers: For the first time ever a limited number of seminar tickets from the series have been made available outside of the Weekend Pass. These 4 seminars offer an incredible wealth of diverse knowledge, enhanced with tastings. Explore the Rhone adventures of California, hear from the  “Dream Team” of French Roussillon producers, revel in the spirit of the Aussies as they discuss 2011 Harvest, or hear from the mother lode of the Rhone Valley producers themselves.

For Everyone! A Tradition…Enhanced: Rhône ‘n Bowl : HdR always kicks off Thursday night with bowling. Where else in the world can you bowl with world class Rhone producers from all over the world, pouring Rhone wines of every flavor, including from magnums, and usually some very special bottles! Chef Ryan Gromfin

Courtesy of HdR

of Central City Market located in Santa Maria is catering. Some special, creative treats are planned, such as Kobe beef corn dogs!

For those who like Sizzle! Friday Night – New Event – Soirée! Dazzle your senses with music, food, and of course wine in the International Street fair. (Poured from large format bottles selected by 22 sommeliers and 35 global producers.) Mingle your way through the purchase daily cialis international “streets” at Soirée! While walking the “streets” of this international street faire enjoy the  cuisine of Chef Clark Staub from Full of Life Flatbread hailing from Los Alamos, California.

For Foodies: Eat and taste your way through the Friday Rosé Lunch, the Saturday Lunch and Live Auction, and the Saturday night Farewell BBQ.

Courtesy of HdR

  • The Friday Rosé Lunch lunch is catered by Chef José Dahan of Et Voilà Restaurant in San Luis Obispo, California. His French cuisine will showcase these wines.
  • Saturday Lunch and Live Auction will feature the  delicious cuisine of Chef Budi Kazali from the Ballard Inn in  Santa Barbara Wine Country. Wines for this lunch will be provided by Sud de France.
  • The Saturday night Farewell BBQ is a a true California-styled BBQ will be prepared by the famous The Hitching Post from Buellton, California. Music & games will also be featured.

Sunday Morning: Roll out of bed and wonder how you will survive until HdR2012. Or do what I do and venture around Paso Robles and learn why its second only to the Rhone valley for World class Rhone wines.

Use the iPhone iRhône App

I was one of the first to use/review the HdR app last year, and it remains to this day, in my opinion the best winery/event app I have used. The basic review is still valid, but additional functionality has been added, which I will do a updated review on.

Coming Live to the Internet Browser Nearest You

I’d certainly encourage anyone who loves Rhones who can, to attend. Even if its nothing more than one of the tastings – a perfect compliment to a Paso Robles weekend. But for those of you who can’t I will be broadcasting live as I did last weekend for The Rhone Rangers, which seemed well received. (Feedback always welcome.) Twitter hashtag is #HdR2011.

You can also follow Hospice du Rhone on Twitter and Facebook.

Any questions, feedback, comments encouraged. Thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog – cheers!


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Part 9 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Make the Rhone Head in Your Life do a Backflip with Hospice du Rhone tickets

It shouldn’t be news to any that follow me, that I am a massive fan of Rhone varietals. I mean, I drove 12 hours just to get a half ton of grenache blanc…clearly its beyond a hobby. Rhone varietals seem to engender a level of enthusiasm from wine aficionados I don’t quite see in other varietal categories.

What Are ‘Rhones’

For those asking what are Rhone varietals (grapes) it refers to wine grapes whose origin is the Rhone Valley of France. Bordeaux is known for Cab, Merlot, etc, Burgundy for Pinot and Chardonnay, and the Rhone valley has 22 varietals, some quite obscure. The most well know red Rhones being Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignane and white Rhones being Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. But a true Rhoner’s eyes will light up like a Christmas tree at the pouring of a Cinsault or a Picpoul.

The Ultimate Rhone Weekend

Not to take anything away from the amazing weekend events the Rhone Rangers put on, but for a Rhone enthusiast, Hospice du Rhone is weekend of complete immersion, and being surrounded by others who share your passion. Winemakers and enthusiasts from all over the world, including France, Australia, South Africa make the annual trek to modest Paso Robles.  The event goes through 10,000 Riedel stems a day…this is serious tasting.

What Goes on a Hospice du Rhone (aka HdR)

You can peruse the event schedule and seminar series, but basically its a whirlwind 2+ days of educational seminars, tastings,  food pairings and entertainment, attended by wine makers, writers, and consumers. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy or appreciate; in fact if you are newer to Rhones but passionate about them, this is an excellent immersion that will greatly propel your knowledge base.

Simple Hedonism will be in attendance providing live Social Media coverage, and series of pre and post event articles. I will also be helping co-ordinate local tastings for live tastings that will be held prior to the event, celebrating Rhone varietals, as I did for #Grenache Day. (No Fire dancers this time, sorry.)

Limited A La Carte Tickets or the Big Kahuna Weekend Package

I recommend the full weekend package which includes all events and seminars save the Thursday night Rhône ‘n Bowl or the Friday night Soirée. If you can’t spend that much, commit much time, or want to intersperse HdR with other things, there are limited A La Carte Tickets.  For the first time this year, there are a very limited individual Seminars for sale as well, for $155 a piece. (You will taste wines at each seminars you may not see otherwise, last year’s  French and South African lineup was incredible.)

Maker a Rhoner Squeal like  Kid

Tickets can be purchased here, buy a Weekend Pass one for your Rhoner, print it out and put it in a massive box with a bow. The event seminars make great stocking stuffers. You’ll likely get a reaction akin to a small child getting is his/her first bicycle.

See you there, cheers!

The 12 Days of Wine Christmas

Part 1 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas”: Wine Road Winter Wineland, Redwood Foodbank Raffle.
Part 2: “12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Gadget Review of the VinniBag
Part 3 of “The 12 Wine Days of Christmas” – The Wine Check (no, its not money!)
Part 4 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Wine Clubs – A Review of Different Types and Benefits
Part 5 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” The Wine Soirée aerator & Limited Edition L/S
Part 6 of “The 12 Wine Days of Christmas” Lookout Ridge Winery & Wines for Wheelchairs
Part 7 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas”: Book Review/Recommendation: The New Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wine and Wineries
Part 8 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Membership

Bay Area Wine Lovers – Lets Road Trip to Paso Robles for Hospice du Rhone

What IS Hospice du Rhone?

Do you love Rhone wines like syrah, mourvedre, grenache, viognier? Interested in branching out from just those made in one country? Does the idea of comparing 393 Rhone reds and whites from 130 wine producers, from 6 countries make your skin tingle? Does going through 10,000 Riedel stems a day, make you quiver with anticipation?

My love of the many great Rhone varietals (22 total) has grown exponentially the last few years, and as a result, lasered my attention to the annual event, Hospice du Rhone (HdR), held April 29th – May 1st. This event is reputed by many to be one of the finest in the industry, and people and wineries travel from all over the world to attend.

The agenda is a stunning array of seminars, tastings and pairings over 3 days, set in Paso Robles, itself a mecca for wine (over 180 wineries)  many specializing in Rhone varietals.  I had already planned to attend this event, and marked off vacation time to fully enjoy Paso Robles as well, when I was pleased to learn that Simple Hedonisms was selected as one of the official Wine Blogs to write about the HdR2010.

Road Trip to Paso?

The funny thing about us Californians – we are blessed with so many great wine regions, but rarely check them out, when they are often only 1-4 hours away; yet people journey regularly from all over the country to visit our backyards. With a head of steam, and ahead of traffic, Paso Robles is only ~3 hours for most of us Bay Area residents, yet we rarely, if ever go.

Let’s show Paso Robles, California, and the 1200 attendees from all over the world, that Bay area people are amongst the most sophisticated, adventurous, and appreciative of the gems in our backyard. The HdR website has a great list of travel resources, and I will be writing more later.  The main Paso Robles website is also very well done.

Some people may not be interested in back to back seminars and tasting, or wish to spend $800 for the entire event; the nice thing about the design is you can pick a la carte what you wish to attend. For many wine enthusiasts, the public tastings will be plenty, leaving you time to mix those in with visits to the 180 local wineries, or take a drive to the coast, or other great things to do in the region. Those a bit more wine geeky, can pick up 1-2 seminars. And for those who dream of Rhone grapes dancing in their head at night, you can do the Full Monty. (Bring a spit cup, or a cot. You’ll be tasting through a crazy amount of world class wines.)

Are You Doing that Ticket Giveaway Contest Thingy Again?

Who leaked that? Yes, to assist in building our Road Trip entourage, I have managed to convince the generous HdR2010 team to give away tickets to each of the Fri and Sat tastings ($100 value!).  We will combine this with our usual “Question of the Week” with a Rhone theme. As with similar contests you will post the question on the HdR Facebook Fan site , and a question will be selected for a free ticket, and answered in a blog article.

Additionally, there will be one drawing for all registered email subscribers of Simple Hedonisms.

The schedule will be:

Question of the Day

  • Monday: April 5, 12th, 19th – Question of the Day Post Opens Up
  • Wed: April  7, 14, 21st – Winner Selected, followed by follow-up blog answer

Email Subscriber Drawing

  • Tickets will be given to a randomly drawn subscriber Fri April 16th and 23rd.
  • Tickets will also be a door prize at this month’s Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup.

Stay tuned for LOTS more great info on Rhone varietals.


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