Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration Vineyards’

Don't Miss! Saturday Feb 2nd is the 2nd Annual Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush

This Saturday (tomorrow!) is the  2nd Annual Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush in Santa Rosa.

Inspiration Custom Crush is located at Inspiration Vineyards & Winery, and is a second business managed by Jon Philips, where very small and/or new wineries can share facilities and knowledge to make their wine.

The Superbowl is the next day, so this is also excellent opportunity to stock up on adult beverages for your Superbowl party.

Try & Buy Wines You Normally Can't

With the exception of Inspiration Vineyards, these wineries don't have public tasting rooms. This is a special opportunity for you to TRY & BUY wines from seven uniquely different wineries, each with their own winemaker present to tell you their story and introduce you to their wines. Experience the small lot, artisanal wines from:

Food Pairings & Offers

Just in time for Valentine’s day, Sonja Schluter, buy pfizer viagra in canada owner and chocolatier of Eye Candy, sampling and selling her artisanal chocolates.  In addition,  two local cheese makers will be offering samples of their delicious artisanal cheeses.

No wine event is complete at without a food truck! David from FishOn will be here featuring the regular menu that includes his famous fish & chips, plus he’ll also have some fan favorites like his pulled pork sandwiches.

Your Ticket Includes $10 Wine Credit!

Upon check-in at the door, you'll receive $10 back in wine bucks, redeemable on the day of the event at ALL seven wineries.  Tickets are $20 at the door, or buy today and save $5  – either thats a price of $5-10 to taste from SEVEN wineries

– beat that bargain for Saturday entertainment!


  • When: Saturday, February 2nd from 11am till 5pm
  • Where: 3360 Coffey Lane – Suite E, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
  • Cost: $20 at the door – SAVE $5 by registering online, using promo code: promoiv 
  • Register: please visit

Visit Other Wineries Without Leaving the Parking Lot!

Still 'thirsty' after tasting – the business park has other wineries including Vinoteca, a collective tasting room for multiple wineries; famed Zin maker Carol Shelton; the geeky NPA & Salinia, and high end, appointment only Donelan Wines.

Or visit other nearby wineries on the Santa Rosa Wine Trail!

Have a great wine weekend – cheers!


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Experience 6 Micro-Wineries You Normally Can't Taste, Feb 4th, In A Unique Try& Buy Tasting, Santa Rosa

My mantra that Wine Tasting events must evolve remains steadfast, as I have written numerous times. (See buy cheap cialis online

href=”″ rel=”bookmark”>Wine Tasting Events Must Evolve, Taste of Mendocino June 13th, A Fresh Unique Format.)

In the ongoing competition of events, organizations need to evolve what they offer consumers. Likewise, for small wineries to survive, they can not simply continue to pour dozens of bottles of wine at events, without some level of ROI, beyond brand recognition.

Thanks to the concept of custom crush, where winemaking facilities can be shared, the advent of virtual, microwineries continues to grow. Yet if these wineries don’t have normal hours, how does one get to taste, and purchase these handmade (often hand bottled, labelled) true artisan, very small lot wines?

The state of California does not make premise wine sales very easy, but the industry and technology continues to evolve to facilitate wine tasting combined with sales.

One of these events is occurring Feb 4th in Santa Rosa.

Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush

Many wineries now share their facilities with other small winemakers. This win win arrangement allows them to faster recoup their large capital investment, and simultaneously allows new, small wineries to get started without the capital investment up front, albeit at a higher production cost per bottle.

Inspiration Vineyards, itself a micro-winery producing ~1000 cases a year, is one of these facilities. Under its roof, Jon Philips has other wineries making wine. These small vintners have no tasting room, and sell by appointment only, and to restaurants.


Taste Small Lot Wines You Can’t Normally Try or Buy

Feb 4th, from 11 am to 5 pm, you will be able to try and buy these wineries.

Ticket Price Includes Wine Purchase Credits

The event features small bites to go along with the

wines, and Ultra Crepes, one of my favorite food trucks will be on hand.

Tickets in advance are $20, but come with $10 credit towards wine purchase, and $5 towards food, reducing your cost for the event to a mere $5.

You may purchase tickets online at:

Don’t miss the great opportunity to taste wines you can’t normally!

Get Inspired at the Simple Hedonisms & Inspiration Vineyards Sonoma Wine Meetup & Open House (New! Food Truck Dinner option!)

Simple Hedonisms invites you to join us Monday August 29th from 5-7 p.m. (and beyond, see below!) for our August meetup at Santa Rosa Wine Trail member Inspiration Vineyards. (Same area as our June meetup at Vinoteca.)
Event features:
*  boutique winery pouring small lot wines
* Industry discount on all wines for the night
* Networking with industry wine makers, hospitality, consumers.

No charge for industry and only $10 for consumers, no drink tickets etc. Entry includes all food & wine for the event, and door prizes.

  • WINE Industry: Winery Staff, Production, Trade, Media, Retail) NO CHARGE (Please bring a biz card or proof)
  • Consumers/Friends/Family –  $10 ($9 in advance) BUT includes all Food & Wine. In spirit of good karma & small business please don’t abuse. Consumer friends etc should pay.

Attendees will also receive a Santa Rosa Wine Trail card with its first stamp.


Pre-Register for Raffle prizes

Pre-register in advance to help us plan for food & staffing costs. It also gets (consumers) a second chance to win a raffle. Raffle drawn at 630 pm, must be present to win.
Bring a business card to enter to win drawings for the night. Register at:

You can get additional chances to win by:

(1) being a consumer and pre-registering or

(2) being a winery and donating a prize to raffle.


New – STAY AFTER; Food Truck Party!

The event ends at 7, but the party continues. All wines by the glass only $5 and food truck vendor Street-Eatz will be selling food. They were a big hit at my recent Pinot event.

If you think you might stay, answer the question during registration so we can plan on tables & chairs.


Wines Poured:

Inspiration Vineyards is a small winery, specialing in wines made in a  classic French style; think Sancerre not New Zealand Sauv Blanc, Burgundy not buttered popcorn chardonnay. Approachable Cab, not oak planks.

  • 2009 Russian River Chardonnay – $24
  • 2009 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc – $22
  • 2008 Alexander Valley Zinfandel  – $23
  • 2006  Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon –  $30

All Inspiration Vineyards current releases are available for sale this night only for a special 30% discount.

Put the Social in Social Networking! Every month people who have been virtual friends become real life ones!

Register at:

Please use Twitter hashtag #SoCoWine


Your hosts:
William Allen – Simple Hedonisms

Jon & Barbara Phillips – Inspiration Vineyards

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Wine of the Week – Inspiration Vineyards Russian River Valley 2009 Viognier

It’s intriguing to me the high quality Rhone wines that can come out of the Russian River Valley, especially since this is known as a ‘cool’ climate, and the Southern Rhone is warm. While not widely planted, you can find Rhone whites Marsanne, Roussanne, & Viognier here. Grenache blanc doesn’t seem to exist yet in RRV, my likely hobby planting may be one of the first. Excellent Syrah (which does well in both cool and warm climates, with a big flavor profile difference) and small plantings of Grenache can also be found.

I am one of the odder ducks perhaps, as I also like Russian River Zinfandel. Dry Creek Valley is of course the respected King, but there are quite a decent amount of very old vine, head trained Zin here.

What’s my point? I guess that despite being cooler, we have a long enough growing season and hang time, plus cool foggy nights. This allows for longer, slower ripening, good acidity, and good flavor profile maturation, without excess ripeness and alcohol, and loss of acidity. (As sugars increase, acid levels eventually decrease.) Acidity is what makes wine food friendly. Alcohol is what makes you fall down.

Achieving a Balanced California Viognier

What does this have to do with Inspiration Vineyards Viognier? It’s from Russian River, and I am comparing it side by side with a Dry Creek (much warmer climate) Viognier. California Viognier has unfortunately (earned in some cases) gotten a bit of a bad rap, for being too big, flabby (lacking acidity) and overly floral.

This is a varietal that is characteristically quite floral AND lower on acidity levels, so over ripening it is a dangerous proposition. Additionally some producers are leaving some sweetness (Residual sugar, or RS) on it to appeal to mass palates. A tiny bit of RS can be a positive thing in achieving balance, but some I have tried exceed that.

About Inspiration Vineyards

Inspiration Vineyards recently came on my radar in 2010 when they moved to a new tasting room in Santa Rosa (by Carol Shelton) and joined the Wine Road.

Jon & Barbara Philips have been chasing their dream, started making wine in 1999, and in 2001 plunged right in buying a house and 4.5 acres in the Russian River Valley. I have had the pleasure to meet them both. Passionate about wine, the region, the community. Jon is a wine geek extraordinaire. You can read more on theirA story here. They make a variety of wines; my favorites being their Rhones (Syrah & this Viognier) and Burgundian wines (Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.)

Wine Review – Inspiration Vineyards Russian River Valley 2009 Viognier

This is an excellent, balanced, expression of Viognier that is a pleasure to drink.

To The Eye: medium yellow straw, vibrant, clear

On The Nose: Fragrant as a Viognier should be, but not overpowering. White Peach, lime zest, hint of guava.

In The Mouth: Great viscosity, weight, mouthfeel, but not cloying as some can be. Peach, Stone fruits, citrus.

Food Pairing: Crab, seafood, grilled chicken, amongst others

Rating: Outstanding. 91 points

Where to Buy: Direct from Winery. $29.  Call 707.237.4980 for retail locations or email

Wine Geek Notes:

  • Vineyard: Marsha’s Vineyard,  Russian River Valley
  • Harvest Date: September 30th 2009
  • Brix at Harvest: 26.5°
  • Total Acid: .70 g/L
  • pH: 3.45
  • Alcohol: 14.8%
  • Bottled Date: September 17th 2010
  • Release Date: March 1st
  • Vinification: 100% stainless, sterile filtered, no malo-lactic secondary fermentation.

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