Posts Tagged ‘Passport to Dry Creek Valley’

Eight Big Wine Events to Look for in Early 2012: Introducing new Guest Blogger, Norcal Wine

Once upon a time, Simple Hedonisms used to be a great resource for Wine Country events. Eventually, time demands diminished that, although it used to be one of the most actively read features, and I even invested some dollars in a fancy calendar app

that never took. Fred Swan, of NorCal Wine, one of my favorite blogs, has been doing a great job on weekly and monthly events.

With two big life changes starting for me (will try and leak those out tomorrow) there is no hope of Simple Hedonisms resuming that task, nor compete with Fred. He has graciously agreed to guest post articles. I have also asked him in each to try to link back to other interesting articles. Fred does the creative writing and wine journalism I had always aspired to but never had time, and that so few of the other bloggers and writers do. I can’t recommend his work to the wine enthusiast enough.

Please welcome Fred, and his contributions on his site, and excerpts here.

Eight Big Wine Events to Look for in Early 2012

(excerpted from 10 Big Wine Events to Look Forward to in Early 2012)

As many people are looking forward to a spending this weekend at home with family and friends, there aren’t a lot of wine events. So, with the New Year just around the corner, this week’s event article is focused on

iconic events you can look forward to for the first four months of 2012.

hdr_20_year_sealThese are the big ones. They are the multi-day events that wine lovers build their schedules around. Some sell out fast. Others offer early-bird discounts. Consider buying tickets now or as soon as they come available.

Bring Out the Barrel — Placerville: January 29 – 30, 2012
Enjoy barrel tasting of El Dorado wines and go on a winery scavenger hunt. Be the first to taste the upcoming wine releases.

International Alsace Varietals Festival — Boonville (Anderson Valley, Mendocino County): February 18, 2012
This annual festival celebrates Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat and Riesling with three excellent events. a Technical Conference, a Grand Tasting and a Winemakers Dinner. Everybody knows how good Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is. Learn about the AVA’s other specialty.

Paso Robles Rhone Rangers — Paso Robles: February 19, 2012
The Paso Robles chapter of the Rhone Rangers invite you to a Seminar and Winemaker Lunch followed by a Grand Tasting and Silent Auction. This is a good opportunity to gain a good understanding of how different parts of the big Paso Robles AVA differ with respect to Rhone-variety wines.

Premiere Napa Valley — Napa Valley: February 23 – 25, 2012 *Trade only*
Napa Valley opens its door to the global wine trade in this annual event. There’s a three-vintage tasting of many Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines, tasting of special lots and then a big auction where those lots are sold. Many individuall wineries have associated events too.

Behind the Cellar Door — Plymouth: March 3 – 4, 2012
You tasted the El Dorado barrels. Now you’ve got to try those from Amador as its wineries open their doors for food, fun, music and tasting.

A Weekend Celebration of American Rhones — San Francisco: March 24 – 25, 2012
The annual Rhone Rangers tasting is always a really good event. It combines a big Grand Tasting (Sunday) with interesting seminars and a Winemaker Dinner/Live Auction. This year the seminars include a rare wines tasting, a pairing of Rhone wines and bacon, and a survey of Syrah from various American regions.

Hospice du Rhone — Paso Robles: Aprill 27 – 29, 2012
Hospice du Rhone is the biggest and best festival in the world devoted to Rhone-variety wines. There are 5 excellent seminars, a Tavel rosé lunch, viagra shop an auction lunch (always big fun!) and two massive tastings. If you like Rhone-varietal wines — be they from France, Australia, California or Washington — HdR is the place to be.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley — Dry Creek Valley wineries: April 28 – 29, 2012
This event is perhaps the king of the regional passports. Two days and 50+ wineries in beautiful Dry Creek. This event always sells out fast. Order your tickets as soon as the online sales start at 10am on February 1 (seriously).


Related Articles:

Wine Events for the Weekend, January 27 – 29

Top Picks in 2009 Bordeaux from the Union des Grands Crus Tasting in San Francisco

4 Amazing California Wine Events this Weekend: Paso Robles, Hopland, Healdsburg, Pebble Beach

It’s a stunning weekend of wine events through out California. For some of these events only a handful of tickets remain. Get em while they are hot!

Passport to Dry Creek Valley

The Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley rolls out the red carper with  its 22nd annual Passport to Dry Creek Valley. 45+ Dry Creek Valley wineries will be rolling out the red carpet for an exclusive weekend of new wine releases paired with a bounty of food from top Sonoma County chefs! Meet the winemakers and owners, often the same people, and learn more about winemaking in bucolic Dry Creek Valley. Many wineries offer either live music or entertainment. In past years, this has included circus troupes, belly dancers and safari adventures. Come and see what they have to offer this year!

There are a handful of two day tickets left –  tickets are limited by design to keep this event a very high quality experience. Check/ buy here.

Simple Hedonisms writer Katherine Parker will be attending and Tweeting live. You can follow her on Twitter as well as Dry Creek Valley. Follow the Twitter hashtag #PassportDCV. No need to have a Twitter account, just click here.

Hospice du Rhone

It’s Rhone Christmas in Paso Robles this weekend at Hospice du Rhône.  For the past 19 years, three-days in the late spring have been reserved for an exclusive weekend surrounding all things Rhône. A palate provoking weekend embracing the enchantment, history and tastes of the twenty-two Rhône varieties. Throughout the weekend, tip your glass with worldly Rhône wine producers, journey through the largest international collection of Rhône variety wines and savor Rhône inspired cuisine all while taking in the inspiring and spirited Rhône community.

Online Pass Sales will closed yesterday. Friday Rhône Rendezvous and Saturday Grand Tasting passes will be available at the door for $110. Considering over 30 French Buying cialis Producers are pouring, and the amazing food pairings, $110 is a steal, trust me.

I wish I could attend all four events, but unfortunately I can’t. I love almost all wines, but Rhone’s stir my blood,  and I have a media invite to this event that beckons.  Watch for a follow-up post tomorrow on how to follow for updates. Twitter hashtag is #HdR2011.

Hopland Spring Passport

This weekend at Hopland’s Famous Wine Tasting Event, Hopland area wineries assemble and “roll out the barrel” showing their finest in Rhone, Italian, Burgundian, and Bordeaux varietals ranging from Arneis to Zinfandel. Experience 17 Local Mendocino County Wineries -Each winery will entertain in their own special way, which could include live music, bocce ball, barrel tasting, barbeques, book signings, reserve and future tastings and much more.  Excellent summary by the Ukiah Daily Journal can be found here.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine

I have yet to attend this event, but its big enough that even hard core Rhoners like Bonny Doon divide and conquer coverage between this and Paso Robles Hospice du Rhone.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the massive epicurean lifestyle event, bringing 6,000 national and international attendees to Del Monte Forest. Hosted primarily at Spanish Bay, the scope of the event encompasses every property in Pebble Beach and uses local and regional staff to create a hedonistic four-day event that matches 250 acclaimed wineries with 75 celebrity chefs, and includes wine and beverage tasting, cooking demonstrations, and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world.  Tickets are still available for some events and tastings, check here.

For every budget, focus and palate, there is something to enjoy this weekend – have a great weekend of Simple Hedonisms – wine, food, friends, and fun – cheers!


Related Posts:

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

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Simple Hedonisms gets a ‘Passport to Dry Creek’

In the blurry whirlwind of wine events in April, excited this weekend to attend our first Passport to Dry Creek.

As always. I suggest making a plan for multi-winery passport/bracelet type events. So I grabbed a glass of wine, downloaded the brochure, and tried to narrow down the 45+ choices to fit into 2 days. Some people like to turn these into a whirlwind event, hitting as many as they can. I prefer, especially at an event focused on food pairings, with music etc to take my time, talk to winery owners, wine makers (where possible) and take a more leisurely pace.

No plan survives battle, and my wine event weekend itineraries generally morph as the day goes, but here is my first pass for Saturday and Sunday:


Amista -The amazing Rosso Pizzeria will be there, using the shiny new oven just installed. And Amista’s new mini’s.

Alderbrook – You had me at Pigs and Pinot, plus I have never visited, need to work in some new stops

Mounts – Belly Dancers, Mediterranean Food from A Divine Affair; and David & Lana are the best.

Dutcher Crossing – Deb isn’t sharing in the brochure what the food and entertainment is, but she is always a great hostess.

Peterson – my winemaker friend Alan Baker recommends Peterson for their Carnitas and their wines, never been, added to the list.

Frick – my favorite Rhone producer in Dry Creek, I drink a number of Bill Frick’s wines regularly and need a re-stock! Food pairings sound promising. Sometimes I wish Frick would stay a secret, but somethings have to be shared.

Bella – close by to Mounts, love touring their caves and hanging out on the lawn.

Michel-Schlumberger M-S always throw a great bash, look forward to their Baja party.

Mauritson Winery– Charlie Palmer is the chef. Need any other reason? (Syrah, Petite Sirah, Malbec doesn’t hurt either!)

I have other DCV faves such as Kokomo, Seghesio, Talty, Rafanelli, Ridge, David Coffaro I want to try and fit in as well, time permitting. I picked the above on a combination not just their wine, but their offering of food parings, entertainment, facilities. Passport to Dry Creek isn’t an inexpensive event, and most of these wineries I can visit any week, so my selection criteria isn’t just wine based.

If you see us out and about, come say hi, cheers!

Amista Vineyards goes ‘mini’ for Passport to Dry Creek Valley

This weekend will be abAmista Minis 06uzz  with the Passport to Dry Creek Valley event. Its a fun event with a bevvy of activity,  46 wineries in picturesque Dry Creek Valley come together once a year to celebrate their wines paired with mouthwatering cuisine. You can take tours, meet the winemakers and mingle with the chefs from Sonoma County’s best restaurants. Experience entertainment ranging from belly dancers, to circus troupes, live music and much more.

I love many of the great wineries in Dry Creek, one of these being Amista Vineyards. Vicky, Mike and the team are always seeking ways to improve the customer experience and enhance their already great hospitality, which they are renowned for. I have enjoyed following them on Facebook, and their recent adventures adding a pizza oven.

I was really pleased to learn of their latest innovation they are launching this weekend, a new ‘Taste of Amista’ – a package of 6 bottles of their wine, using the new 50 ML bottles.

This is an exciting development that I hope more wineries embrace. What a great way for wine club members, remote wine enthusiasts, wine writers and bloggers, be able to sample a wineries portfolio, in a much easier, less expensive format to ship, transport etc.

Amista Minis 05

More technology is involved than most consumers realize. Bottling  is  one of the least fun parts of the wine industry; getting wine into small bottles, with minimal exposure to air (bad), impurities etc took significant  research and innovation.

TastingRoom Inc.  creates these wine samplers using its patent-pending T.A.S.T.E. Technology™ (Total Anaerobic Sample Transfer Environment). Using T.A.S.T.E. Technology, wine is transferred directly from full bottles into small 50 ml bottles in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber, so that wineries can be assured the wine samples are a true representation of their wine.

I asked Vicky and Mike to share their thoughts, and why they adopted this new bottle format:

“We think it’s one of the coolest innovations to come along in the world of wine in a long time – the next best thing to visiting a tasting room and  try before you buy.  It is especially exciting for a winery like ours – small production of 1800 cases, whose wines you will never find on the wine shop shelves.  There are so many wonderful boutique wineries to experience and here’s a way to do it”.

I completely agree, and am excited to see Amista be an early adopter. Other  wineries who have rolled out this format include Trefethen, Seghesio, and DeLoach.

The applications for this are wide; Tasting Parties, Gifts, Try before you Buy. Amista has a special “Tasting Party Bundle’ concept; one box for each guest replicates the Amista tasting room experience complete with tastins. Take one home as a present for the house sitter from your wine country vacation. (or send us wine bloggers a wider variety of samples in a less expensive method!) Check out their fun video too for the debut: Amista goes Mini

Can’t wait to grab one this Saturday before they are all gone!


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