Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Winery of The Month, Wine of the Week: Inman Family Wines 2009 Brut Rose Nature "Endless Crush"

It’s time to bring it back home to Russian River Valley, and feature one of our unsung heroines, Kathleen Inman of Inman Family Wines.

Welcome to our third selection of winery of the month. In keeping with the theme of previous selections, this title is awarded too wineries whose wines  have been epiphany experiences generic viagra online uk (and often still are) and for outstanding contributions to the wine industry, community, and environment.Inman Family Wines, nearby in Russian River Valley, is overdue for this recognition.

Uncompromising Wine Making PhilosophyAbout Us

Kathleen, on her 10th vintage, has come into her own as a world class wine maker, making Pinot Noir (and a few other treats) in styles she believes in. She isn’t into scores or trend chasing, and never relents in her pursuit of wine making the has an expression of place and vintage, with minimal intervention, making the very best wine that she can.

Kathleen has been rewarded by solid steady growth – while many small wineries have decreased production, Inman continues to steadily expand each year, reaching 3400 cases in 2011.

A Trailblazer in Eco-Friendly Practices in The Vineyard & Winery (Eco-Ethics)

Secondly, Kathleen has been repeatedly recognized for her many industry leading accomplishments in sustainability and green practices, both in the vineyard and the winery. Not because they are sexy marketing buzz words, but principles she has believed in, and practiced, long before they became in vogue.

Rather thaOurStoryn re-write them all here, they are captured in several documents on the Inman website, drill down a bit, starting here. I challenge you to find a local winery that has invested more per capita in water reclamation, recycled materials, and sustainability. (And an electric car charging staton to boot!)

I should point out as well that while I say Kathleen, who beyond any doubt is the workhorse of this labor of love – there is a family behind the story, as it seems almost necessary to make it as a small winery. Kathleen’s husband Simon, has stood by, supported and thrown in many hand of assistance, on

top of his legal pursuits. Kathleen and Simon have two wonderful daughters they dote on, whom can be found helping out around the tasting room during college semester breaks. One can only hope at least one will eventually get the bug and become second generation. Sadly, I am close to Kathleen’s age, or I’d ask for adoption.

A Foodie At HeartPerfect Pairing

Kathleen is all about food, and pairing it with wine. Unfortunately ‘food friendly’ has become an overused word in the industry, but Kathleen lives, breathes, and …eats it. Even in the early stages of wine making of a vintage, when doing barrel samples, she is thinking ahead of foods and sauces that will pair well. Her recipes have been published as well as recorded professionally.

You can check out many of her recipes here:


Endless Crush

This close family and their support of Kathleen’s pursuit is an excellent start for the story behind the wine of the week, the ‘Endless Crush.’ No its not a horror story about the 2011 Harvest that seemed it would never end, but the love story of Kathleen & Simon.

For their 20th wedding Anniversary Kathleen wanted to make a special romantic wine for Simon, and started making a special rose’ every other year. Kathleen being Kathleen, this was of course a true rose’, not a saignee or juice bleed off. That means that grapes that could go into a $50 Pinot Noir, were instead being used for a Rose’ wine, which no matter how wonderful, can’t sell for that price, thus profit is given up for love.  Endless Crush rose’ is done every other year, is a wonderful wine that quickly sells out.

For their 25th anniversary, Kathleen wanted to start a new tradition that was extra special. She had been studying closely the various methods of making sparkling wine (we are no longer allowed to call it champagne,) and decided to release a special sparkling brut Rose’, from Pinot Noir.


Wine Review: Inman Family Wines 2009 Brut Rose’ Nature “Endless Crush”

There are many remarkable things about this sparkling wine. One is that is unusual for California wine is that no  sugar in the final ‘dosage’ is added. A dosage is added right before final corking, and has a varying degrees of sugar (thus sweetness) depending on the style. The dosage sweetness can come from a variety of things, including the current vintage sweet juice itself.

In this case Kathleen added 2% of barrel aged 2009 OGV Estate Pinot Noir for added complexity and to tint the wine ever so slightly.

This makes the sparkling wine in line with other Kathleen’s other wines, higher in acidity, making them truly food friendly.

To The Eye: Just the slightest tinge of pink.

One the Nose: Lots of strawberry, citrus and a hint of  bread yeast

In The Mouth:  I am not a bubbles snob, but my appreciation has definitely grown the last few years, and this is a gem, not a surprise given how much I like Kathleen’s other wines. Bright in the mouth, great acidity combined with rich texture and mouthfeel, lingering finish and some minerality, this is a unique work of art.

Recommendation: An amazing bottle of sparkling, made by a champion of the earth, with a romantic story behind it. Can there be any greater gift?

93 points. Highly recommended, buy two, one to drink, one to lay down. $56 online or at the winery. For a limited time there is a holiday two pack for $99. 

Food Pairing: Kathleen recommends “The recipe for crab and scallop cakes are a natural with the bubbles”


Happy Holidays & Cheers!


Related Articles:

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

Sonoma Holiday Wine Market delights with Wine, Food and Local Color

Dane Cellars Santa in "Floods"

The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Association “Wine Market – Holiday Edition” proved to be a great opportunity to taste from 27 wineries in one place, including small producers not open to the public. Here you could taste, then purchase unique wines at fantastic savings. Excellent food tastings, and food-wine pairing advice was available from local Sommeliers  – in Santa hats no less.  Last not least, you could speak with the winemakers … and see what characters they can be!

Santa in Floods? Bart Hansen, winemaker at Dane Cellars, says he spends most of the year in Bermuda shorts. When Sonoma temps hit 75’ F on December 2, he rolled out to the event in his special Santa Floods.  The Dane Cellars Clarksburg 2009 Chenin Blanc he poured is richer bodied than a Sauvignon Blanc, making it a was a good wine for a sunny winter day and a perfect match for the Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese served up by the girl and the fig.

Santa Sommeliers. What is a sommelier (so-mel-yay)? A “Somm,” or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional specializing in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food matching.  Three certified Somms in Santa hats roamed the floor at the “Wine Market – Holiday Edition” event, helping guests with wine advice, pairing, and directing them to wine specials.

Eric Ross "Struttin' Red"

Cocky Wine: Eric Ross 2010 Struttin’ Red

Eric Luce, winemaker at label Eric Ross, invites you to taste his red blend of the year. 2010 is a unique blend of Tempranillo, Old Vine Zin and Petite Sirah. It screams out for a really good Cheeseburger. Failing to find any cheeseburgers, this wine was great with the Truffle Gateau chocolates featured at the Market.

Consumers have many benefits to gain from a single-location event like this. To name a few:

  1. Access unique fine wines and local cuisine
  2. Lower prices on quality wines
  3. Remove the driving around from a wine-tasting outing – all the wines and food, all in one place
  4. Access to *Santa Sommeliers* to advise on matching foods with the wines you like
  5. Buy where you taste and take your wine home with you!

I had a conversation with Christopher Sawyer, Somm at Carneros Bistro in Sonoma. I asked Chris how one should go about pairing up wines with a meal. “First of all, the method should be reversed. Decide your menu, then match the wine to it.”  OK, I said, then to break the rules a bit, let’s say I’ve got a Zinfandel from Haywood Winery, which is pouring here today. Chris suggests, “This is a supple, medium body Zinfandel that gives you a lot of flexibility with the food pairing. Game. Duck. Spicy pork with compote on the side. Strip steak. And of course Ribs will go well with Zin.”

Christopher Sawyer "Santa Sommelier"

Wines of note:

Eric Ross 2010 Marsanne-Roussane. Your guests will appreciate when you serve this unique white. Winemaker

Eric Luce blends two grapes from the famed SaraLee’s Vineyard in Russian River Valley to make a wine in the Rhone style that everyone’s talking about.  Full-bodied, food-ready, and a great under-$30 wine to diversify your palate.  It paired with the Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese and I would recommend it with any cheese.

Dane Cellars 2007 Jackknife Cabernet Sauvignon. When you are looking for full-flavored, medium-bodied Cab, the Jackknife is a great choice. From a vineyard high above Sonoma Valley, with volcanic soils and generous late afternoon sun, this wine explodes with fruit and complex flavors. Sommelier Sawyer says:  “With a medium-bodied cab like Dane Cellars’ Jackknife you have more flexibility in your menu – you can pair with red meat or you can go with a bigger fish such as sturgeon or tuna prepared with a soy sauce.”

Pip 2010 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.  Undecided between oaked and unoaked? You can’t go wrong with this under $20 wine from Dunstan, from famed Durrell Vineyards blended with nearby grapes, then aged in 1/3 neutral oak and 2/3 stainless steel.  The resulting Chardonnay will please both the oaked and unoaked taste, as the neutral oak imparts lovely vanilla aromas and softness while the stainless steel defines the varietal character and imparts a crisp finish.  Another great match for the Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese.

Abigail Zimmerman of Annadel Estate Wines

Best new wine find: 

Annadel Estate 2008 Anni’s Blend is an instantly memorable red wine that’s also easy to pair with food.  I got rich fruit medleys and a velvety mouth feel from this blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. For a Cab-Merlot blend like this, you could even serve it with a Mac & Cheese dish with toasted walnuts and mushrooms, according to Sommelier Sawyer.  The adjacent “Coppa & Apple Mostarda on Foccacia” from Estate went well.  Annadel Estate Winery is the effort of a family who are restoring an 1880’s vineyard estate in the region. Expect to hear more about their wines soon.

There were many more varietals and examples of great winemaking available for taste. I can’t cover them all here. See what you missed and check back soon for upcoming events at the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance website.

On my Christmas wishlist:






Tasting Notes – 2008 Inman Family Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Ranch

This Rhonehound is on a online cheap viagra Pinot kick, and pleased to share amazing Pinot Noir from Kathleen Inman of Inman Family Wines, one of my favorite Russian River Valley winemakers.

Kathleen is a ten year veteran Pinot maker, and truly one of  Russian River Valley  finest

vintners of elegant Pinot Noir.

(Jon Bonne’ – you really need to put Inman on your radar – this is your kind of winemaker.)

Review: 2008 Inman Family Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Ranch

To The Eye: Ruby red, clear

On The Nose: Black cherry and spice

In The Mouth: Blackberry, cherry with a velvety mouth feel that makes you go ‘ahhhh’ and reach for more. The Pinot delivers great red and black fruit, without sacrificing acidity, achieving what so many California pinot producers seem unable to in balance. Soft, long, elegant finish.

Recommendation:  93 points. Buy. If you don’t like this Pinot….you have no idea what Pinot Noir is supposed to be. Take the oak chip out of your mouth, tear up your Robert Parker

photo, and start to train your palate. It’s not inexpensive at $56, but this isn’t Velveeta, its Cowgirl Creamery (or better.) Small lot, high quality Pinot Noir simply costs more.


Simple Hedonisms – Simple Suggestions For Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

It’s the time of the year when people often agonize over what canadian pharmacy discount code viagra to buy and serve over the Holidays, especially Thanksgiving, which tends to be poultry (gobble gobble) focused.

While I won’t go as elaborate as the article Jon Bonne’, (one of my favorite wine writers) published last week in Three wine strategies for Thanksgiving dinner’ , I will try to be creative and offer a mainstream and an adventurous suggestion.

Throughout the article I have created links, in the name of the varietal, to previous reviews.

The ADHD Version:

If you can’t read for more than thirty seconds: go Bubbles and Pinot Noir. Essentially a white and a red, that pair with, and please, almost everyone.

Where To Shop:

Do not go to your local large grocery store and stare at the massive aisles of wine, that for the most part really offer very little differentiation, despite appearances. If you are wanting to expand your wine knowledge and palate, its time you form a relationship with a local wine shop, that brings in a variety of domestic and

imported wines. The latter both to expand your horizons (Try a French or Australian chardonnay in comparison to California) as well as good values.

Its Thanksgiving, do buy local or American and at least partially support our economy.

Budget – Match it to Your Drinkers…. – er I Mean Guests

I try and match the wine expenditure to the crowd and its levels of wine interest and experience. I will never forget the Thanksgiving a ‘wine lover’ poured half a bottle of Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot (pricey and hard to come by) into his glass and swilled it down, saying ‘not too sweet’ – arrgh.

This can be hard to gauge for large crowds or a dinner party where you don’t know everyone. If its the family, and wine isn’t their thing, bring some good value bottles, but perhaps hold on to those most special bottles. Or smuggle one in and stash it to pour with your best friend or partner who loves wine as much as you do. Let Uncle Jimmy go to town on that $12 Malbec, while you drink the Arnot Roberts allocation.

If its a dinner soiree in San Francisco with strangers, err on the other side, with at least 1-2 good bottles, to make a good impression.

(1) Wine To Start, Mingling and Apertifs


White: A good Sauvignon Blanc is something that will please most. (Except those burly types who puff out their chest, and proclaim “real wine drinkers only drink red.” For them roll your eyes and pour them some Two Buck Chuck, and let them have at the Megapurple and wood chip derived concoction. (See the Jon Bonne’ cheap wine article in bottom section.)

Good value Sauvignon Blanc, widely distributed by larger producers like Rodney Strong and Dry Creek Vineyards can be readily found in a pinch and have been previously reviewed and recommended. A little pricier ($22), but more unique and Sancerre style is one of my favorite California Sauv Blancs – from Inspiration Vineyards in Santa Rosa.

Pink – I also recommend a good dry rosé. I have written repeatedly to dismiss the myth that Rosé is strictly a summer wine. This ‘pink’ wine, derived from red grapes, pairs well with food, or standalone, all year round.

Red – Its always good to have a red on hand as well, a decent domestic Pinot Noir should please many. If you want to be really safe, some people always drink Cabernet, the king of reds, no matter what you are serving or recommending.


Bubbles are almost a universal pairing wine; from salty potato chips from desert. Nothing is as festive or widely received. If someone in your house won’t drink bubbles, tell them Bah Humbug and hand them a Coors Light. Sparkling wine also can run the gamut of good value for $10, usually imported. For value sparkling, look for a good Cava from Spain. High quality Prosecco from Italy has emerged as a hot market this last year as well. There is a wide selection of $20-$60 mid priced Napa and Sonoma sparkling wineries, and then of course ‘true’ Champagne. Adjust your selection and budget based on the previous crowd suggestion.

Vinho Verde, Dry Gewurtzaminer, Gruner Veltliner, Grenache Blanc

(2) For the Main Course:

I actually like to allow guests, room permitting, to have 3 or 4 glasses at their setting. If a sparkling or a rosé was poured previously, its often fun to continue to pour these, and try them with food pairings. Let people sip and nibble and try a myriad of food and wine pairings.

White Wine:

Mainstream: Chardonnay is the Queen of California whites. Our classic California oaky, buttery Chardonnays

goes decently with Turkey, but a better match is a Chardonnay, that is leaner, less oaky/buttery, a trend many winemakers jumping on. One can even play with unoaked Chardonnay, although I’d suggest leaving a crisper wine like that for starters.

Adventurous: Go Rhone. Look for a Rhone white blend that contains 25%+Roussanne – a denser white varietal (sometimes referred to as a winter white.) This may also be blended with Marsanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc. The Roussanne (and the Marsanne) provide some mouthfeel, weight and density that will pair well with food. Avoid overly floral Viognier dominant blends, or overly acid Grenache Blanc based if you aren’t familiar with the wine.

Red Wine:


Some will argue Cabernet is a great Thanksgiving match – while it certainly does please the typical wine consumer, its generally better for roasted meats at Christmas, if turkey is your Thanksgiving meat, I’d recommend a Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir varies widely by region and producer. For mass appeal, most Russian River or Central coast bigger Pinots are a hit. For those who like their Pinot leaner, and higher in acid, steer to Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast, or Oregon. (Please note this is a general rule of thumb – each region has a full range of styles.)


Following the path Pinot Noir and softer reds, try a Grenache. This Rhone red, when left to express itself, is a pretty, soft, red wine. Avoid dark color, over oaked, or a high blend of Syrah added. Grenache is naturally a lighted red. I have many favorites including Holly’s Hill, David Girard, Bonny Doon, Philip Staley, Wind Gap, Tablas Creek, Mounts, Quivira, and more.

The most important thing – relax, have fun, and enjoy the moments with dear friends and family – these are after all also a part of ‘simple hedonisms’ – life is short and precious, enjoy it.


Related Articles:

Three wine strategies for Thanksgiving dinner (Jon Bonne’)

Pinot and Rhone-style whites for Thanksgiving dinner (Jon Bonne’)

The False Promise of Cheap Wine (Jon Bonne’)

Chardonnay regains respect – now to maintain it. (Jon Bonne’)

Wine Review: Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc; suggested holiday pairings

Wine of the Week: Cartograph 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Gewürztraminer

Tasting Notes: Ortman 02 Series Grenache Rosé – Paso Robles

Seeing California Chardonnay in a New Light: #Chardonnay Day Greenhouse Tasting, Attendees Top Picks.

Wine of the Week, Winery of the Month – Tablas Creek 2010 Patelin de Tablas Blanc

A Call for Submissions: Sparkling Wine for Simple Hedonisms Holiday Issue

Simple Hedonisms will be doing a special issue on Holiday sparklers, both domestic and imported.

If you’d like your sparkling

wine featured, please submit a sample, no later than Dec 5th.

Our readership is pharmacy viagra over 8, 0000 people a month, and material is also posted on other wine sites.

Data sheets and purchase information appreciated.

Happy Holidays and cheers!

Saturday Nov 19th is Artisano – One of My Favorite Small Producer Food & Wine Events.

I was hooked on Artisano when I attended the first event 2 years ago and look forward cheap viagra from canada to the third. This year the event moves from Geyserville Inn (which I really liked) to the Vintners Inn, in Santa Rosa. (Which I can't

complain about, since its very close by!)

This events features small wine producers, whom at time of selection do not have a public tasting room, so this is a chance to taste wines you can't just walk into anywhere. I have discovered great vintners like Skewis, Skipstone, and Duxoup in previous years. Faves like Cartograph and Stark are to be found this year.


Acorn, Capture, Cartograph, PreVail, De Novo, Skipstone, Stark, Reynoso and Pech Merle.


Affronti, Dry Creek Kitchen, Diavola, Estate, Jackson’s, John Ash, Mugnaini Wood Fired Pizza, Petite Syrah, Spoonbar and Girl & The Fig.

PLUS: Achadinha Goat Cheese, Bellwether Farms, Bleating Heart Chesese, Dry Creek Peach and Produce, Delice de la Vallee, Jim town Store, Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese, Redwood Hill, Salt Side Down Chocolates, Skipstone Ranch, Sonoma Chocolatiers and Terra Sonoma. Oh and Bear Republic offers up beer.

In addition to wine and food tastings, the Grand Tasting includes chef demonstrations by John

Toulze of The Girl & the Fig, Brian Anderson from Bistro 29 and Shelly Kaldunski, author ofCupcakes, The Art of the Cookie; as well as a silent auction, raffle, several of the region's premier artists, and live music courtesy of The Susan Comstock Swingtet. 

Tickets and Info

Artisano's full weekend of activities includes a WINEMAKER DINNER on Friday evening at John Ash & Co. Restaurant (tickets no longer available), and a HARVEST DINNER on Saturday evening at John Ash & Co.

Tickets are available online for $65 in advance or $75 at the door, if they don't sell out prior.

Tickets and information are available here:

Simple Hedonisms will be there, hope to see you too!

The event is a benefit for Slow Food Sonoma County, with a portion of the revenue going to help School Garden Projects in Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor and Santa Rosa.

Related Articles

Artisano – Slow Food meets Wine Country


Wine Review – A Wonderful Find from Italy: Grecante Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC (Or simply put an amazing white.)

If I had a few lifetimes, I am not sure it would be enough to learn enough about wine, especially the many unique wine varietals out there. Italy represents a lifetime of study itself. Italy’s Ministry of buy viagra now online Agriculture and Forestry  has documented over 350 grapes and granted them “authorized” status. (With many more in circulation.) Sadly most US wine consumers are only familiar a handful, and mostly red. I have to confess, the landscape of Italian wines is one I have really tackled yet. This Grecant is a wine that makes me realize I need to get started.

My interest was immediately piqued when I was contacted if I want a sample. I don’t get as many imported wine samples as I’d like, and when I do they are often mass made budget wines of lower quality or over planted varietals planted in countries where they didn’t exist, perhaps at the expense of native varietals.

About Grechetto

Grechetto (or Grechetto Bianco) is an Italian wine grape of Greek origins. The grape is is found most commonly in the Umbria region where it is used in the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wine Orvieto. It is primarily a blending grape, though some varietal wine is also produced, such as this one. Grechetto is commonly blended with Chardonnay, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Verdello. The grape’s thick skin provides good resistance to downy mildew which can attack the grape late in the harvest season.

During the Renaissance many wines were known as “Greco, Grecante, Grechetto”. Montefalco’s Grecante was one of the most appreciated, indeed the head of the Municipality of Montefalco used to sent it as a precious gift to princes and important clergymen. Arnaldo Caprai’s Grecante keeps this long tradition alive.

About Arnaldo Caprai Winery

The Arnaldo Caprai winery extends for about 370 acres, 136 of which are planted. The vineyards are located in the area of Montefalco, rich in history and winemaking tradition. The main white grapes grown in the region include Grechetto, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon, while Sagrantinois the leading red variety together with Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Review – Grecante Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC

To The Eye: Clear, bright yellow straw

On The Nose: Notes of honeysuckle, white peach

In The Mouth: Layers of melon, peach, citrus. The

wine has an excellent balance of mouth feel and weight that isn’t cloying, combined with great acidity. It delivers front, mid palate, and a great lingering finish. More complex than an unoaked chardonnay, or a sauvignon blanc, but still easy to drink and fun. A pleasure to drink solo, and would pair well with a wide variety of foods, especially seafood or chicken.

Recommendation: Buy, drink, have fun. This wine is versatile both with food pairings, and seasons. An excellent value with a price of $15-$20. Distributed throughout the US by Folio Wine. Media Sample (I’d gladly buy more of.)

91 Points

Vinification & Geek Info: 

  • Aged 3 months in Stainless, 3 months in Bottle
  • 13% alcohol
  • TA 5.48 g/l
  • pH (at bottling) 3.07
  • Production ~3000 cases

This Weekend in Paso Robles a New Type of Wine Event Emerges: The Garagiste Festival

Massive walk around tastings have to evolve. This is a point I have been evangelizing for over a year. Wine sales, more focus, smaller more committed attendees, reasonable pricing – all of female viagra australia these are elements to be considered to draw enthusiastic consumers and buyers in, as opposed to an event of staggering drunks with their glasses waving in your face, like baby birds, five persons deep.

This weekend in Paso Robles, a new idea and venue emerges: The Garagiste Festival

The Garagiste Festival

This weekend is the first annual Paso Garagiste Festival: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker. The event will be held November 11-12 at the beautiful 724-acre Windfall Farms in the heart of  California’s Central Coast.

“The mission of the Paso Garagiste Festival is to focus on the undiscovered artisan producers who are making some of the most thrilling wine on the planet right now,” said Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Our event is unique in the industry because it gives a home to the smaller, trail-blazing wine producers who don’t have huge marketing resources, while also introducing wine lovers to winemakers on the cusp of discovery.”

“The Central Coast garagistes are one of the best-kept secrets in the wine world and their excellent wines can be almost impossible to find — unless you know the right people and places to go,” added Co-founder Stewart McLennan.  “The Paso Garagiste Festival will have forty of them, gathered in one place for the first time ever. The festival is the place for passionate wine consumers to come face-to-face, wine glass-to-bottle, with the undiscovered future rock stars of the wine world.”

Personally I am very excited about this event. Both as a wine writer/blogger, passionate consumer, and now as well as a small Vintner with my Rhone label, Two Shepherds, that launches the end of November. Unfortunately not in time to pour at this event, plus I’d miss all the fun tasting as media.

Last I heard, after a flurry of media, tickets were selling out. (The VIP/Seminars are now sold out.) I’d recommend you grab some if interested. If you are a reader and are attending, do let me know, I will be at the Tasting and 6-9 pm Wine Maker party.


You can also follow the fun, photos and updates on their Facebook page. 


The Winemakers

Artisan winemakers slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, Alta Colina, Bodegas M Winery,

Brochelle Vineyards, Caliza Winery, Cloak and Dagger Wines, J Dusi Wines, Giornata Wines, Grizzly Republic Winery, Hammersky Vineyards, Indigene Cellars, Jalama Wines, La Filice Winery, Nicora Wines, Per Cazo Cellars, Poalillo Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Stanger Vineyards, Symbiosis Wines, Tassajara Cellars, Vin Alegre Winery, and Vines on the Marycrest.

I visit Paso Robles 3-4 times a year and haven’t heard of many of these – what an exciting day of discovery!

The Venue

 Situated in the heart of beautiful Central Coast wine country, Windfall Farms is a spectacular 724-acre horse farm with one of the finest equestrian facilities in the Western United States.  It features stunning brick buildings with glass and copper steeples and is surrounded by vineyards, fenced pastures, green sprawling lawns and panoramic views of the majestic, oak-studded rolling hills of the Central Coast.

Check out a video of this great venue here:

This may be the hot new venue for Paso Robles. The Rhone Rangers Paso Robles chapter will also be hosting their annual seminar an event here. (Another do not miss event.)

What is A ‘Garagistes’

 Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Click here for more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation.

 Related Articles

Gathering of Garagistes: Proudly Small-Time Winemakers Show Off Hard-to-Find Stuff at Paso Robles Festival  (Santa Barbara Independant)

Wine Tasting Events Must Evolve – An Example at the Saturday June 11th Vinify Winery Collective Event in Santa Rosa

Monday June 13 – Another Evolution in Wine Events – The Taste of Mendocino












Tasting Notes – 2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, Estate

Freestone – another of my unsung favorite producers. I fell in love with their tasting room and wines 3 years ago when I first visited. Everything about a Freestone experience is casual and relaxed, but viagra for sale in the uk first class.  I am hoping to get out sometime again for a photo shoot and visit  soon, but until then, take my word for it, and enjoy the relaxed drive to this  gem.

I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release Media sample of this Pinot Noir. Its not been released to the public just yet, so this is a a teaser, but should be soon.

The 2009 Freestone is from the Estate Pastorale and Quarter Moon vineyards.

2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, Estate

To The Eye: Opulent brick red color

On The Nose: A bouquet of red fruit and cranberry with lingering aroma of spice.

In The

Mouth: A cornucopia of pleasant experiences for your palate. A bit young and tight when first opened, after a few minutes in the glass this beauty quickly becomes endearing. Give her a swirl.  This Pinot Noir dances in the mouth with cherry, bright cranberry, hints of other red fruits, spice, and earth.

This wonderful Pinot Noir delivers in the front and mid palate, and doesn’t disappoint in the finish, as it lingers and teases, making you yearn for another taste.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended. 92 points. Buy.  Drink. Ideally hold and cellar and extra bottle if you can –  this Pinot Noir has acidity and structure to age and gain complexity, although I am not sure if i could leave it alone if in my cellar. $55.  Media Sample.

Vinification Notes:  15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new, 45% two-three year old. Alcohol 13.5%.


Join Topel Winery & Simple Hedonisms this Saturday for the 4th Annual Dogtoberfest in Downtown Healdsburg

This Saturday, October 29th is Topel Winery's annual Dogtoberfest fundraiser for the Healdsburg

Animal Shelter.

This is a special event for Simple Hedonisms as it marks the Two Year anniversary of our Sonoma Wine Meetup. Our inaugural meetup was held at Topel during Dogtoberfest.

This event is special as it also marks the 2nd year that my beloved Australian Shepherd, Flash, himself a rescue, is featured in the calender.

Please register here on Eventbrite to be eligible for special door prize drawing.

The 2012 Topel Wine Tails Calendar

The event is viagra pills australia held honoring the winners of the annual “Shoot Your Pet!” photo contest for the 2012 Topel Wine Tails Calendar, a benefit for the Healdsburg Animal Shelter.

The event features:

  • Free readings by Marla, The Pet Psychic (1-4 pm)
  • Renderings of your favorite pet(s) by artist Robert Harris (fee applies)
  • Human and doggie treats
  • Wine for humans, water for dogs!
  • Great discounts on selected wines

Noon to 5 pm Saturday, October 29, 2011 Costumes welcome, but not required — after all, it’s almost Halloween!

Door Prizes Drawing for Eventbrite Attendees

Bring a printed copy of your registration ticket, we will be drawing for merchandise prizes and emailing winners the following week.
Bring your canine friend, or if you are a dog lover without one, just come enjoy the fun. (and the wine!)

The Topels, Flash and I will be there to greet you! Come see us and support this great cause.


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