Labor Day Weekend is Sonoma’s Finest Food and Wine Weekend

A Very Special, Personal Weekend

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (SWCW) is a special event for me, and Simple Hedonisms. Four years ago….hmm I thought it was five, have I REALLY only been here just over four years? People think I have lived here forever.  Anyway, I digress.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

Moving here on a complete whim in July 2009 in a whirl of tumult, I followed my passion and knowing almost no-one, and having no social media presence, I descended upon Sonoma County. I wasn’t new to the county wine scene however. I have shared regularly, I was in love in the Sonoma, especially Russian River Valley, and visiting so regularly, it just made sense to move, and immediately it ‘fit.’ I immediately planted a tiny vineyard, assisted with harvest, and started Simple Hedonisms.

I am a huge fan and regular attendee of the Wine Road events, but the Saturday Taste of Sonoma was my first walk around tasting where on foot, you could experience dozens and dozens of wineries, sorted by AVA (region) and get a true taste of how diverse the county is.  Sprinkle in amazing food, gorgeous scenery, good weather, and Sonoma County hospitality, and if you don’t love it here, you should be in the next Grinch book.

Just prior to the event, I launched the blog after being urged by many for years to do so, and the Taste of Sonoma, was my first event covered.  The article probably had 100 readers then if I was lucky, a far cry of the peak of my most active writing of 5,000+ a month.  This 2013 event may also prove to be special and unique for me, but alas, that is for a future telling.

How passionate am I about this event? I am in the middle of one of the busiest weeks of my year, and I am taking the time to sit outside with my laptop, overlooking my vineyard project, glass in hand, and trying to ‘write’ as opposed to pasting the press release. We can sleep when we are dead.

Experience The Magic in Sonoma’s Unique Event

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is an annual event every Labor Day weekend and is Sonoma County’s largest charity event and premier wine and food event, celebrating the region’s incredible bounty of food, wine, and fun while raising much needed funds for Sonoma's local charities.

The event is actually entire weekend full of a la carte options, from Friday night dinners to Sunday BBQ, each detailed below.

1. My Favorite: The Saturday Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

There are many wonderful tasting events in the county, and Bacchus be willing (and I also win the lottery) I’d attend them all.

However there are very few ‘walk around’ tastings, most involve going to each winery with a bracelet and a glass. These are wonderful because they provide the experience of the winery itself.

There is however a certain ‘efficiency’ (although I hesitate to use that word for such a relaxing, joyful environment.) of being able to walk around dozens of wineries gathered together from regions like Russian River, Dry Creek, Sonoma Valley etc and compare across the region, and then compare regions. There are 200 wineries in total pouring! I suggest you print the list and make a plan.

Come For The Food: If wine isn’t your thing, the event hold’s its own on the food and demonstrations alone. The who’s who of our many talented chefs are present, with over 60 chefs offering their creations.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

The event is brilliantly orchestrated and comes off like clockwork. You simply enjoy a decadent day.

Tickets are $115 for Visa Signature holders (odds are you have one, flip your card over) or $165 for general admission. This Saturday event sells out! (All Grand Reserve already are.) You have been advised.

2. Friday Night Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola, with Food Icon Sondra Bernstein

Kick off Sonoma Wine Country Weekend poolside at the iconic Francis Ford Coppola Winery for an unforgettable evening of world-class wines, delicious cuisine, live music, and dancing to Bay Area favorites Pride & Joy — all set against a backdrop of shimmering stars in the Alexander Valley.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

Guests will enjoy a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside created by Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s 2013 Honorary Culinary Director, Sondra Bernstein and Chef John Toulze, proprietors of the girl & the fig. Over 20 local wineries will be on hand to share their Sonoma County wines, pairing wines with incredible local fare.  Info and Tickets here.

3. Friday Winemaker Lunches and Dinners

Prefer something more intimate? Enjoy a special afternoon or evening of wine and food.  Many of these are already sold out, as seating is limited to each. Remaining winemaker lunches include wonderful venues like Davis Family Vineyards, Lynmar Estate, Landmark, and others. See the full list, descriptions and tickets here.

Only a handful of the Winemaker dinners remain, in various parts of the county, including a few seats at places like Sonoma Cutrer, Longboard, Muscardini and a few others.  I attended one of these last year, and it was buy viagra free shipping a highly personable, memorable experience.  See the full list, descriptions and tickets here.

4. Sunday BBQ

Three wineries are offering a Sunday BBQ and wine, a perfect finish to the weekend. Since there are only three, these shouldn’t last long either. See the full list, descriptions, and tickets here.

5. Sunday Harvest Wine Auction

For you high rollers, this is an amazing, first class experience of food, wine, and entertainment, all casual but classy Sonoma style. I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of the limited seats once.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction is Sonoma County’s largest and fun, fundraising event, bringing together the wine community and caring donors to raise essential funds that make our world-class wine region a better place by supporting our kids and our community. Not all lots are expensive, I 'bought' a lot that was simply a donation to a fund that assists our migrant grape pickers.

Immerse yourself in the intrigue of Brazil at the 21st Annual Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, Sonoma Samba, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak.  The Grand Lawn of Chateau St. Jean will be transformed into a Pan-Latin Celebration. The winery skits, usually in theme, are quite comical. (I will forever carry the memories of the Benziger brothers in bikinis for a beach theme.)

Your ticket not only offers you passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to mingle with Sonoma's finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local  Winemaker or Grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! Over 70% of the tables are already sold out.

Follow The Fun On Twitter

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

This event is attended by people all over the country, all here to experience the magic of Sonoma. You can follow some of the fun on Twitter via hashtag #SWCW as well as their Facebook Page. However, I suggest you come experience it in person. I will be.


Related Articles

The Annual Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch

Spotlight on Sonoma – Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sept 3-5: Visa Signature Event Highlights

Sonoma County's Finest Wine Weekend Gets Even Better: New Starlight Dinner Kickoff


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Outside Lands Preview: What to Look Forward to at Wine Lands

by Nikki Lincoln


The sold out Outside Lands is quickly approaching and the Bay Area is buzzing with talk of which bands everyone is excited to see. I, on the other hand, have been talking up all of the great wines that are going to be at Wine Lands, the designated wine area of the festival.

It’s always interesting to admit this but I actually have not been to Outside Lands before, despite hearing great things from all of my friends. Knowing my interest in wine, they’ve always been quick to bring up the amazing wine vendors that the festival provides every year. Since I have the opportunity to attend this year, I decided to finally check out the list and let all of you know which wines I’m looking forward to the most. Hopefully, I can hear the music from the wine tent!

If you can only try a handful of wines next weekend, here are the winemakers (in alphabetical order) that I’ve had a chance to try and highly recommend:

Broc Cellars

20130601_114523As you may recall, Broc Cellars was one of my top picks from the Rosé the Rhone Way event back in June. I had really enjoyed their 50% Cinsault / 50% Counoise Rosé  blend. I’ve also had the chance to try some of their more unique varietals – the 2011 Cassia Grenache and 2011 Luna Matta Mourvedre. All three wines were spectacular and will also give Outside Lands attendees a good choice of beverage depending on the weather. I personally love a good red when the weather is chilly (as Outside Lands has been known to be in past years) and Grenache is go-to for me as it’s my favorite varietal. However, I love a crisp Rosé when the weather is hot. The day I tasted the Broc Cellars Rosé was particularly sweltering and if (fingers crossed) San Francisco is lucky enough to get some higher temperatures for the festival – I know what wine I’m going to get to cool me down.

Forlorn Hope

20130511_180748Forlorn Hope specializes in wines that are unknown and uncommon. Like many of the other winemakers here, I first tasted Forlorn Hope’s wine at the Seven Percent Solution – an event celebrating varietals that make up only 7% of the grapes grown in California. Forlorn Hope quickly caught my attention for having several Portuguese varietals and had even named one blend “Que Saudade” – a Portuguese phrase meaning longing or missing of something you have lost. Saudade has been referred to as one of the most beautiful words in a foreign language. Since Portuguese is my second language, I was impressed to see the word used here and the wine was equally as impressive. I went back several times for additional tastes of Que Saudade. I also have had a couple of opportunities to taste Forlorn Hope’s “Trou Grit” Trousseau Gris – a lovely “orange” wine with a very complex and unique  flavor.  I don’t know if winemaker, Matthew Rorick, is bringing these particular wines to Outside Lands but I’m sure whatever he is pouring will be unique and delicious.

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Although J. Lohr has been at a few Rhone Rangers events, I couldn’t find anything in my tasting notes. I even missed a chance to stop into the winery during my recent weeks of travel (also the reason there haven’t been many posts from me lately) so I’d been aching to try some of their wines. Luckily for me, I was out at a bar that was pouring the J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc. I was happy to see a name that I recognized and even happier to finally get to try some of their wines. The Sauvignon Blanc did not disappoint and left me really excited to try more of the portfolio. I’m happy to know that it won’t be too much longer until I get that chance.

Scholium Project

The Scholium Project was another winery at Seven Percent Solution and per the alphabetical arrangement of the event, was stationed next to William and I while we were pouring for Two Shepherds. Ironically, I didn’t get to take notes on their wines as I was always working when I had their wine in my glass but I remember enjoying the wine extensively. My friend was particularly fond of the 2011 Cinsault. The Scholium Project also brought temporary tattoos to the event and I volunteered my forearm to represent their cause. I’m hoping they have tattoos again next weekend as I’m a big fan of them – on that note, I’ve been trying to get William to make some tattoos for Two Shepherds as well.

Wind Gap

Wind Gap, like many of the other producers I’ve listed, was another Seven Percent Winery. My favorite  Wind Gap wine from the event was, unsurprisingly, one of my favorite varietals – Mourvedre. With cranberry undertones and a beautiful, ruby color, the wine was quite delectable. The Trousseau Gris was another great, unique wine with a crisp and aromatic flavor that will be refreshing if Outside Lands happens to be a warm day. The style of Wind Gap’s wines is much lighter and more delicate and reminded me a bit more of William’s wine making style, specifically with his Grenache, which was nice to see in another wine maker.

Wines of Portugal

PicsArt_1375222609118Wines of Portugal holds a special place in my heart. Their Portuguese wine tasting was actually the first event I went to as a representative of Simple Hedonisms. I was so nervous to be wine tasting in a more official capacity but I quickly fell into step and felt so comfortable asking questions about the wines I was trying. As a Portuguese speaker, I also relished the opportunity to practice speaking although I stumbled a bit trying to describe certain flavors in my limited Portuguese vocabulary.

Since the event, I’ve continued to see Portuguese wines all over the place and they are quickly taking up space in my wine collection. If you’re a white drinker, be sure to try an Alvarinho or LoureiroFor reds, I would recommend a Touriga NacionalPortuguese varietals aren’t always easy to find so I recommend trying a few while you have the chance!


These winemakers (or distributors in the case of Wines of Portugal) are only a small selection of who will be at Wine Lands this year. The full list of wineries can be found on the Outside Lands website in addition to band schedules and other food vendors. All of these winemakers also represent something I often seek out at different wine tastings – unique varietals and flavors that aren’t commonly found. After writing this article, I am even more excited that these producers will be at such a mainstream event and I know I will be dragging my friends to Wine Lands so they can try all of the amazing, unique wines I’ve written about here. I’m also looking forward to trying the offerings from the wine makers I’m less familiar with – does anyone have any recommendations for me?

SF Wine History at the Old Mint

by Nikki Lincoln

reducedMy favorite thing about wine tasting is the education that comes from trying something new or learning about what sets a wine maker apart. Each time I attend a wine event, I know that the breadth of my wine knowledge is continuing to grow. That's why when I heard about the SF Wine History tasting, I was quickly intrigued. Here was an opportunity to keep trying new wines while also learning about San Francisco's history with wine.

The presentations will cover a variety of topics from the history and nuances of wine production in SF to more basic knowledge about wine production. There's something for everyone no matter how advanced your background is.

I always appreciate a wine tasting that takes place in my backyard and I'm really excited to tie my tasting together with some San Francisco history so please join me this Thursday, August 1st at 6pm at Old Mint on Mission at 5th St. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time via Eventbrite. Many discounted tickets are still available making this a very affordable tasting event.


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A Weekend of Pinot Starts Wed July 24th on #WineChat #IPNC – Join Me for Virtual Tasting of Willamette Valley

This is one of my favorite weeks of the summer and has become an annual ritual: Fly into Portland for a few days of work, hit the amazing Oregon Brewers Festival for a few hours, generic cialis then head north to McMinnville in Willamette Valley, Oregon for the incredible immersion into Pinot Noir at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, IPNC.

I start out every year at Counter Culture. an incredible food and wine event held every year at Anne Amie, where some of Portland's best eateries show their wares, paired with amazing wines. (Not just Pinot, a nice start.) There are also a slew of winemaker dinners available.

Friday and Saturday are then immersed in seminars, tastings, entertainment, and some of the best food I will eat all summer, surrounded by 70 Pinot Noir producers from all over the world, a healthy chunk from Burgundy.

It's with good reason the NY Times says “Nothing else is as well run and instructive” and Bon Appetit says “Unquestionably the best for lovers of Pinot Noir. I couldn't agree more.  The event is as attended by casual consumers as it is winemakers, and offers something for everyone. Counter Culture and Friday, Saturday are sold out, but you can still experience all 70 producers Sunday at the Passport to Pinot.

To celebrate and get things kicked off, I have organized a special virtual tasting of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, on this weeks #Winechat, a popular weekly Twitter tasting.

Join me,  and guest Emily Richardson of Williamette Valley Wines Wednesday July 24th from 6-7 pm Pacific, as your hosts. Willamette Valley wineries Eyrie Vineyards, Sokol Blosser, R. Stuart, Montinore, and Elk Cove, will also be joining us.

Theme – IPNC and Willamette Vallley Pinot Noir

The #Winechat theme is timed to coincide with that Weekend's Friday-Sunday International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC. )

The theme is Pinot Noir, but if possible try and taste and share a bottle from the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

You may register online here:

Tasting DUAL Hashtags

We ask that during the tasting, you use the #IPNC Hashtag in addition to #Winechat.

What is #WineChat

#Winechat is a chat on @Twitter, one occurs every Wednesday [except for holidays] night from 9-10pm EST and 6-7 PM PST.

Each week they discuss a different topic or talk with different guests. You don’t have to be a total wine geek to join – you must just have a thirst to learn and chat about wine!

Read here to learn more about #Winechat and how to participate:

About IPNC

The 27th Annual IPNC is a three-day event, famous around the globe, as a mecca for lovers of Pinot noir and northwest cuisine. During the weekend, world-renowned winemakers, northwest chefs, esteemed media, epicures and wine lovers will gather in McMinnville, Oregon, for three days of exploring Pinot noir, savoring unforgettable meals, and learning and celebrating with luminaries of the food and wine world.

Tickets to the Fri/Sat event are sold out, but space is available for the amazing Sunday final walk around tasting of global producers of Pinot Noir. Tickets and info here:

Special Winery Guests

A special thanks to Willamette Valley wineries Eyrie Vineyards, Sokol Blosser, R. Stuart, Montinore, and Elk Cove, who will also be joining us and sharing their thoughts and experiences.

EyrieSokolo BlosserElk Cove



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Summer New Release Bash tomorrow July 20th at Sheldon, Krutz and Two Shepherds

Summer is in full swing and Sheldon Wine, Krutz Family Cellars and Two Shepherds want to celebrate with a new release summer bash! (I don't publish events normally about just my own label, but since this is three, I hope readers don't mind.)


Each winery will be releasing 1-2 new wines, including the much awaited Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Blanc, the Krutz 2011 Martinelli Road Chardonnay 96 points, at the recent North Coast Challenge, and the highly acclaimned Sheldon Anderson Valley, 2011 Roma's Vineyard Pinot Noir, 94 points by Virginie Boone of Wine Enthusiast.

We will also be featuring a oysters, chocolatier, local artist, and a Bocce Tournament.  Read below for full details, it's a not to be missed party!

Ticket Details

The wineries have decided to truly celebrate to waive entry fees and make the event free! We'd greatly appreciate RVSPs as it helps with planning. RVSP at

The event is from 2-7 p.m. at Sheldon Winery, 1301 Cleveland Ave, Santa Rosa.

Your ticket includes a taste of the 6 releases from the 3 wineries. Normal tasting fees applie to full lineup of each winery.

Wine will also be available by the glass to consume with your game of Bocce, BBQ, Oysters etc!

New Releases:

Krutz Family Cellars:

  • 2012 Inspiration Vineyard Chardonnay
  • 2011 Martinelli Road Chardonnay. 96 Points at the recent North Coast Challenge

Sheldon Wines:

  • 2012 Weatherly Rose'  – a special rose' of Graciano, an uncommon varietal!
  • 2011 Roma's Vineyard Pinot Noir – 94 Points Wine Enthusiast

Two Shepherds:

  • 2012 Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez. Much anticipated, after the 2011 success
  • 2011 Grenache Noir, Russian River Valley, Saralee's Vineyard

Oyster Bar!

While supplies last, Dylan will be shucking oysters to pair!

Food with Wine, Of Course!

The boys will be grilling a pork shoulder and smoked beans will be available.  Wine will be available by the glass, so after your tasting of the 6 releases, grab a glass of something tasting, and enjoy the summer bash!
Interact & Socialize With the Wineries & Wine Makers

Too often we end up behind the table the entire event, filling glasses and have 30 second engagements. This time we have vowed to try and stay away from that, and out with our friends and supporters, socializing, answering questions, and having fun, while our talented teams fill your glass!

Guest Artisans

While you sip wine, check out these other cool Sonoma wares:

  • Photography of Damon Mattson: Damon Mattson has been a photographer for more than 20 years and is a Sonoma County ARTrails artist. Damon attempts to create photographs that are so realistic that you feel as though you are standing in front of the actual place. t
  • Bert's Desserts – Wine truffles and more! Syrah, a Petite Sirah and a Viognier truffle, as well as  Chocolate and Raspberry Truffles, and Peanut Butter Cups. Bert's was a big hit at our last event, come see why!

Bocce Tournament

There is a Bocce' court in the back, we'll be hosting a tournament! Bring a team, or form one on the spot.

THE Party of the Summer

So: cialis online pharmacy thats 6 new wines, an onsite oysters, food, bocce tournament, wine by the glass, local artists, party with the winemakers, at one of the funnest tasting rooms in town...

You have heatstroke if you miss this! (and yes we have AC!.)


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Refusing to Sink


By Nikki Lincoln

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Last year, two of my friends got married in a ceremony that was so unique, I buy levitra online would need a whole blog post just to write about it. The short version of the story is that there was a fancy maritime theme for the wedding and as such, we all dressed up accordingly. As part of my outfit, I wanted matching jewelry. I ended up finding a beautiful silver anchor necklace on Amazon for a reasonable price. I thought that I would only wear it for the wedding or similarly themed events, but I fell in love with it and wanted to wear it daily. However, my sensitive skin couldn't handle the metal in the chain and my neck would breakout whenever I wore it so I hung it on the necklace tree and stopped wearing it.

A few weeks ago, after a down trodden few months of applying to jobs with no luck, I decided to look through one of my Pinterest boards full of motivational quotes. One of them caught my eye – it was a little anchor and the words “Refuse to Sink” wrapped around it. I had pinned it back when I got the necklace and like most Pins, had forgotten about it. I went home and had a novel idea – I would put my anchor on a nicer chain from a necklace I didn't wear anymore. I put on my anchor again and was excited to tackle the challenges that laid before me.

The next day at work proved to be exceptionally challenging. A lot of the frustrations that I've had with my role (the ones that led me to seek employment elsewhere) had all converged to a point where I wasn't sure what to do. My job search up to that point had been fruitless and I couldn't afford to quit without something else lined up. I went back to my desk and then I thought about my anchor: “Refuse to sink, Nikki.” I applied for four more jobs. By the end of the day, I had heard back from two of them and one job I had applied to weeks before. By the end of the week, I heard from the other two, passed a few case studies, and had several interviews. Not long after, I accepted an offer and had given my resignation notice at work. Within a few weeks, I was on a plane to visit friends on the first leg of my unemployment trip and was enjoying having time to read for leisure while mentally preparing for my new role.

It's funny how things come together exactly when you need them to sometimes. I like to think that the Universe took a look around and thought “Wow, let's throw you a bone.” But I know that's not it – it's because I didn't give up. I didn't let the things that I was unhappy with beat me. I took all of my frustration at the things I could not change, and I changed them. I look at my life and it's surrounded with amazing friends and all of the amazing things I've been able to do through the blog and it was such a stark contrast to how I was spending 50 hours of my week that I knew I had to do something… and I've done it… and in a way that I am so happy about. My last job change was about getting out at all costs, but this time I knew I would have to make a change that would be fulfilling to me for a long time.

I am also hopeful that this new move will allow me a greater work life balance so that I can continue to juggle all of my wine adventures. It will be hard for me to write on the road but the wheels are always turning in this head of mine and I'm finding the words for a few posts I have in mind. With any big change, it is scary and exciting, but I am lucky in another way too – I know a lot of good wine that I can go home and open up to calm myself down and help me rally around the next challenge. All the pieces are coming together and I never gave up. I refused to sink.


A Carnival of Spirits

Last weekend, I had a fun opportunity to attend a different kind of tasting event. My friend, Carter Raff of Raff Distillerie, offered me some of his trade tickets to the Craft Spirits Festival at Fort Mason and I accepted happily. I had a great time, and even though I have piles of tasting notes from wine events to write up, it seems like a fun aside to quickly share a very different kind of event with everyone.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about this event. I've been to enough beer and wine tastings to know how quickly they can go downhill and spirits seemed like they could lead to a quicker and steeper descent. However, the event was organized in such a smart way, it really wasn't a problem. The event was organized in such a way that the drinking was naturally broken up a bit.


Many of the booths offered tastings of cocktails as well as spirits. Choosing a cocktail over a spirit could help slow down the rate of drinking as you enjoyed the event. My personal strategy was to find a cocktail I really enjoyed and then focus on buying viagra only tasting that kind of spirit. Despite all of the options with this strategy, I mostly focused on whiskey and tequila tastings since they're my favorite liquors.

The carnival also had another way to slow down the inebriation process. True to its name, the carnival periodically had performances for the crowd to enjoy. There was everything from aerialists to dancers to a sword eater to a contortionist. The performances were all captivating and succeeded in pulling the crowds away from the tastings for a bit. I really loved this approach to managing the drinking. It gave some fun entertainment to those just looking to have a fun weekend and allowed the serious tasters to have more access to the booths.


While the whole day was very fun, the highlight for me was the Bulleit booth. I usually like to take advantage of these tastings and try smaller producers. However, I was drawn to the booth by a colorful character, Hollis Bulleit. The bourbon descendant had an array of Sharpie paint pens and had taken to decorating bottles. After a taste of the new Bulleit 10, I knew I had to get a bottle and there wasn't a chance I wasn't going to have her paint it. I'm so excited about my addition to the liquor cabinet… even if I have no plans of ever drinking it.

Of course, I also want to tip my hat to Carter Raff for inviting me to this fantastic event! His spirits are popping up all over the Bay Area and they are fantastic. I have never really been into Gin but I love Carter's and I recommend it for Gin lovers and skeptics alike. He also makes an Absinthe and has developed several cocktail recipes for his spirits.

All in all, I really enjoyed this event. I have been to a lot of tastings and this one really surprised me with its originality and management. I definitely look forward to attending this event in the future.


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Wine of the Week: Campovida Grenache Rosé – Mendocino

Several weeks ago, on behalf of the North Coast chapter of the Rhone Rangers, Quivira Winery and I hosted a rosé tasting featuring 12 rosés from North Coast producers. The event was a smash success with attendees with dozens of positive comments and feedback.

As part of the audience participation, attendees received a handout with details on each wine, and when they were done with their tasting submitted a ballot for their top two wines of the day. All wines were well represented and received multiple votes, by the winner, by a fair margin, was the Campovida Grenache rosé.  To celebrate their success, and a classic summer sipper, its featured as wine of the week.

About Campovida

Campovida is a family owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard. This unique place offers deep connections with nature, wine tasting, a professional culinary kitchen, a 10-room retreat center. It's a place where you can relax,enjoy and create your custom gatherings.20130601_132909

Several years ago Campovida embraced Rhone varieties, and under the watch of new winemaker Sebastian Donoso, formerly at Saracina, some amazing wine are being released. A winery and winemaker to watch.

Campovida also recently opened a new tasting room in Oakland, which I am eager to go visit. (Campovida Announces New Winemaker and Tasting Room)

  • Oakland Tasting Room: Address: 95 Linden St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone:(707) 400-6300
  • Campovida Tasting Room: 13601 Old River Road, Hopland CA Phone: 707.400.6300

Wine of The Week: Campovida Grenache Rosé

To The Eye: The Campovida rosé is an immediate eye catcher. A brilliant, beautiful light orange hue of pink grapefruit skin

On The Nose: Expressive notes of tangerine, pink grapefruit, powdered sugar (not sweet though)2013-06-20 10.30.34

On the Palate:  Wonderful bright  but round fruit and citrus on  the front palate. Mid palate, mouth watering flavors of citrus. The finish is long, lingering with notes of spice and mouthwatering acidity and minerality.

I tasted both at room temperature, and proper chilled cellar temp, this wine exhibits no flaws or astringency, only great balance, the sign of a well made rosé. Rosé is actually one of the most difficult wines there is to vinify, with narrow margin for error, bravo to Sebastian for job well done.

A wine that will pair well with a wide array of summer dishes, from oysters to summer salads, and cialis order online grilled white meats and fishes.

Vineyard Info

  • Appellation: Mendocino County
  • Year planted: 2006
  • Elevation: 960 feet
  • Soil: Clay loam
  • Yield: 4 tons/acre

Wine Making Notes

  • Harvest date: October 20, 2012
  • Brix: 22.0
  • Fermentation: Crushed and cold soaked for 24 hours. Pressed and barrel
  • fermented in neutral French oak. No malolactic fermentation.
  • Aging: Aged in neutral French oak for four months with lees contact and stirred three times.
  • pH: 3.15
  • TA: 6.0 g/L
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Cases produced: 134
  • Release date: April 2013

Related Articles

Rosé the Rhone Way – A Post in Pictures

Rosé the Rhone Way in Healdsburg June 1st with the Rhone Rangers

Tasting Notes: 2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara

Rhône Rosé Panel: Quivira, Mounts, and Skinner Vineyards


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Rosé the Rhone Way – A Post in Pictures

A few weeks ago, William and the North Coast Rhone Rangers organized a beautiful Rosé tasting in the garden at Quivira Winery. Between the wonderful weather and the gorgeous bottles of Rosé, I ended up with a lot of really great pictures. I decided to just put them all up here and let the wine do most of the talking (with my own notes interspersed of course).

The pictures below represent just a few highlights from the tasting. The whole event was lovely and I look forward to adding some of these wonderful wines to my personal collection.


2012 Broc Cellars Santa Ynez Rosé $20

We started the day with the Broc Cellars Rosé. The blend is 50% Counoise and 50% Cinsault. It was a great refreshing way for us to start off the tasting. With clean, fresh, watermelon flavors it felt like a perfect start of summer wine. I personally am really excited about Broc Cellars – with a tasting room located in Berkeley, I know I will be stopping by before at least one Cal Football game this year.


2012 Campovida Rose di Grenache $34, 134 case production

The next Rosé was from Campovida. I had met the winemakers a few weeks earlier at the 7% Solution Tasting and was excited to get a chance to try their wine. Grenache Rosé is definitely something I've been enjoying a lot lately and this was no exception. To go from loving Grenache to discovering Grenache Blanc, it is only fitting that I've now progressed to Rosé and am growing quite passionate for it as well.  The Campovida was also selected by attendees as their favorite wine of the day, in a poll completed by attendees, by quite a margin, congrats!

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2012 Front Porch Rosé $25, 90 case production

My personal favorite of the day was the Front Porch Rosé being poured at the Idlewild table. As a blend of 70% Grenach and 30% Syrah, it has a lovely juicy flavor that was reminiscent of guava.

Of course, there were also some amazing Idlewild wines (which for some reason I didn't manage to get a picture of). The 2012 Vin Gris ($22, 70 case production) was an exceptionally light Syrah Rosé. With only 1.5 hours on the skins, it had delicate strawberry and crisp citrus tones.

The third wine at the table was another favorite – the Idlewild Grenache Gris ($28, 122 case production). With 3 days on skins and stems, it was darker in color than the Vin Gris. The wine had a beautiful nose and lovely cranberry flavors. I had tasted it a few weeks earlier and was happy to try it a second time and see that it was still as wonderful as I remembered.


Mounts Family Winery 2012 Grenche generic viagra Rosé $16, 82 case production

The Mounts 100% Grenache Rosé caught my eye initially just with how light and peachy the color was (I told you the pictures did a lot of the talking here). With only 4 hours of skin contact and low sugar content, it had such a light and crisp grapefruit flavor. It was absolutely perfect on the sweltering Sonoma day.


Quivira 2012 Rosé $19, 602 case production

It wouldn't be a complete review without mentioning the host winery's Rosé as well. This Rosé is a blend of 51% Grenache, 32% Syrah, and 17% Mourvedre. There was a lovely strawberry flavor that I very much enjoyed along with the bright pink color. The wine is also organic which I always support. In addition to the Rosé, I also picked up the Quivira 2011 Grenache. I had to contain myself from buying anymore and I'm sure next time I visit I will also be grabbing a few of their blends.


Drink Pink, Dress Pink

It wouldn't be a day of wine tasting without me hamming it up for a few photos as well. I was very enthusiastic that my dress matched many of the wines. I would love to say this was a happy accident but I noticed that most of my dresses had some wine spots on them and I figured in this case, no one would see if I spilled wine on myself. Ironically, since I took the precaution, I managed to refrain from my usual clumsy nature and keep all of my wine in the glass.


I can't take her anywhere…

The commentary on the event would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful sustainable garden at Quivira. It was fun to explore and see just how many different types of produce were flourishing. I can hardly keep my key lime plant alive so I was definitely impressed. My friend, Natalie, really enjoyed exploring the gardens as well. I hear the raspberries are delicious…


A wonderful end to a beautiful day of wine tasting!

After tasting a lot of lovely Rosé, we all went back to William's house for a wine filled homemade dinner that went way past sunset. It was a wonderful day and I'm looking forward to more of these smaller Rhone Ranger tasting events. At $15/ person, the Rosé tasting was a fun and inexpensive way to explore a very specific wine topic. Quivira was a perfect location for it and intimacy of the event really let me talk to the winemakers a little bit more. Thanks William for putting together such a beautiful tasting!

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New Simple Hedonisms Blogger to Attend Spain Cava Media Tour

By Nikki Lincoln

IMG_20120526_110830If you follow me or Simple Hedonisms on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know this, but I am honored to announce officially to the Simple Hedonisms readers that I have been selected by Wine Pleasures to be part of their Cava Blogger Team!

As you may have guessed by my post on South Africa, I love traveling as much as I love wine. I am very excited to be combining the two passions on a trip to the sparkling region of Spain. I've already popped a few bottles of Cava in the fridge and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more in the next few months as I prepare for this experience.

About the Trip

The program will be a week long experience visiting over 16 sparkling Cava wineries generic levitra canadian healthcare and immersing myself in the region. Cava is a region I'm not as familiar with and there is no better way to learn about somewhere new than to spend a week exploring it on your own. I'll also have the weekend following the trip to explore a little bit on my own. With great choices such as a day trip to Barcelona, a wine country bike tour, or a day tasting still wines – I don't know how I'm going to decide which activity to do!

What It Means to Me

As someone relatively new to the wine blogging world, I am so honored that the selection panel has invited me to join this tour. Since William asked me to join Simple Hedonisms, I have been working a lot on my wine education and taken every opportunity to continue to expand my palate and experience. I know this trip will allow me to do more of the same.

I am also very excited to spend some time with other wine bloggers. In the past couple of months, I have met a few others briefly so it will be very educational to spend a week engaging with my peers. Wine tasting is always more enjoyable with other and I know this group is bound to have a lot of insights.

I really cannot wait for this trip and I'm looking forward to find fun ways to share it with all of the Simple Hedonisms readers! The official Wine Pleasure announcement can be found here.

If anyone has been to Cava, I would love to hear about your experiences!

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