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Harvest Challenge Wine Competition interviews

In an effort to take you behind the scenes at a wine judging competition I recorded a couple of interviews with fellow judges. This is from the recent 2018 Harvest Challenge wine competition that took place on November 13 & 14th in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA. It was an international competition that featured about 900 wines.  Click the play button to hear the interviews, click the Best Of Awards link to see the winners. It’s quite a list!

Congratulations to all who pick up awards!

 

Harvest Challenge Best Of Awards

 

Harvest ChallengeHarvest Challenge

Wines for Halloween y Dia de los Muertos

Here are wines that will draw attention at any Halloween party.

Wines for Halloween that need to be ordered:

New to this year’s list is one of two that will also be well received at a Dia de los Muertos party. “Vinos de los Muertos”, or Wine of the Dead, is a red blend dessert wine (a perfect pairing for your haul of Halloween candy), and hails from St. Clair Vineyard in New Mexico.

Next to it is a wine from Bulgaria, which of course, features the region of Transylvania. It’s appropriately called “The Legend of Transylvania V Pinot Noir.” Although, I don’t know which is more scary, the title or the $3.99 price. Both of these wines can be purchased through Wine Searcher. Click on the bottles to be taken to the page. You may be able to have them shipped to receive by Halloween.

The more accessible Wines for Halloween:

Truett Hurst’sBewitched” comes in a nicely designed paper wrapped bottle. You can find it at some Safeway stores or from their tasting room in Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg. Louis M. Martini’sGhost Pines” has Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot varietals and sells for Around $17. Bogle offers “Phantom” which sells for about $18. There’s Charles Smith’sThe Velvet Devil” Merlot, priced at about $11. The most unique is Concha y Toro’sCasillero Del Diablo” (Cellar of the Devil). It offers a great list of varietals from Chile, yet sells as low as $11. Seven Deadly Zins is the easiest to find but not very special as it’s available anywhere wine is sold.

You’ll be the hit of the Halloween or Dia de los Muertos party with one of these in your hand.

Wine that has Vanished like a Phantom:

The bottle below is one of my favorite labels for this time of year, “Todos Santos,” meaning All Saints. It was a small production wine from Tank Garage Winery in Calistoga, Napa Valley. Sadly, this 2015 Barbera, Mourvedre blend is no longer available. Sorry for the tease but you have to admit, it’s a pretty cool looking label.

 

 

Halloween line-uphalloween-lineup

 

Halloween Line-up

 

 

Top 100 Wines of the World

On this podcast I chat with principles from 5 wineries who have been chosen to attend Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Tasting Event in San Francisco on October 9th.

I’ve had the extreme pleasure of tasting (some of) the top wines of the world the past 3 years. It’s a spectacular evening that  includes some of San Francisco’s top restaurants.

The recordings you’ll hear are from past interviews with Jason Drew of Drew Family Wines, Jared Brandt of Donkey & Goat, Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, Eric Sussman of Radio-Coteau, and Jean-Charles Boisset of Raymond Vineyards. No doubt they are proud to have been chosen as the producer of one of the top 100 wines of the world.

Additionally, publisher and senior editor Joshua Green explains the lengthy process of the picking the top 100 wines. Astonishingly, approximately 15,000 wines are tasted!

Below the player you’ll see a teaser from Wine & Spirits about some of the attendees, including local restaurateurs Sondra Bernstein and chef John Toulze from The Girl and the Fig. It’ll be great to see them there this year.

If you can’t make it to the event, pick up Wine & Spirits special Winter issue being released next week, or peruse the Top 100 list online.

Taste with Napa luminaries Cathy Corison, Steve & Jill Matthiasson and Diamond Creek‘s Boots Brounstein.

Louis-Michel Liger-Belair will be pouring his new Willamette wines from Rose & Arrow. And Larry Stone, MS, will share his Lingua Franca Pinots.

Raúl Pérez is bringing his Bierzo and Galicia wines. And Valter Fissore is flying in with his Elvio Cogno Barolo.

Paris Sigalas will offer his single-vineyard assyrtikos from Santorini to match Island Creek Oysters.

And, for the first time, we’re featuring Sondra Bernstein and chef John Toulze from The Girl & The Fig at the Top 100!

Zinfandel: Stories from Napa

This Saturday join me and other fans of Zinfandel for an exquisite afternoon takes place at the ultimate Napa Valley destination for experiencing the world of food, wine, art, and community – the CIA at Copia on Napa’s revitalized First Street. The seated seminar is sold out but you can still enjoy the walk-around tasting of over 20 wineries pouring Napa Valley Zinfandels with paired bites from the talented CIA chefs. Hope to see  you there.

For details and tickets click the link below.

 

Zinfandel: Stories from Napa

September is California Wine Month

On today’s podcast Nancy Light, the Vice President of Communications at the Wine Institute rings me up to discuss the fact that September is California Wine Month. There are over 70 events occurring throughout the state. We touch upon many in the Sonoma, Napa regions as well as a few in other appellations. You just might be inspired to plan a trip around one of the events. I’m parking the car and picking up the phone for this On The Wine Road Podcast.

For a list of events visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com

 

California Wine Month

Nancy Light of the Wine Institute

California Wine Month

Russian River Valley Winegrowers’ Paulée Event

This over-the-top Paulée event brings winemakers and collectors together to enjoy an elegant multi-course meal paired with wines from winemakers and guests’ personal cellars, including special, limited and rare vintages.  The date is Friday, August 31st at Sonoma-Cutrer. This Annual Paulée features over 30 Premier Russian River Valley Wineries pouring world class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.

Click below for my conversation with Sonoma-Cutrer’s Director of Winemaking Mick Schroeter, and Winery Chef Kevin Markey. For tickets visit Russian River Valley Winegrowers. We hope to see you there. Cheers!

 

Paulée event

Kevin Markey

Paulée event

Mick Schroeder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paulée event

Tables from last year’s event at Hop Kiln Winery

Paulée event

A happy crowd with plenty of well crafted wine and food

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Russian River Valley Winegrowers Single Vineyard Night

Join Russian River Valley Winegrowers for an amazing tasting experience of Russian River Valley single vineyard wines. More than 30 wineries will be pouring small-lot, single vineyard wines from the Russian River Valley, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Guests will dine on delicious appetizers while enjoying single vineyard wines.

This year the event takes place at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country

My interview with RRVW Board President Giovanni Balistreri and Executive Director Wendy Hilberman is below. I apologize ahead of time. We were drinking Russian River Vineyards Rosé.

I hope to see you there!

Russian River Valley Winegrowers

Single Vineyard Night Single Vineyard Night Single Vineyard Night

 

 

Northcoast Wine and Food Festival, June 9th

This is one of our favorite events of the year. The wine has been voted the top in surrounding North Bay counties and the chefs who attend are among the most popular. We’ll be there and hope to see you too!  For details click here.  For tickets, click here.

north coast wine and food

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The 20th Annual Stags Leap Vineyard to Vintner Event

Each year, member wineries of the Stags Leap District Winegrowers open their doors for this one weekend, giving visitors exclusive access to the wines, vineyards and people behind this iconic wine region. This year the event takes place April 27th through 29th.

Visitors enjoy unparalleled personal, backstage access to private homes and historic wineries alike. The weekend includes exclusive dinners, private tours, barrel tastings, food pairings, music, and experiences–all set amongst the glorious vineyards and towering Palisades of the Stags Leap District.

Additionally, to further support relief efforts from the recent fires last year, 5% of the proceeds from this year’s Saturday Open House tickets will be donated to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

Here’s my interview featuring two of the participating wineries and principles; Silverado Vineyards’ G.M. Russ Weis, and Malk Family Vineyards’ owner Brian Malk. You’ll learn about the wineries past and present and hear what they have planned for the weekend. Cheers!

Stags Leap Vineyard to Vintner Event

The limited 2015 Appellation Collection of 17 handcrafted 2015 SLD designated Cabernet Sauvignons each signed exclusively by the vintners

Stage Leap Vineyard to Vintner Event

 

On The Wine Road Radio & Gloria Ferrer Head to Dallas

Hello Dallas wine enthusiasts, I will be joining Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards for their wine club event on April 14th at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Gloria ferrer

Club members are invited to join us. Not a member?  I will be giving two couples a chance to win free admittance to this $75/person tasting event. Yes, there is a catch.

To be eligible I’m inviting you to join my wine community on Patreon. You’ll receive interesting news and behind the scenes content about this world renowned Northern California wine region.

As a subscriber, for as little as $5 a month, my posts will come to you directly. Rewards are also included. Click below for more details and if you join, you’ll be entered to share bubbles with me and Gloria Ferrer at the beautiful Rosewood Mansion on April 14th.

Cheers! Jeff

Rosewood mansion

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Signature Sonoma Valley, 4/6-8

This dynamic event offers an extraordinary immersive opportunity for wine enthusiasts to taste incomparable wines, visit acclaimed vineyards, meet passionate vintners and growers, and experience the welcoming community spirit of the Sonoma Valley wine region. Top vintners and growers include Hanzell Vineyards, Ram’s Gate Winery, Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, and many more.

I focused on Signature Sonoma Valley on my radio show that aired 3/24/18. The audio is below. I interviewed winemaker Joel Peterson, best known as the co-founder of Ravenswood Winery, and Steve Sangiacomo from the longtime wine growing family in Sonoma Valley who are just about to launch Sangiacomo Wines. You can get their perspective on the weekend and maybe I’ll see  you there Friday, April 6th – Sunday the 8th  Click here for more details and tickets for Signature Sonoma Valley.

 

Signature Sonoma Valley Signature Sonoma Valley

McEvoy Ranch’s Succulent Workshop

Sunday, March 11th, McEvoy Ranch’s “garden gal,” Kyli Rose, will be hosting a succulent workshop where attendees will make their own arrangement and learn about propagating, designing, and caring for succulent gardens. The workshop will start with a tour of the Ranch, which will include the gardens and the family’s succulent collection, and along the way, Kyli will share tips for growing and propagating succulents. The workshop will then move to the Ranch’s beautiful greenhouse where Kyli will explain design elements for succulent arrangements, as well as care and maintenance of the plants. Then, attendees will get to create their own arrangement to take home. To conclude this delightful afternoon, they will enjoy a flight of wine and taste of olive oil at the Ranch’s tasting room. Try their wine too. It’s very nice!

1o:30 – 1pm. $85

 

ZinEX 2018 Details and Interviews

I rarely upload a full episode of my radio show but I’ll do it for this post as it promotes ZinEX 2018. I’ve attended ZAP’s Zinfandel Experience the past 4 years, but have more often opted for the media tasting event that takes place on Thursday of the event week. This year will be the second time I’ve attended the Grand Tasting. And oh, how grand it will be. Over 100 wineries from around the state will be on hand pouring Zin at the gorgeous Pier 27 event space, featuring panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. For details, click this link…ZINFANDEL

To hear my interviews with Zin winemakers Carol Shelton of Carol Shelton Wines and Randle Johnson of ARTEZIN click the player below.

Cheers!

Vineyards to Villages Wine & Food Safari

Vineyards to Villages (V2V) features 23 wineries, 13 restaurants, and 2 hotels raising funds with sales of V2V wine to bring clean water infrastructure to schools in East Africa. As a response to the terrible wildfires, half of the funds raisedwill fund long-term disaster relief efforts for children in Sonoma County that have been most devastated by the fires. The other half of the funds will continue to fund clean water projects at schools in East Africa.

For details on the V2V Wine and Food Safari, and to get tickets, click here.

Wizards of Elixirs, October 30th Fundraiser

WHO: The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Charbay Distillery, & COPIA host their first annual Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition to benefit families affected by the fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Originally slated for the Napa Valley High School Boosters program, in light of the current needs of those devastated by the fires, the Boosters are hoping that attendees will give far and large.

 

WHAT: The Wizards of Elixirs, a friendly cocktail competition fashioned in walk-around style at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia location in Napa, The Wizards of Elixirs invites guests to sample cocktails by 13 of Wine Country’s top bartenders as they vie for the People’s Choice Award and apps prepared by the CIA. After The Wizard of Elixir is crowned, stay for a Halloween costume dance party from 8-11 p.m. Costumes are encouraged but not required.  Light bites provided by the CIA.

For more details, click here.

The Firemen’s Story

It’s always my intention to talk with people who make a difference here in wine country. The couple of weeks during the fires it was two of the hard working firemen who traveled to join the fight. I thought it was important to get to  know them as people, not just firefighters. You’ll hear why they fight fires, about their appreciation for our community, and the loved ones they leave at home to save people they’ve never met. It takes an unusually caring soul to make that sacrifice. Capt. Gilbert Miguel of Kings County Fire Department & Battalion Chief Brian Price of Fresno Fire Department took time during their resting period to share their story.

This is just south of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Just one of the many spots were fire crews had 24 resting periods before fighting another 24 hours. There were so many trucks it wouldn’t fit in one or two photos.

Gloria Ferrer’s “Glorious Bites” details and ticket giveaway

The search has reached across the country since mid-August for the most glorious appetizer that pairs with Gloria Ferrer‘s Sonoma Brut.

They have graciously provided me with 10 pairs of tickets to giveaway. If you’d like to attend the finals on Saturday, October 14th, shoot me an email to Jeff@OnTheWineRoad.com.  I’ll be choosing winners soon so get your entry to me!

Here are the details on Gloria Ferrer’s “Glorious Bites.”

 

Wine & Spirits Magazine Top 100 Event

Wine & Spirits Magazine presents the Top 100 Wineries of 2017, profiled in the Annual Buying Guide published last week. The Wine & Spirits 14th Annual Top 100 event takes place Tuesday, October 10th, at City View at METREON in San Francisco. The tasting—a benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper—will honor the year’s Top 100 Wineries, including an unprecedented 30 new wineries to earn the award this year. In addition to the Top 100 Wineries pouring at the event, there will be food pairings from more than 20 of San Francisco’s best restaurants and food purveyors.

In addition to this year’s festivities is the first annual Sparkling Kickoff on October 9th from 7:00-9:00 pm at 1760. This event is exclusive to VIP ticket holders, Top 100 winemakers, and select guests to celebrate the great work put out by these winemakers and their teams. Louis Roederer, Iron Horse, and Movia, all Top 100 Wineries of 2017, will be pouring their sparkling wines.

The Top 100 Wineries will be announced today on wineandspiritsmagazine.com, the award-winners are also included below. The 2017 Buying Guide will be available on newsstands October 10, 2017.

Tickets to the Top 100 event, including exclusive VIP Early Entry and access to the Sparkling Kickoff are now available for purchase via the Wine & Spirits event site. Discounted trade and media tickets are available upon request, and subject to availability.

Sparkling Kickoff + Top 100 Tasting
$350
October 9th: 7:00-9:00PM
October 10th: 5:30-8:30PMM
Tickets include admission to the Sparkling Kickoff and exclusive early admission to the Top 100 event on October 10th.

VIP
$175
October 10th, 2017
5:30-8:30PM
Tickets include exclusive early admission to the Top 100 event on October 10th.

General Admission
$125
6:30-8:30PM
Tickets include wine tastings with the Top 100 Wineries and food pairings from San Francisco’s top restaurants and purveyors. Admission also includes a one-year subscription to Wine & Spirits magazine.

For the list of 2017 Wine & Spirits Magazine Top 100 Wineries click here.

 

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Kendall-Jackson’s Harvest Celebration with Chef Justin Wangler

After 20 years of hosting the successful Tomato Festival Kendall-Jackson has decided to freshen up and rename their Sonoma County fall event to the Harvest Celebration. Executive Chef Justin Wangler joins me to explain the fantastic food and wine samples guests will be able to enjoy was they meander through the estate gardens. If this sounds like a not-to-miss event get your tickets soon. It will likely be a sell out and is coming up soon, Sunday, October 1st.

Click the photo below to visit the website for details.

 

 

Harvest Celebration

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Russian River Valley Winegrowers “Paulée”

This is one of the most unique winemaker dinners you’ll experience. Attendees are invited to bring a wine to share that has special meaning to you. The winemakers will also be sharing rare and older vintage wines. I’m really looking forward to it! It’s next Friday, Sept. 1st, 2017.

Click the post to visit their website.

Paulee