vineyards (38)

Exploring Wines of France and Spain by the Glass

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The act of drinking wines is to literally taste specific locations across the globe. I never cease to be amazed by how wines provide such an in depth lens into a particular country and culture. By far the best way to experience them is to of course travel where they're produced and visit the vineyards in person. But lack of time and/or money sometimes make this impossible. For those times, plan for some armchair traveling by tasting some reasonably priced and increasingly available local varieta

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Carrie Wynkoop loves discovering and sharing great Oregon wine. But when she began her explorations over 20 years ago, she joined one wine club after another but was unable to find any exclusively focusing on Oregon, even though the state is a top U.S. producer. Wynkoop decided to take matters into her own able hands, establishing
her very own Cellar 503.

cellar503shipment.jpg.png?width=308Each hand selected monthly shipment of two or four bottles showcases top crafted wine in hard-to-find spots in each of Oregon's 18 wine-grow

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Surrounded by mountains and numerous topographical features resulting from a turbulent geological past, France's Roussillon wine region is cradled in a massive amphitheater-like bowl nestled in the South of France between Spain and narrow valleys spidering outward among the Pyrenees and Corbières Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. Distinct micro climates, many of which have earned their own AOP certification, receive more than 320 days of sunshine per year balanced by heavy autumn rains. Combin

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9009097066?profile=originalMembers of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) gathered in the Temecula Valley for their SoCal regional area meeting to showcase two area wineries.  We had lunch and a winery tour at Mount Palomar Winery and we visited Europa Village to learn about the progress of the future Europa Village Wineries, Resort and Spa.

9009096699?profile=original9009097498?profile=originalAnnata Bistro/Bar, Mount Palomar’s full-service bar and restaurant, opened in 2015.  Italian for vintage, Annata has lovely views of the valley; serve

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Bento Gonçalves
 is a slice of Italy in Brazil's far south.  It's not overly well known outside of the country but a highly-regarded destination among Brazilians, who consider it a first-class tourist destination. This is because this city in Rio Grande do Sul state is one of the most beautiful and important in the Serra Gaucha mountain range, due to its landscapes full of vineyards and the expansive nature which make this place a most welcoming destination.

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As you enter the city you will find a

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It says something that an entire region is named after France's signature liquor. Only three hours away from Paris by train, the village of Cognac, world famous for its namesake eau-de-vie (water of life) is also the birthplace of King François I, narrow winding streets, the towers of St Jacques' gate, and many large 18th-century houses made of stone typically coated with "black velvet" or torula compniacensis, a microscopic fungus that also graces the walls of the region's cognac cellars.


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Hist

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Oh, Là Là! Bordeaux by River Cruise

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Grand Cru, Medoc, St Émilion, Bordeaux Left and Right Banks - all terms of which I was aware, but wanted much more information. That’s the beauty of a river cruise with wine as its main topic (and the wine isn’t bad either, to put it mildly!). We were about to embark on an eight-day UniWorld boutique wine river cruise along the Garonne River - an area settled by ancient Romans and once ruled by the English, but every bit a French region.


9009041882?profile=originalEach evening of the cruise started by imbibing in the "

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New Jersey may not be the biggest wine growing state in the country, nor the biggest  state at all. (It's the fifth smallest.) However, the Garden State Wine Growers Association is working hard to raise the profile and awareness of New Jersey's home grown, bottled reds and whites via public events. November 27th-29th, Friday to Sunday, is the annual New Jersey Wine Trail Weekend. Here, 45 of the 50 wineries statewide, from Sussex to Cape May, will kick off the holidays with tastings, food pairin
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Wines of the South of France's Gaillac

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With roots in Gaul (an ancient region of Western Europe encompassing northern Italy, France, Belgium, part of Germany, and southern Netherlands) more than 2,000 years ago, the Gaillac is one of civilization's oldest wine-growing regions. Vines imported by Phoenicians in the 4th century B.C. still grow as ancient wild vitis vinifera in local forests, as well as cultivated in vineyards today. Situated on the Toulouse-Rodez highway, rail line, and the Tarn River, the Village of Gaillac has been a w

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Joie de Vivre in Burgundy

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            Medieval towns and vineyards surround burgundy
 

It doesn’t get much better for wine lovers than a visit the Burgundy region of France. The self proclaimed “land of fine art and living” is much more than a wine region in central France. In the minds of many wine aficionados, Burgundy produces the world’s most drinkable wines in the world.

A trip to Burgundy is a step back in time. The Romans and the Celtics lay claim to have sculpted the towns and villages of Burgundy. With a  concentra

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A Visit to a Vineyard in Neuilly-Plaisance

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La Grappe

In mid-September, France celebrated its cultural patrimony by opening buildings and gardens that are normally closed to the public. This year's theme was "Hidden Patrimony," and I profited from the occasion to visit a 600 m2 vineyard that is tucked away in the nearby town of Neuilly-Plaisance.

Getting there by public transportation was a challenge, but I was up to it: a metro ride to the Châtelet station, an RER train ride to Neuilly-Plaisance, a local bus ride to a spot several blocks f

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 Signagi is one of the picturesque town in Georgia, overlooking Alazani Valley


I grew up in a family which was fond of traveling. My parents traveled much before getting married, visiting many countries in Europe and South America, visited Africa, too. But Asia was their real passion. They talked a lot about the Asian countries. My father was delighted with the landscapes he had seen in Asia, mother was a real fan of Asian culture.

Their passion for traveling was so great that they were not afr

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Photo by Nick Kontis

 

We San Franciscans are blessed breed. On any given winter day one can ski and surf on the same day, which I have actually done before. We are blessed with many wonderful activities with amazing scenery, from the beaches of the California coast to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and Death Valley.  One place locals and visitors alike flock to is our famed Napa Valley. Here is one of my must visit wineries,  Chateua Montelena.. It's more like a winery in a castle. Located 75 miles nort

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When you think New Mexico, do you think skiing?  Georgia O’Keefe?  Hatch chilies?  Sunsets over red rock? John Wayne in the Rio Grande?  Or, perhaps, Tempranillo, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling?  Visit a New Mexico Winery, and you just may forget Mr. Wayne, or at least, enjoy him with a refreshing Riesling.  9008853852?profile=original

Franciscan monks began growing wine grapes in New Mexico around 1630, just a decade after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth a continent away.  By the late 1800’s, New Mexico had more

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California's Josh Cellars a Delicious Value

Josh Cellars, by Joseph Carr, proves two things:  a winemaker doesn’t have to have a vineyard or a winery to produce excellent wines, and second labels can be intoxicatingly delicious values. 9008814083?profile=original

Joseph Carr embraces his designation as “the negociant of Napa Valley”.  A “negociant” is a wine merchant who assembles either the grapes or the wine of smaller growers and winemakers, and sells the product under its own name.  Mr. Carr uses the Larson Family Vineyards’ facilities in Sonoma, California to m

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It's Harvest Time in Champagne!

 

9008642852?profile=originalThe 2011 Champagne harvest has begun. With the combination of early flowering, low rain levels in the spring, and abundance of summer sun has led to one of the earliest picking seasons since 1822, the Champagne Bureau said today.

 

The three prominent planted grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, are being hand-harvested across the region with favorable weather forecasts for the next few days.

 

"As we celebrate another successful harvest from this unique region, we are remind

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America's "Secret" Wine Regions

Become modern-day explorers, discovering America's extraordinary and "secret" wine regions in the spectacular setting of the Columbia River Gorge. American Safari Cruises introduces exclusive wine and culinary yacht cruise adventures. Sample award-winning wine and cruise through history, witnessing the natural beauty and taste of the Pacific Northwest. Celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, birthday or just enjoy your passion for highly-rated fine wines amidst one of the USA's most scenic ba
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Fattoria MoncucchettoWalking upward on steep cobbled lanes through the village of Lugano Switzerland still enshrouded by morning mists rising from Lago di Lugano is certainly one of life's finer ways to get a workout. If you're up for even more climbing (or a short cab ride), include a visit to Fattoria Moncucchetto, Lugano’s only urban winery.

On a narrow plateau carved out high above the village with breathtaking lake views, family-run Fattoria Moncucchetto sources their base Merlot grapes from a tiny 2.5 acres ons

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The Thornton Winery in Temecula, CA is home to one of California’s longest running concert series. In fact, this year is the 25th anniversary of the Champagne Jazz Series. As you would expect, this summer’s lineup features some of the biggest and most popular of today’s Jazz performers (Dave Koz, Spyro Gyra, Kenny G, George Benson, Chris Botti, Boz Scaggs, etc.) I’ve enjoyed at least one concert at this intimate venue each of the last three summers and have been inspired by guitar god Lee Rite

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The Wines of California's Santa Rita Hills

9008600293?profile=originalOoh, ooh, ooh -- how I love discovering underappreciated wine regions.  The next best one just might be (it certainly gets my vote)Santa Barbara County’s Santa Rita Hills. Located about 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, think Highway 246 off the 101 Freeway and the cities of Buellton, Lompoc and Los Olivos.  Total acreage is 30,720 acres.  About 2,500 acres are planted in wine grapes. The appellation is spelled Sta. Rita Hills on the  wine labels so as not to step on the toes of the Santa Rita wine

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