A very happy traveler!
Really, I don’t know where to start on our Bordeaux experience last November. It’s not like we haven’t had amazing experiences traveling before, but this was our first river cruise ever. And it was a river cruise through one of the most famous wine regions of the world! So to say that we had a fantastic time would be an understatement for sure!
For those of you who didn’t happen to make it over with us this trip, I thought I would try to give you a glimpse of the experience through a series of blogs. These blogs will be a little more ‘wine-focused’ simply because that’s what we were doing (and from an interest point of view, this can give you, the reader, a bit more useful wine insight to Bordeaux). Continue reading
Having just finished the Portopia experience (of food and wine pairings) last weekend in the cellar, it’s time to talk about Madroña’s second tasting in our educational series—our 19th annual Quintet tasting (March 16th and 17th). (Already know you want tickets, Click Here!)
Having just returned from a trip through Bordeaux, it’s amazing how much one can learn by being there and by doing. I now have tasted the difference between Left Bank and Right Bank wines and why Merlot-based wines grow one place and Cab Sauv-based wines grow in another. It’s one thing to taste a Bordeaux wine in a restaurant in San Francisco. But it’s a completely different thing to experience the wine in Bordeaux, looking at the trellising system on the vines, smelling the soil, and talking to the winemakers who imagined the wine in the first place.
Now you’re starting to get a sense of what the Quintet tasting here at Madroña is all about. This is an education, an experience, and an opportunity. It’s kind of like learning Continue reading
OK, so as I get a little older, I like to point out (especially to our kids) that my age has brought on a maturity that needs to be ‘respected’! OK, so that’s probably pushing it a bit, probably since I don’t think I’ll ever mature past 12 years of age. But when it comes to wine, especially well-made wine, a hint of age does definitely bring out something in the wine that deserves respect (and enjoyment).
Why is this on my mind right now? Well, we have just re-released our 2010 Signature Zinfandel to our Wine Club in the February club selection. Continue reading
What is Portopia? It’s a walk-around event featuring daring pairings with our New-World Port. We feature four small sessions to give you plenty of time to enjoy the experience.
This year’s 7 exciting menu items are…
Flank Steak with Cherry, Gorgonzola Cheese Port Reduction Sauce paired with our 2001 New World Port
Truffle Macaroni and Cheese paired with our 2011 New World Port Continue reading
I’m one of those people that believes holiday music on the radio shouldn’t start until at least the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, this expansion of the Christmas season into October (and September) purely for marketing reasons is really starting to bring me down. It takes the punch out of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
But once the stuffing is put away and Uncle Ralph is sleeping on the coach, I’m good to go with the holiday decorations and a few carols in the background. Continue reading
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As most of you probably already know, this group of small farmers known as the Apple Hill Growers attracts a huge amount of agri-tourists (people interested in apples, wine, apple pies, Christmas trees, blueberries…essentially anything grown on the land) to our region. In fact, this area is the largest agritourism draw in the United States, getting somewhere near 750,000 people eating caramel apples, drinking wine, and choosing pumpkins each year.
You most probably also know that the majority of these tourists come and visit during the fall harvest season. Not only is there fresh fruit picked straight off the tree during this time, but the fall colors can be spectacular. Although the popular ‘harvest season’ starts in late August and finishes in December, the focus for many agri-tourists is October. Continue reading
As many of you know, we’ve traveled to France quite a bit (probably more than our fair share). But when it comes to Bordeaux, we’ve only experienced this region through wine, not physically on the ground. That’s why traveling and tasting through Bordeaux was our #1 choice with a river cruise.
If you’re on the fence about traveling to France (maybe you don’t like amazing food, or maybe incredible wines just aren’t your cup of tea, or maybe industrial parks are more to your liking than century-old villages), I thought I’d give you all a bit more food for thought about this cruise.
Let’s start with an introduction to one of the villages we’ll be experiencing…Saint Émilion.
Situated on a hilltop, St.-Emilion was designated in 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This charming village is the heart of the Libournais district; gratifying to the eyes and the palette with its world-class wines and gastronomy.
Located on the right bank of the river Dordogne, Saint-Émilion is a must-see medieval attraction. Intriguing Romanesque architecture and ruins are abundant here. The village’s namesake is from an 8th century Benedictine monk who made his home in a nearby forest. Take the opportunity to visit the Monolithic Church, the oldest of its kind in Europe, and the Roi Tower, which dates back to the 13th century. Continue reading
Have you ever heard of the physical condition Lackochardtonitis? We hadn’t until about 2014 when the number of cases we saw in the tasting room sky-rocketed. The really worrisome development, however, is when Lackochardtonitis morphs into Lackolactochardtonitis, and this is exactly what we experienced in 2015 during the drought years.
Both Lackochardtonitis and Lackolactochardtonitis exhibit the same symptoms: sweaty palms, dryness in the mouth, a smacking in the lips and a general sense of confusion when told we’re sold out of Ch
ardonnay. The difference between the conditions is that Lackolactochardtonitis comes with more disbelief and a ‘hair-pulling-out tendency’ of frustration by customers when there is no Signature Chardonnay available. Continue reading
Join us for a beautiful evening in the vineyard as we celebrate the start of Harvest. A relaxed evening with a scrumptious BBQ dinner, the sounds of the Doubleshots, and beautiful views of the vineyard. Listen to the dulcet tones of Paul as he waxes and wanes over the challenges and rewards of the 2018 growing season, as well as the what we are looking forward to for the harvest. Continue reading
Even if you don’t happen to be going on the cruise to Bordeaux with us this November, I hope you don’t mind hearing a bit more about it all. The fact is, I get quite a few questions about the tour while in the tasting room. Ironically, one of the questions I get directed to me as the winemaker is, “What is your responsibility on cruise?”
OK, so here’s the deal. I wouldn’t really call it a “responsibility,” but instead an “opportunity.” When we signed up to host the cruise to Bordeaux, we chose this region (rather than The Danube or Paris or…) partly because we make so many different Bordeaux varieties. But the other reason was that this is a region we wanted to learn a lot more about.
So here comes the “opportunity” as I see it. With the hosting of the cruise, we have been asked to conduct three seminars and host a wine dinner. This is one of those unique opportunities where we get to learn, teach, experience and have fun all at the time. Continue reading