Bordeaux—An Amazing Experience—Part 1

IMG_2227

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

Posted in News, Paul's Blog Posts, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Quintet Tasting—Who Wants to be a Better Wine Drinker?

apple Hill Quintet PhotoHaving 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

Posted in Events, News, Paul's Blog Posts | Leave a comment

A Little Bit of Age Brings Out Maturity

DSC_0294OK, 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

Posted in News, Paul's Blog Posts, Wine News | 3 Comments

Portopia 2019

Portopia 2019_edited-1What 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

Posted in Education, Events, News | Leave a comment

A Bit of the Joy, Making it Easy with Holiday Wine Specials!

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

Posted in Events, Food & Wine, News, Paul's Blog Posts | Leave a comment

Success of the Apple Hill Farmers (and the Impacts)

 

26229689_1551907941591621_5056788012988789773_n

Follow Apple Hill on Facebook and Instragram @ AppleHillOfficial!

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Glimpse Into Our Bordeaux Cruise

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.

St. Emilion vineyard and medieval ruinLet’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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment