I was first initiated into the innovative world of Wine 2.0 when I attended their NRO event at Varnish last November. What I found was an extremely thriving movement of loosely knit and mainly younger wine aficionados, producers and entrepreneurs that were expanding upon the path set down by the original Wine Brats...they also tend to throw a party with a little more enthusiasm than your average wine event! With those thoughts in mind, I geared up for some serious wine-drinking, networking and, well, partying last Thursday night. I was keenly aware of how the night would unfold and so I decided to BART and cab it to the event, held at the 3rd street warehouse of Crushpad in San Francisco. Crushpad is a custom crush facility, meaning that they provide equipment, bonded space, reagents and even fruit for boutique wineries and amateur winemakers, alike. They are one of the most well-known companies where winemakers can go to make their own wines with as much or as little hands-on participation as they might choose. I've been hearing about them for years and have been rather intrigued by their facilities, so I was quite happy to check out the space when I first arrived, just before the event opened.
Continuing in the vein of my first regional wine and food review of the Napa Valley, I will now travel south down the Central Valley to another loved wine region, Carmel Valley [WL]. Carmel Valley sits due Southeast from the beautiful and famous hamlet, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and is overlapped by the Monterey County and Central Coast appellations. Beth and I adore the little seaside town and its accompanying wine region and have made numerous trips over the years with our little Pug Sebastian, always finishing each day with applause at sunset on the its white sand beach. This whole region is well-known as one of the most dog-friendly vacation spots in the US, as well as for its incredible beauty, both natural and man-made. My list of recommendations span both Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Carmel Valley. I have included links to each individual website, as well as the accompanying information we have on WineLog [WL]. Enjoy!