One of the first questions that I wanted to explore during our #DrinkMontsant media trip to D.O. Montsant was about the people behind this great #wine region: what drives them to make their wine in this sparsely populated appellation? Well, I didn’t have to wait long, indeed, that question was answered during our first morning stop...
The week of October 8th, 2017 was the most bizarre week of my entire life to this point. The fires that struck the NorCal counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Solano wreaked an incredible amount of devastation, yet as many disasters have shown around the world, it also taught the Lady and myself a beautiful...
I have been immersing myself in the study of #wine in a semi-systematic manner for much of the last 8 years. Indeed, #Vinopanion's 8 year anniversary with @WineLog is approaching in the middle of this month. Yet I have slowly realized that something is lacking in my devotion to the knowledge of the vinous delights: focus, structure and external credibility. You'd think that a trained scientist would have recognized this long ago and I did notice these thoughts in the back of my mind a few years back. But they were always battered back by "where's the time?" and "I'm still receiving plenty of media travel & event invites," along with "my wine consulting services continue to expand." Then I reached last year and I started to recognize some clear patterns in my wine work. While I had plenty of media opportunities and my fellow wine colleagues were continuing to get work, I could see that the pace of my own trade offers beginning to slow down. It was then that I noticed that most of my colleagues began to sport letters after their names on their business cards: they were taking certified educational courses to formalize their wine training. I needed to set up my wine game. It was then that I contacted the good people at Napa Valley Wine Academy (FB, Tw): "help!"
OK, so they don't speak Spanish in New Zealand
...they speak Kiwi
English. I know this, but based on my love of Spanish food and my experiences along the coasts of both Spain and Portugal (diff language, I know!) last Summer, they might as well speak that Romantic language, what with the bright, quality wine that they put out with each vintage. Seafood is the phenom pairing for the vast majority of these wines and I'm happy to throw them together on the regular.
Now clearly, I've always been a fan
of NZ wines
, so let's just get that experiential bias right out in the open. So when I heard that would soon be a winemaker dinner that not only paired some classic NZ winemakers alongside some fervent wine bloggers, but also some extremely tasty Peruvian seafood
with said winemakers' wines...I said [frak]
yeah, I'll come!
This was a trip so epic, that it took a year to digest and to prepare the story-telling...that's the story I'm stickin' to anyway! Pops & I have taken many a wine trip together
over the years, this was the sixth, in fact. Each one has been in a different appellation or sub-appellation around NorCal
. Following my pre-WBC09 Twisted Murphys
visit with some other vinopanions
in crime, I decided that Pops and I needed to definitely take over Murphys
and its Calaveras County
for our upcoming trip later that year.
I spoke a lot in that earlier Murphys post
about the exciting, up and coming aspects of the Calaveras County wine region and how it has already reached at least the wine crafting quality of it's larger and surrounding appellation of the Sierra Foothills and is coming into its own as a true wine destination. Murphys, the historic Gold Rush and logging
town, has completely reinvented itself as a more boutique, yet still nicely rustic wine
mecca, tucked underneath the stunning Sierras
and Calaveras Bigtree National Forest
. Pops and I decided that we needed to dig a bit deeper this time and really get to know this comfortable piece of wilder wine country.