WBC11 Hits Virginia with Le Wine Buffs in Tow

2011 North American Wine Bloggers' ConferenceAt this point, my regular readers should know quite well about my participation in the cra cra known as the North American Wine Bloggers’ Conferences (Twitter, WineLog).  We’re coming up on the 4th in this great series, after the huge success in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  This year we’re invading Charlottesville, Virginia for our very first time plundering the wine life on the right coast (and East Coast wine bloggers rejoice).  The state of Virginia has been exceptionally supportive and I’m looking forward to learning a ton about 5th largest wine producing state in the Union.  Between the Keynote from Jancis Robinson (Twitter), the Virginia Wine (Twitter) Reception at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for dinner on Friday, another Keynote from Eric Asimov (Twitter) and the annual Vineyard walks in the local wine country, #WBC11 looks to be just as stunning a time as years’ past.

Le Wine Buff - EnjoyBordeaux.comThis year my trip is courtesy of the CIVB’s Enjoy Bordeaux (Twitter, WineLog) campaign, as Le Wine Buff.  We’ll be pouring two phenomenal Bordeaux during my favorite sessions at the conference, the Live Blogging Reds & Whites.  Fellow ‘Buff Erin McGrath (Twitter, WineLog) and I will be pouring the 2009 Château Le Gay Bordeaux Festival Rosé and the 2007 Château Edmus Saint-Émilion Grand Cru (which I adore).  Oh, and we’ll definitely have some more tasty Bordeaux to try during the annual Unconference, of course.

You can find our wines listed again below, as well as a growing list of wines after the Sponsors that I’ve tried at the conference as I get them up there, tagged with “WBC11” so that you can list them in your own WineLog.  So come find us at the event if you’re lucky enough to attend or follow our adventures online as we invade Virginia!

Le Wine Buff wines at WBC11:

2009 Château Le Gay Bordeaux Festival Rosé

Color: Strawberry pink

Nose: Tons of fresh juicy strawberry here with some slight citrus.

Palate: Crisp and easy quaffer, this also has great strawberry and orange peel

on the light to medium palate.

 2007 Château Edmus Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

Color: Darker ruby core, medium ruby edges

Nose: Loam, char and fresh cigar box here with bigger fresh anise and further darker fruits underneath.  Flint on the edges adds to the dried roses. Good.

Palate: Medium to full, with great fresh tobacco and flint to start off, then digs deep into dark fruit and anise to complement the medium fine drier tannins and juicier acidity.  Heads into great earthiness and more tobacco and char towards the long, black, cardamon finish.  Very good: KeeperWK, OldWorldWK.

All wines tasted at WBC11 (growing in real-time):

[winelist query=”WBC11″ num=”150″]

Pre-WBC09: Twisted Murphys Wine'n!

Twisted Oak Winery - Pre-WBC09 Murphys/Calaveras CountyWhat happens when you get bunches of wine bloggers all together to take over a small wine country town? Mine cave-ins, death, destruction and mass group arrests!  OK…that didn’t quite happen, but mass chaos, super amounts of fun and the realization that Calaveras County is an up-and-coming wine region with Murphys leading the charge as a boutique wine destination definitely DID occur.  The Twisted Oak Winery Pre-WBC09 Murphys/CalaCo wine event had dropped, and there was no going back!

Twisted Oak WineryJeff Stai (Twitter, Twitter2) vintner of Twisted Oak and the mad blogger behind the wine biz-leading industry blog, El Bloggo Torcido teamed with his esteemed winemaker Scott Klann (Twitter), himself the vintner and winemaker for his own Newsome-Harlow Wines, for a day long re-introduction to the wines of Calaveras County.  While we started out with a meetup and tasting tour at the Twisted Oak compound, most of the action took place in the beautiful and historic former gold mining town of Murphys.  Murphys, the “Queen of the Sierra,” has been nestled in the Sierra Foothills below Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Bear Valley since it was settled by Daniel and John Murphy in 1848 at the start of the California gold rush.

Twisted Oak WineryAttending much of the activities that day were Ashley (Twitter) of Drink with the Wench, Thea (Twitter) of Luscious Lushes, Megan (Twitter) of Wannabe Wino, Russ (Twitter) of California Wine Hikes & Winehiker Witiculture, Sharon (Twitter) of No Reins Girl, David Honig (Twitter, Twitter2) of Palate Press, Amy (Twitter) & Joe (Twitter) of Another Wine Blog, Ryan (Twitter) & Gabriella (Twitter) of Catavino, Oscar (Twitter) & Nadia of Quevedo and many others.  I came up with Liza (Twitter) of the Brix Chicks after a wonderful ride over from the East Bay.  While I stayed at the solid, everyday Murphys Inn Motel, most of the ladies stayed at the beautiful and rustic Victoria Inn, owned by the very wine-knowledgeable Michael Ninos.  While there was nothing to complain about my accommodations which were solid and local to the main tasting room, the mining-era charm of the centrally located Victoria Inn, combined with the virtual local historian in Michael convinced me to stay there when I return!

The Spaniard - Twisted Oak WineryStarting with the 2008 Calaveras County Verdelho, we moseyed inside to taste through a few more wines that Twisted Oak had to offer.  Jeff and winemaker Scott make perhaps, the most consistent line of wines that I’ve tasted thus far from Calaveras County.  While there are more wineries that I need to, and will, try in the future, it can be clearly seen that alongside Hatcher Winery, Twisted Oak is also making a name for Calaveras County wines in all three categories of red, white and dessert wines.  While I’ve tasted a number of Twisted Oak wines both at wine events and through my WineQ.com queue, but today was the first time that I could try a bunch alongside one another.  All of the wines from these two wineries as well as many from Scott’s own Newsome-Harlow, feature the balance, mouthfeel and acidity that I look for in great wines.  The depth and complexity of the fruit is matched by the varietally correct level of round tannins and the good, food-centric acidity.  The wines are also dry and retain that balance in fullness, never thin when the varietal calls for power yet never overly-extracted.  While some of the wines from Twisted show more oak than I prefer, I’ve seen how this oak integrates well over time and helps contribute to the long term aging potential of their wines.

Winemaker Scott Klann & winedog Nacha - Twisted Oak WineryAfter tasting through much of the Twisted lineup, I decided to take my pour of the ’07 Twisted Oak Calaveras County The Spaniard along for the ride to the winery tour, led by Scott.  This flagship wine of Twisted is always a beautiful Spanish blend of varietals, led by Tempranillo.  It is big as it should be with these varietals but as I mentioned before, the complexity and balance is never short of impeccable.  Scott clued us in as to how much of the wine is made at Twisted Oak.  Scott also makes Newsome-Harlow and most of the Tanner wines at this same facility.  The winery was designed on a hill and was designed for gravity flow winemaking, so that the juice is handled the least amount as possible, always flowing downwards with no pumping to next step in the process.  The most exciting part of the tour was yet to come, as you can see in the pic that Scott’s holding a thief for some Twisted cave barrel-tasting!

Twisted cave!Twisted cave!We welcoming walked into the cave, escaping the almost 100 degree F sunshine outside.  El Jefe led the procession through to the barrel of ’08 Syrah-Viognier that was slumbering in a barrel towards the back of the cave.  The cave was dug completely new from the ground, with the dirt displaced then used as the foundation for the tasting room that we had just encountered.  Braving bats, thirsty winedog Nacha and bad jokes all around, we passed back outside into the crazy summer sunshine.  It was time to get crack-a-lackin’ and go 5 minutes up the road into town and taste more CalaCo vino.

Hatcher Winery Tasting Room - Murphys, CAJen & the Hatcher Tasting RoomMurphys can only be described as small, quaint and historic.  Many original buildings line the main street, where virtually all of the shopping, art galleries, dining and 16+ tasting rooms abound.  Everything is nestled into a about a 1/4 – 1/2 mile distance, making all of it walkable from almost all of the lodging that is available in town.  Our first stop on the wine tour was Hatcher Winery, tucked into the basement of one of the many older buildings.  Vintage wood beams and stone abound in the comfortably-sized room and their own dog Justin rules the realm.  As I mentioned above, Hatcher makes a very consistent, high quality line of wines.  My favorites were many, with the ’08 Pinot Grigio, ’05 Tempranillo, ’06 Syrah and particularly the ’06 Barbera having very favorably complexity and food-driven balance.  Hatcher is another example of a winery that is making this region known for its Rhone varietals, as well as Spanish and Italian wines.  Jen kindly led us through the set of wines available that day.

Newsome-Harlow Wines tasting room - Murphys, CAScott Klann - Newsome-Harlow Vintner/WinemakerLeaving from Hatcher, we had a walk of about two doors before we landed in the courtyard of Scott’s Newsome-Harlow tasting room.  Here the decor was much more contemporary, with loft-style marble and darkly stained wood styling.  Scott was pouring through seven wines that day and I found that the three Zins that he made matched my palate the most.  The ’07 Shake Ridge Zinfandel was my clear favorite, with good peppered red fruit and cinnamon towards the front, then blue fruit with integrating toast underneath.  It is a great single-vineyard Zin and one that is helping lead the charge for Zinfandel in the local appellations.

Nanette Tanner - Tanner VineyardsOur last tasting room (tasting) stop of the day was at Tanner Vineyards, a winery for which Scott also custom crushes.  Here the group was getting a bit fatigued, including my own palate and ears and as such, I didn’t get to taste through as many of the wines as I would have liked.  The tasting room is held in a small wooden building that has seen many tenants in its many decades. Nanette, a 2nd generation Tanner, was pouring that day and very patiently worked through the wines with all of us, despite a somewhat rowdy crowd.  My clear favorites here were the Tanner Vineyards Calaveras County Estate Vermentino-Viognier 2008, as well as the Estate Syrah 2006 and the ’06 Petite Sirah.  All of the Tanner wines are Estate and the fruit quality comes through in virtually all of the wines. El Jefe has recognized the same and has been making a tasty Twisted Oak Tanner Vineyard Syrah for a number of vintages, as well.

Alchemy - Murphys, CAThe Beer Wench taking a dip!The rest of the afternoon and evening was filled with food and more wine, of course.  We started with some micro brews across the street at the great food, beer and wine establishment, Alchemy.  Following that, we headed over to the Twisted Oak tasting room that was also in town, for our evening’s dinner, deliciously prepared by Scott’s wife, Melanie Klann.  She, an accomplished chef and caterer, enlisted Scott to BBQ while she prepared the sides.  The rest of us took a detour down to the creek, somewhat kitty corner to Twisted and cooled off a bit.

A Twisted dinner, by Mel (standing)Sufficiently now at a normal temp, we walked back to the Twisted tasting room and our lovely meal.  It was one of those moments where everything came together: great people, great wine, great food, great weather and a great atmosphere.  What a meal!  Speaking of wine, Brett Keller winemaker for Renner Winery also joined us, bringing with him his ’07 Viognier and ’06 Canterbury Vineyard Shiraz-Cabernet, both which showed well with the food that night. Coincidentally, we had run into Dr. Renner earlier in the day while at the Tanner tasting room.

The Spaniard Wine Blogger blend-offIt was now time for the competitive portion of the evening, a wine blogger blend-off, with the actual barrel components for the 2008 Twisted Oak The Spaniard: Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano.  While we didn’t win, it was a very fun time and a great learning experience.  Just before heading out however, the night concluded with some very well-made port from the vintner himself, Oscar Quevedo and his girlfriend Nadia.  Two beautiful people, inside and out, they were attending with the Catavino kids as part of a whirlwind tour promoting Quevedo Porto.  They poured the very well constructed ’03 Quevedo Porto Late Bottle Vintage and it was a true treat to finish the vinous activities with this silky and balanced gem.

Completely satiated at this point, we all headed our respective ways for night, mainly to our hotel rooms.  I accepted a gracious offer for a night cap with Scott, Mel and Brett at The Nugget, continuing the great wine conversations with my new vinopanions late into the night.

An almost overwhelming thank you goes out to Jeff, Scott, Mel and everyone else at the tasting rooms that day and around the town.  It was a lovely experience and immediately prompted me to call Pops and declare that our 6th Pops & Son Wine Trip would be in Murphys this year! To be continued…

Listed below are all of the wines that tasted or drank during that rager of a wine-region introduction day in Murphys for Calaveras County wines.  If you would like to list all of these wines in your own WineLog, they are all tagged with “WBC09TwistedMurphys“.  All of the photos from that day are over at my Flickr and are also tagged with “WBC09TwistedMurphys” in my WBC09 set.  Enjoy!

Twisted Oak Winery:

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Silvaspoons Vineyard Verdelho 2008

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Torcido 2007

Twisted Oak Calaveras County *%#&@! 2005

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Petite Sirah 2006

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Dalton Vineyard River of Skulls 2007

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Syrah-Viognier 2008

Twisted Oak Calaveras County The Spaniard 2007

Hatcher Winery:

Hatcher Calaveras County Pinot Grigio 2008

Hatcher Calaveras County Grenache Rosé 2007

Hatcher Calaveras County Estate Zinfandel 2006

Hatcher Amador County Barbera 2006

Hatcher Calaveras County Tempranillo 2005

Hatcher Sierra Foothills Meritage 2006

Hatcher Calaveras County Syrah 2006

Newsome-Harlow Wines:

Newsome-Harlow Sierra Foothills Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Newsome-Harlow Calaveras County Trainwreck 2006

Newsome-Harlow Calaveras County Meritage 2006

Newsome-Harlow Calaveras County Zinfandel 2007

Newsome-Harlow Calaveras County Big John Vineyard Big John’s Zinfandel 2007

Newsome-Harlow Amador County Shake Ridge Ranch Shake Ridge Zinfandel 2007

Newsome-Harlow Calaveras County El Portal 2007

Tanner Vineyards:

Tanner Vineyards Calaveras County Estate Vermentino 2008

Tanner Vineyards Calaveras County Estate Vermentino-Viognier 2008

Tanner Vineyards Calaveras County Estate Syrah 2006

Tanner Vineyards Calaveras County Estate Petite Sirah 2006

Renner Winery:

Renner Calaveras County Viognier 2007

Renner Calaveras County Canterbury Vineyard Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Quevedo:

Quevedo Late Bottle Vintage Porto 2003

WBC09: Twisted Wine Bloggers' Conference Rundown

2009 North American Wine Bloggers' ConferenceThe recovery is almost over…I have managed to survive another incredibly awesome North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference, once again headquartered at the Flamingo in Santa Rosa (Sonoma Valley). The 4 days of vino-frenzy began with a trek out to Murphys in the longtime wine region of Calaveras County, where some Twisted wine fun was had by a few  lucky bloggers who made the trek.  Hosted by El Jefe (Twitter) & Scott (Twitter) of Twisted Oak & Newsome-Harlow, we visited the tasting rooms of Hatcher, Newsome-Harlow, Tanner and finished up at the TO tasting room with some Renner wines.

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers AllianceThe next day we awoke to more perfect weather, some sleepy eyes and a large interest in hitting the road, as my fellow vinopanions and myself had a 3 hour drive to Sonoma.  We made it in the nick of time, registered very smoothly and got a great goody bag of fun before the 2nd annual Live Wine Blogging (Speed Blogging, Wine Speed Dating, etc) got rolling.  It was here that the conference hit a major snag…imminently crashable wifi.  We were only able to get about 2 minutes of connectivity before we lost our connection…after finding out that it was partly due to a DNoS attack, the joke was that Parker was on the offensive again! After the American Wine Blogger Awards ceremony, we rebooted the Live Blogging and had another blast of a time.  Wines from Snows Lake and Tandem kicked my booty for wines of the session.  Following that was a the Grand Tasting of Sonoma Wines, a very tasty dinner courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism & Sonoma Valley Vintners and the official afterparty tasting by the Russian River Valley Winegrowers.  Wow and that was just Day 1!

I began Day two in surprisingly better shape than the last two…go vino-power!  Sleepy wine bloggers dragged their butts into shuttles and headed over to Napa for a full day and evening of wine events, powered by Napa Valley Vintners. First stop was the iconic CIA at Greystone for a few keynotes talks, including a fantastic one by Barry Schuler (Twitter) of AOL fame and current Meteor vintner in Napa.  We piled back in the shuttles and mine ended up at one of my favorites, Cuvaison, in their newly finished facility in Carneros.  There we had lunch and a great discussion about Napa Green with President, Jay Schuppert.  We then headed to Staglin for a Vintners’ Panel, followed by the Napa Grand Tasting at Quintessa.  We finished off the our time in Napa having a great meal and blending session at Conn Creek.  Kept warm on the way home courtesy of some Mutineer Obsello Green Fairy, we finished the whole day with an outstanding tasting of Portuguese wine, courtesy of ViniPortugal (Twitter).

Winegrowers of Dry Creek ValleyDay 3 started with some educational breakout sessions, including a good one by newly crowned Murphy-Goode Job winner, Hardy Wallace (Twitter) and Lisa de Bruin (Twitter)and co., talking about video blogging. We bid farewell to the conference as we darted out for the last event(s) of the day, but man, were they good final events!  We dined under the trees and umbrellas with an outstanding meal at Dry Creek Vineyard, which also featured some fine wines from Gustafson and Rued.  The lunch and subsequent goodie bags and treats were courtesy of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley.  Following that, I chose to attend the vineyard walk at Michel Schlumberger (Twitter), courtesy of Sonoma Vineyard Walks.  It was led by the inimitable Judd Wallenbrock (Twitter) and Jim Morris (Twitter) and company…very good times and good wines!

Open Wine ConsortiumExhausted, we headed back to our less vinous lives and left the wonderful Sonoma Valley.  What an incredible time and I don’t think that I can thank organizers Joel Vincent (Twitter) of Open Wine Consortium and Allan Wright of Zephyr Wine Adventures nearly enough for such a great weekend.  Another big thank you goes out to the conference sponsors, without which this conference would not only be incredibly expensive, but actually lack existence!

Look for more posts from the WBC09 (Twitter Search) in the weeks to come, as I go into more detail about certain wine adventures that I had throughout the weekend.  Right now however, I’m headed out on vacation for a week+ from the day and night job with the Lady, relaxing at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain in the Arizona desert.  I’m greatly looking forward to (almost) completely disconnecting and enjoying fine food, workouts, cigars and of course, *wine*.Woot!

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WBC09: Live Wine Blogging!

It’s baaaaackkkkk!  Today on this first day at the 2nd Annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Santa Rosa, we’re revisiting one of the most popular events…live wine blogging or speed-dating for lushes!  20 wineries/wines/winemakers, 6 minutes, 20+ tables of thirsty wine bloggers…GO!!

’08 Fisheye California Pinot Grigio $7

(Premium 3L cask box as well $15)

C: Lightest yellow

N: Lighter lemon and tropical fruits on the nose, very bright

P: Offdry, with a fuller mouth from that RS, but god yellow apple and pineapple, particularly in the finish.  Good quaffer for spicy fish or Thai.

NV Pinot Evil Vin de Pays de l’ìle de Beaute Pinot Noir

3L, $20

C: Medium Ruby

N: Very candied, almost artificial sweet cherry scents, whoa.  Not my thing.

P: Very plasticy candied cherry and blueberry.  Not my thing.

’07 Cupcake Vineyard Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Adam Richardson, Winemaker

C: dark ruby

N: Good plush black cherry with some earthiness underneath and cassis

P: Also good cherry here, but more juicy Bing cherry with a round tannin and easy good finish.

‘o5 Snows Lake Vineyard Red Hills Two

72% Cab Sauv, 28% Cab Franc, $45

C: Very dark, almost inky garnet

N: Very good here, with dusty red fruit of cherry and juicy raspberry, then also some mint, new leather and cardamon, quite good.

P: Full, very nicely balanced, with wonderful red/black fruit, some slight fresh earth and that good leather starting to come through in the finish.  Quite good, great round tannin and good acid.  Best so far!

’07 Line 39 Lake County Petite Sirah

$10, all wines from portfolio are $10, at BevMo 5c sale right now!

C:  Inky violet, violet edges

N: Good blue fruit here, also with some black underneath with a slight bramble and some lighter saddle soap

P: Good coating mouthfeel here, with more chalky feel on the backend, that same great blue and black fruit is here as well, with more of a black cherry finish.  Very good value and QPR!

’07 Cline Contra Costa County Ancient Vines Mourvèdre

25% new oak, $16, recipe from The Girl & The Fig on the peel-out back label!

C: Medium dark ruby

N: Some sulfur here, but blows off.  Then good black fruit, very dark, with some more savory herbs.

P: Coating, mouthfeel here too, with great pepper and some blue, almost more cobbler type finish that goes for quite some time and finishes with good acidity.  Nice.

’07 Tandem Medocino Ridge Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay

Winemaker/owner Greg La Follette from Flowers, etc

C: Medium golden yellow

N: Huge bouquet here of great lemon bar, great florals here as well, great tropical fruit of melon, pineapple and kiwi. Great.

P: Creamy, yet crisp mouthfeel here, showing a very tight balance between having an ML-driven, barrel-fermented styled Chard, yet still with great acid that makes this have tremendous complexity.  Good tropical fruit here with tons of pear and yellow apple.  Outstanding, long finish with a lemon twist.  Best white so far!

’07 Foggy Ridge San Francisco Bay Chardonnay

Farmed organic, certified, hopefully next year, 100% barrel-fermented, glass stopper instead of cork. $18

C: lighter yellow

N: Kiwi, melon here, with a bit of a sweeter cream, underneath

P: Big juicy pear here, with good acid, but creaminess is driving a bit more of the balance right now, finishing more of a yellow apple.

’06 Clif Family Napa Valley Gary’s Improv Syrah

300 cs, Sarah Gott winemaker, $35,

C: Inky violet

N: Blue/black fruit with some charr and rosemary here, as well as some flint, interestingly. More austere style.

P: Very cool black fruit here, continuing with some of that char here as well, followed by great fresh garden herbs of that rosemary and others and very long black fruited finish with some charred earth, continuing to be austere yet balanced here too.  Good!

’07 Benovia Anderson Valley Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir

$55, second vintage

C: Medium ruby

N: Outstanding nose here, of bright red fruit, but then a deep underlay of good fresh earth, a little bit of spice and mushroom quality

P: Fuller mouth than expected with a sweeter quality to the plush plush red and blue fruit, with that same good earth, but the fruit is sweeter than I like.

’07 El Molino High School Lions Pride Pinot Noir

Only HS in the world with a winery permit, in Forestville, 1ac planted by RRVW and guest winemakers come in such as Merry Edwards, Lee Martinelli, Bob Cabral WHOA! 100% of the proceeds go back to the HS. 100 cs. $35, obviously SingleVineyard.

C: light ruby, slightly cloudy

N: Good earthy red fruit here, with plenty of dust and good complexity.

P: Good tarter cherry and dusty, slightly sweeter rhubarb here as well, followed by baking spice.  Good.

’05 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Rockaway Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Allocation, $75, almost all gone, David Ramey

C: Very dark, inky garnet, dark ruby edges

N: Good menthol here and garden herbs of tarragon and black fruit, but the fruit here seems a bit overripe or even stewed on top.

P: Great mouthfeel, solid tannins, but while the menthol is here too, the stewed fruit comes out even stronger here.  Unfortunate.

NEW BOTTLE:

C: Same inkiness

N: Much better chalky, dusty black and blue fruit here now, with that same menthol and tarragon.

P: Same good mouthfeel, but much darker more very ripe, but not overripe fruit with great balance of acid, big, round tannin.  Good.

WBC09: It's here! Well, the Twisted Pre-Party, Anyway!

WBC09 DesktopThe 2nd Annual North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference is almost here, starting tomorrow!  It is again at the Flamingo in Santa Rosa, CA, deep in the Sonoma Valley.  Last year’s inaugural conference exploded the reach and understanding of wine bloggers, wine & social media and their effect on the wine biz.  It also had a profound effect on myself and my own understanding of social media, blogs and wine.  Starting things off, however is a pre-party at Twisted Oak and downtown Murphy’s, courtesy of that crazy vinoman, El Jefe, Jeff Stai (Twitter)!

Twisted Oak WineryWe’re going to be touring the Twisted campus, tasting plenty of their wines as well as touring the main wine drag in Murphys, hitting many different winery tasting rooms that are plentiful.  That’s followed by a BBQ at Twisted Oak Tasting Room and a secret blending session to finish out the night.  Woot!

Look for plenty of crazy posting over the next four days, minimal editing as I’ll be posting on the fly, live and lots of really great wine adventures.  Enjoy!