Archive for Wine Festivals
Putah Creek Winery’s Spring Wine Tasting (and food pairing) is this Saturday, May 4, 3-6pm in Davis. It’s a marvelous way to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors, get to know some of Yolo County’s fine food, wine and art, and just relax amongst the oaks of rural Davis. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
The 3rd Annual Wine & Art in the Park 2013 will take place next Saturday, May 11, 11-5pm in Winters. Featuring wines from Capay Valley, Winters, Davis, Dunnigan Hills and English Hills – as well as local food, music and art – it’s another intimate affair that promises a significant dose of romance. (If you haven’t yet experienced Winters’ flavors and charms, this is a great way to get it all done in one cool, shady spot). $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
P.S. Nearby accomodations include Holiday Inn Express West Sacramento.
Enjoy and sleep tight!
Within minutes you’ll find buildings and subdivisions fading away as you drive toward the foothills, seeing a dotted mix of old factories, nurseries and fruit stands that soon give way to large pastures and farm houses. The drive quiets to a lull as you approach the lowest hills, the foliage bursting open to greet you as you pass the old Sloughouse Inn to Davis Ranch. A working farm and large outdoor market, Davis Ranch is perhaps best known for sweet corn in the summer (The Corn Festival is held in July).
Continuing along Jackson Hwy. you’ll reach the town of Plymouth, which is the main portal to 34-and-counting Sierra Foothill wineries. With excellent red varietals like Sangiovese and Zinfandel – and equally tantalizing views – the area is coined by many to be “The New Napa”. If you’re around in June, stop in for the 2nd Annual Barbera Festival at Cooper’s Ranch. For 360-degree views of the (slightly snow-capped) Sierras, drive a little farther up to Skinner Vineyards and take a picnic – and camera – with you. If you choose to go right at the fork rather than straight, springtime is the time to visit the Amador Flower Farm and Daffodil Hill in charming gold rush-era towns.
You may find that setting out on the open road for a few hours is just enough time to return refreshed and ready for dinner, as well as enjoy that bottle of red that’s perfectly ripe and ready for the un-corking.
[see photos of Skinner and Karmere Wineries to the right]
Start in any of the following towns – Davis, Winters, Vacaville or Capay – and then enjoy the scenery as you meander to the next. While passports aren’t required to be present, you will need one in order to partake in all the extra VIP fun. Passports are $40 and more information can be found at the link below.
Enjoy the bounty and beauty of Northern California!
Passport Weekend ~ October 8 and 9th, 10AM-5PM
Is it just me or is there a lot going on July 16th?! If I could be several places at one time, one of those places would be ‘Taste of the Delta’ festival going on at Windmill Cove Resort & Marina just outside of Stockton. Local Delta wines and appetizers will be served, along with live music and more from 1-4PM. Tickets are still a steal at only $25 (but they jump to $35 at the door for late-risers and commitment-phobes).
Just because I have three other things on the calendar that day doesn’t mean I’m giving up just yet. Wine, food, water and Delta breezes are a pretty irresistable combination!
If I could write a song about wine, this would be my first line. But it’s taken already, isn’t it? More reason to get back to the tasting of wine, rather than the singing about it. And ’tis the right time, for the golden state wine competition has just revealed its winners!
The California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is the “oldest and most prestigious wine competition in North America.” It is open to all California-bonded wineries selling retail, and the judges are said to be chosen quite meticulously. Now, I’m no expert at wine-making or tasting for that matter, but I know what I like and I continue to try to refine my palate (as well as wine vocabulary, which could use some help). Anyway, out of those I tried, I was quite pleasantly never really disappointed.
The CA State Fair used to offer tastings of the winners (for a “fair” fee), but as all things must change, now they only offer them by the glass. Something about people bellying up to the bar for too long… Anyway, if you seem really interested in wine itself (not just the guzzling of it) and happen to get a friendly, slighty rebellious barmaid or barbutler, he or she might let you try a few before choosing one by the glass. And since this did happen to us (thank you, kind sir), I will share my findings.
Jeff Runquist Reserve Barbera 2008 – I thought this was rich and yummy.
Montevina Barbera 2007 – While this Barbera was lighter, it was still nice. My husband preferred it to the former.
Macchia Petit Syrah 2008 – Rich, smooth and yet zesty. (I like bold wines).
Fetzer Chardonnay 2008 – A little sweet, good overall, but with a bit of an aftertaste? (Since Fetzer uses organic grapes and works toward environmental sustainability, I feel good buying it. Not to mention, their wines tend to be affordable for “everyday” drinking.)
Barefoot Pinot Grigio Sparkling – Fruity, a bit sweet, pleasantly refreshing.
Barefoot Brut – To my surprise, I liked the Pinot Grigio sparkler better, but this one was nice and balanced overall like a traditional brut.
For a complete list of all the award winners and more information on the competition itself, click on: http://www.thebestcaliforniawine.com/wine-competition/award-winners. And if you’re interested in a more serious immersion of winners, watch for next year’s Grape & Gourmet in July: http://www.thebestcaliforniawine.com/grape-and-gourmet/event