November 2010 Archives

Mendocino County: A 'Grape' Cinderella Story

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mwd_MendoArticle.jpgOne of the original counties of California, Mendocino County is located on California's north coast above San Francisco Bay Area and west of the Central Valley. Most notable in Mendocino are the distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, Redwood forests and quality wine production.

Mendocino's history in winegrapes began following the California Gold Rush in the 1850's. Immigrant farmers, in lieu of riches in gold, turned to farming; choosing the slanted, roughed up, sun-drenched hillsides for winegrape growing. Production started small and then grew with successes.

The more southern markets of Napa and Sonoma proved to be tough competition. Their proximity to distribution channels in larger cities like San Francisco gave them an advantage over the locally sold Mendocino wines. Then, during Prohibition, wine production all but stopped in Mendocino. Only one small family vineyard kept production alive, until the 1960's. Mendocino winemakers had their work cut out for them!

Wine Country Cyber Exclusive!

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mwd_Blowout.jpgWhat's better than a great deal on wine? A great deal on incredible wine, with $0 shipping! For CyberWeekend, get 12 bottles of wine - 6 reds and 6 whites - for only $99 with the Winecountry Selections Dozen. You save $80! The holidays mean family, friends, entertaining and gift giving, so 12 bottles of delicious wines will definitely be used and it will make your life so much easier when delivered right to your door.

That's $8.25 a bottle, saving you 45% off everyday low prices! Add free shipping and you are saving even more!

These Special Selections include a versatile wine selection from around the world. For the white wines, there are 3 each of the bright, light Castle Road Semillon-Chardonnay blend and the unoaked, refreshing Bloomside Chardonnay. For the red wines, discover 3 each of the fruity, yet balanced Argentine Ojos Verdes Cabernet Sauvignon and the Aussie Reti Cabernet-Shiraz; focused, bold and enchanting! The unique selection process at MyWinesDirect.com, who uses both tasting panels of wine lovers like you and wine experts, ensures that every wine is of top quality and the utmost in value. Only the runaway winners are selected so you can choose with confidence.

Discover New Wines (at a fraction of the cost!)

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tastingroom_image.jpgPart of the fun of wine tasting is discovering new wines and wineries. But traveling to the California wine country isn't always easy--especially in tough economic times. Fortunately, TastingRoom.com offers an affordable way to bring the wine country to you.

How? TastingRoom.com teams with top wineries to deliver tastes of their best wines right to your door. The wine comes in packages of six taste-sized mini bottles (50ml) which are perfect replicas of the originals, inside and out. Each bottle contains 1.7 ounces of premium wine -- the equivalent to a generous tasting room pour.

And here's the amazing part: the wine samplers feature six wines from six different wineries side-by-side. These are top-caliber wines from established vintners like Grgich Hills and DeLoach or hidden gems like Storybook Mountain and La Follette. So, if you want to compare Cabernets from six Napa wineries, you can. Or if you want to explore a range of varietals in one sampler, you can do that too. They also have winery samplers so you can enjoy a flight of the best wines a single winery has to offer. There are dozens of wine samplers to choose from starting at $19.99.

Tasting in Healdsburg: One Visitor's Itinerary

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One of our WineCountry.com readers (known to other message board posters as "Hawkeye") recently posted a very detailed report of his recent wine tasting trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley Wine Country. The trip spanned 7 days and was jam packed full of wine tasting experiences. Day 3 of the trip was spent exploring the wineries of Healdsburg. See his suggested itinerary and read his reviews of the wines below.

Day 3, Saturday, October 23
The day began on a very special high note! I had been corresponding with Cabgirl for a month or so about joining us for a tasting. She and her mother met us in Calistoga for our tasting in the Healdsburg area. I think Cabgirl probably knows more about wine that all of us together.

We had a nice visit as we headed over the two mountains to Healdsburg. On the way we ran into construction twice, both one way bridges, and both about a 15 minute wait.

We arrived at Duex Amis at our appointed time of 10:00 AM. There were now 10 of us in the group. The two owners, Phyllis Zouzounis and Jim Penpraze greeted us. This is one of those charming small wineries where we tasted in the winery barn. The tasting bar is a plank held up by two wine barrels. I had tasted there about a year ago and thought their Zin and Pino were pretty good. This time, I did not have the same experience. Their wines just did not have enough body for me.

Hudson Street Wineries

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hudsonStreetWineries.jpgHEALDSBURG, CA - When looking to experience as many wines as you can in one place in the town of Healdsburg, you may want to opt for a collective winery such as Hudson Street Wineries. Originally the site of the historic Roma Wine Company, founded in the late 1800's, it has since been carefully restored into a tasting lounge. Surrounded by hundreds of barrels, the tasting room has a relaxing atmosphere where you will enjoy wines by boutique, limited production wineries who include Bluenose Wines, Rocking Z Vineyard, Sadler-Wells Wines, Teira Wines, and Willowbrook Cellars.



Healdsburg Itinerary: Russian River & Environs

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grapes4.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

When visiting the achingly cute hamlet of Healdsburg - replete with lovely shops, fabulous markets, quaint tasting rooms and Michelin-starred cuisine - it can be tough to motivate to venture outside city limits.  But with some of the world's foremost vineyards beckoning just beyond, it's a sure thing your efforts will be rewarded with sweeping scenery, warm hospitality and - natch - delicious pours.

Bring the Tasting Room to Your Living Room

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tastingRoom1.jpgWant to have that winery tasting room experience without the hassle of traveling to the wine country? Now you can. TastingRoom.com has introduced a one-of-a-kind product that actually brings the wine country to the comfort of your home.
 
How is that possible? Simple. They work with top wineries to create collections of award-winning wines contained in 50ml taste-sized bottles -- roughly twice the amount you receive in a typical tasting room pour. The wines are assembled in beautiful packages of six mini bottles - called wine samplers -- and shipped right to your doorstep.

Once your wine sampler is delivered, you can have a wine tasting experience right in your home. Just pour the wine into six glasses and swirl, sniff, and sip to your heart's delight. Heck, you don't even have to take off your fuzzy slippers.

And here's the best part: you can taste six fantastic wines from six top wineries. Do you like Cabernet? You can taste California Cabs from six of the finest producers side-by-side. A Chardonnay fan? Compare Chards made using different winemaking styles. They've got well known wineries like Grgich Hills and DeLoach and up-and-comers like La Follette and Carol Shelton. And they've got hundreds of wines to choose from. All this for as little as $19.99.

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