Wine Regions: March 2010 Archives

Barrel Tasting In Yakima Valley- Who Knew?

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barreltasting.JPGIt may come to your surprise, but Spring Barrel Tasting is a celebratory time of year in Washington wine country. It's the largest wine festival in Washington's wine country, a celebration of spring, new wines and a peak at the warm summer months ahead. The winemakers and staff are on hand to mingle with visitors, conduct tours and answer questions. Most open a barrel or two of future vintages for sampling. Many wineries have live music, appetizers and just a festive mood of celebration.

Tasting straight from the barrel is needless to say, a unique experience that any wine lover should enjoy and appreciate. A recommended event to do this would be the Yakima Valley Spring Barrel Tasting taking place April 23-25, 2010. This event also includes cooking demonstrations, winemaker dinners, vineyard tours and education on pairing food and wine. Click here for more information on this not-to-be-missed event!
As the event grows and more wineries come on line, a little pre-planning helps to best enjoy the festivities. Here are a few tips to help make the celebration fun for all.

Wine Tasting-Discover Washington's Yakima Valley

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Vineyard with Mt.jpgThe best way to sample a variety of wine is to order a flight. The best way to soak up a balanced blend of viticultural experiences is to escape to Yakima Valley. This sunny region in Washington's wine country has warm inviting tasting rooms, premium wineries, picturesque vineyards and charming inns.

The Yakima Valley Appellation is Washington State's oldest and largest wine-growing region. 12,000 acres of grapes produce more than one-third of all Washington State wine. Yakima Valley is home to 70 wineries with 30 varietals, from Syrah to Sauvignon Blanc to Merlot to Mourvedre.

Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez

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Sunstone Vineyards

Image by nicadlr via Flickr

by Robert P. Farmer

Sunstone Winery & Vineyards

With its picturesque setting overlooking the Santa Ynez River and mountainous backdrop, Sunstone feels like a bit of Provence in Santa Barbara County. The winery's reputation for big, beautiful reds doesn't hurt the illusion, either. The award-winning lineup of fully organic wines includes wonderful reserve Pinot Noir and Syrah.

The grounds feature sprawling picnic grounds and vine-covered walls. It's a slice of French Countryside life, without all the fussiness. The tasting room is welcoming and the unpretentious staff is eager to discuss the day's pouring, or the weather, or most anything at all.

Tasting fee: $10
Tasting room open daily: 10am-4pm
125 Refugio Road, Santa Ynez, CA
(805) 688-9463
www.sunstonewinery.com

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