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Monterey Wine Harvest - 2011 Update

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Monterey County Wraps Up A Positive - If Unusual - Vintage

crush2008_01.jpgOctober 28, 2011 (Monterey, CA)--"This is my ninth harvest in the area and it has been unlike any that I can recall," says Executive Director for the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, Rhonda Motil of Monterey County's 2011 growing season. "The growers have all handled Mother Nature's curve balls with the patience and expertise indicative of our winegrowing region."

While growers and vintners throughout Monterey County admit that this has been an out-of-the-ordinary year, lovers of the area's elegant and well-balanced wines will be pleased to learn that the strange growing season has yielded overwhelmingly good quality across its nine AVAs.

"Climactic events like a wet spring, late rain in June, a milder-than-usual summer, and a big rain storm in early October presented us with many challenges, but the fruit coming into the winery is superb," said Matt Shea, Vineyard Manager of Bernardus Winery in the Carmel Valley. "The long summer coupled with adequate soil moisture created the perfect conditions for Pinot Noir on the Central Coast. The loose clusters, small berries, low yields, and long hang time will equate to concentrated wine with lots of depth and flavor."


Upcoming Events at Chateau Julien

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chateauJulienWineTasting.jpgIf you're planning a trip to Monterey Wine Country, then Chateau Julien Wine Estate should be on your list of places to stop for wine tasting. Print out the special offer for complimentary tasting (good for up to 4 guests) or sign up for one of their private tours! There are a variety of themed tours to choose from, including but not limited to, "Winemaker's Tour, Chateau Tour, Le Petit Tour, Back to Basics" and many more!

Of course, you also might want to attend one of their many wine events held throughout the year on the property. See below for the schedule of upcoming Chateau Julien wine events:

Wine Country Personality: Winemaker Bill Anderson

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wcPersonalityChateauJulien.jpgThe Chateau Julien team has included Winemaker Bill Anderson since the Wine Estate opened in 1982. After studying enology at UC Davis, Bill joined Chateau Julien Proprietors Bob & Patty Brower with release of the first vintage of Chateau Julien wine - 1982 Merlot & Chardonnay.  Experience and consistency over the years highlight the essence of Chateau Julien wines. Today, over three-quarters of the winery's portfolio consists of its flagship Merlot and complementary Bordeaux varietals. Winemaker Bill Anderson has balanced the art of winemaking and a commitment to quality with each of the nearly thirty Chateau Julien vintages produced since 1982.

Bill's passion for the winemaking process began at the early age of eleven. Bill was fascinated by early childhood stories of his father making wine with friends during the prohibition period. One fall afternoon at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bill eagerly set out to experiment with the fermentation process using apricots from their newly acquired family orchard.  He found an old porcelain 10-gallon crock in the garage, gathered apricots from the backyard and started mixing sugar, apricots and small packages of Fleishman's yeast. While the results tasted awful, the initial aroma of fermenting fruit never left his memory and ultimately led Bill to the study of enology twenty years later. 

His philosophy today continues to be as simple as the elegance he achieves in his wines. "Elegance is what I keep in mind in winemaking. Simple, straightforward, clean; the truth is evident without frivolity. If you have good grapes and treat them well, do all the details every day and let them do what they will naturally do, you will have a good product." 

Chateau Julien Wine Estate
8940 Carmel Valley Road
Carmel Valley, CA 93923
831.624.2600



Wine Country Itinerary: Monterey Part 2

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Wine-ing Down One Side and Coasting Up the Other

Here's a quick overview of a few of the tasting rooms located off the 101 corridor and west toward the Peninsula off of Highway 1 and around Carmel Valley Village. It is too big of an area to squeeze into one day. Wine tasting is best done by selecting four to six places to visit; allowing time to become acquainted with the wine, and making sure you learn a thing or two (and of course bring home a few bottles your new discoveries). Plan your itinerary based upon a varietal, similar terroir, winemaking styles, or even just appeal.

Wine Country Itinerary: Monterey County

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Peninsula Tasting and Carmel Valley Village

As you approach the turnoff for the Monterey Peninsula on Highway 1, consider an easy stop at Ventana Vineyards, located close to the intersections of Highways 68 & 218.  One of the pioneering stars of the area, Ventana's wines are estate grown, offering high quality and excellent value.  There are a wide variety of whites, reds and dessert choices to enjoy. Check out the spectacular Super Tuscan Sangiovese blend Due Amici, a recent "Best of Class" winner. You will also find some excellent Meador Estate Wines here.

Monterey Wine Auction

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By Robert Farmer

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February is a great time to be on the Monterey Peninsula. Okay, so pretty much any time is great to find yourself on this part of the California Coast, with its rugged natural beauty and refined city life that attracts all walks of life - from romance-minded tourists to nature lovers to golf nuts and, of course, wine lovers. Golf lovers, Yours Truly among them, head toward the Peninsula in February to mingle among the celebs and the pros during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, held this year February 4-10. I'll be there to take part in the fun and to try and get pointers from the pros on golf, and from the celebs on how not to work for a living.

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