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Winery Visit

Travel To Vineyards and Wineries

Muscadine Grapes Henscratch Farms in Florida

Muscadine Grapes Henscratch Farms in Florida

If you love wine, or even like wine, make it a point to travel to more vineyards and wineries. Regardless of where your travel takes you, there is probably a vineyard nearby. There are even wineries and vineyards in sunny Florida to visit, after you spend the day at Disney World with Mickey Mouse! I’ve  had the pleasure of visiting a number of vineyards throughout the US and France, and plan on visiting more. Traveling to wineries or vineyards and meeting the people who work there builds a connection that can only enhance your enjoyment of wine. I’ve often been asked which vineyard was my favorite to visit. I really struggle with that answer. Each one is a new and exciting adventure, offering something educational, something beautiful, and something fun.

Visiting Vineyards In Bordeaux

the vineyards of pomerol chateau la conseillante neighbor to Chateau Cheval Blanc

Vineyards of Chateau La Conseillante and neighbor Chateau Cheval Blanc

Of course, visiting the vineyards and Cheateaux of Bordeaux was a fantastic experience. I learned so much about the history of the families of each Chateau, the wine making legacy, and got a true feel for the terroir. I was thrilled to walk through the vineyards of Chateau La Conseillante in Pomerol. The vineyards were acquired in 1872 by Louis Nicolas, and remain in the Nicolas family to this day. From the tasting room at Chateau La Conseillante, you can see the recently renovated winery of Premier Grand Cru Classe neighbor Chateau Cheval Blanc to the east of the vineyard. The wines of La Conseillante are fantastic, most certainly worth seeking out. However, it was the experience of connecting the wine with the land and the people that made the an indelible mark on my soul.

Vineyards of Troplong Mondot overlook the village of Saint-Emilion

Vineyards of Troplong Mondot overlooking the village of Saint-Emilion

Visiting Vineyards In Oregon

I have had the pleasure of plodding through Oregon’s vineyards a few times, most recently in October 2012. After a fantastic visit with the folks of Harry & David, I spent two days visiting several Southern Oregon Wineries.  While the wines from the first winery didn’t blow my hair back, it’s undeniable that sipping them while enjoying the view of the vineyards and mountains was an awe inspiring afternoon.

Beautiful view from Wooldridge Creek Vineyards tasting room southern oregon winery

Beautiful view from Wooldridge Creek Vineyards tasting room

There were some great wines to be sipped in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, including the wines from Troon Vineyard. I have a few bottles of their wines left in my cellar from that trip, and will review them in the coming months. It’ll be nice to sip and reminisce about the fun I had with friends that day.

Troon Vineyard in Applegate Valley, Oregon

Troon Vineyard in Applegate Valley, Oregon

Visiting Vineyards In California

With Jason Haas in the Tablas Creek Winery

With Jason Haas in the Tablas Creek Winery

I’ve probably spent the most time traveling to the wineries and vineyards of California. I’ve visited Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles and the Central Cost to explore wineries and vineyards. There is no shortage of kind people, friendly winemakers and delicious wines to taste. Each of them are willing to explore the world of wine with you, trying to help you find new  grapes to try, and ignite the passion within you. From talking about barrel fermentation to Tablas Creek’s Jason Haas, to blending different grapes with the winemaker at Stillwaters Vineyards, the winery staff want to make your visits memorable and enjoyable.

The vines of Stillwater Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA

The vines of Stillwater Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA

I look forward to traveling to more vineyards in the near future. I have a goal to visit Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, and the different wine regions of Italy, from Piedmont to Puglia. Do you have any plans to travel to vineyards this year? Or, have you fond memories of vineyards you’ve visited in the past? Share your experiences below, I’d love to hear from you!

Forget Blondes-Bloggers have more fun

Wine Bloggers Ward Kadel, Matthew Horbund, and Thea Dwelle At Hahn Tasting Room

Wine Bloggers At Hahn Tasting Room

I don’t care what Rod Stewart says, it’s the bloggers that have more fun. Specifically the wine bloggers. We take our task of tasting, discussing, discovering and sharing wine seriously. However, we have a ton of fun doing it. We have fun when friends come over to taste wine with us. We have fun when we join others at wine events and dinners. However, perhaps the most fun the wine bloggers have is when they visit Hahn Family Wines in Santa Lucia Highlands, California. Don’t get me wrong, a visit to any winery elicits excitement and fun for a blogger (or any sane person), but Hahn has something that makes it very special, the Blogger’s Block.

During the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference, a number of awesome winebloggers, including friends Thea Dwelle and Ward Kadel, pictured to the left, had the opportunity to not only visit Hahn Family Wines, but each had the chance to plant their own grape vine. They planted a block of Grenache,which they will one day help harvest and make into wine. And while they wine may not make it to your glass, it will certainly grace the lips of a lucky wine lover.

Wine Bloggers with Hahn Family Wines Vineyard Manager Andy Mitchell

Wine Bloggers with Hahn Family Wines Vineyard Manager Andy Mitchell

This May, I visited Hahn to film a television segment for Daytime, a nationally syndicated morning show. It happened to coincide with the Santa Lucia Highlands 4th annual Gala event where 30 wine makers showcase their latest vintages to adoring wine lovers. The good folks at Hahn decided to make it a Trifecta of Wine Love, and invited the bloggers back to see their vines. The bloggers also had the chance to tour the property, with a guided tour by Vineyard Manager Andy Mitchell, who discussed the various soils, grapes, and even the avocado grove. The tour ended at the blogger block where Hahn Wine Maker Paul Clifton opened a few bottles of Hahn Grenache and treated the bloggers to a taste of what their vines will someday become, delicious wine.

Hahn Winemaker Paul Clifton

Hahn Winemaker Paul Clifton

The fun didn’t stop at the blogger block, however. Next, the entire group made their way back to the Hahn tasting room, and had the chance to join the Santa Lucia Highlands Gala, and enjoy the wines made from the various wineries of the appellation.  Below you can watch the segment from Daytime, to see the fun that the bloggers had.

I don’t want you to think that only the wine writers can have this much fun. You can too! The Santa Lucia Highlands have a number of fantastic wineries and vineyards to visit. I had the chance to visit Hahn, Paraiso and Pisoni and not only tour their wineries but also meet the fantastic people behind the wines. In the coming weeks I’ll write a little about those visits, and also share the television segments we made of their fantastic families, farms and wines. I’d love to help you plan your next visit to California wine country. Then you can have fun like the bloggers do! After all, it’s A Good Time With Wine!

The Bloggers of Blockers Block

The Bloggers of Blockers Block

There were a number of other wine writers there. I hope I don’t miss any, but they included

Tim Beauchamp

Russ Bebe

Larry Chandler

Brix Chicks Liza and Xandria

Some more photos of Hahn and the Santa Lucia Highlands Gala