Aug 032012
wine reviews, winery reviews, wine blog, wine education

Roger and Whitney at Jordan Vineyards

Wine country vacations, especially to Napa Valley and Sonoma County can be overwhelming to the novice and the experienced wine traveler alike. With over 400 wineries in Napa Valley alone and hundreds more in Sonoma, how do you choose which wineries to visit? Some offer small quaint tastings and tours while others have almost a Las Vegas feel. So what are the best wineries to visit Napa and Sonoma?

Recently I traveled with my daughter, Whitney, to Napa and Sonoma for her 21st birthday celebration. She certainly enjoys wine and grew up around great wines but to date, Whitney has not inherited her dad’s wine geek gene. Like many novice wine drinkers, Whitney has a discerning though still developing palate.

Whitney’s fist trip to Napa/Sonoma needed to be fun yet educational with enough glitz and glamor to spark her 21 year-old soul with a splash of wine geekiness for Dad. This wine country travel itinerary certainly fit the bill. Continue reading »

Jul 172012

Interview with Jean-Charles BoissetWe had the opportunity during the 2012 Aspen Food and Wine Classic to sit down with the stylish and charming Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates. To refer to Jean-Charles, Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2009 Wine Innovator of the Year, as a “force of nature,” may be selling short his infectious enthusiasm accompanied by his passion for life and wine. Jean-Charles is a powerful blend of Old World sensibilities and New Word zeal.

Born in Vougeot, in the heart of Burgundy to a winemaking family, Jean-Charles came to the U.S. as a teenager to complete high school. From there he obtained his undergraduate degree from the London Business School and his MBA from UCLA. It was during his MBA studies that he decided to expand his family’s French winery holdings to California. Today Boisset Family Estates is the largest Pinot Noir producer in Burgundy and the third largest winery operation in France. In California, they operate 11 wineries and labels including Raymond Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards, Lyeth Estate, Lockwood Vineyard, JCB and Buena Vista Winery. History is integral to Boisset wineries both here and abroad. Most of their acquisitions have some viticulture historical significance. As Jean-Charles said “we are here to share together a unique moment, not be manufacturers of a beverage.

Today, Jean-Charles resides in Napa Valley with his wife, winemaker Gina Gallo, of Gallo Family Vineyards and their toddling twin daughters. Continue reading »

Jun 302012

wine blog, wine blogs, best wine blogWe had no plans to attend. We didn’t even expect to be in town so we made no effort to get press credentials for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic 2012 until it was far too late. But the best times, as we learned, can happen with a total lack of planning…but always include wine.

Since one of our sons was home from college working at his restaurant management internship, we decided to cut our travels short and return to Denver earlier than expected. Over the previous two weeks a number of kind wineries and winemakers had sent invitations to your humble bloggers for off-site Aspen parties. So after a little effort we booked a small condo in Snowmass, 8 miles away, and decided “who needs the fancy tents anyway…we have wine parties to attend!” In all honesty, next year I really want event tickets after seeing what I could from afar. Continue reading »