Looking forward to #WBC13! A preview of the Wine Blogger’s Conference in British Columbia

As the week progresses, you may see a few #WBC13 twitter handles taking over the wine world, this stands for Wine Blogger’s Conference 2013. This conference is being held in Penticton in the middle of the beautiful Okanagan Valley wine-growing region of British Columbia.

Here, as a wine blogger, this is a unique opportunity to try wines from the hosting region, learn more about visiting sponsor regions and to catch with and learn from fellow bloggers. While this conference will be smaller in size from previous conferences, there is a great line-up of activities and learning opportunities. From this, I have mapped out my areas of focus that you can look forward to learning about in the upcoming months.

Wines of Uruguay, Uruguay may not be as well known as a wine-making region like its neighbors, Chile and Argentina but is starting to make a name for itself though its Tannat grape variety. Tannat is to Uruguay as Malbec is to Argentina as Carmenere is to Chile. Uruguay is a region with rolling hills and prairies, a cooling Atlantic ocean breeze, rainfall equal to that of Oregon and more vineyard acreage than Oregon, this is a land of possibilities. It is also been ranked, in the 2005 Environmental Sustainability index of Yale and Columbia University, as the purest vineyard environment in the world. I can’t wait to learn more and share it! 

D.O. Rueda, well-known in Spain, but not as well known outside of Spain. Having lived in Spain, I had the chance to try the amazing white wines made with Verdejo, an amazingly aromatic and tropical delight in the nose and mouth, which has become one of my favorite white varietals to date.  Rueda, is a wine-making region in the Castilla y Leon region, between Rioja and Ribera wine regions in Northern Spain. It is also near the border with Portugal, where the river Duero runs through it. This Spanish region is quickly becoming known for it’s amazing quality at an affordable price. I’m looking forward to tasting the wines again.

 New Wines of Greece, Greece is among the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and yet I have not had a chance to try their wines. When I think of Greek wines, I think of pine or rather Retsina, which is a white wine (or rose) that derives its unique flavor from the pine resin used to seal the wine vessels. Greece has so much more to offer,therefore, the name “New wines of Greece.” Greek wine producers  are now re-inventing classics, exploring up and coming grape varieties, new terroirs and new winemaking techniques, I am really looking forward to seeing what Greece has to offer. 

Wines of British Columbia–  Wines of British Columbia, last but not least, a region I had never thought about until I attended the last Wine Blogger’s Conference in Portland, when they announced this year’s WBC. A land of over 60 varietals of grapes over 5 wine growing regions within British Columbia. They make everything from Merlot to ice wine!  Who knew that there were over 215 wineries just north Washington and Montana! This is why there are Wine Blogger’s conferences, because when you think you know it all, there is just so much more to learn!

These are just a few of areas of interest that caught my attention, I’m sure there will a lot more that I will write about. Stay tuned! See you at #WBC13!

Harvest may be over but the Stomping has just begun!

Every year, Willamette Valley Vineyard (WVV) hosts a grape stomp which is a qualifying competition for the World Grape Stomping competition in Santa Rosa. Wende Bennette of WVV explains the ins and outs of this competition. I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed our time there.

The ladies of the Stomp: Anna of Stomptastic Chicas, Ashleigh and Heather of So Juicy

Special thanks to WVV for sharing their great wines and experiences with the two amazing grape stomping teams that included Anna, Heather, and Ashleigh aka So Juicy and the Stompstastic Chicas!

In this video, the pros show you how you really should do it in order to extract the maximum amount of juice from the berries.

Join us next year. For more information, visit Willamette Valley Vineyards at http://wvv.com/ or come in for a visit: http://wvv.com/visit/tasting_room/

Check out their Willamette Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir which was rated 95 points by Portland Monthly this past month!

Washington #Merlot being processed at Hawks View

A quick video of the Washington Merlot we processed on Monday, October 1st at Hawks View Cellars. We processed 22,000 lbs or 11 tons of grapes this day. What you see here are the grapes coming in, which have been hand picked. We then hand process them by removing any leaves or bad grapes- such as dried grapes of grapes that are not in good shape- then it is destemmed with the machine. The grapes are separated from the stem and the stem leaves from the top part and the grapes, the size of blueberries leave through the side shoot.

Photo: 11 tons of dime-sized Washington Merlot passed through these hands today! I'm exhausted!

The merlot we processed was smaller than a dime!