3/30/2010

Quick Sip: Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir 2007

Hello Friends,

Pinot Noir and Riesling are two varietals I thoroughly enjoy swirling, sniffing, and sipping. I find both to be very food friendly and just as satisfying on their own. Here in Virginia, the overall warm-to-hot macroclimate is not a suitable fit for cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, etc. However, given our diversity in microclimates, there are a few ‘cool pockets’ that allow for a small amount of each to be grown and bottled. For the Willamette Valley of Oregon, these varieties, namely Pinot Noir, have put this exciting New World wine producing region on the wine map. This progression to excellence dates back to 1966 when the late David Lett, founder of Eyrie Vineyards, was the area's first winegrower to plant both Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in the Willamette Valley. About a decade later, Eyrie Vineyard’s Pinot Noir wines gained world-wide recognition for competing with and defeating other Pinot Noir wines from around the world, including top Burgundy examples. Today the Willamette Valley of Oregon is one of the select few wine producing regions in the world that is known for producing exquisite world-class Pinot Noir wines. Enough of my rambling though friends, let’s jump into the glass.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir


Today’s Quick Sip is the Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Vineyard's Pinot Noir 2007. Willamette Valley Vineyards was founded in 1983 by winegrower Jim Bernau and is one of Oregon’s leaders in quality Pinot Noir production. Willamette Valley Vineyards is certified sustainable and Salmon Safe. The Tualatin Estate is one of several Pinot Noir labels offered by Willamette Valley Vineyards. In the glass, the Willamette Valley Vineyard's Tualatin Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir exhibits a light-to-medium ruby-red color. The swirl and sniff offers inviting aromas of sweet plum and tart cherries with soft touches of spice and pretty floral notes (violets). On the sip, the wine is silky smooth with bright red fruit and plum flavors, moderate acidity, and hints of sweet baking spice, finishing long with a velvety mouth-feel. The Willamette Valley Vineyard's Tualatin Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 clocks in at 13.8% alcohol by volume and has a real cork enclosure. The wine sips nicely on its own or could be paired with salmon, tuna or pork loin. For you wine geeks out there (like me), make sure you check the back label for all sorts of good technical data about the contents of the bottle – I wish more producers would put this type of information on their labels. In closing, if you have not tried Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Noir yet, then this is a good place to start. Look for ‘Quick Sips’ of more Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Riesling soon.

Info: Willamette Valley Vineyards, 8800 Enchanted Way SE, Turner, OR 97392

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Disclaimer: My Vine Spot received this selection as a sample.

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3/25/2010

Vine Spot Visuals: Corcoran Vineyards


Hello Friends,

The first spring weekend in Virginia was beautiful – clear blue skies and plenty of bright sunshine. The brown lawns are turning green, trees are beginning to flower, and gardens are waking up. Virginia wine lovers were awakened at the call of spring too. Based on the producers I visited and what I heard from friends who were out enjoying Virginia wine country, Virginia tasting rooms were well visited by Virginia wine lovers. This week’s Vine Spot Visual’s feature highlights a popular wine destination on the Loudoun County Wine Trail that’s producing award winning wines of exceptional balance and flavor.

Relax by the pond and enjoy a glass of Corcoran wine!


The picture above was taken at Corcoran Vineyards, located in the charming village of Waterford, just northwest of Leesburg. Corcoran Vineyards is owned by Jim and Lori Corcoran. Lori Corcoran, the winemaker, is crafting a range of quality wines to suit every palate preference. The tasting room is housed in a circa 1750’s restored log cabin farm house that overlooks a beautiful pond. During the spring and summer months, the tall shade trees that surround the pond are great spots to picnic and enjoy a bottle or two of Corcoran wine. Spring and summertime favorites like Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc are available in the tasting room, as well as Malbec, a Meritage red wine blend, and Mary’s Cuvee – a special blend crafted by Lori Corcoran and Virginia wine super-star Mary Watson DeLauder. Look for Corcoran’s summertime release of Traminette and Cabernet Franc wines and be sure to check out Corcoran at Hunters Run Wine Barn on Route 9 too. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

Info: 14635 Corkys Farm Lane • Waterford, Virginia 20197 • 540-882-9073

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3/22/2010

Sweely Estate Winery visit

Hello Friends,

On a recent trip to Charlottesville I paid a visit to Sweely Estate Winery in Madison, Virginia. Sweely Estate Winery is conveniently located about a mile off of Route 29 and is part of the Monticello Wine Trail. Formerly called Acorn Hill Winery, Sweely Estate Winery is a family-owned operation and their wines are made by French winemaker Frantz Ventre, who grew up making wine in Bordeaux’s right bank where the Merlot grape variety dominates.

Sweely Estate Winery


Sweely Estate Winery is housed in what is referred to as a “Hospitality Center”. This attractive and spacious structure plays hosts to the tasting room and outdoor terrace, a retail boutique shop, an art gallery, a wine library, and a vintner’s room that is available for weddings or private events. The entire estate spans approximately 300 acres with 40 acres under vine. Already renowned for their family-run equestrian center residing on the property, the family is looking to marry the passions of horses and wine. Fun-filled equestrian and wine events could be something to look forward to in the near future at Sweely Estate Winery.

Inside the Hospitality Center


Sweely Estate Winery currently has three labels. Their Acorn Hill label is being phased out due to the name change and the last available vintage is 2006. The Sweely Estate label picks up in 2007 and includes a Viognier 2007, a Chardonnay 2007, a Merlot 2007, and a Cabernet Franc 2007 that recently won a gold medal at the 2010 Virginia Governor Cup Competition. Sweely Estate’s everyday value wine is the Wolftown label and includes a stainless Chardonnay, an off-dry Wolftown White blend, and a Wolf Town Riesling.

Pours at the Tasting Bar


During the winter months stay warm indoors at Sweely Estate Winery with a glass of wine and fine nibbles near the toasty dual-sided fireplace. With the seasonal warmth of spring upon us, you will want to grab your favorite Sweely Estate wine and head to the terrace to enjoy the breathtaking views. When you decide to visit, be sure to let the kind folks at Sweely Estate Winery know you read about them here on Dezel’s My Vine Spot wine blog.

Enjoy a bottle of wine and vineyard view from the patio


Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

Info: Sweely Estate Winery, 6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison, VA, 22727, Tel: 540.948.9005

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3/17/2010

Virginia Wine: Love by the Glass!


Hello Friends,

The Virginia Wine Marketing Office and the Virginia Tourism Corporation is kicking off “Love by the Glass.” This first-ever Virginia wine week event features more than 100 restaurants and wine shops across the state. From March 22nd to March 28th, participating businesses will offer at least two or more Virginia wines by the glass. At Virginia restaurants committed to local farmers you can drink local and eat local. Email me for suggestions or leave a comment with local farm-to-table establishments. To find participating restaurants and shops click here and have an excellent “Love by the Glass” wine week savoring the flavor of Virginia wine!

Happy Virginia Sipping!

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

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3/16/2010

TasteLive with Wente Vineyards


Hello Friends,

I recently participated in an engaging and enjoyable community wine tasting virtually in the comfort of my home with a number of other wine savvy people. Participants, led by the wine-grower who crafted the wines, chimed in real-time to swirl, sniff, sip, and discuss the wines. Pretty darn cool concept, eh? This cutting-edge concept is called TasteLive. TasteLive is a popular online wine tasting community that leverages off of popular social media platforms to bridge consumers, bloggers, press, etc., with the people who grow and produce the wines for an awesome experience.

TasteLive with Wente Vineyards


The TasteLive event in which I participated in was with Wente Vineyards. Wente Vineyards, founded in 1883, is located in the Livermore Valley (San Francisco Bay) and farms nearly 3000 acres of estate vine plantings in the Livermore Valley and Monterey. The TasteLive event was led by fifth generation winemaker Karl D. Wente who assumed winemaking duties of the winery’s estate-grown and small lots wines in 2002. I have enjoyed several selections from Wente in the past as a number of their labels are nationally available. I was able to learn a lot about Wente’s operation during the online interactive tasting event. Wente was the first in California to produce varietal labeled wines (circa 1933) and the first in California to produce a natural noble rot late harvest wine in 1969. Wente employs sustainable farming practices to help protect the land and to produce quality fruit for high-quality wines. After meeting online at a specified time, we enjoyed tasting and discussing the following three wine selections with Karl D. Wente. First up was the Riva Ranch Chardonnay 08, which retails for about $22 and offers layers of lush fruit, a viscous mouth-feel, and seamless oak integration. Next we opened a nicely scented Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 that was easy-drinking, fruit forward, and smooth on the palate, with a nice QPR (quality-to-price-ratio) at $14.99. Last up was the Nth Degree Syrah 2007, retailing for about $44. The Nth Degree is Wente’s limited production label and from vineyard to bottle the wine-making process is hands-on and meticulous. The Nth Degree Syrah was deeply colored - almost opaque, and offered dark fruit, smoked meat, and cocoa flavors backed by a firm structure and a long lingering finish. I decanted the Nth Degree Syrah for over an hour and it really opened up nicely throughout the night. This type of wine would pair nicely with red meat such as steak.

In closing, I had a great time participating in the Wente TasteLive event and look forward to swirling, sniffing, and sipping with my online friends again. Look for Wente wines in your local wine shops and experience the legacy of their five generations of wine-making tradition.  I would love to see Virginia wine in this spot, so if there are any producers up for it shoot me an e-mail - I’m more than willing to assist in putting a TasteLive event together. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

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3/12/2010

Wine Geek Speak: Winery

Hello Friends,

The term winery isn't really wine geek speak and should be a no-brainer, right? But if you think about it, are you really visiting a winery on your weekend wine tasting get-aways? Technically speaking, the winery is where the wine is made. It is the area you rarely get to see that houses the wine making equipment and sometimes a lab or office for the wine-maker.

Visiting the Tasting Room at Linden


The place that most of us visit is called the tasting room, and is aptly named because that's what we are looking to do during our visit - taste through a producer's portfolio of wines. Some tasting rooms and wine making facilities (a.k.a. winery) are housed in the same building. The tasting room may be on the main floor while the winery may be in the basement. Some tasting rooms are located on the same property as the winery in separate buildings. There are also a number of producers that do not have a wine making facility at all. Instead they use custom crush facilities or other wineries to produce their wines and bring these wines back to their tasting room after bottling. These producers have no wine making equipment, lab, tanks or barrels, only bottles for sample and sale. In conclusion, you are usually visiting a tasting room and not a winery, but doesn't winery hopping sound a whole lot better than tasting room hopping?

Visiting the Winery at Blenheim Vineyards



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My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.





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3/08/2010

Vine Spot Visuals: Linden Vineyards


Hello Friends,

The fresh scent of spring is in the air despite what our groundhog friend saw last month. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that spring shows up on time, if not early.  With seasonal warmth, green landscapes, and beautiful flowers on the horizon, it’s time to roll out the “Vine Spot Visuals” feature. These are pictures I have taken along the wine trail and tasting rooms where you can enjoy a quality sip and spectacular outdoor views. I will try to post one producer per week.

Linden Vineyards


The picture above was taken at Linden Vineyards, located in Linden, Virginia. Linden Vineyards is owned and operated by Jim Law and is a popular destination on the Fauquier County Wine Trail. Many Virginia wine lovers consider Jim Law’s wines to be some of the highest quality red and white wine selections in the state. Add an attractive tasting room, an enclosed deck that overlooks vine plantings and the surrounding rolling countryside, local artisan cheese and sausage, warm French baguettes, and a highly trained staff, and you have the ingredients for a memorable and satisfying wine tasting experience. If you are not familiar with Linden’s case club policy, I suggest you click here and familiarize yourself. This policy may influence which day you decide to plan a date and enjoy all the niceties that Linden has to offer. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

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3/06/2010

Virginia Wine: Go for the Gold!


Hello, Friends,

In case you missed it, the results of the 2010 Virginia Governor Cup competition are in. For those not familiar with this competition, it is the largest and most important competition in the state. All wines are tasted blind so that the knowledge of knowing the producer, etc. does not sway judgment or influence opinion. Over two hundred entries from 61 producers entered the competition this year and 126 medals [15 Gold, 53 Silver, and 58 Bronze] were awarded. One main difference in this years competition was that only Virginia red wines were evaluated. I  recently enjoyed two of the gold medal winners and they are “Rock Star Quality” Virginia red wines. I recommend you find these liquid gems and add them to your collection. The two ‘rocking wines’ are the King Family Vineyard Meritage 2007 and Tarara Winery Meritage 2007. The King Family Vineyard Meritage 2007, crafted by winemaker Matthieu Finot, took home the coveted 2010 Governor Cup award for best red wine. Look for “Quick Sips” on each soon, friends. For the complete list of Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners click here to be taken to the Virginia Wine website. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!


Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

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My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.





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3/02/2010

Quick Sip: Lovingston Winery Rotunda Red 2007


Hello Friends,

When snowpocalyspe dumped over three feet of snow on northern Virginia a few weeks ago, I made sure I was stocked up on food, toilet paper, and of course, wine. During the time I was snowed in, one of the wines I enjoyed was the Lovingston Rotunda Red 2007. For what it offers, the Rotunda Red 2007 is a nice everyday QPR wine attractively priced at $14.

Lovingston Winery Rotunda Red 2007


The Rotunda Red embodies Lovingstons’s motto, “We bleed orange and blue, but we drink red,” which acknowledges the family’s two generations of UVA alums. The Rotunda Red 2007 is a blend of 80% Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape variety, and 20% Tannat. In the glass, the Rotunda Red displays an intense deep purple color suggestive of Chambourcin’s thick skin. The swirl and sniff suggests dark fruit, ripe black cherries, and baking spice. On the sip, the wine is medium bodied and easy-drinking, offering plum and blackberry-like nuances with fine tannins and a medium-length finish. Looking for quality and value in a local wine? Lovingston Winery offers good QPR wines, ranging from $13 to $19. Simply put, you won’t break the bank to enjoy good Virginia wine. Try pairing the Rotunda Red with grilled white meats or red sauce dishes, as well as on its own. Lovingston operates by appointment only, so when you visit plan ahead by calling them at (434) 263-8467. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! 


Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about www.myvinespot.com and thanks for your support and kind emails !

My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.





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