One of my favorite “getaways” with out actually having to get away very far is to the Temecula wineries. It has become customary to make our first stop at Ponte Winery, where we line our stomachs with a bit of delectable bites before venturing on to multiple tasting rooms available throughout the county. This is one of my favorite pitstops with a gorgeous restaurant patio and misters for those hot, humid days. They have a great selection of light lunch options like the cheese plate you see above. Tastings in Temecula range from $12 – $20 for 5 to 6 tastings a person. Just remember, get a designated driver. If you cannot find one, there are many services available for hire. No one wants to end a great day on a bad note.
Tag Archives: Wine
One of the most memorable and whimsical experiences I had during my Eurotrip was horseback riding through the Chianti region of Italy. A slight breeze sang through the vines and brushed through my hair as we rode amongst the valleys of the vineyards. The sun shone bright on the land interrupted by the occasional whipping of the horses tail creating a shadow dance on the gravel below. The calm nature of the horses made even the most inexperienced rider at ease. And with a small group of four, the tour’s intimate feeling allowed us to listen and learn all about the Italian wine.
I highly recommend this tour if you visit the Tuscany region. This particular tour (you can see more information here) leaves from downtown Florence and provides all the transportation needed for the day. You enjoy an hour ride through the vineyards, a wine tasting of different varieties, a delicious pasta lunch finished with fresh gelato. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday.
Not taking a tour of a winery seems almost like a faux pas if visiting Bordeaux. Unlike the California wine regions, you cannot just drive up to the wineries and do a tasting and take a tour; you have to make reservations. Even so, only a few of the châteaux provide insight into their production. The tourism office offers variations of tours ranging from half a day to full day as well as various sizes from private to small groups of 8 or less to large groups that can be up to 50 people. The wine tour that we took, which I would recommend, consisted of a total of 8 people to the Graves region just south of the city. Held in both French and English, we toured two wineries Château Haut-Bailly and Châteaux Carbonnieux. They explained the different stages of winemaking, demonstrated the proper way to taste the wine, and answered any and all questions. If you are interested in investing in this region, it costs a pretty penny: approximately one million euros per hectare. Ouch! Nonetheless, you can save those millions for later and take the tour instead. For more information on some tours in Bordeaux, click here.
Being in the heart of a well-known wine region, Bordeaux, wine comes plentiful as expected. With an array to choose from, it is difficult to elect one over the other even if you have a bit of wine knowledge under your belt. But don’t worry. We have discovered one method that has brought a whole new meaning to the idea of bringing home some wine. Wine to go. But wait: in plastic bottles, sold by the liter and cheap, cheap, cheap. Say hello to every college students’ dream (and other peoples’ dreams alike). A liter can come as cheap as €1.90. You can bring your own one liter bottle or the vender has some of their own. Granted, this isn’t the highest quality wine but it is a really great deal. I have seen this in one other place so far during my travels and that was in Venice, Italy. If you don’t have this concept in your city and can figure out some way to make this business venture possible, do it! If anything, do it for the happiness and welfare of your community (or just anywhere that I end up living. Please and thank you.)
One perk I have luckily been able to stumble upon is a bit of travel within my job at the wine company. This past week I took a trip to the Rueda wine region in Segovia, Spain (to learn more about it, click here). Fortunately there was half a day to spare after all the required meetings. The afternoon was spent exploring a bit of the winery to learn all about the different vines, soil types, processing variations, and equipment. I highly recommend taking a tour of some sort of agricultural area at some point of your life whether it be a wine region in Europe or a coffee plantation in South America. The dedication put into cultivation is extremely interesting, especially if you have never lived in a rural area before. As you can see from these photos taken on my Blackberry, there is a bit of beauty to the fields, as basic and bare as they may seem.
As stated in my post yesterday, some aspects of appreciation are missed when you don´t realize the tedious process that goes into making products; in this case, wine. From the vine to the shelves, the final consumption can be years after the first grapes of the harvest are picked. Each producer has their wine narrowed down to a science, literally. As you can see from the scientific equipment below, many tests are done to verify the best combination possible. The next time you are in a wine region, whether it be in France, Italy, Spain or even California see if you can get a tour of a production site. If not, many wineries or distributors offer wine tastings. Learn about the different grape varieties, vintages, barrel types, and flavors (you can start learning a bit here). Your next glass of wine will be viewed with a whole new outlook.
Italy, France, and Spain are known for their wine production throughout the world. It is incorporated as a part of their daily culture; therefore its production is pertinent. Unfortunately only 25% of wine drank in the United States is international so a lot of individuals miss out. Wine producers are very prideful, especially in Spain, in maintaining their traditions and staying true to their wine. After visiting a winery in the Castilla La Mancha region just southeast of Madrid my awareness on what constitutues and creates a bottle of wine has hightened. Each aspect is taken into careful consideration like most business ventures; the bottle design, cork type, label design, and of course every step that is included in making the wine (you will see more of what I mean in tomorrow´s post).