An Elegant Evening at Thomas George Estates, Russian River Valley

By Catherine | On Jan 3, 2018 | No Comments

  The second day of the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference was fast-paced and packed with interesting presentations and tastings.  As night fell, we set off on our dinner excursion to Thomas George Estates. Thomas George Estates, located in the Russian River Valley, was established in 2008 and currently consists of four vineyards.  Production is dedicated to creating small lot, vineyard…

Wine Blogger’s Conference Returns to Sonoma

By Catherine | On Nov 19, 2017 | No Comments

Pre-Conference Excursion to Napa Valley   I had been anticipating the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference with various emotions – excited to visit Sonoma and Napa, thrilled that my daughter, Hilary, was joining me, but also with some trepidation over what we would see as a result of the Wine Country fires.   Hilary and I arrived at the tiny Santa…

The Cube Project

By Catherine | On Jul 30, 2017 | No Comments

The Cube Project was conceived in 2010 by winemaker Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, Oregon, Andrew Brooks of Bouchaine in Napa’s Carneros region, and Leslie Mead Renaud from Lincourt Vineyards in Solvang, California. Each participant chose a single block of Pommard Pinot Noir (Pommard was chosen in order to help control variables between the sites) and sent the…

California’s Glorious Central Coast

By Catherine | On Apr 5, 2016 | No Comments

My daughter, Hilary, and I recently returned from a wonderful week in California.  Ever since the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference, I have been wanting to return to the Central Coast and this trip presented the opportunity.  After meeting in Los Angeles and spending a relaxing evening in Marina del Rey, we headed up the coast.  Our first stop was at…

Oregon Weather and Vintages – It’s Complicated

By Catherine | On Jul 19, 2015 | No Comments

Because of my passion for Oregon Pinot Noir and many friends in that region, I keep an eye on the weather.  During summer visits in 2012 and 2014, I experienced heat waves with temperatures that I didn’t think were common in the Northwest. Oregon averages about a dozen days of 90° or higher per year.  However, the past three years…

Urban Wineries on Treasure Island

By Catherine | On Apr 20, 2015 | No Comments

During my travels on the West Coast last month, I was introduced to Treasure Island and the growing collective of urban wineries that have made the island home.  The site of a former U.S. Naval Base, Treasure Island is a man-made isle set between San Francisco and Oakland, accessible from the Bay Bridge.  The first winery began operations in 2007…

Wonderful Winderlea!

By Catherine | On Aug 6, 2014 | No Comments

The centerpiece of Friday’s agenda was a summer wine pairing luncheon at one of my favorite Oregon wineries, Winderlea, that is in the heart of the Dundee area.  On the way out of Salem, we stopped at St. Innocent, a winery I have never visited that came highly recommended.  We enjoyed one of the wine flights offered and I particularly…

Sass Winery

By Catherine | On Aug 1, 2014 | No Comments

I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Sass, owner and winemaker for Sass Winery, about two years ago here in Charleston at a wine pairing dinner. When plans for my trip West were firming up, I emailed Jerry and asked it if would be possible to stop by, as he isn’t open to the public and I wanted to be…

Willamette Valley Vineyard

By Catherine | On Jul 31, 2014 | No Comments

Back to beautiful Oregon for the third time in four years – it is starting to feel like coming home. My friend Carrie, who recently relocated to Portland, and I headed south on July 17 for two days in Willamette Valley. Our first stop was Willamette Valley Vineyards for a private tour and tasting. We loved the comments written in…

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 Begins!

By Catherine | On Jul 16, 2014 | No Comments

Some of my friends and I chose to skip the opening reception Wednesday night and instead had dinner at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos.  It is a charming restaurant housed in a building that used to be a stage coach stop dating to 1886. We shared a variety of dishes including grilled avacado, beet and peach salad, grilled wild salmon,…

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