Tag Archives: pinot noir

Wining around Hobart Tasmania

Tasmania has perfect climate for growing grapes and making wines with mild summers and long autumn days.  Tasmania features elegant cool climate wines including pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and sparkling wines in both the Northern and Southern growing regions.

There are 3 main clusters of vineyards in the Southern growing region which encompasses the Hobart area:

  • The Freycinet Peninsula northeast of Hobart
  • Around Hobart including the Coal Valley and Derwent River
  • South of Hobart around the Huon Valley and the d’Entrecasteaux Channel

Exhibit at MONA

We visited Freycinet Peninsula previously, so for this trip we focused on Coal Valley and Derwent River.  Basically no matter which direction you drive from Hobart (as long as you don’t drive into the ocean) you will quickly reach a vineyard.  We were hosting a cruise group on the Celebrity Solstice which sailed originally from Auckland, New Zealand and we only had a 1 day stop in Hobart.   We’d been on the ship for about 1 week at this point, so did double duty on the day – taste wines and get some laundry done.  So off the ship we went, grabbed an Uber to the car rental, dropped off some laundry, made a very quick trip to MONA ( see our previous blogs on MONA here and here ) and then off to taste some excellent Tasmanian wines.

First stop was Derwent Estates Wines, located right along the River Derwent which is seen in the background of the tasting room below and which we’re sure you’ll agree is fantastically charming.  Several of these wines made it home to the states with us – where we recently opened the Calcaire Pinot Noir which is particularly stunning and by itself makes the entire trip to Hobart well worth it!

Derwent Vineyard Tasmania_6

Derwent tasting room

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2015 Waterfalls & Wine Tour

Waterfalls & Wine

Our research is almost complete! In June 2015 we will be hosting a very special Waterfalls & Wine tour in the Pacific Northwest. From the supple Pinot Noirs of Oregon’s Willamette Valley to the Powerful Merlots of Walla Walla Washington, we will cover the wonderful world of Pacific Northwest Wines. Our wine country travels take us along the Columbia River Valley where we will view amazing displays of easily accessible waterfalls. You do the packing and leave the rest to us.

While we are firming up plans with wineries and hotels – mark your calendars – full details are coming soon!

Our version of the Oregon Trail

The Oregon trail is an historic wagon wheel route, originally laid by fur trappers and traders that connect Missouri to Oregon.  Settlers used it to come west and stake out claims for land.  While the land journey is certainly a great trip, we took an air journey and flew into Portland.  Portland is an interesting and somewhat quirky town with many unique and interesting neighborhoods to enjoy as well as a highly accessible and enjoyable downtown area.  The Columbia and Willamette rivers run right through the heart of Portland, but they are not the only liquid assets here, which seems to have a micro brewery on every block.  For this trip, we were not there for the beer (sigh), but simply using it as our jumping off point to get to the Willamette Valley in search of grapes.

sokol blosser-001

The Willamette Valley has emerged in recent years as one of the premier wine producing regions in the country, even garnering international notoriety. The valley is home to over 300 individual wineries The climate, latitude, and geology is particularly suited to the production of top-quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.  The Willamette Valley is a huge appellation that includes six sub-appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.

As we are still travelling, here is just a quick photo overview as it is almost time to get out and explore some more.

Stoller Family Estate in Dundee Hills.  Beautiful tasting room and great 100% Estate grown wines.

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Sokol Blosser Winery – the Evolution blend is easily found in the midwest.

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Durant Vineyards – one of our favorite stops!

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Archery Summit – Great wines and a unique (to this area) wine cellar tasting room

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Wine tasting in Burgundy part 1 – Moissenet-Bonnard

We recently had the privilege to take a group of friends on a trip to the French regions of Burgundy & Provence.  First we all met up in the gorgeous town of Beaune and began our adventures by taking a custom tour through Burgundy Côte d’Or, home of some of the greatest names of Burgundy wine and where all the Grand Crus vineyards are located.  Burgundy is by far one of the most terroir conscious areas in France.

From our friends at Wikipedia “The wine-growing part of this area in the heart of Burgundy is just 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, and in most places less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The area is made up of tiny villages surrounded by a combination of flat and sloped vineyards on the eastern side of a hilly region, providing some rain and weather shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. The best wines – from Grand Cru vineyards – of this region are usually grown from the middle and higher part of the slopes, where the vineyards have the most exposure to sunshine and the best drainage, while the Premier Cru come from a little less favourably exposed slopes. The relatively ordinary “Village” wines are produced from the flat territory nearer the villages. The Côte de Nuits contains 24 out of the 25 red Grand Cru appellations in Burgundy, while all of the region’s white Grand Cru wines are in the Côte de Beaune. This is explained by the presence of different soils, which favour Pinot noir and Chardonnay, respectively. ”

You’re in Burgundy, you will drink either Pinot Noir or Chardonnay – that’s pretty much it, cause really what else do you need?  Not a fan of either of these grapes?  Well then you probably haven’t had the Premier and Grand Crus.  These are some of the most outstanding wines on the planet!

Still not convinced?  Well these guys in Burgundy are really serious about their wines – so much so that they have an order of about 12,000 knights worldwide that are devoted to it.

Our lucky group’s first stop in Burgundy was on the Routes des Grands Crus in the well-known town of Pommard at the cellars of Moissenet-Bonnard.

WIth 8 generations of grape growing and wine making, you could taste the passion and feel the enthusiasm that goes into every bottle they produce.

The favorite for our group was the Pommard Premier Cru “Les Epenots” 2007.  You should go get some to enjoy with our next posting!

Look good?  Well we can do the same thing for your group as well!

Go to Part 2 of this blog

Go to Part 3 of this blog

Go to the Finale