Central Coast Wine

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    Coastal Breezes and Warm Sun Define the Terroir

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    Wine Tasting in the Beautiful Edna Valley

    ….Just ten minutes from Pismo Beach

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    PISMO BEACH
    Premier Wine & Waves Destination

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SAVOR Adventure Tours Provide Immersive Culinary Experiences

SAVOR Adventure Tours Provide Immersive Culinary Experiences

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Staying in Pismo Beach will give you the rest and relaxation you’ll need for your rigorous SAVOR Adventure Tour itinerary.

SAVOR the Central Coast Adventure Tour schedule of events includes unique activities and acclaimed culinary personalities. Popular among both locals and travelers, Adventure Tours shine light on the region’s most unique epicurean experiences and take place throughout San Luis Obispo County during the highly anticipated four-day food, wine, travel and lifestyle event. Held on Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25, the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast Adventure Tours are immersive day trips that give culinary enthusiasts an intimate and hands-on opportunity to uncover San Luis Obispo County’s distinct regions through food, wine, and unique outings. “Adventure Tours are extremely popular, and with limited space most tours sell out,” said Chuck Davison, President and CEO of Visit San Luis Obispo County. “These unique excursions allow attendees to enjoy the laid back Central Coast lifestyle and offer a rare chance to get up close and personal with the coastal, cultural and culinary assets of the region alongside celebrity chefs, winemakers and Sunset editors” added Davison.

Priced at $85 per tour, the Adventure Tours begin at 10:00 a.m. and include regionally unique food and beverage experiences and highlight several industry experts, including Joanne Weir, chef and author of the forthcoming Kitchen Gypsy: Sunset editors, Sara Schneider, Margo True and Peter Fish; and Yousef Ghalaini, Executive Chef of FIG Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA.

For out-of-towners, Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast’s Adventure Tours are the best way see, taste, and indulge in the region in just a few hours. They provide attendees the chance to meet the wonderful, passionate people behind the wineries, farms, ranches, and attractions, learn their stories, and discover some of the most majestic and delicious experiences found anywhere in California.

 

During the 2015 Adventure Tour series, attendees can select from multiple unique opportunities, including:

Hearst’s Enchanted History: a guided tour and artfully prepared lunch from Sebastian’s Café and a wine tasting by Hearst Ranch Winery featuring Sunset Travel Editor, Peter Fish.

Morro Bay’s Catch of the Day Experience: a guided tour through the national estuary by kayak and kayak fishing; learn how to fillet a fish and enjoy an ocean-to-table lunch overlooking the bay.

Muse in the Gardens of the Paso Robles Inn: Learn painting techniques from a talented local artist. Enjoy an al fresco meal paired with local wines on the patio of the historic inn.

Clydesdales at Covell Ranch in Cambria: See beautiful native pines and meet hundreds of roaming Clydesdale horses. Delight in a deluxe picnic lunch paired with local Central Coast wines featuring Sunset Wine Editor, Sara Schneider.

Locally Grown Cocktail Crafting & Mixology with FARMstead ED & La Cosecha in Paso Robles: Learn how to grow seasonal shrubs and craft infusions to make creatively inspired cocktails featuring distilled spirits. Watch closely as master mixologists Andrew Brune of La Cosecha and Alex Villicana dazzle and educate you on the craft of creating custom cocktails.

Ciders in Atascadero: At Bristols Cider House try a flight of unique cider options from dry to sweet. Witness the pressing process and get a taste of the different apples used and the ciders they produce featuring Sunset Wine Editor, Sara Schneider.

Harris Stage Lines In Paso Robles: Take a journey back in time and experience a real working ranch where horses, wagons and stagecoaches keep the history of the America West alive. Includes an authentic Western lunch catered by Cowboy Flavor while partaking in a rousing game of horseshoes. Featuring Sunset Food Editor, Margo True.

Take to the Sea in Avila Beach: Hop on board with celebrity chef and cookbook author Joanne Weir and explore the unique ecosystem of Avila Beach while learning from a resident Central Coast Aquarium expert. Catch a close up glimpse of wild life including seals, otters and whales. Enjoy brunch hosted by Weir and inspired by recipes from her latest cookbook, Kitchen Gypsy and highlighting fresh local products.

Halter Ranch Vineyard: Take a walking tour of the award-winning Halter Ranch Vineyard at the height of grape harvest and taste Ancestor, the property’s flagship Bordeaux blend. Featuring lunch by celebrity chef Yousef Ghalaini of FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA.

To purchase tickets and for more information about Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast and the 2015 Adventure Tour schedule, visit www.savorcentralcoast.com.

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Sunset SAVOR’s Ultimate Culinary Adventure – Pismo Beach

All Roads Lead to Pismo Beach as Award-Winning Chefs Hit the Road for the SAVOR Ultimate Culinary Adventure

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Enjoy staying in Pismo Beach when you attend this year’s SAVOR Ultimate Culinary Adventure. SAVOR the Central Coast will host an all-star lineup of culinary talent and personalities to headline the four-day food, wine, travel and lifestyle event held September 24-27, 2015. The sixth annual event welcomes Food Network and Bravo television personalities, James Beard Award winners, popular cookbook authors, Sunset editors and more in an all-new star-studded lineup! All roads lead to SAVOR as food and wine lovers indulge in delicious flavors from top chefs who have packed their bags and their knives to travel to San Luis Obispo County – an abundant region known for its locally-sourced flavors and ingredients.

SAVOR’s headlining chefs and talent put their best farm-to-table foot forward to showcase culinary creations made from the finest ingredients grown in the California Central Coast region. “SAVOR’s culinary lineup is truly star-studded this year, and we are pleased to craft an unparalleled experience for travelers and locals alike,” said Chuck Davison, President and CEO of Visit San Luis Obispo County. “We invite you to spend the long weekend in any of our cities and meet the trailblazing chefs that we have assembled from throughout the state and county.”

This year’s roster of culinary headliners provide cooking demonstrations, mouth-watering meals and locally-sourced bites during several Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast events, including the all new opening night Strings at Sunset, numerous Adventure Tours and the Main Event held at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch. Participating chefs to date include: Mary Sue Milliken (cookbook author, Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”);

Frank Pellegrino Jr. (renowned for his Southern Italian cuisine and live cooking on shows on “TODAY,” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”); Yousef Ghalaini (Executive Chef for FIG Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA); Joanne Weir (James Beard Award-winning author of 17 cookbooks, including Kitchen Gypsy); Louis Maldonado (Winner of the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chef”); James Siao (Executive Chef of Finch & Fork restaurant at Kimpton’s Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara); Brigit Binns (food blogger, culinary instructor and author of nearly 30 cookbooks); Will Torres (Executive Chef Will Torres of The Restaurant at JUSTIN, in Paso Robles, CA); Chef Alex Martin of Crush Catering in Paso Robles; Sunset Wine Editor Sara Schneider; Sunset Magazine Food Editor Margo True; and Sunset Magazine Travel Editor Peter Fish. To purchase tickets and for more information about Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast’s 2015 participating talent, visit www.savorcentralcoast.com.

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Winemaker Mike Sinor: Straight From the Source

“The key for me is to be good at what I do, and for me, the focus is wine.” Mike Sinor, owner/winemaker of Sinor-LaVallee Winery, is pouring at the winery’s new tasting room in Avila Beach, explaining the change in his practice: he no longer sources grapes, but grows his own fruit on his Bassi Vineyard.

“I go from being a vineyard designated wine to being an estate winery. I go from Talley Rincon, Aubaine, Squire Canyon in Avila, and from Righetti in the Edna Valley where I was buying fruit from these people – I quit buying it. It’s all coming from my ranch right here. Now, I’ve got a new story to tell.” Sinor’s excitement is contagious as he continues, “Eventually, you want to own your own piece of land and to grow your own grapes.”

He’s finally got it. Known for his elegant, old-world style Pinot Noir wines, Sinor has now expanded his repertoire. Since purchasing the Bassi Vineyard in the Avila Valley, Sinor grows Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Albarino (currently in barrel), and Chardonnay (which he produces about 2500 cases only). His wines are distributed in California, Connecticut, and Louisiana.

Sinor’s Bassi Vineyard sits on sandstone on the Pismo Complex – an oceanic geologic formation that goes back millions of years. The Bob Jones Trail consists of Monterey Shale and when it hardens, it becomes sandstone. “I purchased the Bassi Vineyard because of its location and proximity to the ocean. It had the varietals that would compliment the company that I had already founded on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah. We are now expanding to Albarino, since we have Albarino (grapes) – I’ve never made Albarino (wine) in my career. “

Eventually, the sandstone breaks down and becomes what Sinor refers to as “moondust.” Sinor explains, “It’s something that is identifiable in winemaking. And now my vines sit in this stuff. “ According to Sinor, there are two reasons why the Bassi Vineyard is particularly good for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. “One, its porosity. When you have a high-level of porosity, water flows through and doesn’t give (the vines) ‘wet feet’. The second reason is that it has a marine background of diatoms, and a very unique pH that makes the vines struggle. It’s similar to the Franciscan Complex, with an imbalance of NPK and it’s hard to grow fruit here — similar to Kimmeridgean marl in Chablis.“ Sinor believes that these components transfer into the wine. “Its salt content, which is full of positive ions, is hard to grow things in. When it grows, it doesn’t get very big and has low organic material – a very important aspect. It has a marine background; and it’s not recommended to plant anything on from a grower’s perspective.” Sinor continues, “Now for someone who’s growing something and wanting great flavor, it works really well.”

Along the same line, Sinor’s proud of what others might consider faults of the vineyard. “One of my favorite things is that the U.S. geological survey says ‘look at that soil profile. Do not plant anything on that – that is horrendous farmland’. It’s rated close to zero for farmland. You shouldn’t plant anything on that.’ That’s a San Joaquin Valley perspective where they grown for volume,” Sinor explains. “We grow for expression and intensity of flavor, and it’s perfect for us – so that’s why there’s not much planted there. Only in the past 30 years, have we as industry realized that you could make some really interesting wines from a cold site. It’s 1.2 miles from the ocean. “

An unlikely beginning, Mike grew up in Visalia. Mike’s father sold equipment to farmers. “It’s a good place to be from. I am really happy with how I grew up.” Mike’s father also owned a junkyard for a time in Visalia and that’s how Mike learned he wanted to go to college so he could get an “air-conditioned job.” Mike had no true wine drinkers in his family. “My mom had not drunk since I was born. My dad drank beer. Visalia was like the Midwest of California. “

Mike entered into the winery business for “purely financial reasons,” searching for a way to pay for college.’ I put three years in at COS in Visalia and came to Cal Poly. One of my first winery jobs was working at Corbett Canyon Winery. A friend of mine was already working there and she said ‘you’re kind of outgoing, would you like to work at a winery?’ I said sure. I drank like a fish — I loved wine — I’m 21 – do the math. So I drank four bottles of wine the night before and had the interview the next day. During the interview, John Clark, a very good friend to this day, said ‘I think you’ll do pretty good pouring wine in the tasting room’ so I started the following day. That was my first winery job. I was 21, pouring wine, and I thought, wow, this is really cool. “

From 1991 to 1994, Sinor put myself through Cal Poly working for six different wineries part-time. But by 1992, Sinor found himself less in the tasting room and more in the cellar. “I realized I wanted to do this for a living and that I’m really good at it. I’m strong — I can lift heavy things. I have a background in machine, welding, and tractors. I’m very physical…I could work on hydraulics back then.”

The work included mowing lawns on the winery grounds because Sinor was willing to do anything to work in the winery. “My first day of actually being in production, I can remember bottling wine with Frederica Churchill at Chamisol. We stood there all day long for eight hours. Because they didn’t have roll-downs, we did every bottle with our hands.”

By 1994, Sinor began interviewing with other wineries. He wanted to work for Byron Winery, because Robert Mondavi owned it. “I wanted Byron—I could taste it. Because I had been at this for a few years, I saw that the people that were successful worked for really good people. It’s kind of like a chef or photographer. If you train with Ansel Adams for fifteen years, that’s going to make you a pretty good photographer. It’s one of those industries that’s handed down through people, so I went down to Byron and begged.” And Sinor was hired. “I was an intern without any benefits, no health insurance, no retirement, and no guarantee of a full-time job.” So why did Byron hire him? “Because I came cheap,” he responds. “And because they said ‘Sinor liked to bottle – and nobody likes to bottle’. Back then and I was like ‘dude, I can do this and I want to do this’.”

Sinor started working for Mondavi’s legendary winemaker Ken Brown, who specialized in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sinor was influenced by Brown as to the kind of grapes he wanted to work with. “I think it’s what I grew up on, because before I worked at Byron with Ken Brown and Tim Mondavi, I had no affinity for Pinot Noir. I was more into zin and cabernet. I was still young and when you’re young, you like the obvious…but with maturity, you appreciate complexity and things that are harder to achieve.“

In 1996, Mike Sinor went to France with Ken Brown, Tim Mondavi and six other winemakers from Mondavi. Sinor and LaVallee were married in Beaune. The trip focused on Burgundy, a little of the Rhone, and then a visit to the Frescobaldi family in Italy. During that trip, the Frescobaldi and Mondavi family started their partnership that grew into the brands that currently remain on the market.

“I saw these people living their dreams,” Sinor reflected. “By that time I realized where I live. I realized that I couldn’t live in a warm climate. I grew up in Visalia, so I’m not going to live in it. I wanted to be at the beach, so if I focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, I knew I’d be living near the ocean. And that was the driving force for both my wife and me. We have sacrificed a lot in life to live at the beach.” (And on a random note, he even boils his pasta in water from the local sea).

“I always wanted to love what I do in life – it is how I was raised to find my passion and go do it,” says Sinor. “And that’s my lifelong dream, to create a Burgundian experience, live here at the beach in Avila and Pismo. That’s what we’ve worked on. It’s everything I do. A lot of it came from Burgundy in Beaune, St. Georges — all of those areas. So Sinor-LaVallee like Romanee-Conti – we both have one vineyard and it’s very specific.”

The Wine Club. Sinor-LaVallee enjoys a strong wine club following and is gaining members every day. Linda Truax, a Pismo Beach resident and Sinor-LaVallee Wine Club member, says: “When they were having an open house for their wine club, I absolutely fell in love with his wines. The chardonnay for example is like no other. But his Syrah is to die for. It is smooth, and well aged. A lot of people sell Syrah that is just way too young, but his is velvet.”

“I always wanted to love what I do in life – it is how I was raised to find my passion and go do it,” says Sinor. “And that’s my lifelong dream, to create a Burgundian experience, live here at the beach in Avila and Pismo. That’s what we’ve worked on. It’s everything I do. A lot of it came from Burgundy in Beaune, St. Georges — all of those areas. So Sinor-LaVallee like Romanee-Conti – we both have one vineyard and it’s very specific.”

The Tasting Room. In addition to purchasing his estate vineyard, Sinor has opened the Sinor-LaVallee tasting room in downtown Avila Beach. Beautiful lanterns light up the décor, bathed in relaxing colors with local artists’ oils on the walls. A sunny salon, directly off the bar area, is perfect for relaxing with the wines and is available for private events. The bar is equipped with a commercial kitchen and the tasting room will soon offer small dishes including cheese and charcuterie.

“Everything we make is going to be sold here. During a normal tasting day, for $10 you can taste four to five different wines of Sinor-LaVallee. It’s all you are going to taste here — there is no other wine — here, it’s all of my world,” Sinor says proudly.

On entering the tasting room, you can’t miss the striking Sinor-LaVallee logo, based on something Sinor saw was upstairs at the Louvre. “It had a fleur-de-lis and a bunch of different stuff on it – but I thought that’s what I want.” Sinor explains, “The cross at the top represents spirituality. The crown represents all four members of my family – the husband, wife, and two kids; and below represents the elements of weather including heat — the passion of life to create wine. It’s our new family crest.”

The Sinor-LaVallee tasting room is open Friday-Saturday-Sunday from noon to 6pm with expanded hours during summertime. For current times call (805) 459-9595. 550 1st Street, Avila Beach. For more information and to read about the wines, visit http://www.sinorlavallee.com.

By Georgina Stassi

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Chardonnay Symposium Featured Sommeliers & Chefs

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Pismo Beach and Avila Beach will host the 7th Annual International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 bringing together top Chardonnay producers from around the world. Experience a deeper appreciation of one of the world’s noble grapes during an in-depth, three-day immersion in the Chardonnay Symposium’s vineyard-to-glass series of seminars including:  grand tastings, educational panels, winemaker luncheons & dinners, winery & vineyard tours, and winery tastings. The 7th Annual International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 is proud to call Pismo Beach and Avila Beach home, partnering with several hotels in these two charming, seaside towns to provide luxury accommodations located on destination beaches, only minutes from the top-shelf wineries of SLO Wine Country. Visit www.TheChardonnaySymposium.com

Featured Sommelier 

Brian McClinticMaster Sommelier Brian McClintic, proprietor of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara has over 15 years of experience in the wine industry. Brian was one of four subjects in the documentary film SOMM, which chronicled his journey to the elusive Master Sommelier title. Brian is the 107th individual in the U.S. to attain the Master Sommelier title. Brian is also a published author with the Guild of Sommeliers.

 

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International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 – Pismo Beach

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International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 Schedule

Dusk HeroThe International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 will be in Pismo Beach from May 28 to May 30, 2015.  With Chardonnay producers from around the globe, experience in-depth immersions in the Chardonnay Symposium’s vineyard-to-glass series of seminars including:  grand tastings, educational panels, winemaker luncheons & dinners, winery & vineyard tours, and winery tastings. Events include:

Vintners Wine Tech Symposium on Thursday, May 28, 10:00am–5:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. For qualified vintners only, this event is designed to be a sharing of best practices using the Steamboat Format. Space is limited to (30) producers and will be on a first-come basis. Moderated by Larry Brooks, Winemaker at Tolosa Winery. Lunch will be provided.  $125 per person.

Artisanal Sausages & Chardonnay on Thursday, May 28, 10:00am–11:30pm at SeaVenture Beachfront Resort. Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a discussion and Q&A regarding artisanal sausage making while enjoying a pairing of a variety of sausages and Chardonnays. $50 per person.

To Oak or Not to Oak? Thursday, May 28, 2:00pm–3:00pm at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. To Oak or not to Oak? That is the question… Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a discussion, debate and Q&A regarding varying oak regimens, as well as concrete and stainless steel fermentation, and their effect on flavors and textures of both domestic and international Chardonnays. Moderator Master Sommelier Brian McClintic, proprietor of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, Santa Barbara. $50 per person.

Global Cheeses & Chardonnay Friday, May 29, 10:00am–11:30am at SeaVenture Beachfront Resort.  Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a tasting, discussion, debate and Q&A regarding the perfect partnership of cheese and Chardonnay. $50 per person.

The Fashion of Chardonnay Friday, May 29, 10:00am–11:30am at Avila Lighthouse Suites. Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in discussion, debate and Q&A regarding terroir and vineyard practices as well as winemaking techniques such as malolactic fermentation, lees aging and other tertiary aspects of Chardonnay production that help this incredibly pliable grape find its voice. Moderated by Nicholas Miller of Bien Nacido Vineyards. $50 per person.

Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge Friday, May 29, 10:00am–4:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa For qualified Sommeliers only. For this event, The Somm Journal will be selecting 15–20 sommeliers to participate in a blind wine tasting of Chardonnays submitted by participating wineries. Winners will be announced at the annual Paulee Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony.

Friday Grand Tasting Friday, May 29, 1:00pm–5:00pm at The Cliffs Resort. The Friday Grand Tasting will showcase Chardonnays from around the world, featuring International & Non-Central Coast Chardonnay producers. Also included will be a silent auction benefitting Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture and Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Departments. Tickets are $100 and $75 per person.

Paulee Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony, Friday, May 29, 6:30pm–9:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. The Paulee Dinner is an opportunity to showcase treasures from the cellar with colleagues and enthusiasts. There will be a sommelier assigned to manage the wine at each table during this multi-course gourmet dinner. The Vintners Awards Ceremony will be presented by The SOMM Journal during the course of the evening. $150 per person.

Minerality & Edginess: Is this the modern Chardonnay? Saturday, May 30, 10:00am–12:30pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. This panel will evaluate structural profiles and how they pair with more unusual cuisine together in a pitched bottle of texture and flavor. What happens when briny and delicate meets butter and toasty oak? Surprise! Bob Bath, MS, Wine Instructor for the Culinary Institute of America, will be moderating the discussion. Lunch will be provided by the highly acclaimed Chef Vatche Moukhtarian from Cracked Pepper Bistro. $125 per person.

Saturday Grand Tasting Saturday, May 30, 1:00pm–5:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. The Saturday Grand Tasting will showcase Chardonnays from Santa Cruz to Malibu, featuring producers from the Central Coast. Also included will be a silent auction benefitting Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture and Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Departments. $100 / $75 per person.

Taste Like a Somm Double-Blind Winemaker Dinner Saturday, May 30, 6:30pm–9:00pm at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort Open to the public. Join in an exciting evening of farm-to-table cuisine paired with Chardonnays from the Central Coast. Each table will be hosted by a winemaker and sommelier from a Central Coast AVA. Wines will be poured blind for guests so they can engage with their host sommelier in a discussion about taste, texture and terroir. $150 per person.

After, you can explore nearby Pismo Beach Central Coast wineries and downtown winetasting rooms, pristine beaches, surfing and kayaking, hiking and biking trails, farm-to-table and seaport-inspired cuisine, boutique shopping, and more. For more information on the International Chardonnay Symposium visit www.TheChardonnaySymposium.com.

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Avila Beach Hosts Chardonnay Symposium 2015 Schedule

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Avila Beach hosts events of the International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 from May 28 to May 30, 2015.  Experience in-depth immersions in the Chardonnay Symposium’s vineyard-to-glass series of seminars including:  grand tastings, educational panels, winemaker luncheons & dinners, winery & vineyard tours, and winery tastings. Events include: 

imges from The Chardonnay Symposium, Pismo Beach, May 2014Vintners Wine Tech Symposium on Thursday, May 28, 10:00am–5:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. For qualified vintners only, this event is designed to be a sharing of best practices using the Steamboat Format. Space is limited to (30) producers and will be on a first-come basis. Moderated by Larry Brooks, Winemaker at Tolosa Winery. Lunch will be provided.  $125 per person.

Artisanal Sausages & Chardonnay on Thursday, May 28, 10:00am–11:30pm at SeaVenture Beachfront Resort. Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a discussion and Q&A regarding artisanal sausage making while enjoying a pairing of a variety of sausages and Chardonnays. $50 per person.

To Oak or Not to Oak? Thursday, May 28, 2:00pm–3:00pm at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. To Oak or not to Oak? That is the question… Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a discussion, debate and Q&A regarding varying oak regimens, as well as concrete and stainless steel fermentation, and their effect on flavors and textures of both domestic and international Chardonnays. Moderator Master Sommelier Brian McClintic, proprietor of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, Santa Barbara. $50 per person.

Global Cheeses & Chardonnay Friday, May 29, 10:00am–11:30am at SeaVenture Beachfront Resort.  Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in a tasting, discussion, debate and Q&A regarding the perfect partnership of cheese and Chardonnay. $50 per person.

The Fashion of Chardonnay Friday, May 29, 10:00am–11:30am at Avila Lighthouse Suites. Winemakers, wine educators and other winery principals will engage in discussion, debate and Q&A regarding terroir and vineyard practices as well as winemaking techniques such as malolactic fermentation, lees aging and other tertiary aspects of Chardonnay production that help this incredibly pliable grape find its voice. Moderated by Nicholas Miller of Bien Nacido Vineyards. $50 per person.

Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge Friday, May 29, 10:00am–4:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa For qualified Sommeliers only. For this event, The Somm Journal will be selecting 15–20 sommeliers to participate in a blind wine tasting of Chardonnays submitted by participating wineries. Winners will be announced at the annual Paulee Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony.

15649108060_b2d39d1469_oFriday Grand Tasting Friday, May 29, 1:00pm–5:00pm at The Cliffs Resort. The Friday Grand Tasting will showcase Chardonnays from around the world, featuring International & Non-Central Coast Chardonnay producers. Also included will be a silent auction benefitting Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture and Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Departments. Tickets are $100 and $75 per person. 

Paulee Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony, Friday, May 29, 6:30pm–9:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. The Paulee Dinner is an opportunity to showcase treasures from the cellar with colleagues and enthusiasts. There will be a sommelier assigned to manage the wine at each table during this multi-course gourmet dinner. The Vintners Awards Ceremony will be presented by The SOMM Journal during the course of the evening. $150 per person.

Minerality & Edginess: Is this the modern Chardonnay? Saturday, May 30, 10:00am–12:30pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. This panel will evaluate structural profiles and how they pair with more unusual cuisine together in a pitched bottle of texture and flavor. What happens when briny and delicate meets butter and toasty oak? Surprise! Bob Bath, MS, Wine Instructor for the Culinary Institute of America, will be moderating the discussion. Lunch will be provided by the highly acclaimed Chef Vatche Moukhtarian from Cracked Pepper Bistro. $125 per person.

Saturday Grand Tasting Saturday, May 30, 1:00pm–5:00pm at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. The Saturday Grand Tasting will showcase Chardonnays from Santa Cruz to Malibu, featuring producers from the Central Coast. Also included will be a silent auction benefitting Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture and Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Departments. $100 / $75 per person.

Taste Like a Somm Double-Blind Winemaker Dinner Saturday, May 30, 6:30pm–9:00pm at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort Open to the public. Join in an exciting evening of farm-to-table cuisine paired with Chardonnays from the Central Coast. Each table will be hosted by a winemaker and sommelier from a Central Coast AVA. Wines will be poured blind for guests so they can engage with their host sommelier in a discussion about taste, texture and terroir. $150 per person.

Enjoy post-event activities in Avila Beach. Explore the Avila Beach Wine Trail laced with wineries and downtown winetasting rooms, dog-friendly beaches, surfing and kayaking, hiking and biking trails, farm-to-table and seaport-inspired cuisine, boutique shopping, and more. For more information on the International Chardonnay Symposium visit www.TheChardonnaySymposium.com.

 

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Latest video from the Paso Wine Man


American Viticultural Area labeling helps tell a story of a region and guide wine enthusiasts in understanding growing conditions and potential expectations of a specific region. In “United AVAs of Paso,” Paso Wine Man explores how the 11 viticultural areas of Paso Robles demonstrate the diversity of Paso Robles Wine Country. Read more on PasoWine.com

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Wine Tours & Transportation to Edna Valley Wine Country

Organized tours and transportation are a safe and eco-friendly way to experience the tasting rooms of SLO Wine Country.

Breakaway Tours accommodates large groups while offering couples and smaller groups the opportunity to join “blended tours” that include a gourmet picnic lunch as well as educational insights into local winegrowing and winemaking. Alexis Limousine offers customizable tours of SLO Wine Country with luxury and comfort. Groups of eight or more are strongly encouraged to make appointments with tasting rooms before touring.  SLO Safe Ride also covers the SLO Wine region with a fleet a vehicles to fit any sized group for touring.  101 Wine Tours offers you flexibility and unparalleled knowledge of the Central Coast. Touring is done in a luxury twelve  passenger Mercedes Sprinter van.  Uncorked Wine Tours specializes in private, personalized, and customizable wine tours and can accommodate small and large groups. They also offer shuttling services to weddings and winery events. Go beyond the wine and explore all that SLO County has to offer with Reserve Events and Destinations, whose relationships, purchasing power and in depth knowledge of the region will help create your ultimate getaway.

Read more at www.slowine.com.