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Sparkman Cellars: Damn Fine Wine

Sparkman Cellars: Damn Fine Wine


Posted on Jan 17, 2018

woodinville washington wine

The chalkboard listing the wines at the Sparkman tasting room.

“Family. Good Livin’. Damn Fine Wine.” So reads the tagline at Sparkman Cellars in Woodinville, Washington. A bold statement by any winery let alone one that makes 29 different wines! But with a serious background in wine combined with a skillful winemaker situated in one of the up-and-coming wine regions in the world, they certainly seem to have all the ingredients to live up to that statement.

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Rioja Spain wine

The tasting room at Remirez de Ganuza

We had the privilege of touring and tasting at Remirez De Ganuza in the Spanish Denominacion de Origen (the Spanish term for viticultural region) of Rioja while we were a part of the Fine Vintage Tour of Northern Spain. Over the last 3 decades Remirez de Ganuza has experimented and come up with new techniques both in the vineyard and in the winery which have elevated their wines to the top echelons of Rioja and even earned a 100 point score.

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Champagne’s Very Special Club

Champagne’s Very Special Club


Posted on Dec 28, 2017

Champagne

1996 La Grande Dame

In 1971, 12 growers in Champagne got together with an idea to make a special Champagne that would showcase their individual terroirs and their excellent wine making capabilities. For decades the Grande Marques (what the Champenois call the big, prestige producers) had been producing their tête cuvées which consumers knew were the best of their best. These would include Dom Perignon from Moët & Chandon, Comtes de Champagne from Tattinger, Cristal from Roederer, Cuvée Winston Churchill from Pol Roger and the like. These tête cuvées showed just how good Champagne could be when blended by the hands of a master. Blending grapes, sometimes from up to 60 different vineyards, showed the Grande Marque’s house style at its finest. As a response, these 12 growers decided to band together and create a special blend that showcased the very best of individual terroir from the Champagne de Vigneron (Champagne of Winegrower). These wines are called Special Club Champagnes.

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St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards


Posted on Dec 20, 2017

sonoma valley wine

The view at St. Francis Winery.

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards has for a long time been on our list of favourite California wineries. We  can still remember the 1996 St. Francis Reserve Merlot, the wine that tuned us on to St. Francis and the wine that turned us on to Merlot! The fruit-forward and beautifully textured style of that wine remains the house style today.

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In Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, just outside the town of Healdsburg, sits a 1200-acre winery featuring a yellow Chateau, covered in vines, perched at the top of the estate. If you didn’t know better, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a winery in Bordeaux, France rather than one in California wine country. Jordan Vineyard and Winery not only conjures up this feeling when gazing upon its stunning property, it also evokes Old World tradition with each sip of their wine.

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The White Wines of Rias Baixas

The White Wines of Rias Baixas


Posted on Dec 5, 2017

We recently attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, California. One of the breakout sessions was a 90 minute seminar on the wines of Rias Baixas in Northern Spain. Rias Baixas is known for making delicious, aromatic white wines from the indigenous Albarino grape. It was a breakout session we had to attend.

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Comstock Wines: Open for Business  

Comstock Wines: Open for Business  


Posted on Nov 29, 2017

Dry Creek Valley healdsburg

The view at Comstock Wines

We have been visiting Sonoma Valley wine country for more than 15 years, long before AdVINEtures ever existed. And while we’re still a long way from getting to all the wineries in the region, nothing excites us more than a new discovery, which on our most recent trip was Comstock Wines.

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