We are not too sure why, but for several years now we have been hearing the three-letter acronym of “ABC” as standing for anything but Chardonnay. We decided, with a little help from our friends, to do a little digging around on the subject.
A perfect start.
We were first introduced to the talented Echapresto Brothers on a trip to Northern Spain a few years ago with Iberian Wine Tours. Our farewell dinner on that tour was at the stunning Valpiedra Winery in Rioja, and the two brothers closed down their Michelin-rated restaurant, Venta Moncalvillo, in order to personally look after our group. Carlos is the Sommelir, Ignacio is the Chef, and their partnership is nothing short of gastronomic bliss.
2014 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé paired with Coho Crudo
There is a trend that we are seeing globally, towards wineries upping their culinary game to create food dishes on site to go with their wines. Of course, why wouldn’t they? Wine is better with food and food is better with wine.
The view behind the tasting room.
Of the two principal appellations of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, Saint-Émilion is a place so full of history it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is everything you’d imagine from a French village in this region—cobblestone streets, stone fences, and vineyards as far as the eye can see. It is also home to its fair share of top-quality wineries and our visit to Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, a Premier Grand Cru Classé, certainly lived up to both its name and its reputation.
One of the great views at d’Arenberg.
On a recent trip to South Australia we made the drive from Adelaide to McLaren Vale to taste at one of Australia’s most iconic wineries: d’Arenberg. “Tasting” is probably not the right word; “experiencing” is a better descriptor. That is because d’Arenberg is more than a cellar door, the Australian term for tasting room. That is also because a visit at d’Arenberg is more than just a tasting; it an experience that combines wine tasting, world class dining, brashly innovative architecture, a wine museum, and of course, some great wine.
The tasting room at Melville.
Within the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County, there are only a handful of wineries that have reached critical acclaim worldwide. For the last two decades Melville Winery has consistently produced top quality wines in this underrated region, helping bring attention to its very unique terroir and the exciting potential still to be realized there.
Winemaker Mari Womack
Damsel Cellars. The name of the winery might conjure up the historical myth of a woman, seemingly helpless, in need of rescuing. In the case of the woman behind the winery based in Woodinville, Washington and the meaning behind the name, nothing could be further from the truth.
Our visit with Allister Ashmead, whose family owns Elderton Wines near Nuriootpa in Australia’s Barossa Valley, was fascinating; a true eye-opener, and a wonderful tasting experience.