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Woodward Canyon: A Sustainable Legacy

Woodward Canyon: A Sustainable Legacy


Posted on Sep 13, 2017

Washington Wine

The first vintage of Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon

When one talks about Washington wine, the name Woodward Canyon is bound to come up. The winery, along with Leonetti Cellar is credited as one of the founding wineries in a region finally getting its due on the world wine stage. When you’re one of the very first wineries to establish yourself in a relatively new wine region, maintaining a level of quality amongst many up and coming formidable peers can be a challenge. Woodward Canyon has not only produced outstanding wine for more than 35 years, they’ve built a lasting legacy that shows no signs of slowing down. Not content to rest on their laurels of simply being one of the “originals”, they continue to look ahead and set the bar in terms of quality and sustainability.

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Walla Walla: A Primer

Walla Walla: A Primer


Posted on Aug 30, 2017

Washington Wine countryWithin the larger Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area (“AVA”), sitting at its southern end and straddling the Washington/Oregon border sits the Walla Walla AVA. Roughly 57% of its area is in Washington with the balance in Oregon. AVAs are delimited by homogenous soil and climatic characteristics and ignore political boundaries. But Walla Walla is the only AVA that crosses a state border.

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Ribera del Duero Spain

The view at Aalto Winery

It was a beautiful sunny day in Spain’s Ribera del Duero when we pulled up to what has become one of Spain’s most highly regarded wineries: Aalto. The winery is a very modern looking building, its concrete and glass gleaming under the bright sun, making it look quite futuristic. But inside it is all business: this winery was built with the intention of producing wines that would be ranked among the best in the world. There is no tasting room (the winery does not receive guests; we were a special exception as a part of the Fine Vintages Spanish Wine Tour) and the winery was custom designed with meticulous attention to detail.

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Finca Valpiedra: Valley of the Stones

Finca Valpiedra: Valley of the Stones


Posted on Aug 16, 2017

Echapresto brothers dinner

The last course of a most memorable meal

Valpiedra is a beautiful estate found in the Rioja Alvesa region of the Rioja D.O. in Northern Spain. We came to know this winery when we toured Northern Spain with Fine Vintage last fall. Fine Vintage not only arranged for a tour of this estate, but also a Michelin starred dinner paired with their delicious wines in the Bodega’s dining room. A truly amazing evening!

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Januik Winery: Roots Run Deep

Januik Winery: Roots Run Deep


Posted on Aug 9, 2017

Woodinville Washington

The tasting bar at Januik Winery in Woodinville.

We pulled up to the Novelty Hill-Januik tasting room in Woodinville, Washington on a warm sunny afternoon; the kind of bright day that really shows off the beauty of this spectacular facility. The design is simple: rectangular shapes made of just concrete, glass and wood. But that simplicity brings a sophisticated elegance to the space, the high ceilings create a feeling of airiness and the clean lines show efficiency. The main room is dominated by the long rectangular tasting bar with a fire place and couches at one end. It is a comfortable and beautiful place to relax and taste wine.

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book Cover

Sipping Santa Barbara by Charine Tan & Dr. Matthew Horkey

Santa Barbara County is a wine region that we are big fans of for a variety of reasons. Wineries there are producing world-class wines that are terrific value (comparative to other, better known regions), not to mention it’s still a relatively undiscovered area making it particularly fun and accessible to wine enthusiasts. So when we were asked to review Exotic Wine Travel’s latest wine book Sipping Santa Barbara: Recommended Wines & Producers we accepted the offer with great interest and fairly high expectations.

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Enkidu: Wines of Mythic Proportions

Enkidu: Wines of Mythic Proportions


Posted on Jul 26, 2017

Sonoma County

Part of the tasting lineup at Enkidu.

The wine world occasionally offers up a few treasures that seem to fly under the radar and offer great wines even though the winery is not well known. Enkidu is just one of those treasures.

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Russian River Valley

The sign to the garden onsite at Walter Hansel Bistro.

Our visit to this top-rated winery in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley actually began the night before. We had scheduled a meeting with proprietor Stephen Hansel at the winery and he suggested we might want to try his newly created Walter Hansel Wine and Bistro, a French-themed Bistro about a mile from his winery. We took him up on his suggestion and went for dinner there. This is a terrific bistro serving authentic French dishes made from locally sourced meats and vegetables. Our dinner was absolutely superb! This restaurant is a must-stop for any foodies that visit Sonoma County.

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