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“Wine to put a smile on your face” — Maria Lopez de Heredia, Proprietress & Winemaker 

Rioja Spain

Lopez de Heredia Winery in Rioja.

We visited the Lopez de Heredia winery in the small town of Haro in the Spanish wine region of Rioja as a part of the Fine Vintages wine tour. We were very excited about this stop on the tour as we have been enjoying their wines for years and also because this winery holds a place of near reverence within the established wine community. We were about to learn first-hand just why this winery is so revered.

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Longoria Wines: Blind Faith Pays Off

Longoria Wines: Blind Faith Pays Off


Posted on Mar 15, 2017

To call Rick Longoria, winemaker and proprietor of Longoria Wines, a pioneer with respect to Santa Barbara County would be a massive understatement. He settled in the area and started winemaking at a time when hardly anyone foresaw the level of success the wine region is seeing today—hardly anyone that is, except for him.

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Valpiedra Winery

View of the Ebro River

Rioja is Spain’s best known wine region. It occupies 63,593 Ha along both sides of the Ebro River in Northeastern Spain, spanning 100 km between the towns of Haro and Alfaro. The Rio Oja, a tributary of the Ebro, is where the region takes its name. Rioja is Spain’s oldest Denominacion de Origen (D.O.), the Spanish equivalent of a viticultural region, having earned the designation in 1926. In 1991 it earned the highest designation of Calificada (D.O.Ca.), and remains only one of two region in Spain to hold this designation alongside Priorat. It produces both red and white wines though over 90% of the production is red. Over 600 bodegas (wineries) call Rioja home. As a region it is capable of producing excellent wines, not just in the premium category, but it also can produce some incredible bargains.

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Domaine du Clos Saint Jean

Domaine du Clos Saint Jean


Posted on Mar 1, 2017

Chateauneuf du pape

Tasting at Clos Saint Jean

We came to taste at this most revered and exclusive of wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape through a very nice bit of good luck. Perhaps there really are no more than six degrees of separation in the world. We were joined on a recent visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape by a friend who happens to be the former squash pro in Avignon as well as a very accomplished jazz violinist. A regular gig for him was to play at Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s best restaurant La Mère Germaine. He suggested we go there for lunch, and after consuming a sumptuous meal there he introduced us to the restaurant’s charming chef/owner, David Rocamora. David asked if we had lined up any tastings and when we informed him we had not, he said “leave it to me” and promptly lined us up with two of the best. That is how we got to meet Vincent Maurel and taste the magnificent wines at Clos Saint Jean.

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Canada wine

Tasting at this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival.

We have a confession to make. As loyal and patriotic Canadians who are wine enthusiasts, we’ve previously struggled to find consistently great wine from our own country. But we’ve been beyond pleasantly surprised by the leaps and bounds with which the Canadian wine industry has taken in terms of quality and consistency in recent years. In September of 2017 AdVINEtures had the privilege of joining Her Honour Judith Gichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, on a 3 day trip to the Okanagan Valley to present her award to 12 wineries and more recently we were a guest of Delta Air Lines at the Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) where Canada was the featured region. What has become abundantly clear is that Canadian wine is not only earning respect on the world wine stage, it deserves it.

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A Chance Meeting with Philippe Cambie

A Chance Meeting with Philippe Cambie


Posted on Feb 15, 2017

GrapesAt AdVINEtures we know we have been blessed with more than our fair share of good luck. Over the past few years we have been very fortunate to meet and taste with some of the top winemakers in the world. Any time you are able to meet, talk with, and learn from those people who are the very top of their game, you are very fortunate to get such an experience.

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Babcock Winery

Bryan Babcock

We first met Bryan Babcock, proprietor and winemaker at Babcock Winery a year ago when we visited Santa Barbara hosted by their tourist bureau, Visit Santa Barbara. They sent us to the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, a very hip bar that pours a lot of very good local wine by the glass. We tasted 5 or 6 different Pinot Noirs from Santa Barbara County. Our favourite of the tasting was the 2012 Babcock Pinot Noir Radical. We told that to the bartender who then informed us that Bryan Babcock was actually sitting just a few tables away and would we like to meet him? Of course! We were introduced, had a brief conversation and he invited us to come up to Lompoc and meet him at his winery the next time we were in the area. That Radical was so darn good we knew we had to get back and learn how he made such good wine and to taste the rest of his line up.

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Ribera del Duero Spain

Vineyards at Abadia Retuerte

Abadia Retuerta produces beautiful wines from estate vineyards that sit just outside the Ribera del Duero Denominacien Origen, or D.O., in Northern Spain. Though technically not in the Ribera del Duero D.O., it is on the Golden Mile, the stretch of road that hosts some of Ribera’s finest addresses: Vega Sicilia, Aalto, Pingus and Mauro. We toured Abadia Retuerta as a part of the Fine Vintage Ltd. Spain Wine Tour in September of 2016.

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