Category Archives: Adventures

Wine Exploration: Uruguay

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The deep colored Tannat grape is thriving in Uruguay. With naturally high acid and a slant towards firm tannins, it’s fruity (cherry, plum and brambly berries) with sometime notes of spices, earth and floral. The signature grape of Uruguay, it was brought to the country in the 19th century by the Basque born immigrant Pascual Harriague and often called the “Harriague grape”.

Basque-ing in the Sud-Ouest: Wines of Irouléguy #Winophiles

Great French wines are found in the Basque. Most people think of Spain when they hear the word Basque. But a little known fact is 15% of the area lies within southern France, where the coastal towns of Biarritz, Bayonne, and St-Jean-de-Luz entertain sun worshipers and surfers while just inland Hendaye in the Pyrénées foothills captivates hikers. The south west… Read more »

Vinitaly Extravaganza

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A few weeks ago Vinitaly was our destination in Verona. We previously attended a few wine events in California but nothing compares to Vinitaly. What an experience! A HUGE wine conference with thousands of vendors (4,270 exhibitors from 30 countries), it’s one of the largest in the world. Knowing where things are located will keep you from wandering aimlessly. It’s… Read more »

Italy for the Holidays

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December 2016. The question is whether to go to Italy for Christmas? With plenty of good reasons, there’s nothing holding us back. We decided to swap countries this holiday. Here’s a recap. Our first stop was Padova (or Padua) in north eastern Italy. Located in the Veneto wine region 30 minutes south of Venice by train, we hooked up with our… Read more »

Coteaux de Quercy Road Trip

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The “Sud-Ouest” of France frequently presents us with surprises. We had no idea it’s a major area for truffles, that zen master Thich Nhat Hanh built his Plum Village there, or that the Dordogne Valley contained prehistoric cave paintings and medieval everything. Our rental even had a herd of alpacas. Exploring the wine region of Cahors with friends was the… Read more »

How Vitis Vinifera Captured My Heart

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This is my submission to the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC29). For more information about the challenge, scroll to the bottom. I don’t think there is enough honesty in wine. People don’t usually give their frank assessment and I like to…as much as possible. For example, I was tasting at a winery years ago and was asked how I liked… Read more »

A Geological “Wine” Perspective of Bordeaux

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October brought friends to Bordeaux, one of them an emeritus geology professor from San Francisco. We met Karen and Jay in Ashland, Oregon a few months before heading across the Atlantic. Wine and food, cycling and hiking, and most of all, they are two individuals who desire to explore the world, immersing themselves in all to be had including the… Read more »

Up To His Elbows In A Wine Internship

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As part of his masters degree program, Mark finished a four-month vineyard and winery internship (known as a stage here in France).  He worked for Denis Dubourdieu Domaines, the umbrella of five chateaux owned by the family: Château Doisy Daene, Château Cantegril, Clos Floridene, Château Haura and Château Reynon. All are located in the southern area of Bordeaux: Barsac in… Read more »

Wine Time in the Country

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Have you ever been asked to do something out of the blue your gut pulls you towards? Something that makes you turn inward and think? A “wow, OK, this is not what I had planned for” kind of deep thought? Adventure, wine, the unknown pass through your mind. Yet, you don’t pause; there is no doubt in your mind, you… Read more »

Wine in the Côte de Beaune

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Our second day of wine exploration in Burgundy was in the southern part of the Côte d’Or, the Côte de Beaune. For anyone who  didn’t read my last post, the Côte d’Or consists of two areas: the Côte de Nuits in the North and the Côte de Beaune in the South. It started with great coffee, more precisely, Café Noisette,… Read more »