Ok this list and any list/awards for that matter is not 100% accurate. It would be impossible to attend every winery event, winery and taste every wine offered. So here is our Wine Country Awards for 2017.
Winery of the Year: Williamson Wines
Event of the Year: Passport to Dry Creek
Disneyland Style Winery to Visit of the Year: Castello di Amorosa
Best Winery Food Pairing: Kendall Jackson
Best New Winery: Zialena
We’ve revealed the Top 100 of 2017! Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select our Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.
Here you’ll find every Top 100 list back to the debut year, 1988. Since then, new regions, grapes and styles have appeared on the list, but the classics are still going strong. Enjoy browsing nearly 30 years of the world’s top wines!
A glass of wine by itself is usually divine but some days you want to mix it up or maybe that bottle of wine you bought a few months back does not taste like you remember. On these occasions I like to make some wine cocktails. Similar to how wine creates a whole new experience with food, wine can do the same to your perception of mixed drinks. Below are 17 wine cocktails to try.
A Bellini is a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach purée or nectar. A Mimosa is composed of equal parts champagne (or other sparkling wine) and chilled citrus fruit juice, usually orange juice. A Kir is made with a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) topped up with white wine. A Kir Royal is a variation of the Kir with crème de cassis topped with champagne. A Ruby Dutchess is made with sugar, Angostura bitters, Champagne, brandy and a maraschino cherry as a garnish. A Kalimotxo consists of equal parts red wine and cola-based soft drink. A spritzer is a tall, chilled drink, usually made with white wine and carbonated water or sparkling mineral water. The flirtini contains vodka, champagne and pineapple juice. French 75 is made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Sangria normally consists of red wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Valencian Water is made from a base of cava or champagne, orange juice, vodka, and gin. The Black Velvet is a beer cocktail made from stout (often Guinness) and white, sparkling wine, traditionally champagne. The Prince of Wales is champagne, angostura bitters on sugar, either rye whiskey or cognac, and a liqueur. A Rosé Blood Orange Lemonade consists of Rose wine, lemon juice, sugar, water, blood orange juice, ice cubes and blood orange slices for decoration. The Moscato Bee’s Knees is made with honey, hot water, lemon juice and Moscato. The Pretty in Pink is made with Pink Moscato, cherry brandy, pitted cherries, strawberries and mint leaves. To create a Red Hot Summer, mix red wine, lemon lime soda and ice, then garnish with a lime wheel. And then I found top 10 in dash navigation systems.
These are just a few of 100’s of wine cocktails you can make. I challenge you to create your own wine cocktail, name it and email me your recipe for a chance to be mentioned in an upcoming article.
We were fortunate enough to attend 2016 Passport to Dry Creek Valley this weekend. The event was amazing. Each of the participating 48 wineries in the Dry Creek AVA had their own theme, entertainment, food and of course wine. Overall this event is a must attend. Below are the place that stood out to us! (We were able to make 30 of 48, so this list is based on the ones we saw.)
- A Rafanelli – THE BEST BY FAR. Food, Wine and Entertainment A+
- Malm Cellars – BBQ, Games and Great Wine.
- Mounts – Surprise of the event, great wine, music and farm feel.
- Selby – Belly dancers, magician, fortune teller and New Orleans food.
- Roadhouse – Disco party with a DJ and great staff!
- Mauritson – Charlie Palmer food!
- Papapietro Perry – Premier Pinot and great music.
- Armida – Great party atmosphere with a great band.
- Michel-Schlumberger – Red Carpet and Fine Wine.
- Blanchard Family Wines – Can’t go wrong with a Beatles Tribute Band
The judges of the North Coast Wine Challenge sipped their way through more than 1,050 wines at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel in Santa Rosa Tuesday in a quest to uncover the best wines grown on the North Coast, one of the state’s premier wine-growing regions. More (From Press Democrat)
Snap out of it. That’s what I tell the people under my roof when they want to go to Costco. Why? Because it always sets us back $300. We get excited about saving money on jumbo-sized everything and, as you know, saving money adds up. More (From Press Democrat)
Sonoma County is one of the most diverse places on earth; allowing us to experience diverse cultures, food, events and wine all over the county. Much of our diversity can be attributed to our geographical location with easy access to the ocean, rivers, mountains, etc. These different locations allow our county to create distinct and different wine. Most of us know some of the major designated American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) in our region: Alexander Valley, Anderson Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. A group of local wineries and winemakers are attempting to create an officially recognized AVA, The Petaluma Gap, which is currently a part of the Sonoma Coast AVA.
For many years, the Sonoma County wine industry has used the term “Petaluma Gap” to help define grapes that are exposed to a unique combination of wind, fog and soils that give the wine a distinctive character. Numerous wineries are located or source grapes in the region, including: Cline Cellars, Fogline Vineyards, Keller Estate, Trombetta Family Wines, Kosta Browne, Kendall Jackson, LaFollette Wines, Schug Winery and Twomey Cellars. The Petaluma Gap AVA applied for approved designated AVA status in February of this year. Approval can often take a few years.
Geographically, the Petaluma Gap borders West Marin and Valley Ford on the west, then follows Chileno Valley and Spring Hill Roads to Adobe Road on the east, Cotati on the north and Lakeville on the southeast. As inland valley air heats up, it pulls the cool coastal air into a naturally formed 15-mile-wide “gap” in the coastal range mountains. The wind flows off the ocean between Tomales Bay and Bodega Bay, builds up speed as it funnels through the gap, then empties into San Francisco Bay. Wind and fog define the area, giving the term “micro-climate” real meaning. There are daily temperature swings of forty to fifty degrees. This cooling “wind tunnel” creates smaller vineyard yields, causes the grapes to ripen later, and develops unique wine flavors.
It is always fun to be a part of the “ground-floor” of a movement and the Petaluma Gap is providing an opportunity to be on its ground floor as it will be holding an inaugural “Wind to Wine Festival” at the Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma on August 8thto showcase the Petaluma Gap wines. For more information on the organization and event, visit www.petalumagap.com.
In less than a year the eyes of the world will be on the Bay Area. On February 7th, 2016, Super Bowl 50 will be held at the home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The event is expected to generate millions of visitors to our region with all of the Bay Area benefiting from the increased tourism in a traditional off season. Sonoma County will greatly benefit after being named the official wine supplier and official destination partner for Super Bowl 50.
It may be a little surprising that Sonoma County was picked over Napa Valley to be the official wine and destination partner but locally we know how both counties are amazing in their own way. If you spend a day wine tasting locally you are bound to hear a conversation about the differences between Napa and Sonoma County Wine. And rice cooker buyers guide helped me. Just in case you were curious or are asked by a Super Bowl tourist here are a few tips:
- Sonoma County was the first wine region in California and is 3 times the size of Napa County
- Napa County achieved worldwide recognition winning a prestigious wine award in Paris in 1976
- Sonoma County wineries have a wider selection of wines with growers not as focused on a specific grape varietal as seen in Napa
- Napa County has more Disneyland style wineries that are great for picture taking tourists while Sonoma County has smaller facilities more focused on production
- The Sonoma County wine road is much easier to drive on with better backroads and less traffic
- Napa County is the place to go for fine dining and has countless world renowned restaurants. Sonoma County has amazing places to dine as well, but Napa is unparalleled
- Sonoma County is less expensive – wine tasting and bottles
The key thing to remember is that we are blessed to have Napa and Sonoma County in our backyard. Both wine regions are amazing and should be appreciated. Napa County may be known for its Cab’s and if you are Cab lover it will be your dream destination. Sonoma County has variety and allows you to taste such a vast range of grape varietals you feel like your palate is on a trip around the world. If I am ask which location to pick… I’ll recommend that they take an extra few days and visit both!