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So You Think You Can Rhône?

● It’s that wonderful time of year when Paso Robles California is the center of the wine world as Hospice du Rhône comes to town.  This year, the 2011 theme, So You Think You Can Rhône, will encompass the interactive element, How Do You Rhône? An online program, hosted on the Hospice du Rhône website (www.hospicedurhone.org), will encourage the greater wine loving community to share a picture, a short story, a haiku, a quote, tasting notes, a food and wine pairing or something else that reflects how they Rhône or want to Rhône. Together, the community will create the thickest “passport” for all things Rhône on the web.

Enthusiasts and producers alike can add to the story collection by clicking on the well-traveled passport located on the organizations website homepage, www.hospicedurhone.org. There is no limit to how many times someone may post to the How Do You Rhône campaign. The sharing of minds does not stop on the web. This program will be integrated into the 2011 event weekend and into the organizations iPhone application, iRhône.

In 2011, Hospice du Rhône will once again roll out the red carpet by hosting over 130 Rhône producers and importers from France, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Washington State, Oregon, Arizona. California and beyond. Attendees will taste Rhône wines from each of these regions throughout the event weekend by strolling the halls at the Friday Rhône Rendezvous and Saturday Grand Tasting. Guests will also have the opportunity to truly interact with like-minded Rhône lovers at the ever-popular Rhône ‘n Bowl and at each of the Rhône inspired meals including the brand-new Soirée. The full schedule, with event descriptions, along with attending producers and importers can be found on the organizations website,www.hospicedurhone.org.

To add to the serious fun at the 19th annual event, guests can partake in the 2011 Seminar Series with either a Weekend Pass or individual Seminar Passes. To date, the organization has announced Drew Noon of Noon Winery from Australia who will chronicle the 2011 growing season for his wine, Eclipse. Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Co. hailing from Sonoma and Joey Tensley of Tensley from Santa Ynez will take the stage together to share the word of Syrah. Taking attendees on a journey through France’s Roussillon will be an ensemble of Roussillon producers including Hervé Bizeul from Clos des Fées, Pierre Gaillard from Domaine Madeloc, and Marjorie Gallett from Le Domaine Rocs des Anges. Visit www.hospicedurhone.org to view the details of the 2011 Hospice du Rhône Seminar Series.

Passes are currently on sale for the 19th annual Hospice du Rhône celebration taking place April 28 – 30, 2011 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California. Event passes begin at $100. To purchase passes and to learn more about the event, visit www.hospicedurhone.org.

Sponsors of the 2011 Hospice du Rhône celebration include Riedel, Silicon Valley Bank, Wine & Spirits, Pape, Vintage Logistics, J&L Wines, Wine Country Pack & Ship, Clever Concepts, Graphics by Erick and Sinsheimer Juhnke Lebens & McIvor, LLP


5th Annual Pinot Days Grand Festival Public Tasting

WHEN: Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm

WHAT: Sunday’s Grand Tasting will showcase 200 producers of pinot noir. This is California’s largest single gathering of pinot producers, as well as its most varied. Consumers will be able to sample up to 400 pinots from every important region in California, Oregon, New Zealand, and Burgundy. As Freeman, August West and Sandler winemaker Ed Kurtzman says, “For anyone who already loves Pinot, this is an excellent opportunity to try many new wines as well as some well-established favorites. For those who don’t have a lot of Pinot experience, my bet is that they’ll be in love with this grape by the end of the weekend.” Meet Ed, Wes Hagen, Adam Lee, Kathleen Inman, Fred Scherrer, Jeff Fink and so many others, enjoy the countless pinots and sample a variety of artisan cheeses & other specialty foods. We will feature a pinot production demonstration in which attendees can learn about the making of pinot from the vine to bottling and every step in between. We will also offer a number of pinots for auction, benefiting various charities.

WHERE: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center-Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco

COST: $50 - Tickets and Info 


Off the Vine at the 2009 LA WineFest

A springtime visit to Los Angeles to check out the cities vibrant food scene seemed just the ticket to chase away a lingering case of the blahs. After a wonderful lunch at Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich’s Pizzeria Mozza I felt energized and raring to go.  Off I went to the LA WineFest and a wine glass and tasting seminar with 10th generation glassmaker George Riedel. Here is a short video clip form the event. 

A guest of festival founder, wine writer and radio personality Dr. Joel Fisher, I really loved this event. Held at Raleigh Studios, just across the street from the Paramount lot, I could feel the Hollywood vibe. A large and diverse crown gathered to great wine and foods from through-out the state and beyond under warm but overcast skies out on the Studio lot. I would love to go back next year!