by Angela L.
Last night I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with La Joya Wine Maker Johanna Pereira (Blog post to come) but I got taste all of the wines that will be in this weeks’ free wine tastings around Cincinnati and Louisville. These are simple wonderful wines that let the grape speak for itself. The La Joya wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Carmenere, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Enjoy!
Cincinnati area: Tuesday, November 6th
The Fresh Market – Kenwood, La Joya wine tasting and meet the Wine Maker, Johanna Pereira in store event 4-7 PM
Cincinnati area: Wednesday, November 7th
The Fresh Market – Oakley, La Joya wine tasting and meet the Wine Maker, Johanna Pereira in store event 4-7 PM
For our Louisville readers: Thursday, November 8th
Liquor Barn Louisville - La Joya wine tasting and meet the Wine Maker, Johanna Pereira in store event 4-7 PM
Cincinnati area: Friday, November 9th
The Fresh Market – West Chester, La Joya wine tasting and meet the Wine Maker, Johanna Pereira in store event 4-7 PM
Last week I had the privilege meeting Craig Becker the General Manager/Director of Winemaking and Viticulture for Somerston Wines. Craig is one of the founding members of Somerston and his education is in plant physiology, hydrologic science, enology, and viticulture. He oversees all aspects of the business from viticulture, winemaking, sales and marketing, and finance and business development (basically a very busy man and I feel privileged that he took time to meet with me). After speaking with him I could only imagine a beautiful winery with lush vineyards and exquisite lands that I wanted to visit.
To start off with, Somerston has over 1600+ acres of land and over 200 acres in vineyards. The fruit from Somerston has been purchased by some of Napa Valleys most renowned winemakers including David Ramey, Heidi Barrett, David Phinny, and etc.
Their winemaking facility has many high-tech attributes including new proven technologies like CO2 heat pumps, non-glycol based refrigerants, the first process waste anaerobic bio-filter in Napa County, that delivers clean, pH adjusted processed waster with over 90% BOD (biological oxygen demand) removed, and solar power. The carbon neutral cooling/ heating and hot water system is one of the first of its kind in use at a winery in the United States.
One thing that you can experience is the off-road vineyard experience. Your tour begins with a wine specialists that guides you through the vineyard property visiting the vineyard blocks where the estate wines are grown. After the tour, you will enjoy a tasting of limited production estate wines paired with artisan cheeses from the patio that overlooks the vineyards. (This is on my list of things to do this summer.)
STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT BLOG WHEN I TALK ABOUT THEIR WINES…
If you haven’t purchased your wine festival tickets yet, head on over to Winefestival.com. The Cincinnati Wine Festival is one of the best in the nation and draws high-end distributors and winemakers. You shouldn’t miss it.
Additionally, the Wine Festival organizers have put the wine tasting floor plan online for you to download. It’s a bit hard to find on their site, but you can download it through this link.
Dilly Cafe is having its own series of events starting this Saturday, where you can meet 3 winemakers in 9 days. For more information, visit their web site or call 513.561.5233.
Saturday, March 3, Free tasting with McNab Ridge Winery and Owner/Winemaker Rich Parducci
1:00 to 4:00 pm, $10 per person
No reservation needed
Thursday, March 8, 6:30 pm
Winery dinner with Austria’s Höpler Winery and Owner/Winemaker Christof Höpler
$40 per person, all inclusive
Sunday, March 11, 11 am
Winemaker’s Brunch with Graziano Family of Wines and Owner/Winemaker Gregory Graziano$50 per person, all inclusive
Not all of the Wine Festival sponsored winery dinners are sold out just yet, and this year five of the dinners are featuring Vintner Select, which is a local and excellent wine distributor. In attendance at each of the dinners to talk about the highlighted wines will be a special guest from the winery or specific wine portfolio (Spain or Italy), as well as a Vintner Select representative. All of the dinners start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at different restaurants around the city. Ticket prices range from $125 to $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations for each dinner are required. For more information on the menus and to make reservations, click here.
March 8 Winery Dinners and corresponding wine speakers include:
This Saturday I decided to go the Ohio River Valley 6th Annual Barrel Tasting. First off it was a beautiful day and what a lovely drive. Since I live in Northern Kentucky, I decided to go to Harmony Hill Vineyards in Bethel, then to the Ripley to Miranda-Nixon Winery and then end at Kinkead Ridge Winery.
Disclaimer: When sampling wines that are still aging in the barrel are not complete or finished products. So when tasting them you can taste the potential of what they will be. All of the wines I will will be talking about came straight from the aging barrels.
My first stop was Harmony Hill Vineyards. As we drove back to the tasting room and the barrel tasting all we could think of was how beautiful and quaint it was. Harmony Hill is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and everywhere you look there are donkeys, fawns, birds, and many other wildlife. The Barrel tasting was held in the underground wine cave. We tried 2 wines a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chambourcin. The Sauvignon Blanc was good you could tell when it’s done aging it would be a crisp medium bodied wine. The Chambourcin was decent, but when you tried the finished product in their tasting room it was yummy. A great bold red wine with tastes of oak, currant, and pepper. My suggestion if you go to Harmony Hills go during their summer months, pack a picnic basket and buy a bottle of wine and listen to the live music. Its a whole entertainment experience.
Second was Miranda-Nixon Winery, this place was beautiful too! Not only can you see the acres of vineyards its next door to a horse farm. We sampled 3 wines from the barrel a Chardonnay, a Sangiovese, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was amazing and it will be even more amazing once its finished aging. The Sangiovese was young of course but you could tell it had great potential when finished aging. I liked the Cabernet but I really thought the other 2 had more potential. There tasting room overlooks the hills of the vineyards and the horses on the farm. We tasted some of the wines in the tasting room and I fell in love with 3 of their wines. The 2010 Traminette (a crisp white wine that has a hint of sweetness), 2010 Catawba (a blush wine with hints of citrus and sweet), and the American Cabernet Sauvignon (a balanced cab with hints of berry flavors with a semi-dry finish). My suggestion go to their Saturday night tasting dinners $55 per couple accompanied with a bottle of wine with your choice of Salmon or Steak.
Now I have saved the best for last! My favorite Winery was the Kinkead Ridge Winery, they have their wines mastered. These wines will stand the challenge against of any wines anywhere. We first tasted wines as the finished product and then we tasted them out of the barrel. The first wine we tried was their Cabernet Franc and I all ready knew I wanted to buy a bottle. We tried 4 wines from the barrel and all of them were showing strong characteristics of big red wines. We started off with the Cabernet Franc which all ready had some tanins, a hint of cherry, and a little spice aftertaste. This was by far my favorite out of the barrels. I then tried the Cabernet Sauvignon which was on its way to be a full-bodied tanic cab. It was of course still in its young stage but it sure showed potential. Next we moved onto the Syrah which was a little more fruitier tasting or lighter tasting than I would expect from a Syrah. I’m sure after it’s fully aged and bottled the wine will be great after a few years of aging in the bottle. The last barrel tasting was a Petit Verdot this was also showing strong tannins and a spicy aftertaste. This will be the wine to buy when it gets released next year. Trust me when all of the wines get released next year, I’m going to be the first in line to purchase them.
] Pictured: I’m with the winemaker of Kinkead Ridge Winery, Ron Barrett, I bought the last bottle of Viognier/Roussanne which he autographed for my collection. Here it is on their website.
Cheers and remember support all your local vineyards/wineries. You’d be surprised what’s in your own backyard.
I’m happy to share that the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival is on October 15 from 3 – 10 p.m. at MainStrasse Village. The Sixth Street Promenade will feature over 15 Kentucky wineries. Local restaurants will be also offering delicious food items to complement the wines that will be available for sampling. You will also enjoy visiting with local artists who will be showcasing their works during the event. The $10 Admission includes a souvenir wine glass and 4 sample tickets. Additional sample tickets may be purchased for $1 each or 6 for $5. If an attendee wishes to purchase a full glass of wine, special tickets can be purchased for $5 each. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle or case. You must be 21 to attend.
This year, the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival at MainStrasse Village is partnering with Full Spectrum 2011. During October, the City of Covington celebrates the Full Spectrum Arts Festival to emphasize the celebration of artists and crafters.
MainStrasse Village is an historic neighborhood comprised of shops, restaurants, taverns and homes, located just off I-75/71. Take the Covington, 5th Street Exit (Exit 192). Free parking is available in the 5th Street Parking Lot, located between Philadelphia Street and Main Street. For more information please call 859-491-0458 or visit www.mainstrasse.org.
I’m very excited to see MainStrasse Village host the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival, please join me for the wine, art, and fun!
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