On the drive across Kansas, a state that seems to be roughly 12,000 miles across, Michelle and I noticed a billboard for the Oz Museum. With her love of the Wizard of Oz and my desire to not be in the car for a few minutes, we decided to make a small detour to Wamego, KS. Wamego was a very nice little town and in addition to having coffee at The Daily Grind, next door was the Oz Winery.
The winery offers free samples while they are open and this gave us a chance to try what they had to offer. The dry whites were tasty, especially the Poppy Fields, a balanced Pinot Gris. The wine was well made and we ended up with a few bottles.
Oz Winery is worth a stop for anyone on their way through the Sunflower State.
And if you want to know more about our cross-country road trip, from Cincinnati to San Francisco, you can follow along over on the Posterous Blog.
Short notice but too good of an opportunity to pass up! Meet Cline Winery owner Charlie Cline and taste a wide range of the outstanding value Cline wines from Sonoma County and California. Hopefully we’ll be out on the patio, with a pleasant evening, delicious wines, and tasty snacks from the kitchen. Just $20 per person.
I was first introduced to Cline back in 1998 or so, when I was looking to my boss at the time to guide me a bit in my wine knowledge. I was working for a startup back then and our first Christmas party was pretty much a huge, yet throw-it-together, deal. My boss went out and bought several cases of wine. Amongst the bottles were several different labels of Cline. I mentally filed this information away and several years later, on my first trip to Napa and Sonoma, I insisted we visit Cline.
For a couple of years, we were members of the Cline wine club, until state distribution laws kept them from shipping to us without considerable expense. Thanks to that time in the wine club, we still have many bottles of Cline around the house. I used to be a big fan of Cline’s Red Truck – there’s even a photo of me with the original red truck – but I believe that line was sold and has gone through several changes. I haven’t tried it in recent years, but it now comes in a barrel, not a bottle. Cline’s Small Berry Mourvèdre has always been one of my favorite wines, and their spin-off winery, Jacuzzi, also has some great bottles.
Cline is big enough that it is available everywhere, in varying price ranges. But they’re also small enough that when you visit the winery, you feel like everyone there is a welcoming family.
Take this opportunity to meet Charlie Cline and enjoy delicious noshes from the Dilly Cafe. For reservations, call 513-561-5233.
Kevin and I really enjoyed our time in Washington state at the end of June. I’m completely in love with the place, from the gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, and lush green-ness around Seattle to the desert, sun, and heat in the southeast corner where so many vineyards exist.
I took way too many photos, which is not unusual for me, and I have them in two separate slide shows. You can also view the photos individually on Flickr.
The first pack, which covers the conference itself, includes a lot of vineyards. We visited Reynvaan Family Vineyards, the Walla Walla Community College, and Spring Valley. The photos include Walla Walla itself, which is definitely one of the cutest towns in the US and the streets are lined with tasting rooms. Finally, we took an all-day excursion to the Red Mountain AVA, which turned out to be absolutely beautiful. The vineyards and the scenery were positively breathtaking.
The second pack starts out with a visit to my beloved Airfield Estates Winery in Prosser, Wa. If you’re in it for the wine, stop there. We very quickly make the switch over to beer, with visits to the remarkable Horse Heaven Hill Brewery and Witstran Brewery. We even stopped and took photos of hops growing along the highway.
The photo pack diverges into our vacation shots, which include shots of food and beer, shots of Seattle in general, waterfalls and mountains, the space needle, Pike Place Market, and even some road-side oddities.
Enjoy! We fell in love with Washington and I hope to go back soon, and wrap in a trip to Oregon as well.
Here is another guest post from contributor Nancy Bentley, co-owner of the wonderful Kinkead Ridge Winery in Ripley, OH.
Have you ever wondered about a typical year at an estate vineyard and small boutique winery? Since 2007, Kinkead Ridge winery in Ripley has been uploading video to youtube. The main movie, which has been viewed over 16,000 times, is called “A Vineyard Year” and details what happens from pruning through bottling through harvest.
Another video, “The Romance of the Vineyard” (tongue in cheek!) was a finalist in the Wine Spectator’s first video contest, and my prize was a ticket to the New York Wine Experience in Times Square.
There are approximately 40 very short “mini-movies” that show specific tasks, e.g. punchdown, post pounding, bottling, barrel movement, the flail mower, cane pruning, vine tucking and tying, bottle delivery, hedging and more. Grab a glass of wine, go to youtube.com, search for “Kinkead Ridge” and have fun!
Kinkead Ridge continues to garner international recognition, and will be featured in Opus Vino, an illustrated wine reference book to be published by Dorling Kindersley, who specialize in full-color reference publishing. The books are translated into all major languages and distributed throughout the world. Opus Vino is due for publication in the UK, US and Australia in October 2010, with foreign language editions in 2011 and 2012.
– Nancy Bentley
Memorial Day weekend is pretty much synonymous with food and wine for us here at My Wine Education. It means two things: Taste of Cincinnati and opening weekend for the local wineries.
Taste of Cincinnati is the longest running culinary festival in the US. How about that? 32 years! Every year, Kevin and I go and the menu for us is pretty straight forward. I pretty much eat crepes and cheesecake and cream puffs … every dessert I can find. Kevin tries every BBQ he can find. We usually drink some Moerlein and Great Lakes beer and we have wonderful food-filled day.
Kevin and I are usually there on Sunday or Monday, as I can’t handle the crowds on Saturday. It’s generally hot, so we bring water and stay hydrated all day. No passing out down on Fifth Street!
On Saturday, instead of fighting crowds downtown, we’ll be enjoying a leisurely drive out to both Kinkead Ridge and Harmony Hill. Both wineries, as well as La Vigna Estate, open for the summer this weekend. However, while La Vigna and Harmony Hill will be open Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, Kinkead Ridge is open only this Saturday and Monday. If you want some Viognier-Roussane (I do!), get it now and get it early. It’s in limited supply.
If you want to spend the day lazily going from winery to winery, I recommend this route, starting in Ripley and ending in Bethel: Kinkead Ridge, Meranda-Nixon, La Vigna Estate, and ending at Harmony Hill. If you can, stop and pick up some munchies and sit out on the Harmony Hill patio with glass of wine, listening to the music.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. And remember, if you’ve had too much to drink – just call the FETCH taxi service at 513.35.FETCH.
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