Jefferson Winery, after the WBC11

Aug 05, 11 Jefferson Winery, after the WBC11

Posted by in N. America

“Can I come along?”  The 2011 WBC had just officially ended and I was hanging around the hotel lobby when I heard Liza of Brix Chix and Melanie of Dallas Wine Chick talking about visiting a winery that afternoon. As with most out of hours events at the WBC, if you didn’t invite yourself along, you ain’t going. Luckily, we bloggers are a friendly lot and besides, Liza drank all my English fizz at the last WBC I attended back in ’08 so I felt I was entitled to invite myself. During the winebloggers conference we had a series of wine speed dating events and one of the wines that caught my attention was from  Jefferson Vineyards. No relation to ol’ TJ but the vineyard is situated on the very same hills that Jefferson thought would be most suitable to grow grapes. First planted in 1774, that pesky War of Independence (or that “spot of bother in the Colonies” as the English refer to it) got in the way and the fields were left alone until 1981 when they were replanted with pinot gris, chardonnay, viognier, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Andy Reagan, chief winemaker at the vineyard, had invited any stragglers left after the conference to head over to the winery for an informal lunch and tasting. The winery is a small operation but they seem to be doing pretty well, with a cute little tasting room plastered with newspaper articles lauding their wines. The wine barn/cellar doubled as the setting for our tasting and what better way to be greeted then by a winemaker with a few big slabs of steak in hand. While the steaks were resting (it’s hard work being a steak), we got to try some of the wines. Andy’s intention is to make a bottle of wine to relax and enjoy and he scored a hit with one of my favourite’s the 2007 Jefferson pinot gris, an elegant, full bodied mouthful of ripe peaches and lime notes....

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Wine speed dating at the 2011 Winebloggers Conference

Aug 03, 11 Wine speed dating at the 2011 Winebloggers Conference

Posted by in N. America

The 4th North American Winebloggers Conference has just come and gone and what a ride it was! I hadn’t been to the WBC since the inaugural edition in 2008 so it was great to see old friends and meet bloggers I only knew online. I have to say the Virginia Wine did a great job of showcasing their wines despite the inferno-like temperatures of the weekend. It just so happened that the weekend all us bloggers descended on Charlottesville, VA., the US was going through a heat wave. Imagine sitting in a steam room, fully clothed with the dial turned up to high. Now double that and that was more or less what it was like to step outside of the hotel during the day. Average temp during the conference was 38 Celsius. Thank god for air conditioning.  There was plenty of information throughout the conference about the wines of VA and loads of VA winemakers on hand to answer questions. I came to Virginia to learn about VA wines and that mission certainly was accomplished. Happily, most of the conference was inside the confines of the Omni Hotel and my favourite event other then the after-hours parties (more on those later) was wine speed dating. I love this idea. Are we going home hooked up with wines? Well, more or less. Like many speed dating events, it is hit and miss but you never know when you might find Mr/Ms Right (Wine). Much like speed dating, the winemakers had 5 minutes to impress us with their libations before a little bell rings and the next winemaker comes along. The added bonus (for us bloggers) is that we simultaneously tweet about what we are tasting. What would be worse than being on a blind speed date? How about your date giving running commentary to the world while you’re on said date? “Oh, not enough tannic structure…” “…a bit sweet for me…” ”Do they really think this wine has Burgundian qualities?” You get the idea....

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