Live white wine tasting IS a thing – part 1!

Recently I attended the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California. And at every conference there is a special event called “live wine tasting”! It’s a highly anticipated event! We get excited for it, we even do a pre-stretch… just to get ready! Why? Because up to 12 different wineries visit a table of 8-10 bloggers and have to pour their wine, tell us all about it and their winery. We in turn need to taste it, take notes, then do as much social media marketing LIVE as we can, before we pour the wine out and start again with the next winery. All in under 5 minutes!! Phew, it happens fast. And we are all on a mission to get great notes on each wine.

So, before I share the yummy wines I tasted and discovered, let me share a map of California so you can see exactly where Lodi is!

It’s just south of Sacramento and it has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines, but that’s not the only wine they make! For more info. on this wine region visit the website for Lodi Winegrape Commission.
Lodi wine map

map courtesy of Wine Folly


So here are my notes from the white wines I got to speed taste, the wineries were from all over (not just Lodi) – which is good, since we are there to learn about Lodi and beyond! In no particular order…

Corner 103 – Sonoma County, California

Tank fermented Sauvignon Blanc with a tropical fruit style with nice crispy acidity at the end. Just 400 cases made.

So nice – and, this was a sneak peek at this wine (you can’t find it on their website)!

Peirano Estate Vineyards – Lodi, California

Estate grown, hand harvested white wine blend of 65% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Viognier

Soft and juicy. They tried to create something different for a blend – and they did!

and we tried a second wine from them…

Hand picked, small batch Chardonnay. It was soft and buttery with a light toasted note.

Perfect pairing is a lemon pepper chicken. yummy!

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 Kenefick Ranch – Calistoga in Napa Valley, California

Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier blend, Juicy, minerals, stone fruits, some zesty-ness and estate grown.

Just 300 cases made – so you’ve got to visit the winery!

Left Coast Cellars – Willamette Valley, Oregon

White wine from Pinot Noir (which means a red grape gently pressed and fermented with no skin contact)

Guess what? The family is mostly left-handed!

Estate grown – oh sooooo juicy, bright with some crispness.  oooooh and they have a sparkling version 🙂 hello!

Harney Lane Winery – Lodi, California

5th generation family winery, since 1907 in Lodi

2015 Albariño – crisp, minerals, nice acidity with a honeyed melon note. Just 700 cases made.

Oh hallelujah to old world grapes being grown in the new world. Bravo!

Oak Ridge Winery – Lodi, California

OZV Rosé is lightly pressed with 3% chardonnay.

The chardonnay offer some acidity to go with the berries the Zinfandel offers. It was fresh, crispy dry and delicious!

Oldest family operated winery in Lodi and largest Zinfandel producer in world!

And no, I didn’t mistype anything. There are many fabulous DRY Rosé wines made from Zinfandel!

Processed with MOLDIV

Lucas Vineyards – Lodi, California

In Lodi since 1978

We had the back vintage 2001 Chardonnay !

Chablis style and sooooo delightful with bright acidity.

This was a highlight for sure!

Bokisch Vineyards – Lodi, California

They focus on Spanish varietals. They were the first to plant Albariño in the area.

Terra Alta Vineyard Albariño 2015 is one of three they make!

Organic, salty and mineral notes with juicy lychee tree fruits. Heaven!

Definitely want to try more of their wines!

Troon Vineyard – Grants Pass, Southern Oregon

 Longue Carabine is a co-fermented white wine from

Vermentino 38.5%, Viognier 33%, Marsanne 27%, and Roussanne 1.5%.

Juicy acidity with soft zesty fruits and made au natural! A nice southern Rhone Valley style and one you must try!

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So as you can see, many different wines from California and Oregon. So open the door of your comfort zone to discover wines outside the wine regions you usually try, because there are some amazing winemakers out there making incredible wine!

Winter wines to try from Italy and BC…

What kind of wine do you drink in the winter time? Maybe a big, bold red wine? That seems to be a perception of what one “should” drink. However (and of course), if you ask me that question – I always respond… “I pick wine based on my mood, the weather or where I am”. I could be craving something refreshing, juicy, uplifting, cozy or crazy, all of which I can find on a wine shelf! And this allows me to try more wines from all over the world, any time of year.

Here are two yummy wines I recently enjoyed on some very rainy days in Vancouver… Franz Haas Pinot Nero. Wow. Put a new world Pinot Noir against this one and you’ll be amazed at how different it is. From the Northeastern part of Italy, Alto Adige is renowned for their cooler climate style wines, they’ve set the standard for many wines elsewhere. If you are expecting a juicy, voluptuous Pinot, this one is not that. It’s a more refined and elegant Pinot with ripe red and black fruits, slightly dusty tannins and garrigue (think tumbleweeds and dry brush), some baking spices and mineral notes. Truly delightful and delicious! A perfect gift, wine to pair with food or just enjoy on its own while sharing stories with friends and watching the rain fall outside.

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And this gem is from right here in BC. Le Vieux Pin‘s ‘Ava‘. Named after the winemakers daughter, this is a blend of Viognier with Roussanne and Marsanne. A common blend in the Rhone Valley of France. It’s very aromatic from the Viognier and really juicy but with some acidity to balance it. The Roussanne and Marsanne lend the balance to the fruity and aromatic Viognier. This could change you if you are not a white wine drinker in the winter. Think juicy stone fruit with a bit of pear, citrus, floral notes, hints of honey and minerals. This wine puts a smile on your face, it’s delightfully playful, you’ll say… “rain? what rain?!”.

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Happy discovering more wines, from unlikely regions 😉