Posts tagged with "winery"

Marine Layer Wines illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Marine Layer Wines

Marine Layer Wines Launches in Downtown Healdsburg 

Marine Layer Wines,  a modern new winery that brings the soul of the Sonoma Coast to life with its lineup of small production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, has officially launched, with a tasting room opening in downtown Healdsburg, June 2021.

Marine Layer was created by a tight-knit team of free-spirited colleagues who share a devotion to quality wine, genuine hospitality and living life to the fullest. They have already amassed a small cult-like following of industry insiders and locals who have embraced their stellar lineup from sought-after vineyard sites.

“This winery is a passion project many years in the making for the team,” said Baron Ziegler, founder of Marine Layer. “It’s pretty rare that you get the chance to work with a group that has this much joy for their craft, and it’s no surprise that it’s expressed through our wine, which is authentic, small-batch, and sustainably sourced. We can’t wait to share Marine Layer wines with everyone.”

The name Marine Layer pays homage to the prominent blanket of fog that pours in from the Pacific.  Known for cooler temperatures and wild and rugged terrain, the wines are vibrant, structured, and finessed.  With a focus on sustainable farming, heritage clones, and hand-harvesting, Marine Layer’s obsession for quality guides their path.  Every bottling of Marine Layer is produced in tiny quantities, some as small as four barrels.

“With decades of experience and deeply rooted relationships with the top growers in the Sonoma Coast, we built Marine Layer with an intimate knowledge of this region,” said Winemaker Rob Fischer. “Our wines are a pure expression of the land, history and soul of the Sonoma Coast.”

Marine Layer has partnered with local designers, the Hommeboys, who have perfectly captured the spirit of the Sonoma Coast in the design of the tasting room.  With its warm, earthy tones, low-key coastal vibe and layered textures, the space exudes the look and feel of the ultimate laid-back Northern California retreat.  Marine Layer’s Tasting Room is slated to open in downtown Healdsburg, June 2021.

For more information, please visit Marine Layer Wines website.

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Wine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

THE CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL TRAIL 

ZINFANDEL ADVOCATES & PRODUCERS LAUNCHES THE CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL TRAIL 

The California Zinfandel Trail is Geared for Virtual and Live Exploration of Zinfandel

Website Tool Creates Travel Itineraries – ZAP Hosts Virtual Tours

The California Zinfandel Trail: EXPLORE CALIFORNIA – Find Your Flavor. 

Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) announced that it officially launched The California Zinfandel Trail, as of March 29, 2021. Zinfandel lovers and the Zinfandel-curious now have a powerful new tool to explore wineries and plan custom itineraries. This new platform is designed to boost tourism and raise interest in wineries that produce America’s time-honored heritage wine, Zinfandel.

“Consumers and wineries alike will benefit from this fast-track connection directly to Zinfandel winemakers, featuring small production artisanal wines that are available to consumers only by visiting the winery in person or virtually,” according to ZAP Executive Director, Rebecca Robinson. “So many of these wines are from historic vineyards and come with wonderful, colorful family stories that are the fabric of American agricultural heritage,” she continues.

Mindful of travel restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic, virtual visits and tastings have been made available, in addition to the traditional in-person winery tastings and experiences. Visitors should contact wineries in advance about their latest visiting policies and experiences.

The Zinfandel Trail website includes an easy-to-use interactive map of California’s Zinfandel wineries for plotting and planning itineraries to vineyards across California. Here, visitors can explore Zinfandel winery experiences by region, such as vineyard and winery tours, specialized tastings, picnicking, food service, and pet-friendly policies. In addition to winery listings are featured winery to winery routes with beautiful Zinfandel vineyard images, regional travel blogs, points of interest, and winemaker stories.

In addition to the California Zinfandel Trail mapping website, ZAP is also creating virtual tours and tastings offered for sale to those wanting to sniff, swirl, and sip while enjoying a themed tour on Zoom hosted by travel experts. The first three-part series will begin in late April with a tour of Sonoma Valley, followed in May by sessions on Women in Wine and in June, Vineyard Tours.

Virtual Tour dates:

Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Tour | Thursday, April 29, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT

HOST: Tim Zahner, Executive Director, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau

Women in Wine Zinfandel Tour | Thursday, May 27, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT

HOST: Lauren Mowery, Travel Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Zinfandel Vineyard Tours | Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT

HOST: Paul Rubio, award-winning travel journalist AFAR, Conde Nast Traveler and more

The virtual sessions will provide photographic essays, interactive discussion, and in-depth guided tastings from three wineries based on each theme–the next best thing to visiting the wineries and vineyards in person.

Visit this website to learn more about the virtual sessions and secure your spot.

“This program gives us the opportunity to expand Zinfandel’s appreciation and reach through a new platform,” explains Robinson.

Over the last several years, ZAP has successfully reached millions of consumers to improve awareness and adoption of Zinfandel, America’s true heritage wine grape variety. The “Zinfandel Stories” and “Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards” campaigns were delivered with the aim to preserve, protect and continue to grow Zinfandel, both in the fields of California and as a wine category.

“Conditions are slowly improving for travel,” says Robinson. “We’re confident, based on our previous campaign successes, that we’ve got something special here, a unique tool that will last into the future, for when tourism rebounds.” Until then, we’ve developed what we believe are very entertaining, educational virtual sessions that will make people excited to hit The California Zinfandel Trail when they’re ready.”

About Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP)  

Created for Zin lovers by Zin lovers, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. ZAP actively involves hundreds of wineries and thousands of enthusiasts. Together, ZAP is gaining a national and international understanding of Zinfandel as America’s grape, serving as an innovator and industry leader in the world of wine. ZAP members enjoy benefits throughout the year including access to ZAP’s Premier Winery Experience program.  ZAP can be found online on their website, on Facebook and Twitter.

Funding for California’s Zinfandel Trail was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM190100XXXXG008. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA. 

Art courtesy of Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

QxA Sandra Guibord

How Sandra Guibord Pivoted to Success During the Pandemic& Sandra’s Wine Life’s Valentine’s Day Wine Recommendations

What was your career like pre-pandemic?

For the past 20 years, I have been a wine educator as CEO & Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life. The in-person education aspect of my business involved leading wine seminars for large corporates, entertaining large groups of high-net-worth clientele for private banks, accounting firms, technology firms, and non-profits.

What changed about your business when the pandemic hit?

In Spring, 2020 when all my in-person presentations were canceled, I knew I had to transition to virtual events. All of my corporate clients now needed an intimate connection platform with which to reach their customers. I create Sandra’s Wine Life’s Virtual Wine Seminars to entertain small groups of advisers and their select clients.

What inspired you to make this change rather than just take a few months off?

On a Zoom call with my ski friends, we were commiserating over cocktails about our beloved ski season being cut short from the pandemic. Zoom was new to me, but it was such an easy platform to use and I realized how easy it could be to connect with people all over the world. Right away I knew that it was the path I needed to take to jumpstart my company.

How is business going?

The wine seminars have been an extreme success. I am conducting presentations at least three nights a week all year long – and I’ve had some re-bookings already from clients I just gave seminars for in September as their clients have been very responsive. Seeing the great excitement generated from these seminars is incredibly rewarding.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

My service is more valuable than I realize.

When I started Sandra’s Wine Life, I viewed my service as simply entertainment. I have grown to realize that my services are quite valuable as a business generation tool for my clients, particularly in these pandemic times. My virtual seminars are an opportunity for agents to reach out and effectively connect to their clients. I create an environment that is relaxed and enjoyable to set the mood and facilitate open conversation. This might seem a small thing, but as there is so much to be distracted by about in these times, having the ability to keep people upbeat and in the moment right now is a skill that has proved very valuable, and it’s also very enjoyable for me to be able to provide.

People are not always nice.

Unfortunately, I have seen behavior at wine conferences and other industry events that can be reminiscent of a high school cafeteria. As an attractive woman who is friendly and approachable, people will make assumptions that I don’t take my business seriously and that I’m not as committed to my craft or qualified. I ignore their behavior and simply do what I do to move my business and initiatives forward. In my accomplishments, I prove them wrong.

Don’t be shy about developing your network.

If you never ask or reach out to those in your network, you could be missing out on enormous opportunities. For example, Thomas Preti Catering has separately been providing food to match my wine pairings to some of my clients for as long as 10 years. Just a few months ago I first approached him with an idea about the two of us teaming up to provide food and wine pairings together for exciting virtual events such as Wine & Opera with International Opera Performers, Wine & Cinema tastings. Immediately he was on board. Now I kick myself for being shy about reaching out years ago!

Your perspective and brand tone can change dramatically as your life changes. Lean into it.

When I first started Sandra’s Wine Life, I was a single woman in New York City, and as such I focused on the demographic that I was a part of. As life evolved, adding children, increased obligations and more Corporate services, the focus of my company also evolved to incorporate my perspective on how wine fits into life and its moods and situations, broadened to home entertainment, business dinners, family holidays, International travel and large-scale corporate entertaining.

Be patient and stay the course.

Over the last 20 years, I have had to go to great lengths to keep my business alive. I have had to be creative, carve out time that didn’t exist, continue selling my services, collaborate with others, and learn a number of new skills on the fly — and with great enthusiasm! I did this all while raising children, dedicating myself to growing my former husband’s business and without having any encouragement or support. My business was always my voice and I needed to keep it alive and growing slowly so when the time came that I could fly. The time finally came, and when it did, I was truly ready. Now I’m flying and loving every minute!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day – and Galentine’s Day. How should our readers celebrate?

  • Impress your date with romantic chocolates alongside Champagne.
  • Treat your best girlfriends to pizza and Pinot Noir.
  • Send Mom a bottle of her favorite Chardonnay.
  • Cook a romantic spicy seafood pasta dinner for two with a luxurious Brunello.
  • For that “new” special person in your life, a picnic with Prosecco and cheese is friendly and thoughtful – and pandemic friendly.
  • If you’re in a restaurant and in doubt, White Burgundy or Pinot Noir are great food-friendly choices that are smart to order.

What are your top wines for celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

I will be sharing plenty of wine tips similar to these and much more in my forthcoming book, titled ‘Wine Identity’, due out this Spring. Look for more news on this shortly! In the meantime, you can check out my Instagram at @sandraswinelife each Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET for my weekly #WineWednesday recommendations, where I’ll share details about my favorite wines of the week and practical tips on how to enjoy them.

Rita Azar illustrates wine article for 360 MAGAZINE

ADAMVS Winery

With so many wineries now offering virtual tastings as a way to connect consumers with their favorite winery, ADAMVS winery in Napa Valley is now offering more than just a virtual tasting. ADAMVS has created a wine country harvest offering, connecting consumers with CA’s wine country at a time when most cannot visit during this spectacular season.

Consumers can choose from a variety of ADAMVS’ library wines which can be sent to their home in a hand-crafted wooden box along with a selection of handmade seasonal harvest-inspired items from ADAMVS’ 80-acre Howell Mountain property.

Items include: 2020 ADAMVS Cabernet Sauvignon jam, orchard fig jam; apple butter; mulled spice mix; dried oregano; ADAMVS herb salt; lavender shortbread and a few other seasonally-inspired harvest specialty items. Also included are seasonal recipe pairings from the Estate’s culinary director.

To enhance the offering further, recipients can schedule a private, virtual tasting with ADAMVS’s Owner, Denise Adams. Denise encourages guests to also invite others to the virtual tasting, to connect for a reunion over fine wine.

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

A Weekend in West Touraine

With some of the most iconic appellations in the Loire Valley, West Touraine is home to a wide variety of wineries, foodie destinations and historical sites. Would-be travelers can scout out their next trips to the region for now and read up on the area’s diverse offerings.

Bourgueil

Within picturesque green hillsides, vineyards and houses built with tuffeau stones, the Bourgueil Vineyard is situated on the bed of the Loire River and has been producing wine for over 1,000 years. The vineyard itself spans 3,460 acres and visitors can Segway their way around the vineyards to witness the beautiful countryside and taste different wines at Château de Minière. La Cave de la Dive Bouteille gives visitors the chance to experience and learn about the region’s extensive thousand-year wine history. Guests can marvel at the galleries and old wine presses used centuries ago. For an even more in-depth look at wine in Bourgueil, Âme Wine, a Loire Valley Ambassador, can give private tours of the vineyards and wine caves while tasting local specialties.

A visit to the historic Château de Langeais is also recommended, as the castle was built at a unique junction between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Along with a rich program of events, including guided tours and medieval fashion shows, the château’s collection of medieval furniture and rich tapestries is also available for viewing in the castle’s many galleries.

Local country chef Vincent has a small restaurant located in the heart of the vineyards, with dishes incorporating freshly grown fruits and vegetables and a variety of poultry and meats raised by Vincent himself. Vincent’s son also helps him can some of the fresh produce and offers them to guests in the summertime with a gourmet picnic to go.

Chinon

The largest red wine appellation in the Loire Valley, Chinon has earned a reputation as one of the best places in France to enjoy red wine, but the region’s white and rosés, as well as its local artisanal foods, are growing in popularity as well. There are a variety of ways to experience Chinon wine, such as a visit to Domaine de Noiré. Guests can meet experienced winemakers and go on a variety of excursions, including a riverboat ride on the Loire River and a gastronomic excursion with Le Chapeau Rouge, whose inventive take on local, seasonal cuisine is a must-try for any foodie. The Cave de la Sybille offers a unique wine experience, as the author behind The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, François Rebelais, was born in the region. Sculptures and projections bring François’s iconic pentalogy of novels to life in this wine cellar. For a different way to experience Chinon wine, the winery of Domain PB Couly offers an escape room where players are locked in Bertrand Couly’s wine cellar and have to find out the secrets behind his great wine through riddles, codes and puzzles.

For foodies who love truffles, Baron de la Truffein Ligré near Chinon is a truffle farm that operates on nearly 150 acres of land, using only organic farming practices. Production usually runs from mid-November to the end of February. The farm offers several types of experiences, such as a truffle and wine tasting and a foraging excursion.

Chinon also has an impressive history, as evident in the many notable people who have visited the Royal Fortress of Chinon, which includes Joan of Arc, King Charles VII of France, Richard the Lionheart and many more. Along with touring the surrounding grounds and the three châteaux that comprise the fortress, a variety of activities are available, including an escape room, wine tastings on Thursdays and the property’s HistoPad that allows guests to see exactly how the fortress used to be in the 12th, 14th and 15th centuries. For a chance to stay at these exquisite French castles, Château du Rivau welcomes guests both in the castle and in the former royal stables. A majestic medieval castle – where Joan of Arc fetched horses during the Hundred Years’ War – today welcomes visitors to its beautiful garden, complete with over 450 varieties of roses, resident peacocks, contemporary fairytale-inspired art sculptures and a new restaurant serving local specialties and produce right from the garden.

Azay-le-Rideau

Because of the region’s unique placement at the confluence of the Indre and Loire Rivers, wine has been produced in Azay-le-Rideau since ancient times with several cellars and vineyardproducing dry and semi-dry wines. Château de l’Aulée is also note-worthy for wine lovers. The estate’s cellars were built in 1856 by the Cordier family, a wine merchant family from Bordeaux. Champagne Deutz bought the domain in 1973, restored the property and soil, and replanted Chenin grapes on 91 acres. The grapes are used to make a variety of sparkling wines available for guests to try while taking a tour of the property. Other wineries to visit include Domaine Nicholas Paget, which is family-owned and has been producing wines over five generations, and le Sot de l’Ange, which is known for its artisanal organic wines.

Another local specialty of the region is poires tapées, a special method of preserving pears by drying them. Peasants learned this method after the Crusades; after Eleanor of Aquitaine ordered plum trees from Damascus to be planted in the Loire Valley, the confection became a staple of the region. Maison Hérin is known as one of the best local producers of poires tapées, which also offers visitors the opportunity to see how the delicacy is made. Maison Hérin also sells a wide variety of pear-related goodies including different types of confits, terrines, jams and more.

No visit to this appellation would be complete, however, without a visit to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the Indre River, this castle was ordered by King Francis I during the 16th century. The castle has been the site of a massive restoration project in the last century to ensure that the castle is structurally sound while keeping its iconic medieval architecture intact.

wine, 360 MAGAZINE

July 4th Food × Wine Pairings

Independence Day is right around the corner, and while it may look a bit different this year with socially distanced grill outs and get togethers, Cameron Hughes Wine has got you covered with a food and wine pairing menu that features some of their most popular wines:

Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($18)

If you plan on grilling chicken with herbs or have any potato-based sides, this is going to be your go-to pairing. A welcome accompaniment to pasta salads as well, but don’t forget our friends in the sea. This will be perfect for those grilling shrimp, scallops, halibut steaks or swordfish.

Santa Barbara County White Blend ($14)

Not everyone wants a red wine with grilled meats and veggies. This is the perfectly robust and rich white to save the day. Just as at home with Chicken as it is Steak, the fuller body on this white blend will mingle perfectly on the palate with that classic “grilled” flavor on anything.

Lake County Muscat Canelli ($12)

Let’s face it, some folks just like a sweet wine. That’s totally fine, so go ahead and serve them pulled pork with the classic vinegar and spicy Carolina BBQ sauce, paired alongside this gem, perfect for cutting the fat, sweetening the vinegar, and taking a bit of the edge off of the spice.

Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon ($24)

At CHW, this wine affectionately falls into a lesser-known category of Napa reds – “Pork Reds” to be precise – a category reserved for non-Pinot Noir reds that are excellent accompaniments to grilled bone-in pork chops. A nice rub of Montreal chop seasoning, grilled medium rare, makes for perfect company with this elegantly structured Yountville Napa Cab.

Mendocino Field Blend ($13)

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better partner to a burger just off the grill. Irrelevant of fixins on your burger, this is the perfect wine to enjoy alongside any twist on the July 4th classic.

Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($17)

This is a grilled steak Zinfandel. No matter if it’s NY, Ribeye, Filet, or Tri-tip, this will be your best friend, and you won’t need to break the bank opening some Napa Valley big boy wine. This’ll do just right by your grilled tomahawk and your wallet.

About Cameron Hughes:

Cameron Hughes is a California vintner who has hacked the code on sourcing expensive wines on the cheap. As a wine trader, Cameron Hughes doesn’t own vineyards or a winery — his focus is on purely sourcing the best wines and negotiating the best price. Once acquired, the wines are bottled under the Cameron Hughes label and then offered at a fraction of the original price.

Allison Christensen, 360 MAGAZINE, WINE, SPIRITS

Santa Barbara Wine Country Opens

Santa Barbara Wine Country welcomes guests back into wineries and tasting rooms with dine-in services and safety measures to keep guests safe as they sip the latest vintages and soak in the beautiful surroundings.

Located less than two hours from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Wine Country is a beautiful wine country escape. Over 200 wineries are part of the picturesque wine region known for producing highly rated, internationally
recognized wines. Given its close proximity to LA, Santa Barbara Wine Country is an ideal day trip for SoCal wine lovers ready for a relaxing, outdoor getaway now that the County has opened back up.

For lockdown-weary Angelinos, Santa Barbara Wine Country is an easy, two-hour drive where they can escape to rolling vineyards and enjoy exceptional wines. Wineries and tasting rooms are partnering with food trucks, local caterers, and restaurants. The re-opening is a rare opportunity for restaurants and caterers to show off their farm-to-table offerings aside the County’s award-winning wine. Guests will find sit-down meals with wines by the glass, flight, or bottle.

“People are so excited to get out and explore again. They’ve been enjoying wine at home, but nothing compares to a wandering day-trip to see the vineyards, rest your eyes on the gorgeous landscape, and engage with the dynamic people behind the wines,” said CEO of Santa Barbara Vintners, Alison Laslett. “Our wine region is a stone’s throw from Los Angeles, but it feels like a world away. We can offer guests the break they’ve been craving, and with all our outdoor space, our Wine Country has some of the safest social activities people can engage in right now.”

To help ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff, Santa Barbara County wineries and tasting rooms are implementing the following protocols:

  • Strict adherence to CDC health and safety guidelines: sanitization, hygiene, face coverings for staff and for guests when not consuming food or wine
  • Use of outdoor space and other social distancing practices
  • Daily employee wellness screenings and temperature checks
  • Reservation systems to manage the number of guests

The Santa Barbara wine region is best known for two things: the exceptional quality of the wines and the laid-back community vibe. From signature Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs worthy of Burgundy to sought-after Rhone and Bordeaux style varietals, there is a wine for every palate with over 50 varietals grown throughout the region. The welcoming laid-back vibe comes from the spirit of the tight-knit wine community. Winemakers are often found behind the counter in tasting rooms, pouring their wines and sharing anecdotes about the latest vintage. Wineries are located within a 30-mile radius throughout the valley and additional boutique tasting rooms are found in downtown Santa Barbara.

*For updated information on winery re-openings, click HERE*

About Santa Barbara Vintners

Santa Barbara Vintners (Santa Barbara County Vintners Association) is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a world-class wine-producing and wine grape growing region. The association includes winery members whose annual production is at least 75% Santa Barbara County (or sub-AVA) labeled, winery associates, vineyards, vineyard management companies, hospitality, and industry associate members. The association produces festivals and wine country weekends; educational seminars and tastings; provides information to consumers, trade, and media; and advocates for the Santa Barbara County wine and grape industry.

Follow: @santabarbarawinecountry on Facebook & Instagram and @sbcwines on Twitter.

Wine Enthusiast Restructures

In its continued efforts for robust growth across all media platforms, Wine Enthusiast Media, the leading source for modern wine content worldwide, is excited to announce a strategic restructure in its senior editorial teams.

Former Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief, increasing her focus on content partnerships, digital expansion, editorial brand awareness and diverse audience growth. Kostrzewa will expand her role in the consumer and trade market as a speaker, panelist and advisor, in addition to continuing management of all top-line editorial content strategy. She will also continue her role as a taster on the Greece and Cyprus wine beats.

During her 13-year tenure at the company, Kostrzewa has led a comprehensive rebrand of the legacy media group, including a complete redesign of the print magazine, website and expansion of the editorial team. Under her leadership, the media brand has launched successful editorial franchises such as the 40 Under 40 industry tastemakers list, the Wine & Culture editions, the Wine Enthusiast Podcast and the BIE online industry hub. She was awarded Folio’s Changemaker of the Year award in 2018 for her endeavors in inclusive coverage, innovative media expansion and California wildfire support.

Reporting to Kostrzewa, Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo’s role has been expanded to oversee all digital and print editors in New York, as well as Wine Enthusiast’s global team of contributing editors, in efforts to better synergize operations and branding as well as advance cross-audience content. In her 13 years with the magazine, Buzzeo has been key in the development of the magazine’s international tasting panel as well as initiatives in new audience outreach such as the magazine’s first augmented reality (AR) cover in May 2019. As an author, taster, podcaster, educator and panelist, she has been active in growing awareness of beat regions such as South Africa and Languedoc-Roussillon, as well as the beer category.

Former VinePair Editor-in-Chief Emily Saladino has been recruited as Associate Managing Editor of Digital under Buzzeo and will focus on strategic content creation, WE Media digital audience growth and new online programs. At VinePair, Saladino doubled site traffic, overseeing a team of global freelance contributors as well as staff writers in New York. She launched the VinePair print magazine in May 2019. An accomplished writer, her work has been published in Bloomberg, BBC, Bon Appetit, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and others and she has also been a speaker at global industry events worldwide.

Further shifts in the editorial team, including the promotions of Layla Schlack to Associate Managing Editor of Print and Sarah Daniels to Senior Associate Editor, will support departmental synergies and growth.

These developments follow the recent ascension of second-generation owner and founder of wine registry start-up ThirstyNest, Jacqueline Strum, to the role of Associate Publisher, in which she will head the media company’s sales and events teams.

“The changes reflect a streamlining of the business and a 360-degree approach to delivering content,” says Publisher and CEO Adam Strum. “With this team’s progressive and comprehensive perspective on publishing, and Wine Enthusiast Media’s expanded emphasis on social media, digital media email marketing and direct marketing in addition to our legacy print platform, we are ensuring we’re everywhere in which the modern wine drinker can be found. We’ve long celebrated the vast potential of the wine sphere and the untapped audiences that are our industry’s future, and our moves are just another step for our brand in becoming the true voice of modern wine.”

Wine barrels, wine tasting, carr winery, santa barbara, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Beginner’s Guide to Tasting Wine

By Pallavi Gupta

Learning about wine for beginners don’t need a degree in rocket science. Otherwise, it would be so dull, lol! Life would sack big time! So, all you need is a good tongue and maybe a nose…just kidding. There are plenty of self-proclaimed wine professionals and enthusiasts who create wine tasting terms and descriptions to credit or discredit one particular grape, that a layman like us finds it hard to understand. For first-time wine tasters, don’t worry about complicated wine tasting vocabulary. The good thing is that you can simplify the whole process by having fun with an open mind while tasting wine. To expand your wine-tasting knowledge, all you need is a little effort and focus. 

Now let’s put on your wine tasting gear (if there is such a thing) and dive into the world of wine tasting to find out what makes a good wine, using these simple wine tasting tips for beginners. 

Now for the juicy part of wine tasting, let’s talk about the three different types of wines available for tasting.

To simplify things, let’s talk about wine color as an essential wine guide to achieve excellent wine-tasting results. Generally, there are three distinctive colors; red, white, and rose. Reds are what make my day if you ask me. But that’s just me. Here’s an elaborate on each type :

  • Red wines – these are made from dingy colored grapes. They have bolder, pleasant tastes than the white or rose wines.  You can serve this wine at your room temperature with either starchy foods, cured meat, or even your usual meatballs. 
  • White wines – these are made with green grapes, which gives them a yellowish color. They are served chilled due to their soft, lighter, and fruitier flavor. You can enjoy them with your favorite seafood, fruit, desserts, and also salads. 
  • Roses – when you blend the red and the green grapes, this is what you will get. You try this type of wine with anything either chilled or at room temperature. 

Now, talking about varietals. 

Varietals are the actual kind of grape that is used to make the wine. Each varietal has a unique flavor and smell which changes annually. Some of the well-known wine varietals for each wine color include:

  • Reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah.
  • Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, and Sauvignon Blanc. 
  • Rose: There is no particular varietal to speak of as most of the rose wines are blends. 

To adequately sample how great a wine is, you need to incorporate all your five senses. Yes, that’s true!

Take a Good Look: 

Just like food, your eyes have to initiate the wine tasting process. Just like a beautiful woman too….lol The color of wine speaks volumes about the quality of the wine, especially in red wine tasting guide. Holding out a glass of wine and tilting it a bit of a white surface, allows you to get the depth of color. At this point, you will notice the depth of color by swirling the wine glass gently and observing it closely. If the beverage moves around like water, it means that the wine is lighter and fresh with less alcohol content. A syrupy wine shows that it is more full-bodied and is potentially has higher alcohol content. Whites, indeed, can vary in color, which can give you an idea of the quality of the grape.

The older the wine, the darker will be the color. It’s due to its natural aromas that tend to separate slightly over time. Newer wines, on the other hand, are more uniform in color. The last thing you need to observe in your wine is bubbles. Bubbles are quite evident in Champagne or sparkling wine. It is fascinating to see them floating on top of your wine glass as you enjoy its excellent aroma. Unwanted bubbles mean that the wine has gone bad and needs to be tossed. 

Swirl the Wine:

Wine swirling allows you to establish its texture. To follow this, carefully swirl your wine in the glass by holding the base on a smooth surface. Slowly move your glass in close circles on the table, as you gradually increase the speed for the wine to slide up along the inner surface of the glass. Continue for a few more swirls. It isn’t mandatory to swirl wine on top of a table. You can also hold the stem and circularly move the wine glass. Essentially, the benefit of wine swirling is to allow air to mix the wine to get its aroma, also displaying your love for the wine.

Smell the Wine:

As I said, you need a nose to suck all the aroma out of your wine…lol. Before the tasting, there’s the smelling part. If you master the art of wine smell, it will make it easier for you to establish the kind of wine before tasting it. You can gather lots of information from the smell, and it’s quite pertinent. If you get the smell of rotten egg or boiled cabbage, it means that reduction was used to make the wine. Alternatively, if you get the smell of toffee or honey, it means that oxidation is undertaken in the process of winemaking. 

Wine smells can be broken down into three categories, which are:

  • Type of Grape: Now that you all know about different grapes, judging the type of grape used to make the wine would be quite easy. You may feel herbal, fruity, or even floral aromas.
  • Baseline Flavours: These are the secondary kinds of flavors used to make a particular wine. You can smell of yogurt, bread, cheese rind, or sour cream. 
  • Over Time-lapse: These aromas culminate over time and can vary from mushroom, tobacco, leather, vanilla, or cloves smells. You may get confused at first, but this won’t deny you the pleasure of tasting wine.

Tasting the wine:

To taste the wine, take a small sip first and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds. You can even slosh it around like mouthwash for the wine to reach the entire mouth. It may sound grouse, but no, it’s not! If it gives the right results, it’s worth it. Another technique that requires a bit of practice is drawing a small amount of air into the mouth and over the wine. Follow this without dribbling. It allows the aroma up into the nasal passages in the back of the throat for you to smell the wine again.

  • Your nose is a perfect tool to give you accurate clues about the wine. The taste should complement the smell and not contradict it. You should ask yourself whether the smell advertised correctly what the mouth consumed. You will find out that the nose is more accurate than your taste buds once you’ve tasted the wine. 
  • Your Wine can be either sweet or sour like aspirin, mostly it depends. For a higher alcohol content or riper wine, the texture will be stronger towards the red color. Usually, In red wine, the presence of tannins also affects the composition of the wine. 
  • The freshness of wine comes from its acidity. To enhance the sharpness of the wine, odorless acids are infused at the winery. You will know your wine is acidic if your mouth waters. 

To conclude the wine tasting process, you can either swallow or spit the wine out. What you need to observe is how long the taste stays in your mouth. For a bottle of great wine, the flavor will remain in your mouth for long. 

Reaching your conclusion

After going through all the swirling, smelling, and tasting of wine, you would have probably concluded the type of wine you like or what doesn’t make your day. Think about the overall impression of the wine aftertaste. There are various questions you will need to ask and answer yourself according to the experience you had throughout the wine tasting process. Was the taste strong or quickly fade later on? Did the smell marry the flavor in your palate? Were you be able to distinguish between the various components like fruit, acidity, alcohol, and tannins. 

To relish a heavenly wine taste, all the components need to complement each other and find harmony from your nose to your palate. All that matters is you had that feeling of eternal bliss while tasting wine for the first time. At the end of your tasting, you can always write down funny wine tasting notes to describe your sensations, subjective comments, or perceptions.