Wine Regions

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Wine Regions

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1Allama
gen. 30, 2008, 10:44am

Do any of you live moderately close to a well- or lesser-known wine region or vacation in such an area?

I have the good fortune to be a "mere" 7 or so hours (by car) from the New York Finger Lakes region in the United States, which offers up many a lovely bottle and happens to be a haven of natural beauty and quaint little towns. This winter I visited several vineyards, my favorite of which was the Bully Hill Winery (http://www.bullyhill.com) on Keuka Lake. They were extremely friendly and offered us quite a few free tastes as they were rather bored with the slow day they'd been having.

I'm proud to say I only came home with two bottles of wine; a true victory for self-control!

2clamairy
Editat: gen. 30, 2008, 10:59am

I'm only about two and a half hours from Long Island Wine country, also in NY state. (I'm in northern CT.) Back when I was in HS (30+ years ago) the first wineries on the North Fork of LI were just getting their start. In fact one of my older brothers worked for Hargrave's for a while. Now I guess there are over 30 wineries there, and many of the wines have won some prestigious awards.

http://www.liwines.com/

I don't get there as often as I'd like, and when I do I'm visiting family, so I can't vineyard hop, sadly. I do try to pick up a few new varieties whenever I go, though. Oh, and because of some antiquated laws, we can't buy NY wines here in CT yet. *grrrr*

3Bookmarque
Editat: gen. 30, 2008, 11:02am

Ig. Been there (Finger Lakes) & hated everything I tasted with the exception of a moderately dry reisling that was passable. They're tyring hard but geology and climate are against them. But that's just me.

Prefer Monterey, Carmel and Paso Robles. Also Yakima, WA is a lovely region for wine. Hopefully this year we'll get to Oregon for some tasting. I wish I lived near one of these, but alas...

4clamairy
gen. 30, 2008, 11:12am

#3 - Hate is a strong word for wine tasting, don't you think? ;o)

Interestingly, Bookmarque, I have yet to taste a decent wine from Washington State, but I figure that's just because they only ship the leftovers East. I try to keep in mind that the very best wine that small wineries have to offer probably gets bought up quickly in large amounts by the locals who can afford it and by local restaurants. There's not much left for the rest of us. :o/

5Bookmarque
gen. 30, 2008, 11:24am

Well, if pouring it out and then grabbing a fistful of dirt pellets (which is what we call those little crackers you get in tasting rooms) to get the taste out of my mouth is less than hate, so be it.

Washington has a lot of diversity in terms of what can be produced - the soil and climate ranges are quite large. The upper Columbia valley is pretty reliable, but the lower is a bit hit or miss. Walla Walla is well known, but I haven't tasted there. Yakima is quite well known. Smaller wineries tend to be better, but some of the big ones can produce reliable wines. Chateau Ste. Michelle comes to mind here.

It really is all individual. They key is to try everything, find what you like, buy it and keep tasting.

6clamairy
Editat: gen. 30, 2008, 11:36am

"They key is to try everything, find what you like, buy it and keep tasting."

Absolutely. Someday I hope I have the time, money and freedom to do just that, and often.

But, for now, I just have to forage the local shops, and horde those few bottles of 1995 Pindar Mythology that I've got. ;o)

7Bookmarque
gen. 30, 2008, 11:44am

Money is key. Wine is like crack. On a 2-day trip to Paso Robles we bought 6 1/2 cases to ship home. This is normal. We do about the same thing on every tasting trip. Then there's the wine club thing. Oy vey.

Check out Wine Enthusiast for ideas...some of their bargain choices are very good.

8Allama
gen. 31, 2008, 12:57pm

Gracious, 6 1/2 cases is quite a lot! Not, of course, to say that I'm being critical - to the contrary, I think that's marvelous.

Financing tasting trips and purchases is, of course, the main obtascle for many wine lovers. As a woman barely old enough to buy alcohol legally, I experience that particular frustration on a regular basis.

9Bookmarque
gen. 31, 2008, 2:34pm

Oh we've been through the lean years for sure. Now that we've grown in our careers to more comfortable circumstances, we can indulge. Not that we're on easy street, we just cut out doing other things (like going out to eat a lot) to make sure we can buy wine.

10Allama
feb. 1, 2008, 3:21pm

A fine and fair trade-off, to be sure. :-)

11pechmerle
feb. 8, 2008, 4:58am

I live within easy driving distance of the Napa and Sonoma regions. More wineries than I can ever get to.
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A recent pleasure was a stop at Domaine Carneros, on the Napa-Sonoma border. They are owned by Taittinger, and the winery is a pleasant copy of the mother ship in Champagne. Domaine Carneros is best known for its sparkling wine, but I particularly like their pinot noir. Bought three bottles on our tasting visit. Chatted with the counter person, noting that I never see their wine on S.F. restaurant wine lists. She replied, oh, well, we sell almost every bottle we make either through our wine clubs or right here at the winery; no allocation for any restaurants to be had.
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The tasting experience is more like a cafe than a typical tasting bar. We sat outside on the chateau terrace, on a perfect sunny afternoon, gazing out over the vine-draped hills, nibbling from an excellent cheese plate and sipping pinots. (Must stop before I wax poetic.)

12Bookmarque
feb. 8, 2008, 8:15am

Dear pechmerle,

I hate you.

Love,

Bookmarque

13pechmerle
feb. 8, 2008, 9:00pm

Dear Bookmarque,

Entirely understandable.
But I didn't force you to live in NH, now did I.

Love,

pechmerle

14Bookmarque
feb. 9, 2008, 8:51am

Live Free or Die, baby! : D

15mcna217
feb. 9, 2008, 11:10am

I am blessed to live in Sonoma County and am surrounded by vineyards and wineries. My husband (like many local residents) works in the wine industry. We are even considering making the plunge and start producing some wine in our garage.

We actually rarely visit tasting rooms,usually only when we have guests. We take them to the Russian River area to visit Korbel (great way to learn about champagne production) and then on to some of the smaller wineries for variety.