I Left My Heart-Shaped-Double-Gold Medal… In San Francisco… (2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition)

SFIWC 2015

SFIWC 2015

Later this year, I will have the pleasure of judging at the 2015 edition of the San Francisco International Wine Competition. This will mark my second year as a judge at SFIWC, and is part of my gettin’ busy Summer, during which I’ve somehow amassed a series of competitions, tours, and speaking gigs with little rest between them. My understanding is that somehow that peripatetic sequence is part of Marvel Studios’ Phase Five plan. Or not. Anyway, I suspect that, while I will enjoy myself at SFIWC immensely, I most likely will not enjoy it quite as immensely as last year, when I had the good fortune of being seated with event host Anthony Dias Blue. Which meant that our table got to judge the best bubbles (by reputation, anyway!) submitted in the competition. Once can hope, though, right? Anyway, much more to come on that ...

Going into Teacher Mode

In late 2006, I retired from a 34-year career in education with my last several years as a lecturer at Towson University in Maryland. Kathy often tells me that I frequently go into teacher mode. It doesn’t take much for this to happen. While in a tasting room if I am swirling the wine in my glass and the person next to me asks why I am doing that, I automatically go into teacher mode.  When I present, I automatically go into teacher mode. An opportunity arose to go into teacher mode at the April 2015 International Wine Tourism Conference in Reims, France.
Terry pouring and talking about Georgian wines at IWINETC 15 in Reims, France.

Terry pouring and talking about Georgian wines at IWINETC 15 in Reims, France.

The exhibition area had several wine producers. Unlike the champagne houses that had dry tables (no champagnes for tasting) the country Georgia was pouring wines. Georgia hosted the International Wine Tourism Conference in ...

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Quick Sip: Oak Farm Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is Oak Farm Vineyards’ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. Oak Farm is a 70 acre historical estate that dates back to the 1860's. The property’s founder, William DeVries, had a fondness for trees, particularly oaks, and many towering oaks from centuries back still stand on the property today. In 2009, the Panella family, who purchased Oak Farm in 2004, opened the doors to its beautiful new tasting room. Managing partner Dan Panella tells me, “It's been steadily growing ever since!”

The grapes for this wine were sourced from Mohr-Fry Ranches and certified by Lodi Rules as sustainably grown. Mohr-Fry Ranches is another significant Lodi gem, whose agricultural history dates back to the 1850’s. I visited the property with a media group last spring and had an opportunity to learn about the fourth and fifth generation family-owned operation and walk through a Zinfandel block [pictured] where plantings ...

Castillo de Feliciana Winery Rosebud Tempranillo

Meeting Lorena Deaconu Stoian, Chief Winemaker at Cramele Halewood in Romania

halewood “Welcome,” says energetic Lorena Deaconu Stoian, Chief Winemaker at Cramele Halewood. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon as Lorena welcomes us to the gorgeous manner house called “Conac” in Romanian, near the Carpathian mountains, where we will experience their sparkling wine facility and spend the night. Halewood International was founded in 1978 by the late John E. Halewood, and rapidly grew to become the largest independent alcoholic drinks company in the UK. In 1987 the company began importing wines from Romania, working closely with Dan Muntean to source the wine. Ten years later, John and Dan formed a partnership, founding Halewood’s first Romanian subsidiary, and becoming the largest exporter of Romanian wine to Britain. Today, after an investment of 10 million Euros, the company owns four subsidiaries in Romania, and is one of the largest wine importers in the country, distributing some of the most prestigious wine brands. Investment has ...

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