Backsberg Estate Cellars

Backsberg EstateCellars

While attending the informative session at the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Washington DC, we learned about tourism in South Africa, and also had the opportunity to taste some of the wines now produced in South Africa. One of the wineries represented was Backsberg Estate Cellars. The winery produces four lines of wine: Black Label, Premium, Kosher and Tread Lightly. We began with the Backsberg 2016 Brut Classique from the Paarl region of South Africa. This is a Kosher Brut. The wine is produced with 100% Chardonnay. According to the information card provided by the importer, the Kosher Brut included, “Prior to fermentation, the Chardonnay juice is pasteurized and all handling of the grapes and wine is performed by a rabbi with approval of the Cape  Town Beth Din. The MCC is made in the traditional method of a second fermentation in the bottle ...

A Few Labor Day Weekend Wine Events

Estate wine at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard

With Labor Day Weekend quickly approaching, you may want to visit a winery with family or friends. Check out these upcoming events at wineries.

Saturday, September 1

Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, MD
Event: Wine, Crepes & Live Music
Website Information

Duplin Winery, NC
Event: Rose Hill Live Music
Website Information

The Winery at Perennial Vineyards, OH
Event: Live Music
Website Information

Sunday, September 2

Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, MD
Event: Wine & Live Music
Website Information

Sunday Brunch at Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery

Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, VA
Event: Sunday Brunch
Website Information

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, OR
Event: September Wine Club Release
Website Information

Monday, Sept 3, LABOR DAY

Pearmund Cellars, VA
Event: Celebrate Labor Day at Pearmund Cellars
Website Information

Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, VA
Event: Bistro Open
Website Information

Please drink responsibly.
Cheers!
Kathy

Bison Meatballs Recipe from Merry Edwards Winery

The Merry Edwards Winery is located in California’s Russian River Valley. Wines to look for at the winery include: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you like a sweet wine look for the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, a dessert wine.The winery tasting room offers two types of wine tastings: In-Depth Tastings and Walk-in Tastings. The recipe below is from the Merry Edwards Winery. Try the Bison Meatballs soon!

Bison Meatballs

Serves 4 Pairs well with Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir Meatballs INGREDIENTS 1 pound ground bison, drained of excess liquid and blotted dry
2 large garlic cloves, mashed
¼ teaspoon alaea sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil PREPARATION Incorporate all ingredients together by kneading with your hands. Shape into 12 medium-size meatballs. Sauté in olive oil in skillet over medium heat, turning to lightly brown all sizes. Do not overcook as ...

Visiting Oregon this Summer? Visit a Winery

The wine caves at Archery Summit in Oregon

Portland, Oregon is a delightful city to visit; however, there are many other areas of Oregon that are equally pleasant to visit. Our two favorite months to visit Oregon include August and September. No matter what time of year you visit Oregon, you will find wineries that are open and cater to visitors. Oregon is especially well known for Pinot Noir and and Pinot Gris. Amongst the many white grape varieties growing in its prolific vineyards are: Chardonnay, Gweürtraminer, Riesling and Semillon. Also be sure to look for Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. Oregon’s wine regions include:
  • Willamette Valley (North and South)
  • Columbia Valley
  • Columbia Gorge
  • Walla Walla Valley
  • Umpqua Valley
  • Roque Valley and Applegate Valley
  • Eastern Oregon
Wine Trail Traveler has visited and written articles about many of the wineries in Oregon. These articles are available on the ...

Last Minute Ideas for the 4th of July!

Effingham Manor in Virginia

Hope everyone is enjoying a fun and safe 4th of July! If you do not have plans to celebrate yet, why not stop by your favorite neighborhood winery tasting room? You may want to call ahead of time to be sure the winery is open today. I received an email this week about three delightful wineries in Virginia. Pearmund Cellars, Vint Hill Craft Winery and Effingham Manor are all open today. Keep in mind that Effingham Manor, where there is an emphasis on antiques/history, is open for adults only.

Vint Hill Craft Winery

Vint Hill Craft Winery’s courtyard will be open. Visit and enjoy the music. The winery will also have Wine Cocktails available. Corn hole will be available. Enjoy the day with the family as children are welcome.  If you are curious about wine cocktails, the Vint Hill Craft Winery, located in Vint ...

Don’t Travel July 4th! Stay Close to Home and Visit a Winery!

A Maryland Sparkling Wine

The news has been reporting that travel over the 4th of July  is expected to rise. Rather than getting involved in intense traffic congestion, why not stay close to home and enjoy visiting a winery in your neighborhood? You may even want to consider leaving the driving to Lyft or Uber. In a winery tasting room you can enjoy the atmosphere while having an enjoyable conversation with other like-minded wine enthusiasts. And the topics are not just about wine, but can cover anything from food to travel and so much more. Do yourself a favor and visit a nearby winery and save the frustration of hours of driving. Fast Facts
  • Every state has at least one winery.
  • Several states have significant wine regions.
  • Numerous wineries offers special events open to the public.
  • Wines produced in the United States can rival those from other countries.
  • The ...

Visit A Winery with a Father’s Day Event this Weekend!

Orfila Vineyards & Winery in California offers spectacular views!

Warm weather encourages wineries to offer more fun events. With Father’s Day this Sunday, many wineries are offering special ways for Fathers to celebrate. Several special events for this weekend are listed below. If you can’t visit one of these wineries, call your neighborhood winery and discover what specials they are offering for Father’s Day! Saturday, June 16 Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, Maryland
Event: Live Music by California Bob
Website Info Duplin Winery, North Carolina
Event: Live Music: Mykel Barbee
Website Info Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, VA
Event: Sipping Under the Stars-Wonder Woman
Website Info Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, Oregon
Event: Port & Cigar Appreciation
Website Info The Winery at Perennial Vineyards, Ohio
Event: Live Music
Website Info Sunday, June 17 Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, Maryland
Event: Father’s Day Celebration
Website Info Effingham Manor, Virginia
Event: Father’s Day – King for Day
...

Upcoming June Events at Wineries

Potomac Point Winery in VA

The Wine Trail Traveler blog posts have not been frequent recently due to a broken arm during the second week of May – totally not wine related. Now that things are getting much better, blog posts will be written much more frequently. Cheers! Kathy For today’s post check out numerous wine events coming up soon in early June! Thursday, June 7 Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, Virginia
Event: Ladies Night & Wine Bingo
Website Info
Texas Legato, Texas
Event: Teacher Thursdays
Website Info Friday, June 8 Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, Maryland
Event: Rose Friday! Wear Pink
Website Info Orfila Vineyards and Winery, California
Event: Tunes on the Terrace
Website Info Painted Stave Distilling, Delaware
Event: 90’s Dance Party
Website Info Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, Virginia
Event: Friday Night Music
Website Info Texas Legato, TX
Event: Wine Down Happy Hours!
Website Info The Winery at Perennial ...

October is Virginia Wine Month

Celebrate Virginia’s October Wine Month

The numerous Virginia wineries throughout the state offer a delightful time for wine lovers who want to travel a little. From Northern to Southern Virginia and East to West, Virginia has many wineries. Wine Trail Traveler has visited and written about many of these wineries that vary in size from boutique to castle-size. October is Virginia Wine Month and so now is a great time to visit and enjoy Virginia’s beautiful countryside. Virginia also has a few urban wineries that wine enthusiasts can visit.

Arterra Wines, a boutique winery

Virginia Wine Facts
  • Virginia has seven AVAs (American Viticultural Areas)

-George Washington Birthplace AVA
-Middleburg AVA
-The Monticello AVA
-The North Fork of Roanoke AVA
-The Rocky Knob AVA
-The Shenandoah Valley AVA
-Virginia’s Eastern Shore AVA

  • Virginia has 260 wineries and is growing.
  • Due to the different climates and soils in Virginia, wine growers are able to ...

Edetària: A Winery in D.O. Alta Terra

Edetària wine from estate grown vineyards

At the APVSA (Association Pour La Promotion Des Vins & Spiriteux En Amérique Du Nord) wine tasting in early September, I tasted wines from Edetària, a 4th generation estate property in Spain. The Edetària winery was established in 2006 is located in a region southwest of Barcelona. The winery is owned by Joan Lliberia.  Edetària is located about 20 kilometers from the Mediterranean in the D.O. Terra Alta. Today the winery is producing 35,000 cases. All Edetària wines are produced with their own estate grown grapes. The winery places an emphasis on the age of its vineyards. The Edetària vineyards vary in age from 20 to 90 years old. There are 60 hectares of vineyards and all vineyards are hand pruned and harvested. During wine production Edetària uses various sizes of tanks. This allows the winery to keep the grape varieties ...

Dog Friendly Wineries in California

So where are the top dog friendly wineries in California? On a recent trip to Napa I found myself charmed by all of the friendly faces in the tasting rooms – not just staff and visitors, but the pets that seem to feel as at home in a winery than at a dog park. It turns out that many California wineries are pet-friendly, making a wine tasting trip with your furry pal a reality.
Dog Friendly California Wineries include MUMM Napa
A pup enjoys a shopping break at MUMM Napa. Credit: Jill Barth
This story, published in my column over at California Winery Advisor, includes tips for your pup when she/he visits wineries and five suggested spots to visit.
Find the story here.

Adegas Valmiñor, A Rias Baixas Winery

Adegas Valmiñor, a Rias Baixas Winery

Adegas Valmiñor is located in the southernmost region of  DO Rias Baixas. The winery was founded in 1997 by Carlos Gómez. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy the wine bottle labels which emphasize the Celtic symbols of land, air, sun and rain. These four ancient symbols were unearthed from a mountain located near the winery. The winery is located in the DO sub-region of O Rosal, along the Miño River which borders Portugal. The vineyards are influenced by low altitude, high precipitation and mild temperatures as well as the Atlantic Ocean and the River Miño. The soil is known for its minerality Adegas Valmiñor Location A Portela s / n, San Juan de Tabagón.
36760, O Rosal – Pontevedra
GPS coordinates: 41º 55 ‘59.1’ ‘N, 8º 47’ 41.5 ” O Wine Tasting At a spring 2017 Rias Baixas wine tasting in Oxon Hill, Maryland ...

Mar de Frades: A Rias Baixas Winery

Winemaker Paula Fandiño

Mar de Frades is a winery located in the up and coming Rias Baixas wine region of northwest Spain. Mar de Frades, established in 2007, is located in the Salnés valley and close to the Arousa estuary. The winery features the Albariño grape variety. In addition to Albariño still wine, Mar de Frades is also producing a 100 percent Brut Nature made with 100 percent Albariño grapes. This is produced with the  classic Méthode. Mar de Frades location: Finca Valiñas, Lg Arosa 16, 36637
Meis, Pontevedra (Spain) In response to a series of questions, Winemaker Paula Fandiño kindly responded.
  1. What are your most enjoyable aspects of winemaking?
“What I like the most is that every day is different. It is a special process, global and unique every year, in which you work to get the best of each grape and translate it into a wine.”
  1. How ...

Introducing theCompass Craft Beverage Finder Mobile Application

theCompass Android theCompass iPhone theCompass Amazon


theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator app has been re-branded the theCompass Craft Beverage Finder mobile application. The new name encapsulates the expanding craft beverage market from the major three industries (wine, beer, spirits) by including hard cider, mead, and sake.  This re-branding also includes a new website displaying the general functionality of the application. theCompass is available in AndroidiPhone, and now Amazon Fire tablets ($.99 on each). The re-branding effort in the iPhone will not be released until later this year as it incorporates the latest iOS upgrades.

theCompass includes information on craft beverage producers in the United States and Canada. These establishments can be mapped using a radius search of the device’s location or by the establishment name, city, or zipcode. Users can also browse establishments by state for the United States or by province for Canada. All results can be filtered by industry type ...

January 16th, National Fig Newton Day

Springhill Winery vineyards in Kentucky

Springhill Winery vineyards in Kentucky

Today is National Fig Newton Day. The Fig Newton cookie was first created and marketed in the early 1890s. The first cookies were filled with a fig jam. Today Nabisco has changed the name to Newtons and consumers have the choice of fig, strawberry or triple berry fillings. A few years ago we visited several wineries in Kentucky. One of our stops was at Springhill Winery, a boutique winery, in Bloomfield, KY. The owners are Eddie and Carolyn O’Daniel.
Springhill Plantation Bed & Breakfast

Springhill Plantation Bed & Breakfast

Next to the winery is a historic manor house, Springhill Plantation Bed & Breakfast.  The manor house has a tragic story about the Civil War which involved soldiers believing it was a safe house. To find out what happened visit Springhill Winery or read the Wine Trail Traveler article. One of the wines the winery offered during our visit was a Chardonnay which ...

More Thanksgiving Wines

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is behind us, but we bet we’re not the only ones still eating leftovers! So here are some more wines to pair with turkey, in addition to the ones we told you about before the holiday. Again, these are wines that were sent to us to sample over the holidays. Thank you to the wineries who shared their bounty! screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-5-23-05-pmJoseph Phelps Vineyard 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($55)
This is the 10th vintage of Pinot Noir sourced from two of the winery’s estate vineyards in Freestone, CA — 51% from the Quarter Moon Vineyard and 49% from the Pastorale Vineyard. The 2014 Pinot Noir is a powerful combination of fruity and savory, with earthy notes and flavors of black fruit and spices. Enjoy it now (with decanting) or over the next five years. From the winemaker: “The 2014 Pinot Noir showcases aromatic red fruit, fragrant violet and savory spices. Fresh and focused on ...
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Esporão Wines at Washington, DC Event

Rosé wine from  Esporão winery in Portugal

Rosé wine from Esporão winery in Portugal

This week we traveled into Washington, DC to discover wines produced by winemaker David Baverstock at Esporão in Portugal. The wine and dinner event was held at the G Restaurant which is one of Mike Isabella’s many restaurants. Several Esporão wines were paired with a delightful four-course dinner. These special courses each had our separate dishes that offered a taste of what is to come at the soon to be opened Arroz restaurant by Mike Isabella.  Mike is a well-known chef who is opening a restaurant based on Portuguese and Spanish food styles at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. Our evening at the G restaurant began with a 30-minute interview with David Baverstock, who is the head winemaker at Esporão. We discovered he is not only knowledgeable but friendly and easy to talk with. David also has an interest in crafting ...
Appetizer
Braised pork
Dessert Esposão wine

24th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting for St. Jude

On Thursday October 13, plan to be at Guastavino’s in New York for the chance to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Participants in the event will have the opportunity to taste wines from premium wineries, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, participate in raffles and a silent auction. Tickets are $200 a piece but keep in mind that this is a charity event. If you can’t attend the wine tasting then consider donating any amount online. Sponsorships are also available. The charity website includes specific details of what each level of sponsorship receives as well as how each sponsorship will help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For  example, the Wineries Sponsorship at $7,500 could help St. Jude provide 10 children’s wheelchairs and 20 hours of physical therapy. In return the winery sponsor receives 10 event tickets, logo on display at the event on sponsor signage and at each winery table, a full-page ...

Concert to Aid Winery Owner’s Kidney Transplant Costs

Rebec Vineyards and DeVault Family Vineyards are hosting a fundraising concert in support of Svet Kanev, owner and winemaker at Rebec Vineyards, who is in need of a kidney transplant. The concert takes place at DeVault Family Vineyards. The concert is scheduled for September 10 from 12Noon until 6pm. The proceeds are designated to go towards the Foundation for Svet Kanev. The concert ticket price is a reasonable $15. Will you help? As everyone knows co-pays can be devastatingly expensive. Svet may have to pay as much as $40,000 for the co-pay. Below is information taken directly from the email that I received about Svet. Svet Kanev is one of the owners of Rebec Vineyards, and has helped organize the Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival for 26 Years. He is only 49 years old. He has a family: a wife and two kids. However, he must pay $40,000 up front ...

Love Wine Travel? Vote in the USA Today #10Best in Wine Travel

map image edited I was recently chosen by USA Today to participate on an expert panel to build these incredible slates. These lists represent some of the best in wine country travel. Here is your chance to vote for your favorites in the following categories:
Best Tasting Room
Best Wine Country Hotel
Best Wine Festival
Best Winery Restaurant
Best Winery Tour
You can also follow along with the polls to keep up with positioning. We’ve chosen establishments throughout the country, in well-known spots and hidden corners. Enjoy browsing the options and planning your next dream trip. The United States of wine is vast, and growing. Didn’t know about some of these areas? Check out this interactive map from The New York Times; A Nation of Wines explains the vineyard reach within this large and diverse country. Thanks to Jil Child of Wine Tours of the World and Logan Lee of Wine Awesomeness for their ...
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