Vineyard Dogs

National Dog Day was August 26. In celebration we're sharing some of our favorite vineyard dogs. After all, dogs are traditionally man's (and woman's!) best friend, and we like to think wine is too. 


Tablas Creek: Located just west of Paso Robles in California's beautiful Central Coast, Tablas Creek farms organically and received their organic certification in 2003. Much of the vineyard uses Biodynamic techniques, including a herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. These friendly dogs try to keep their other four legged friends in line, as well as welcome visitors to the vineyard. 

Domaine Alain Gras:  over 12 hectares, primarily located in St. Romain, Domaine Alain Gras produces beautiful whites and reds. 

 Alain and his two dogs

Alain and his two dogs

Ernesto Catena Vineyards: Fourth generation winemaker Ernesto Catena founded Ernesto Catena Vineyards in Argentina to truly make art. Both the farm and vineyard are biodynamic, allowing for plenty of friendly farm animals and dogs. 

Hamilton Russell Vineyards: Hamilton Russell Vineyards is known for making some of the best wines South Africa has to offer. Owners Olive and Anthony also have some of the best dogs South Africa has to offer. 

Chamonix: Deep in the wine growing region of Franschhoek in the Western Cape of South Africa, Chamonix makes well-respected wines. Winemaker Thinus Neethling has a beautiful dog that makes an appearance at the vineyard from time to time. 

Drink & Know Things

In the hit HBO show “Game of Thrones,” Tyrion Lannister uttered a line that spawned a thousand memes (and tshirts, Instagram bios, and catchphrases). “I drink and I know things.” Rarely is there an episode where the clever Hand of the Queen doesn’t have a glass of wine in his hand.

This got us thinking. How many other characters are fans of a glass or two of vino? And how can you drink like your favorite character?

 Photo: The Telegraph

Photo: The Telegraph

First up, the one and only Tyrion Lannister.
Game of Thrones films in a variety of exotic locations including Croatia, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Morocco, and Malta just to name a few. This current season Tyrion finds himself in the fictional Dragonstone, filmed on location in Spain. So to drink like Tyrion, grab yourself a glass of Spanish red. Our favorites Spanish producer is Marqués de CáceresYou can't go wrong with any of their wines. Tyrion may prefer red, but Marqués de Cáceres makes a delicious white and rosé in addition to their red offerings. 


 

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Olivia Pope
Like Tyrion, Olivia is a fan of a generous glass of red wine. From her white wardrobe to clean lines and classic style, our white-hat wearing protagonist is a fan of classic and quality. She isn’t drinking two buck chuck. Complex like her character (and the storylines woven by Shonda Rhimes!), Olivia would be one to pour a glass of TriguedinaThe New Black Wine.


 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Hannibal Lector
Unlike our previous characters, Hannibal Lector is not a protagonist in any sense of the word. (And yes, Hannibal is also a TV character!) He is famed for enjoying Chianti. So if you’d like to emulate any part ofHannibal Lector, let it only be his taste in wine. A glass of Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico would hit the spot quite nicely.


 

Now most TV characters drink red because it looks better on camera (no pesky condensation to deal with like a chilled white wine!) But one of our favorite television characters knows that a crisp, cool white is worth the extra filming hassle.

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Tami Taylor
When you think football you likely think beer, but our favorite football coach’s wife Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights knows wine is an excellent choice. She wasn’t afraid to make her love of wine known. A bottle like Mohua Sauvignon Blanc or Famille Perrin La Vieille Ferme Blanc would endear you to Mrs. Taylor forever.


So as Tyrion says, drink and know things. Just be sure you're drinking Vineyard Brands. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mulled Wine Day

Today is National Mulled Wine Day!

Mulled wine has a history dating all the way back to the 2nd century. As the Romans conquered Europe they brought their winemaking with them. This unique wine drink is traditionally made with red wine and spices and served hot.

In Chile, mulled wine is called candola or vino navega’o. In France it’s commonly referred to as vin chaud and in Italy, vin brulé. In Portugal the libation is known as vinho quente, though in the Porto region porto quente is more popular.

One of the first known recipes for mulled wine is found in a medieval English cookbook from 1390.  We’ve collected some slightly more modern recipes so you can celebrate National Mulled Wine Day.

Some of our favorite recipes and wines to use are below.


Bon Appetit with Warre's Otima 10-Year-Old Tawny Port and Bulletin Place Merlot

 Photo: Bon Appetit

Photo: Bon Appetit


Ina Garten  with MAN Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

 Photo: Food Network

Photo: Food Network


David Lebovitz with La Vielle Ferme Rouge

 Photo: David Lebovitz

Photo: David Lebovitz


President's Day

Today is President’s Day and U.S. Presidents have a long history of supporting the wine industry at home and abroad. 

One of the most legendary oenophile presidents was Thomas Jefferson. The third president of the United States served as ambassador to France where he developed a taste for French wines. As president he shipped 600 bottles of wine per year from France to the United States.

Jefferson also helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents. During his two terms in office it’s estimated he spent $11,000 (that's $175,000 in today’s dollars) on wine.

Two wines stand out as presidential favorites- Champagne and Madeira.

Madeira is a fortified wine produced on the Portuguese island of- you guessed it- Madeira. Its alcohol content hovers around 18-20%. This allowed it to withstand the trip across the ocean to the New World. In colonial days, nearly 25% of Portugal's madeira was shipped to America. 

George Washington was an avid drinker of Madeira. In fact, it was used to toast his inauguration. Washington’s granddaughter reported the first president drank three glasses of Madeira after dinner every night.

The first father-son presidential duo--John Adams and John Quincy Adams --were also partial to Madeira.  It is even rumored that during a blind taste test John Quincy Adams was able to correctly identify 11 out of 14 different kinds of Madeira.

While madeira lost its popularity over the years (but is making a comeback!), to no surprise, champagne has been a constant fixture in the White House. James Madison, John Tyler, James Polk, Ulysses S. Grant, William Howard Taft, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon all had a well-known taste for the sparkling wine. The White House even boasts a champagne room. That's right, a champagne room.

Wine has been present at the most significant events throughout our country's history. Madeira was the founding fathers' drink of choice to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Louisiana Purchase was toasted with madeira and champagne. 

Raise a glass and have a celebration of your own this President's Day!

Interested in trying some of these president-approved wines? We highly recommend Champagne Salon, Champagne Delamotte, and Miles Madeira.

 

Decanter World Wine Awards 2016

The Decanter World Wine Awards is an exciting time for any and every wine producer. Thousands of wines are submitted for judging and must withstand a tough preliminary assessment before they can move onto the official stages. Each wine is tasted blind by a panel of specialists including 69 Masters of Wine and 26 Master Sommeliers.  

Out of the 16,000 wines submitted, our wineries were honored with over 50 medals. We are especially proud of Cono Sur for taking home Best In Show along with 19 other awards. The following wineries recieved awards/medals at the DWWA: 

The process is a difficult and selective one, so taking home any awards or medals is a high honor. Gold medal winners go forward to compete against others in their region for a platinum medal, but gold winners are also re-tasted and have the chance of being downgraded. 

If a wine is selected as platinum, it then goes through a special blind tasting and has the potential to be chosen as platinum - best in show. This final blind tasting involves both Steven Spurrier, the chair of DWWA, and guest vice chair Gerard Basset OBE MW MS.

Each wine is a year of someone’s hard work and so it is very important to allow time to appreciate and discuss the wine for an award.
— Sarah Kemp, Decanter’s managing director.

We are honored and excited to see so many of our wonderful wineries medaled on this coveted list.