Day 2 of the Wine Bloggers’ Conference – Speed Dating with White Wines
Andrea Robinson – Master Sommelier
Day two of the Wine Bloggers’Conference was a whirlwind starting off with a rousing welcome from Allan Wright of Zephyr Conferences who expressed his sincere appreciation for wine bloggers who came to celebrate 10 years of blogging, friendships and continuous learning about wine and wine regions.
After a morning of expert talks from great speakers such as Deborah Parker Wong and Andrea Robinson – Master Sommelier- on wine writing tips and learning how to better interact with Public Relations and winery personnel, we were treated to a fantastic lunch sponsored by El Dorado Wines. Twenty-three family owned vineyards from El Dorado County in Northern California were gracious enough to pour wine for our tasting and blogging expertise throughout the lunch and to teach us about their family history. I’ll dedicate a post to the wines of Eldorado County because they are a great bunch of winemakers.
After lunch, I decided to enjoy a talk on wines from the Lugana DOC in Italy. DOC in Italy is a government guarantee on the origin of their wines. The Lugana DOC is located in both Lombardy and Veneto with a variety of soils for growing multiple grape varietals. We sampled the Turbiana varietal, which was a first for me. It’s a slightly aromatic grape that is thick skinned and very sensitive to rot. Flavors of walnut, citrus, apples and cinnamon can be found depending on the part of Lugana that the grapes are grown in. We sampled six Italian whites. My two favorites were Le Morette Mandolara 2016 Turbiana and Famiglia Olivini Lugana DOC Demesse Vecchie.
Le Morette Mandolara has a floral nose with hints of citrus. The wine is creamy with pear and apple flavors. This Turbiana wine exhibits a hint of salinity when first sampled. There is a taste of orange flavors and crisp acidity. Averaging $20 per bottle, this Italian white pairs well with light cheeses.
The Famiglia Olivini Lugana DOC Demesse Vecchie is a large white with a long finish. This wine has a nose of almonds along with a similar palate. The tastes include citrus flavors and a medium level of acidity. Demesse Vecchie is a smooth wine to enjoy on a cool fall day. At an average of $18, this bottle of wine is one to enjoy frequently.
The highlight of the day was the annual white wine speed tasting. Whether a Naked Cowboy white from Naked Wines or a Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvée, once again the section of white wines was excellent. This year I was a pro at tasting and blogging in under 10 minutes per bottle and enjoyed the fast pace of the event. I’ll feature a couple of these wines in a future blog to give them the focus that they deserve.
The afternoon wrapped up with two panel discussions on the effect of the wildfires in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and Napa Valley. The events were tragic as the panelists told of fast moving flames and hundreds of individuals losing their homes and places of business. One thing that they want everyone to know is that wine country is back open. When things were bad, they asked for tourists to stay away. Wineries that are normally full of tasting patrons are empty. These businesses rely on our tourism dollars to survive. If you were planning, a trip to the Northern California wine country please consider going.
The evening rounded out with a dinner and tasting excursion at Martin Ray Winery. Winemaker Lindsey Haughton lead the group through a series of wines including whites, rosé and bold reds. Look for a future blog on Synthesis – a Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from multiple vineyards
Day 2 was another incredible day of earning and wine tasting among an exceptional group of bloggers.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
#wbc2017 #SonomaStrong @martinraywinery @vinoluganadoc