Five Questions with… Francois Villard, Domaine Francois Villard

February 7th, 2014

Francois14Getting to know the guest vintners well is guaranteed at every installment of the intimate Hospice du Rhône at Blackberry Farm events. Here is a head start for the event in March with vigneron, François Villard of Domaine François Villard from the Rhône Valley. François, answers the iconic vintner questions from our partners at Blackberry Farm.

HdR 1: To decant or not to decant?
FV: To decant!

HdR 2: What wines do you like to drink?
FV: Riesling (Alsace), dry Sauvignon (Sancerre), and Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

HdR 3: Screw cap or cork?
FV: Cork but no problem with screw cap.

HdR 4: What glassware do you like?
FV: Spiegelau.

HdR 5: Most memorable meal?
FV: Guy Savoy in Paris, France.

We hope you will Rhône with us at this new installment of Hospice du Rhône at Blackberry Farm, March 2-5, 2014!  It is sure to be another one for the books.

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Five Questions with… Dave Miner, Miner Family Wines

January 21st, 2014

2013MinerFamily_dave

Getting to know the guest vintners well is guaranteed at every installment of the intimate Hospice du Rhône at Blackberry Farm events.  Here is a head start for the event in March with vintner Dave Miner of Miner Family Winery.  Dave, answers the iconic vintner questions from our partners at Blackberry Farm.

HdR 1: To decant or not to decant?
DM: Decanting younger wines is always helpful, no matter the color.

HdR 2: What wines do you like to drink?
DM: I like to drink good wine from anywhere.

HdR 3: Screw cap or cork?
DM: Cork for any wine that will age.  For immediate drinking, screw caps are fine.

HdR 4: What glassware do you like?
DM: Riedel stemware, varietally specific is the best.

HdR 5: Most memorable meal?
DM: My most memorable meals involve people, food and wine.  My first dinner in the Rhône Valley, years ago in Ampuis, with Yves Cuilleron, François Villard, Pierre Gaillard, Yves Gangloff and their friends and family was one of the best nights I can recall.  We laughed all night and didn’t even speak the same language.

Rhône with us this March for another Rhône-tastic installment of Hospice du Rhône at Blackberry Farm!

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22 Questions with… Jeff Cohn – JC Cellars, California

February 2nd, 2012

HdR 1:  First wine ever made?
JC:
  Elderberry wine from a kit.

HdR 2:  Do you have a name for your press? If so what is it?
JC: No name for the press.

HdR 3: If you had to choose another region to craft wines in what would it be?
JC:  Martinique

HdR 4: Favorite color?
JC: Purple

HdR 5: Choose another winemaker to form a winemaking partnership with.
JC: Isabel Ferrando of Domaine St.-Préfert, Laurence Feraud of Domaine du Pegau or Julien Barrot of Domaine La Barroche

HdR 6: Cork or screwcaps?
JC: Cork

HdR 7: Favorite food/dish?
JC: Anything chocolate. Anything pizza related. Snicker bars and cassoulet.

HdR 8: Favorite grape variety to play around with?
JC: Mourvèdre and Semillon

HdR 9: Activity/Hobby/Pastime other than winemaking?
JC: My kids, exercise and eating.

HdR 10: How many countries have you traveled to?
JC: 22 different stamps in the passport!

HdR 11: What is your favorite beer?
JC: Sierra Nevada

HdR 12: Peanut Butter or Nutella?
JC: Can’t we all get along together, forever?!

HdR 13: What is the most reoccurring dream or nightmare you have during harvest?
JC: Who has time to sleep, let alone dream.

HdR 14: Favorite vintage from your winery?
JC: 2003 and 2005

HdR 15: HdHWhat snack gets you through the day?|
JC: Diet Dr. Pepper, roasted almonds, Snickers and popcorn.

HdR 16: When you take a vacation, where do you go?
JC: Cabo, baby!

HdR 17: What is that one bottle in your cellar that you are most looking forward to drinking one day?
JC: A 1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvee Speciale.

HdR 18: What do you never leave your house without?
JC: My keys and my cell phone.

HdR 19: What was your favorite subject in school?
JC: Physics and lunch.

HdR 20: If you couldn’t make wine anymore, what would you do?
JC: Be a stay at home Dad and let my wife work at a CPA firm.

HdR 21: What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the wine industry?
JC: That being on the road selling wines was stressful.

HdR 22: Name and breed of your favorite dog?
JC: I had an Airdale when I was a kid but now have a Welsh Terrier.

To learn more about Jeff Cohn and his wines of JC Cellars be sure to visit his table at the 2012 Hospice du Rhône – 20 Years.

Reflection on 20 Years of Hospice du Rhone

November 9th, 2011

How about it! Twenty years of Hospice du Rhône celebrations! Those years hold so many stories it would take another twenty years to recount them all. (It’s also likely that some stories will remain untold due to possible unfavorable implications.)

To begin with, reflecting on 20 years of Hospice du Rhône celebrations creates a whirlwind of emotions and images. Sorting through all of that, what remains on the top of the stack would be relationships made in those 20 years. Let’s consider these relationships. One relationship might be with the people you sat next to at the Rosé lunch and you now make an annual Rhône wine trek with, or the winemaker from a different continent that you met at HdR and are now making wine with or in one circumstance we know of, your spouse who you met at Rhône n’ Bowl.

Many of you have your own special story, which had its provenance at HdR. We treasure those stories and invite you to share them with us.

Let’s hope for many more years of relationships developed through our mutual passion, the Rhône wine category! We thank you for your enthusiasm and your dedication to the Hospice du Rhône mission! Looking forward to celebrating these 20 years with you in April 2012.

Cheers,
Vicki Carroll
Director of Hospice du Rhône since 1999

22 Questions with…Pierre Gaillard – Domaine Pierre Gaillard, France

April 15th, 2011

HdR 1 : First wine ever made?
PG:
I made a wine with my father in the 1970s. It was pretty bad! Only for our every day consumption but even for that with water it was not good. We used American varieties…

HdR 2: Do you have a name for your press? If so what is it?
PG:
No, what a strange habits!

HdR 3: Favorite color?
PG:
Green

HdR 4: Choose another winemaker to form a winemaking partnership with.
PG:
It’s already done. I’m working with Yves Cuilleron and François Villard with Domaine Les vins de Vienne!

HdR 5: Cork or screwcaps?
PG:
Cork!

HdR 6: Favorite food/dish?
PG:
Calf sweetbread with cream and morels, with a Charmes-Chambertin.

HdR 7: Favorite grape variety to play around with?
PG:
Syrah, what else!

HdR 8: Activity/Hobby/Pastime other than winemaking?
PG:
I love to ride my moto around my vineyards. I breed horses and I love to travel any time I can.

HdR 9: How many countries have you traveled to?
PG:
Many but never enough.

HdR 10: What is your favorite beer?
PG
: Homemade beer made with my son in my winery.

HdR 11: Peanut Butter or Nutella?
PG:
Bread and butter. I’m not found of sweet (except Banyuls)!

HdR 12: What is the most reoccurring dream or nightmare you have during harvest?
PG:
I’m dreaming I will eventually make a good wine!

HdR 13: Favorite vintage from your winery?
PG:
Tough question, I really loved 1999 it was perfect, the wine made itself, but more recently I loves 2006. It was a difficult vintage and I’m really happy with what I have done. It tastes really good these days !

HdR 14: What snack gets you through the day?
PG:
No snacks! I only have meals, but if I’m really hungry and in a hurry, a glass of red wine with dry sausage or goat cheese.

HdR 15: When you take a vacation, where do you go?
PG:
Far away! But always in a country that makes wine. I even found a vineyard in Thailand this January.

HdR 16: What is that one bottle in your cellar that you are most looking forward to drinking one day?
PG:
Chambolles Musigny 1976, my favorite cru in Burgundy. My wife and my children offered me this special bottle, so I’m waiting for a special occasion to taste it. I expect a lot from this one!

HdR 17: What do you never leave your house without?
PG:
My head and my legs ! (French proverb)

HdR 18: What was your favorite subject in school?
PG: I didn’t really like school, but the less horrible was Chemistry and biology.

HdR 19: If you couldn’t make wine anymore, what would you do?
PG:
I would breed cattle in Montana.

HdR 20: What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the wine industry?
PG: Nothing really. I love the fact that each year is a surprise and I have to adapt myself to unexpected. It makes the interest of making wines, never the same, always learning, not boring.

HdR 21: Name and breed of your favorite dog?
PG: Rugby, mongrel. But the next one will be able to find truffles!

HdR 22: If you had to choose another region to craft wines in what would it be?
PG: Well… I’m already working in Banyuls, which was a dream. But if I could one day have a vineyard in Burgundy, my dream would be complete!

Learn more about Pierre Gaillard and his wines before he takes the stage at the 19th Annual Hospice du Rhone, April 28-30, 2011.

22 Questions with…Morgan Twain-Peterson – Bedrock Wine Co., Sonoma County

February 24th, 2011

HdR 1: First wine ever made?
MTP: The first wine I ever made was Pinot Noir in 1986 when I was five. I told my dad I wanted to make wine. He suggested that I make Zinfandel or Merlot or one of the grapes Ravenswood was making at the time. I had heard him say he would never make Pinot Noir, which, being a malfeasant brat, naturally aroused my interest. Angelo Sangiacomo, after realizing I was serious, gave me a half-ton of Pinot Noir for free every year after that until 2001.

HdR 2: Do you have a name for your press? If so what is it?
MTP: Sonofabitch. Though the best I have heard is about old Diemme presses, which a winemaking friend told me was French for “impossible to f#@king clean.”

HdR 3: If you had to choose another region to craft wines in what would it be?
MTP: There are a number of up and coming parts of central and eastern Europe, places like Hungary and Croatia, where some fascinating indigenous varieties are being looked at again, that could be really fun.

HdR 4: Favorite color?
MTP: Red

HdR 5: Choose another winemaker to form a winemaking partnership with.
MTP: I already have, Michael Havens who made the first Syrah from Hudson Vineyard and the first Albarino in the U.S., – we make Albarino under the Abrente label together. My father, Joel, would be high on my list as well, though we essentially already make wine together.

HdR 6: Cork or screwcaps?
MTP: Cork! Sustainably better, aesthetically superior.

HdR 7: Favorite food/dish?
MTP: I am an equal opportunity fatty with a healthy appetite. Better question is what I don’t like. The answer is capers. That is all.

HdR 8: Favorite grape variety to play around with?
MTP: Old-vine field blends, so really up to 30 grapes or so in the same field.

HdR 9: Activity/Hobby/Pastime other than winemaking?
MTP: Cooking, travel, walks on the beach, why do I feel like I am filling out an online dating questionnaire. Online dating.

HdR 10: How many countries have you traveled to?
MTP:
Oh man, a lot. All of Europe, Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Oman, Canada and Mexico.

HdR 11: What is your favorite beer?
MTP: Anchorsteam, but I generally only drink beer during harvest

HdR 12: Peanut Butter or Nutella?
MTP:
Nutella.

HdR 13: What is the most reoccurring dream or nightmare you have during harvest?
MTP:
TTB audit! Some of those inspectors are hotties…

HdR 14: Favorite vintage from your winery?
MTP:
2009

HdR 15: What snack gets you through the day?
MTP:
I’m not much of a snacker but every once in a while I need some really good dark chocolate or marzipan.

HdR 16: When you take a vacation, where do you go?
MTP:
True vacations generally involve places without vines, but I rarely go on true vacations.

HdR 17: What is that one bottle in your cellar that you are most looking forward to drinking one day?
MTP:
I have a few bottles of Salon that should be pretty amazing in 20 years.

HdR 18: What do you never leave your house without?
MTP:
My iPhone and hopefully a decent sense of humor about the world.

HdR 19: What was your favorite subject in school?
MTP:
History

HdR 20: If you couldn’t make wine anymore, what would you do?
MTP:
Probably be a disgruntled history professor in a fly-over state or a sommelier with way too much arcane knowledge of Burgundy.

HdR 21: What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the wine industry?
MTP:
Enjoy kindergarten!

HdR 22: Name and breed of your favorite dog?
MTP:
My Great Pyrenees, Caritas, though my sister’s Leonberger, Montus, is a close second.

Learn more about Morgan and Bedrock Wine Co. before he takes the stage in April at the 2011 Hospice du Rhône Seminar Series.

22 Questions with… Drew Noon, Noon Winery – Australia

January 24th, 2011

HdR 1: First wine ever made?
DN: 1973 Noon’s Dry Red, made with my dad, it was fermented in our bathtub!

HdR 2: Do you have a name for your press? If so what is it?
DN: Yes, we have two presses, one named Ruby and the other named Scarlett.

HdR 3: If you had to choose another region to craft wines in what would it be?
DN: Tasmania.

HdR 4: Favorite color?
DN: Royal Blue.

HdR 5: Choose another winemaker to form a winemaking partnership with.
DN: It would have been great to have worked with Didier Dagueneau.

HdR 6: Cork or screw caps?
DN: We love the romance of cork but alas we feel the cold winds of the screw cap blowing in!

HdR 7: Favorite food/dish?
DN: Whole snapper baked in salt crust with White Burgundy (a rare treat) and Cassoulet with Grenache.

HdR 8: Favorite grape variety to play around with?
DN: Graciano.

HdR 9: Activity/Hobby/Pastime other than winemaking?
DN: Shopping for food and cooking it.

HdR 10: How many countries have you traveled to?
DN: Seven.

HdR 11: What is your favorite beer?
DN: Our favorite house beer is Coopers Sparkling Ale, South Australia, without it we wouldn’t make it through vintage!

HdR 12: Peanut Butter or Nutella?
DN: Nutella.

HdR 13: What is the most reoccurring dream or nightmare you have during harvest?
DN:
Oh no, it’s raining! Or the startled shock of feeling like some UFO has just landed in the front yard when the headlights of our neighbors grape harvesting machine come shining through our bedroom window at about 2am.

HdR 14: Favorite vintage from your winery?
DN: 2005 is our favorite vintage so far.

HdR 15: What snack gets you through the day?
DN: Trail Mix which is a blend of nuts and dried fruit keeps me going when time is short!

HdR 16: When you take a vacation, where do you go?
DN: This year we’re taking our first trip overseas as a family and heading to Bali with the two littlies, next year New Zealand.

HdR 17: What is that one bottle in your cellar that you are most looking forward to drinking one day?
DN:
Just had that one special bottle a short while ago actually. It was a 1967 Richebourg given to me by a good friend. Even though it wasn’t a highly rated vintage this wine was extraordinary……now I have an excuse to hunt down another special bottle, probably won’t be lucky enough to score another ’67 Richebourg though.

HdR 18: What do you never leave your house without?
DN: A hat.

HdR 19: What was your favorite subject in school?
DN: Physics.

HdR 20: If you couldn’t make wine anymore, what would you do?
DN: We love working with yeast so I’d take an extended holiday to France and learn the art of bread baking.

HdR 21: What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the wine industry?
DN: Just how exposed you are to the weather…I guess I knew this but until winemaking becomes your sole source of income the reality doesn’t fully sink in.

HdR 22: Name and breed of your favorite dog?
DN: Rose Marie, she is our Great Dane x Labrador.

Visit the Noon Winery website to learn more Drew and his wines before he takes the stage in April at the 2011 Hospice du Rhône Seminar Series.

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Hospice du Rhone Has MoJo!

December 13th, 2010

Greetings to the Rhône Obsessed!

We have some hot news for you. Our news spans from newest addition to the 2011 Seminar Series to Rhône wine and food pairings for this busy holiday season. What are you waiting for? Get reading!

MOrgan and JOey Join the Show
Joining the stellar 2011 Seminar Series will be Joey Tensley of Tensley representing the Santa Barbara growing region and from another famous corner of California will be Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Co. sharing tastes from the North Coast. Both tout a strong obsession with Syrah and a passion for multiple vineyard sourcing. Together they will share their Syrahs and additional Rhône varieties along with stories of how they have become staunch Rhône advocates and winemakers.

Rhône for the Holidays
We are a lucky bunch, yes we are. Why? Well, Rhône wines are extremely versatile when it comes to the vast selections of holiday dishes we will encounter this month. As you party hop, take a Rhône wine or two with you to share with friends and family. Below we have listed out a  few tidbits on Viognier, Mourvèdre and Syrah along with food pairing suggestions to help you through this holiday season.

Viognier (Vee-ohn-yea)
• Viognier also known as Condrieu within the Rhône
• Enjoys a warmer climate and is drought tolerant
• In Côte-Rôtie vignerons are allowed to blend no more than 20% Viognier with Syrah
• Serve Viognier with a cheese plate filled with a variety of Blue Cheeses and Gorgonzolas

Mourvèdre (More-ved)
• Mourvèdre also goes by the names of Monastrell or Mataró
• Adapts well to a variety of soils and can bounce back from an early spring frost
• Blends nicely with both Syrah and/or Grenache
• Try Mourvèdre with Paella this season, which happens to be a fun dish to make with friends a family.

Syrah (C-rah)
• Syrah also known as Shiraz
• Syrah is the prominent grape of Northern Rhône in which the variety originates from
• A heat-loving vine that has adapted well to California’s Central Coast and Eastern Washington State
• Syrah pairs nicely with all-things lamb. We suggest serving savory lamb kebabs with mixed veggies.

Hashtag Central
For you Twitter folks out there we would like to announce our official #Hashtag for the 2011 event! Drum roll please, it is…#HdR2011. Use this Hashtag when tweeting so that all can easily search to see what the current Rhône buzz is. If you do not tweet, jump on board with us. It is a fun way to stay up-to-date on items of interest to you.

Give the Gift of Rhône
The time is now to grab your wine lover a pass to attend the annual event! We will even send you a certificate to wrap for the lucky recipient.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Show a Little Leg with Social Media

June 22nd, 2010

Tweet Screen at HdR 2010

Don’t be shy, Social Media won’t bite. Really, it won’t. Just take it one step at a time and don’t get in a hurry. Watch what others are doing and create a program that will fit the personality of your business.

At Hospice du Rhône we just love Social Media. If there is a day without Tweeting or a Facebook post, then it has been a very busy day in the office. For us, Social Media is an awareness builder. This has been our goal from launching our program and continues to be to this day. We thrive on this instant communication tool that allows us to shoot out information and receive information on what is happening out there in our greater Rhône loving community.

When our program began, in the winter of 2009, we jumped in with an open mind and an overall idea of what we thought we wanted to accomplish. We never could have imagined where we would go in one year. We have so many newfound friendships, an iphone application and have held online tastings in multiple countries all at once! Today, we continue to explore, develop and execute programs within the Social Media world. We find this communication tool effective in reaching a varied demographic and we find that we learn something new each day.

Tomorrow, our Communications Director, Faith Wells will be speaking on Social Media at a seminar hosted by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council. Faith will speak specifically as to how Social Media has been integrated into the overall communication plan at Hospice du Rhône during the past year. Her discussion will include how we developed focused online Rhône tastings hosted through TasteLive.com to launching the first wine event/organization iPhone application, iRhône. We are excited for this opportunity and are in hopes that we will encourage other businesses and individuals to take their Social Media platform to another level.

Before we depart, do know it is okay to take small steps. Watch what others are doing out there. Ask questions and know that you will learn something new each day, as this is an ever-changing communication tool. So with this we say, show a little leg with Social Media.

The “After Tasting Tasting”

May 26th, 2010

The “After Tasting Tasting.” What it is? It is an opportunity that comes around once a year to those in the wine trade on the Central Coast. It is an opportunity to taste, discuss and explore Rhône wines from all wine producing regions in California. The “After Tasting Tasting” is a result of Robert Parker, Jr.’s annual California Rhône Wine Review.

Last week we had the pleasure to once again host Robert Parker, Jr. for his annual California Rhône Wine Review. This was the eighth year he has called upon Hospice du Rhône to coordinate this annual tasting. A tasting that stretches over three days and encompasses over 400 California Rhône wines. At his request, the focus at this year’s tasting was on California Rhône wines from the 2008 vintage with late releases from the 2007 vintage.

Each day, Mr. Parker tastes through an average of 140 wines. Our role is to arrive early, to the tasting venue, set-up the tasting and then leave the room so he can do what he does best. After hours have passed he emerges from the tasting and we head in to pack-up. In the end, we are left with nearly full bottles of Rhône wines.

Alas, the “After Tasting Tasting” was born. For the past eight years, we have worked with local Central Coast wineries to hold the three-day “After Tasting Tasting.” So, on the day Parker tastes wines A-H so does the wine trade; just in a different location and with industry peers. Open to all wine trade in the region or wine trade who happen to be passing through this is a three-day opportunity to taste a versatile group of Rhône wines with a specific vintage focus from throughout California. These tastings allow those in attendance to expand or even begin their quest of exploring the world of Rhône.

We hope those in attendance enjoyed the three “After Tasting Tastings” as much as we did. So, until the next “After Tasting Tasting,” cheers!

*The Robert Parker, Jr. California Rhône Wine Review comes open every spring. Hospice du Rhône does its best to collect emails for all California Rhône producers but with so many new producers coming on board we know we don’t have them all. To add your email to this notification list please email hdrinfo@hospicedurhone.org.