From blogs.babble.com - posted by Julievr, September 2, 2011
In celebration of California Wine Month, throughout September wineries, hotels and tour operators throughout the Golden State are offering affordable ways to experience wine country. If you’re looking to get a little extra out of summer and take advantage of a slower travel season, this is a great opportunity to explore California wine country. Deals and discounts for wine lovers during September – California Wine Month:
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Malbec is the dominant red varietal in the Cahors area. The Appellation Controlée regulations for Cahors require a minimum content of 70% Malbec in wines produced from the region.
Carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice is often used in the wine making process to cool down bunches of grapes quickly after picking to help prevent spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts. The main advantage of using dry ice over regular water ice is that it cools the grapes without adding any additional water that may decrease the sugar concentration in the grape must, and therefore also decrease the alcohol concentration in the finished wine.
Dry ice is also used during the cold soak phase of the wine making process to keep grapes cool. The carbon dioxide gas that results from the sublimation of the dry ice tends to settle to the bottom of tanks because it is heavier than regular air. The settled carbon dioxide gas creates an hypoxic environment which helps to prevent bacteria from growing on the grapes until it is time to start the fermentation with the desired strain of yeast.
Carbon dioxide is also used to create a hypoxic environment for carbonic maceration, the process used to produce Beaujolais wine.
Come and pick grapes and use dry ice for the cold soak at the First Crush Harvest October 9! Register now!
In the interest of keepin' it simple, while addressing this often-asked question, a brief rundown of these three is as follows:
Putting it to rest once and for all, syrah and shiraz- they're one and the same. The difference is just in the name, where in Australia the grape is called 'shiraz.' The syrah produces a wine with substance and elegance. They may be laid down to mature for fifty years or more. The best syrah-shiraz comes from the Cote Rotie and Hermitage in France; and in the Penfolds Grange in Australia.
The syrah grape produces wines of distinction, wines that are rich and complex. Most noted on the nose and palate is pepper, with tar, leather roasted nut, spice, and black cherry. The tannins are soft but evident in syrahs, they are smooth snd supple.
Petite sirah, on the other hand, is most widely known as a blending grape in both California and France in order to provide other simple, pale, and less dramatic wines more depth and color along boosting the tannins. Though not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, petite sirah is likely not related to syrah.
Source: Leslie Cramer from the examiner.com
Come and pick Syrah/Shiraz grapes at Silver Horse this weekend September 25! Register now!
by Becky Zelinski
This weekend, September 24-25 will officially launch the 2010 harvest season for First Crush.
There’s still time to join us for this fabulous experience for only $350 but you must REGISTER TODAY! It’s a weekend of wine, food and fun where you get to meet, wine and dine with growers, winemakers and owners from Croad Vineyards, Arroyo Robles Winery, Silver Horse Vineyard and Winery, and of course, First Crush!
For a complete schedule of events, click here. To see the winemaker dinner menu, click here.
REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 21 FOR SEP 25 HARVEST!Register now
by Jenni Sabiani
As a wine lover, you've probably drunk some nice wine, gone wine tasting, and even met some winemakers. Some of you may have even had the pleasure of experiencing a HARVEST! But many of you have yet to experience the thrill of harvest in wine country with First Crush. So what is this Harvest Experience next weekend we keep talking about?
Chances are, you’ve seen Lucy stomping grapes but have YOU ever stomped grapes? One of the fun, exciting things you do during First Crush’s Harvest Getaways is a GRAPE STOMPING COMPETITION! Here’s how it works:
We assign teams. Each team member takes a turn stomping the grapes (the crusher), separating the juice from the skins with a sieve (the presser), and ladling the juice from the sieve and making a mad dash to the bottling table (the bottler) where they fill up empty wine bottles with the juice. The team members rotate until time runs out. The victorious team is the one who has filled the most bottles. This is no ordinary barrel stomp - it's fun, competitive, and just a little bit crazy. Lucy would have loved it!
But before you stomp you’ll need wine and nourishment, which First Crush will provide in your beautiful vineyard setting.
On Saturday September 24, Croad Vineyards and winemaker, Martin Croad will be hosting a fabulous Winemaker Dinner that includes Croad wine selections paired with a delectable 4-course dining experience overlooking the spectacular vineyards. Some of the delicious tidbits from the menu include: halibut ceviche shooters with fried plantains, braised beef short ribs with chanterelle mushrooms, a trio of truffles and much more. View the complete menu here!
The following morning begins with a scrumptious breakfast in the vineyards featuring Cahoot’s cuisine (a local favorite) paired with local sparkling wine. Next, you get a guided tour through the vineyards with viticulture expert, Lowell Zelinski. He’ll teach you about the fascinating world of grape cultivation, harvest, and wine making. Then comes the leisurely picking in the featured Paso Robles vineyard of the weekend.
Afterward, we move over to the beautiful Silver Horse Winery where you get to crush, sort and destem the fruit right along with winemaker, Steve Kroener. Next, is a tasty gourmet picnic lunch at Silver Horse with Cahoot’s.
The day ends on Saturday evening, September 25, with Silver Horse’s annual Bacchanalia party from 4-8pm, where First Crush Harvesters are invited to eat, drink, and listen to live music while enjoying the breathtaking view of the hundreds of vineyard acres surrounding the Silver Horse grounds.
In celebration of California Wine Month, we are offering this amazing harvest experience with the winemaker dinner for only $350. That’s over $200 in savings!
Accommodations for September 24 and 25 are still available from the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express Atascadero (20% Off for Crush Club Members), and La Quinta.
Don’t miss out on this unique experience! Register now.
by Becky Zelinski
Fall is my favorite time of year. The season brings many delightful changes. The weather cools, the hillsides begin to color, and my kitchen begins to warm with the flavors this bountiful season brings.
But what I like most about fall is harvest! This is the most exciting and beautiful time of year in wine country, and one that every wine lover should experience. With First Crush you can. Our Harvest Getaways put you right where the action is. You get a chance to meet growers, winemakers and viticulturists and hear first-hand how grapes are harvested and transformed into world-class wines. You get to enjoy fabulous wine country cuisine right alongside the people who make some of your favorite wines.
Here are my Top 10 reasons why I love harvest. Join us for an unparalleled wine country harvest experience this fall so you can discover yours for yourself!
10) Feeling the buzz of anticipation build over what the new vintage will bring
9) Breathing in the crisp fall air, mixed with the soft scent of grape leaves and the damp soil.
8) Seeing the luscious purple grapes hang from the vines
7) Watching the vine covered hills steadily turn from vibrant green to gold, amber, and red.
6) Feeling the plump juicy grapes that have been warmed from the sun
5) Being part of the process that turns clusters of grapes into premium Paso Robles wine
4) Celebrating with friends and family as we share in the delight of bringing a year’s worth of hard work to a close
3) Savoring a warm, delicious breakfast in the vineyard as the morning fog blankets the vines
2) Reveling in the delicious flavors of fall beneath a glittering, starlit sky at one of my favorite wineries
And my #1 reason for loving harvest is:
1) Knowing that I played a part in creating a wine that will be sipped and enjoyed for years to come!
Register for Harvest or call 877-82-CRUSH
If you look at the history of winemaking, you will find that it is believed that grape stomping goes back as far as Rome in 200 BC. It seems that for centuries, grapes were picked by hand and grape stomping was the method by which the juice was extracted from the grapes to be used to make wine. This was done in every country that made wine.
In the U.S., however, most grape stomping by human feet was legislated out of existence by the end of the twentieth century. The concern for public health outweighed the grape stomping tradition, and people didn’t want to think about the fact the someone’s bare feet had touched the wine they were enjoying with dinner. Most other countries eventually banned grape stomping too, but there are still some countries outside of North America where grapes are still stomped by humans.
California Wine Month
(I wish they all could be) California Wines
Music by Brian WilsonWords by Becky Zelinski
(Read the words while you hum the tune to California Girls)
Well West coast wines are hipI really dig the wines they share.Santa Barbara wines with their earthy tasteThey knock me out when I’m down there.
The North Coast growers’ Pinots really make you feel alrightAnd the Napa Cabs with the way they taste,They keep the tourists warm at night.
I wish they all could be CaliforniaI wish they all could be CaliforniaI wish they all would drink California wines…
The Central Coast has the sunshineAnd the grapes all get so ripeI dig a Paso Zin or a Big SyrahThe Chardonnays are out of sight!
I wish they all could be California(Wines, wines, wines yeah I dig those California wines)
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337