Monday, June 24, 2013

Ventura County Wine Trail 2013


Sandra and Michael, local wine fans, greeted Devon and I at the VIP Press check-in and gave us our wrist bands.

Herzog Wine Cellars 2011 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley was my first wine tasting of the evening.  A very good way to start!

At Cantara Cellars Chris Brown poured the 2011 Chardonnay, Ruth's Vineyard for Devon and I had the 2010 Intrepid, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  We had both of these at the winery last week and they were very good to sample once again.

Devon had the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc at Casa Baranca Organic Winery and I tasted the 2009 Pinot Noir and the 2011 Syrah.  All very good!
Wine Drone Cam View

Four Brix wines were being poured by local radio personalities Tom Hilton & Sandy Seekins, hosts of Tom & Sandy's 805 radio show on 1590 KVTA. We tasted two of our favorites--the 2011 Smitten (Viognier) and 2009 Temptress (Tempranillo, Mourvedre, and Grenache).

At Herzog Wine Cellars Joe Hurliman poured the 2011 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley and Joseph Herzog poured the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley for us.  They were both excellent and paired well with the Tierra Sur dishes. 
The Chardonnay with the Sea Bass Ceviche and the Cabernet Sauvignon with the Chili Braised Lamb Birria were both fantastic!
 Chili Braised Lamb Birria 
with Corn cake, Pickl'd Onions, Radish & Micro Greens.

The sweets from Tierra Sur included two delicious dishes.
"Niño Envuelto" strawberry & coconut cake
Meyer Lemon Semifreddo

Labyrinth Winery poured their Haka 2010 Chardonnay and a 2010 Petite Sirah, Paso Robles.  I only tasted the Petite Sirah and it was very good.

Robert Wagner of Magnavino Cellars poured us his 2010 Butterfly Chardonnay and I went back for a taste of one of my favorites--the 2010 Syrah.

Michael Meagher of Vino V Wines poured both Old Creek Ranch Winery & Vino V Wines.  The Old Creek Ranch wines included the 2010 Barbera, Santa Ynez Valley, Estelle Vineyard and the 2011 Primitivo, Napa Valley, Branham Obsidian Vineyard. I tasted the Old Creek Ranch 2011 Primitivo and it was very good.  It was interesting to compare it with the Vinemark 2009 Primitivo, Paso Robles. The Vino V Wines included a 2011 Chenin Blanc, Jurrasic Park Vineyard and a 2012 Rosé.  The dry Chenin Blanc from a vineyard of 30 year old vines sounds interesting and I'll have to try it next time.

David Panaro of Pananaro Brothers Winery poured us a 2011 Syrah Rosé, a 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, and a 2009 Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir was good.
Marlow and Janis Barger of Plan B Wine Cellars poured their 2012 Rosé of Grenache for us.
I also tasted their 2010 Story Lines Shiraz, Santa Ynez Valley--very good.

George and Faye Hawes of Rancho Ventavo Cellars poured three reds: a 2007 Merlot, SBC, a 2007 Zinfandel, Lodi, and a 2008 Essa (Cab/Syrah), Central Coast.  I thought the Essa was very good and drank well without food.

Vince Pantess of San Vicente Cellars poured a 2010 Viognier, a 2010 Tannat, Paso Robles, Bella Colina Vineyard, a 2009 Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, Stolpman Vineyard, and the new 2010 Full Circle (65% Syrah, 35% Sangiovese).  The Viognier, Tannat, Syrah, and Full Circle are my favorites--yes, all of them!
Apparently a lot of other people liked San Vicente wines too, because their line was very long every time I looked.

Hey, a new local winery--Vinemark Cellars. Mark Wasserman poured a 2011 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley and a 2009 Primitivo, Paso Robles.  Both were good!

Giessinger Winery was extremely popular and I didn't wait in the very long line.  I was curious about what was being poured from the plastic bag and the other decorative bottles, but I couldn't seem to get a word in to either person pouring.  I hope to have a chance to taste their wines at a future festival.  If anyone has any reviews or comments about Giessinger wines please feel free to comment below.

Panera Bread Co.
We had the fresh Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing served with whole grain and French baguettes.  There were Strawberry Scones available too, but my carb alert started to sound. Their colorful arrangement of strawberries was surrounded by lemons this time.

Kabuki was making 3 rolls:
- California handroll
- Spicy Tuna handroll
- Veggie handroll

Must have been good! Their line was very long all evening and we didn't try any.

Paradise Pantry
Two cheeses were served by the pantry: Pilota (Sheep & Cow, France) and Serefina (Aged Gouda, Holland) along with grapes, almonds and walnutsI like Gouda, whether it's smoked or aged, and the Serfina Cheese was the best I've ever had!

Whole Foods
Pastry trays with brownie bites, chocolate wafer cookies and chocolate chip cookies were looking good at the beginning of the event.  I had to eat a brownie bite that was out of place just to arrange the picture below a little better. They went fast!

Gandolfo's New York Delicatessen
Gandolfo's served some turkey and Italian deli sandwiches.  I ate one of the classic Italian sandwiches. Very good! 

Aloha Steakhouse
Filet Mignon with Sautéed Mushrooms on Jalapeño Crostini with Blue Cheese.
Must have been good! Their line was very long all evening and we didn't try it.

C Street
California halibut ceviche with mango and tequila.  Great tasting and served on a handy spoon.

Hollywood Beach Wine Co.
Lois Ivanoff getting ready to serve some very tasty Pork Belly Bahn Mi.

La Dolce Vita
Mediterranean Pasta with Kalamata Olives, Spinach, and Tomato was delicious! Went well with some Primitivo.

Chef Stroh's Pestos
I enjoyed tasting the Blue Apricot pesto--the Blue Cheese adds a nice zing.  Chef Steven Stroh recommends it with Champagne, Moscato, buttery Chardonnay, or Gewurztraminer.  I wonder if it would go well with the craft beers available at the Kitchen?
The Kitchen
Cathie Moreno was serving Devil’s Food Cupcakes made with Four Brix Temptress and Muscat Canelli Cupcakes made with Giovinazzo Muscat.

The Cave @ Ventura Wine Company
Roasted Cherry Tomato, Black Olive Tapenade & Brie on Garlic Crostini and Cured Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese, Green Tomato, and Quail Egg on Garlic Crostini.

Twenty 88 Restaurant
The Short Rib Crustini with Cambozola & Port Onions was great! And this is not my plate, I only had one!

Coastal Grill at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay featured Chef Tim Hulbert's BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Pineapple Slaw and a nice nautical decoration on the table.  The sliders were very good.

The Ranch House
Devon liked the Salmon Poached in Chablis and Dill, served with Sour Cream, Cucumber, Watercress and Dill Sauce.

The Jolly Oyster
Pacific Oysters with three different sauces were served: Petite Mignonne, Thai Chili, and Ponzu.

Oh, it's not someone parking in the middle of the event, it's the Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours!  Kristine Ellison is all around Ojai with Jeep tours and her new book, Ojai Wines and Vines.  I have my copy...
Photography by Kristine Ellison

The Collection is a brand new shopping destination in Oxnard and it was a nice venue for the annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration.

The Grapevine Girls attract a crowd everywhere they go.

The Shoemaker Brothers provided some great music and played a wide range of material.

I finally met up with Paul and Steve of the local "Wine Snobs" Meetup Group. They had some good suggestions on different wines to taste.

And a variety of local media were covering the event: The Wandering Wino (Shawn Burgert), the Wine Predator (Gwendolyn Alley), and the Ventura County Star (Lisa McKinnon).
Lisa McKinnon of the Ventura County Star interviews Michael Meagher of Vino V Wines.

We really enjoyed the Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration this year and look forward to going again next year. The venue worked well and the food and wine tasting was great.  It's great that there are so many fantastic options in the area for wining and dining.