Did you know: Tablas Creek Vineyard is certified both organic and biodynamic? I think it’s a testament to the integrity of both certifications that they don’t flaunt these facts. Indeed, many folks I speak to who are familiar with the name and wines don’t realize these amazing efforts. Fun Fact: In February of 2019, Tablas Creek began taking part part in a pilot program of yet another, new farming practice called Regenerative Organic.
I always love when I discover new-for-me wineries. But in this case, it’s pretty much a new-for-everybody winery.
You may have heard of Delfino Farms, they’ve been around since the 1960s (under the name Kids Incorporated until 2017). Edio and Joan Delfino founded the business, along with their seven children. Today, second generation Chris Delfino and his four children, Christine, Peter, Benjamin, and Derek own and run the family enterprise.
So, where does wine fit in? According to the Delifino family, founder Edio grew up amongst the vines of St. Helena, studied agriculture in Cal Poly, which is what ultimately brought him to El Dorado County, where the family farm thrives today. Up until recently, it’s been all about apples—fresh apples, apple pie, apple cider. But in 2018, the Delfino’s celebrated their first vintage of wine grape harvest—an occasion that also celebrates the return to the family’s “original” agriculture endeavor. “Dedicated to our hardworking, intelligent, strong, sharp, and driven father and grandfather, Edio Delfino, an inspiration to his entire family.”
Thank you to Christine and the whole Delfino family for sharing this first vintage with me.
A few weeks ago I participated in a virtual “getaway” to Bourgogne. My tour and tasting was lead by the always energetic award-winning sommelier and “virtual experience guru” Belinda Chang, along with expert Bourgogne consultant Anette Hanami. We also had a few guest speakers native to the region, including Anne Moreau from the Domaine Louis Moreau.
Of course, a virtual media tour is nothing like the real deal. But the event, hosted by Sopexa, was not just a lively discussion on Bourgogne as a whole, but a detailed breakdown of region’s nuanced classification system.
To discuss everything we learned would take several lengthy posts. So, I’m not going to do that. But what I do want to share are the two wines I received in conjunction with this event. In order to divide Bourgogne into digestible parts, we were split into “teams,” each of which focused on a separate region. I, along with three other women in wine, was on team Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The following two wines are just a small sip of what I experienced during Soprexa‘s “Escape to Bourgogne.”
Last week I participated in a webinar, discussion, and virtual tasting highlighting the Paso Robles AVA through the eyes of three prominent winery representatives: Jason Haas, partner and general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard; Jordan Fiorentini, vice president of winemaking and vineyards for Epoch Wine Estates; and Amanda Wittstrom Higgins, newly appointed executive vice president of Ancient Peaks Winery.
The main takeaway (at least to my eyes and ears): Paso rocks. I mean, yes, it rocks in the figurative sense as well. But I was really digging (pun sort of intended) all the geeky geological stuff these guys got into. The show-and-tell of vineyard rocks was one for the record books. Have you seen fossilized whale bone in your backyard? Thought not. And of course, how these soil types and topography of each vineyard’s location affects the wine style is a connection I love making.
So, I thought I’d take some time to talk a bit about each winery, why they “rock,” and of course include mini wine reviews for each. Please, enjoy.