Tag Archives: Wine Tasting

My Summer Check List


Happy first day of SUMMER! I love this time of year and have spent the last few days dreaming about my plans for the next few months. Time is going to fly by but luckily here in Oregon summer has been lasting through September. Here’s my summer check list so far:

1. Trips to the beach

2. BBQ’s in the backyard & on the patio

3. Cool morning jogs

4. Sunday Brunch with mimosas & greyhounds

5. Unplanned weekend getaways

6. Beautiful sunsets and warm nights

7. Wine tasting, concerts, and farmer’s markets

8. Naps in the park

9. Quality time with friends and family

10. Plenty of sun tea, mojitos, dance parties and new memories

Cheers to an amazing summer!



Wine Tasting Through Southern Oregon

This past week I was fortunate enough to spend a few days wine tasting in Southern Oregon. This was my first trip wine tasting in SO and I was presently surprised! I spent two days exploring and tasting through the Rogue Valley. If you are a wine lover like me and have yet to visit Southern Oregon wineries, you must! I had a great time and can’t wait to go back.


Winery # 1

Caprice Vineyards, just one mile outside Jacksonville, is a family owned & operated winery that is home to delicious Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret and a few adorable alpacas.

Favorite Wines

1. 2009 Gewürztraminer {not to sweet, zesty, fruity and perfect for a spring or summer afternoon on the deck!}
2. 2007 Claret {a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc – it reminded me of the blends I drank in Paris}  

 {Caprice Vineyards home to Rolling Hills Alpacas}

Winery # 2 

Trium Wines, a family owned & run operation, planted its first grapes in 1990 and has been producing wonderful wines ever since.

Favorite Wines

1. 2o09 Pinot Gris {perfect with a fruit salad, salty cheeses and grilled seafood or chicken – a smooth & creamy pinot}
2. 2006 Growers Cuvee {a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc}

Winery # 3 

RoxyAnn Winery was founded in 2002 on the Hillcrest Orchard in Medford. It’s  home to award-winning Claret, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,  Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Syrah & Viognier.

Favorite Wines 

1. 2008 Honor Barn Red {a delicious blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Grenache}
2. 2009 Founders Reserve Petite Sirah Dessert Wine {the perfect treat after a delicious meal}


Winery # 4 

Ledger David Cellars named after the owners first son is a winery passionate about life, fine wine & delicious food and is home to Chenin Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Sangiovese, Tempranillo & Petit Verdot.

Favorite Wines 

1. 2010 Ledger David Sangiovese Rosé {I have a sweet spot for rosé and this just might be my new favorite – perfect for an afternoon in the sun}
2. 2010 Ledger David Primoris Chenin Blanc {their first wine and a delicious one I might add}
3. 2010 Ledger David Sangiovese {yet to be released this year, Lena one of the owners was sweet enough to let me have a taste – a delicious Sangiovese that I was lucky enough to bring home but only if I promised to let it rest for a few more months before enjoying it}


Winery # 5 

Del Rio Vineyards & Winery, one of the largest vineyards in Southern Oregon, is home to an extensive collection of Sangiovese, Merlot, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, & Claret.

Favorite Wines

1. 2009 Merlot {a full body, delicious wine with a perfect finish and aftertaste}
2. 2010 Rose Jolee {a Muscat & Riesling blend, with a bit of Cabernet Franc & Syrah for the perfect color – a delicious wine for summer afternoons}

Has anyone else been wine tasting lately?


Napa Valley Wine Tasting

I’m not a wine guru by any means but I do come from a wine loving family. I grew up going to wine tasting parties with my parents, yet didn’t have an appreciation for the taste until my 20’s. I started with sweet wine, moved to sparkling wine {champagne}, from there to white on to rosé and now I have a new love and appreciation for red.

This last trip to Napa was my third trip. I love the valley and could see myself living there. I think it pays off to go with someone who either is from the area or has been there before. Luckily my friend Emily was born and raised in Napa and her father is a local wine maker {one of the best according to me.}

This trip we spent our time at three wineries along the Silverado Trail. It’s a beautiful drive and you get a taste of what makes Napa Valley – Napa Valley. I highly recommend it and can’t wait for my next trip to visit more of the wineries.

Winery # 1

Our first stop was at Judd’s Hill {1st stop on the trail} to visit Em’s dad and plan our wine tasting afternoon. We didn’t do a tasting, but we did come back the following day {my last day in Napa} and spent a few hours in the sun tasting.

Favorite Wines

  1. 2010 Napa Valley Rose {perfect with dinner or for an afternoon glass with friends – I first fell in love with this wine in 09 on my first trip to Napa}
  2. 2010 Sauvignon Blanc {refreshing, light and perfect for an afternoon in the sun}
~Sitting on the patio at Judd’s Hill~

Winery # 2

Our second stop was at Hagafen – J one of the employees at Judd’s said we had to stop here and visit the tasting room. We are so happy we did. Nancy took very good care of us and after multiple tastings and great conversations we left with a bottle of what Nancy calls the “just because” wine.

Favorite Wines

  1. 2010 White Riesling, Napa Valley, Estate Bottled { our “just because” wine – bright, fruity and the perfect amount of sweetness}
  2. 2007 Cuvée de Noirs Sparkling Wine {J’s recommendation – a tasty sparkling wine perfect for a girls night in}
  3. 2008 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc {a delicious dessert wine, a platinum medal and one of the other Em’s favorites}
~In front of Hagafen~

Winery # 3

Our last stop was at Honig – a little of the Silverado Trail but definitely worth the visit. This was Emily’s 2nd trip to the winery and she loved it so much she took me back. The winery is beautiful and there is a great outside patio. Em and I soaked up the Cali sun and had a fabulous tasting.

Favorite Wines

  1. 2008 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley {my favorite type of red wine – smooth, rich and full}
  2. 2008 Honig Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc {by far the best dessert wine I’ve ever tasted – magic in a bottle and the reason we came to Honig}

I’m planning my next trip for August and cannot wait to visit more of the Silverado Trail!

~Hagafen vineyard~

I’d love to hear about your favorite wines and wineries!


Vacationing in Napa

One thing I miss about being in college is the vacation you get every three months. First a break for the holidays, then spring break and finally summer. During the four years I was at the U of O I became very fond of those breaks and often traveled. I have yet to find that same pattern in the real world! To those still in school – revel in that time off!

To kick off the summer I found some time to take a vacation from work and visit a best friend from college in Napa. If you’ve never been to the Napa Valley or the San Francisco Bay you must go. It’s beautiful and there are millions of things to do! Here are the highlights and a few photos from my trip!

Day One: After a horrible flight and very nice man to calm my nerves I made it to Sacramento, found Emily {college friend – yes, we have the same name} and drove to Napa. Wine country in Cali is gorgeous. Napa Vacation Tip One: Spend a day driving around and looking at the endless hills of vineyards.

Day Two: One word – Oxbow. We ate at the Pica Pica Bar and it was delicious. You can’t go wrong there with food choice; it took us two loops around to decide. If you are looking for a food heaven in Napa you’ve found it.

Day Three: A trip to Napa is not complete without a stop at Model Bakery for the world’s best English Muffins. They melt in your mouth and I bring a bag home every time I go. Em and I spent the morning in St. Helena; the main street has great shopping. We then made our way to Berkeley for amazing food at Grégoire, Em’s brother works there and the food is indescribable. After eating enough to feed an army we drove into SF for none other than a SF Giants game! Highlight One: Watching Tim Lincecum strikeout his 1,000 batter. Highlight Two: Giants winning in the 13 inning!

Day Four: Marin French Cheese Factory in Petaluma, Point Reyes Lighthouse and Dillon Beach – all worth a visit. Make sure you try the breakfast cheese and the triple cream. Note To Reader: Don’t go to the lighthouse on a Tuesday it’s closed.

Day Five: San Fran! If you have limited hours in the city these three things you have to do:
1. AT&T Park for a Giants game
2. Pier 39 for salt water taffy and sea lions
3. Ghirardelli Square for the world’s best ice cream sundae.

We added lunch at the Boudin Sourdough Bakery {get the bread bowl} and met another friend from the U of O at the square. We ended the night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for the Bruno Mars concert! He sounds even better live and is still on tour. Buy tickets and go! I would go again and again to whiteness his amazing voice, to die for personality and unbelievable guitar, piano and ukulele skills.

Day Six: Wine Tasting and Yountville! We started the day at Judd’s Hill followed by Hagafen and ended at Honig. I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to wine tasting so stay tuned for that. After Honig we made our way into Yountville to explore V Marketplace, Bouchon Bakery and French Laundry {my dream is to eat there one day.} Yountville is adorable and I can’t wait to go back. We ended the night at Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca {try the ice cream with homemade caramel sauce and sea salt} and Napa’s Downtown Chef’s Market – a must go if you are in Napa on a Thursday night in the summer. Napa Tip Two: Drive the Napa Silverado Trail and visit as many wineries as possible – we saw a couple biking parts of it – not my cup of tea but a great idea, I’m not sure if wine tasting and biking would be a good mix for me.

Day Seven: Judd’s Hill trip 2 and homeward bound! I ended my trip with a few hours at Judd’s Hill a perfect winery to relax and wind down at. I wanted to soak up as much Cali sun before I went back to Oregon and this was the perfect place. Napa Tip Three: Spend your last few hours at your favorite winery and plan your next trip back!

Great way to kick off the summer, am I right? I’m already planning my next trip down and this time I’m driving. There were too many things I wanted to take back home with me and not nearly enough room. If you’ve been to Napa or San Fran I’d love to hear about your favorite things!

Is anyone kicking off their summer with a trip?