Sunday, August 23, 2009

WBC09: The Road To Dry Creek

After a Tweet-Up breakfast at Hank's Creekside Cafe, I attended a couple break-out sessions. The first was all about using social media and the second was about monetizing your blog. After that, I went to Peet's Coffee with my friend Larry Chandler (Larry the Wine Guy) and had a great time discussing wine and various subjects. Everyone who knows me knows I treasure my Peet's coffee. Send Peet's I always say! I always get some when I'm in California! Larry's been a great friend! And I really enjoyed my time with him! Upon my return, I boarded a bus and headed to Dry Creek Vineyard for lunch.

What awaited us was something really special! I felt like a kid in a candy store as I sat at a picnic table eating some great food and sampling from many wines provided by Dry Creek Vineyard, Rued and Gustafson. Emmett Reed, the assistant winemaker at Gustafson (pictured below) spoke to us regarding the wines and the winery. We had some awesome Bodega Bay Ling Cod with fresh vegetables for lunch and the wines were impeccable! The stand outs were the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, the 2006 Gustafson Petite Sirah and the 2005 Rued Zinfandel.

After lunch, we dropped some people off at Quivira Winery then headed to Michel-Schlumberger. This place is so magical! Beautiful wines and wonderful people. A long-time friend, Jim Morris, is now their Director of Consumer Sales & Marketing and he will guarantee the best winery visit ever! Their hand-crafted wines are superb! I brought back the Pinot Blanc and the Chardonnay! We did a vineyard hike (that completely kicked my butt!) and it was quite the experience. I can't wait to do it again! I highly recommend it. During this hike, I got know some new people including Dennis and Julie Grimes of Eagles Nest Winery. Great people! We walked around the vineyard and got to see the grapes going through veraison. I sampled my first Pinot Noir grape ever and my first white California peach! So sweet and good!! The vineyard hike was sponsored by Zephyr Wine Adventures, Check it out! After the walk, general Manager Judd Wallenbrock led us through a tasting of many, many of their wines! It was a wonderful experience and I will definitely be back there soon and I will bring friends!

Alas, all good things must come to an end. And so since there are way too many people to thank and since I've already written a novel and I don't want my readers to fall asleep, I'm just going to say "Thank you to everyone who was involved with WBC09!" You know who you are! And I also have to say I am sorry that I did not get to meet some of the people I was looking forward to speaking with at this conference: Michaela Balthasar of K-J, Elsbeth Sarao of Gamble Family Vineyards, Efrain Barragan of Bourassa Vineyards, Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, Jon Phillips of Inspiration Vineyards, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and Pete Spann of Spann Family Vineyards. We'll meet next time, I promise! Thanks again! This was one of the best experiences of my entire life!

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