Friday, July 22, 2011

What you need to know about #OHwine at #WBC11

Southern Wine Trails is presenting Ohio Wine at the Other 46 Tasting tonight for the North American Wine Bloggers Conference. The winery we will be pouring is Ferrante Winery from Geneva, OH. 



Ferrante Winery is a family owned and operated winery. In 1937, Nicholas and Anna Ferrante established the winery in Cleveland's Collinswood area. In the 1970's, their sons Peter and Anthony built modern wine making facilities in the family's Harpersfield Township vineyards. In the 1980's, their families developed a thriving restaurant to showcase wine and food. 
         The menu then, as now, included Ferrante family favorites such as pizza della casa, spaghetti and meatballs, vitello scallopini and many more. All, of course, to complement the subtleties and nuances of the vintages from the cellar. 
         On November 4th, 1994, the operation was interrupted briefly by a fire. Gone were the dining and tasting rooms and many artifacts. Fortunately, a firewall saved the wine production facility, cellar and warehouse. 
          In early 1995, the Ferrante family pulled together body, mind and spirit to create the new home they have today. They are excited about the future of the Ohio wine industry and continue to develop award winning wines and fine dishes in the kitchen. 


video
The wines being poured tonight are: 


2010 Golden Bunches - Dry Reisling, Signature Series - Grand River Valley $14.99
1.54% RSV 
Awards: 
American Fine Wine - Gold
Finger Lakes International - Silver
Taster's Guild International - Silver
Pacific Rim International - Silver
Beverage Tasting Inst. - Silver
LA Wine - Gold
Winemakers notes: 
96% RIESLING (ESTATE GROWN-GRAND RIVER VALLEY)   4% VIDAL BLANC JUICE RESERVE . THE JUICE RESERVE IS A WAY OF ADDING SWEETNESS AND NATURAL ACIDITY.   FINISHED ANALYSIS: RESIDUAL SUGAR = 1.54%, TOTAL ACIDITY: .75GRAMS/ LITER, PH =3.26 AND ALCOHOL% = 12.5%. A WELL ROUNDED RIESLING WITH INTENSE VARIETAL AROMAS OF PEACH, CITRUS AND HONEYED NOTES.  VARIETAL RIESLING FLAVORS WITH GOOD BODY AND A CRISP LONG FINISH. 


2010 Cabernet Franc, Signature Series - Grand River Valley $15.99
Awards:
American Fine Wine - Bronze
Finger Lakes International - Gold
Taster's Guild International - Silver
Pacific Rim International - Silver
Winemakers notes: 
95% CABERNET FRANC (ESTATE - GROWN  GRAND RIVER VALLEY)   5%  CARIGNANE      FINISHED WINE  ANALYSIS.: RESIDUAL SUGAR = .4%, TOTAL ACIDITY : .57 GRAMS/ LITER, PH = 3.70 AND ALCOHOL % =13.0   THE WINE WAS AGED IN RADOUX COOPERAGE  BARRELS ( 70 GALLON ) FOR 4.25 MONTHS.  BARRELS USED ARE AMERICAN (MINNESOTA), MIDWEST HYBRID ( STAVES ARE MADE FROM MINNESOTA  WOOD, HEADS ARE FROM FRENCH WOOD), CENTRAL EUROPEAN (HUNGARIAN WOOD) AND TRADITION (FRENCH WOOD).  THE WINE IS A BLEND OF ALL FOUR BARREL TYPES USED.   THE WINE IS FRUIT FOWARD WITH BERRY AROMAS AND FLAVORS. THE OAK AGING GIVES COMPLEXITY TO THE STRUCTURE AND DEFINES THE CONCENTRATED FINISH.


If you have additional questions, please drop me a note, or a tweet - I'm happy to answer anything I can about Ohio Wines! Stay tuned next week for video from Nick Ferrante, wine maker at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante. 

Ferrante Wine and the #WBC11

Today I'm at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA to participate in a wine extravaganza - talking about blogging, wine, wine tastings - and to experience once again the amazing things that are happening with Virginia wine.

We'll also be pouring Ohio wine at the Other 46 Wine Tasting on Friday night. We've always been big proponents of the Drink Local Wine movement, encouraging our customers to embrace the excellent wines made in the state they live in, and Ohio wine is no different.

Look for the details about the wines of Ohio that will be poured at the tasting on Friday - until then:

Dinner this evening was a group affair at Maya Restaurant - 12 bloggers and industry folks sitting down to enjoy some great southern cuisine and conversation. The fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese sauce were delicious. I enjoyed Gabriele Rause Chardonnay (unoaked) with my meal. The wine list was well paired with the menu, although with as many great wines as are available in the area, I was disappointed to discover only the one Chardonnay from Virginia. This is a southern cuisine restaurant... they should be serving some of that great southern wine! Many, many thanks to Winebow for dinner. Y'all just generally rock, and are incredibly generous with all you do.

We later went down the open air mall to one of my favorite Charlottesville wine tasting spots.  Siips has a cool vibe, and a chocolate lava raspberry cake that is TO DIE FOR.

Blenheim Viognier, Keswick Vineyards Verdejo, Mountfair Vineyards Cabernet Franc and Pollak Merlot were on hand to be poured by the winemakers.

Each was lovely, and the winemakers who came out to meet us and pour, thanks to the efforts of George Benford, demonstrated incredible winemaking talent.

I recommend each and every one of these wineries when you visit Charlottesville. They all produce superior wine and each has an incredible commitment to customer service.

The conversations evolved throughout the evening, landing on topics like winemaking ingredients, how to swirl without swirling, marketing to millenials, and why Frank would volunteer me to be interviewed by the local tv station. If anyone sees that sound bite, I apologize in advance for looking all heat melty, and sounding incomprehensible. I'm honored to spend time talking to such intelligent and generous people - this is going to be a good weekend!

Drink well, my friends!





Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wine Reviews - or not.

I've added an explanation on the wine review question. Or at least our thoughts on how we are best going to go about doing this.

We've been asked if we are going to post reviews of all the wines we've tasted over the years. The short answer is "not really" - here's why:

My partner changed the way I think about drinking wine. When he walks into a winery or a tasting, his conclusions are simple. "I'll drink this again" or "Where's the dump bucket?" - he doesn't try to identify the 8 items in the bouquet, or remark on the flavors. He either likes it or he doesn't. He thinks most casual wine drinkers just want to know if someone they trust liked it, and perhaps a few details about the wine itself.

Much to his chagrin, I take copious notes and ask detailed questions whenever I go into a winery, or open a bottle I've never tasted before. The intention was to be able to write reviews. I've decided there are other blogs out there that write much better wine reviews. You'll find many of those listed in the sidebar soon.

What you will find here in as a form of review is posts about wines we've tasted, whether we liked it or not (in a simple way) and the answers to all of those questions I asked. Those posts will include links to reviews from those great wine review blogs. (both positive and negative)

On the main pages, we'll be sticking to writing about wineries to visit with commentary on the overall winery experience, marketing and social media information for the industry, wine events and tasting and other topics of interest.

We hope you enjoy drinking what YOU like.

I love to recommend good wine to people, but what I like may not necessarily be what you like. So take all of that information, and make your own decisions on your purchases.

If you are a winery or winemaker and are interested in having a wine tasted, please see our contact page for information.

I'd love your thoughts on our decision.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SoWineTrails goes WBC.


From July 21-24, Southern Wine Trails will be attending the National Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA. We will be presenting Ohio wine (details of which wineries forthcoming) at the "Other 46 Tasting" on Friday evening along with wines from Missouri, Indiana, Texas and Virginia.

We will also be attending all of the incredible events and educational sessions that are the core of #WBC11. You will be able to follow the event by keeping your eyes on @tlcolson, following the #WBC11 hashtag on twitter, and to this website. All discussions on Ohio wine will be hashtagged with #OHwine

We are very proud to represent our adopted state of Ohio at this great conference of bloggers, critics, vendors and supporters of the American wine industry.

This will a bit a of a returning home for this girl, and her wine as I started with wine and hiking in the VA mountains over 4 years ago. I hope to visit some of the wineries that I haven't seen in a while, and I look forward to reconnecting with some of the most generous and intelligent wine people out there.

If you are an Ohio winery and interested in having your wine featured at this tasting, please contact me directly at sowinetrails@gmail.com or call 440.941.1892

There's still time if you want to attend. More information here!

I Want to Engage Online, But I don't Know How

The Agents of Disruption publish a video blog about change agents. They recently talked with Lisa Mattson of Jordan Vineyard and Winery and wrote a great article with tips that Lisa has provided over the years.

“Family wine businesses typically don’t have splashy marketing campaigns. We have stories – stories about history, people, triumphs and the challenges of each vintage — and you have to be the best at knowing what stories are appropriate and interesting — and then tell them in a compelling and brand-appropriate way.” … Lisa Mattson

Getting customers engaged in the digital spaces, including your own website, is the first step in sharing the experience of your winery or shop with a larger audience. If you are providing a memorable experience in your location, the next level of service is to talk to your customers where they live in the digital space. It is not the sale, its the experience and memory created. When we connect frequently, that visitor remembers the experience and the customer refers, recommends and returns.

Digital media like facebook, twitter and the new google+ can be daunting if you have never used a technology like these to converse with your customers.

So let's talk. What questions do you have about finding ways to tell your story to your customers? Whether a technical question or a strategic one, leave your questions or comments, and I'll answer.