All posts by vinoconvista

Top 15 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley California

English: Vineyard in Napa Valley
English: Vineyard in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Napa valley vineyard and winery Franç...

Napa

There

are 15 subappellations in

Napa where you can

pamper your wine-loving inner

foodie.

In the world of wine, matching grapes with microclimates and soils is the key to effective business. In addition, those grapes always grow in the most beautiful places. The grape-growing locations provide plenty of incredible Vino con Vista touring and tasting opportunities for travel and wine tourism enthusiasts. Napa has more than 450 wineries and plenty of Tasting Rooms in about 30 miles. Take California State Route/Highway 29 along Napa Valley in one direction and return on the scenic Silverado Trail.

English: Napa_Valley_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan If us...
English: Napa_Valley_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan If used outside of Wikipedia please credit Photographer: D Ramey Logan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Napa_Valley_CA_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan
English: Napa_Valley_CA_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Autumn in Napa Valley
English: Autumn in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in the Napa Valley. Here are some of the Napa Valley regions (subappellations/AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) with distinct microclimates and terrain for you to visit. There are plenty of luxury hotels and resorts along the way including:

www.Bardessono.com

www.napariverinn.com

www.ranchocaymus.com

www.napavalleylodge.com

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : ...
English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : Vignobles de la Napa Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Approximate location of the Carneros AVA (red ...
Approximate location of the Carneros AVA (red box) in relation to San Pablo Bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Napa Valley
Napa Valley (Photo credit: Sarah_Ackerman)

Napa Valley is an appellation and it received its own AVA designation in 1981. It is California’s first recognized AVA and the second in the United States. Within the Napa Valley appellation, there are 15 subappellations, including: Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain District, Stags Leap District, Yountville and Wild Horse Valley.

Cabernet grapes growing in the vineyards of th...
Cabernet grapes growing in the vineyards of the Napa Valley winery of Opus One. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a summary of the subappellations from the Wine Growers Association website:

Atlas Peak AVA

The California wine region of Atlas Peak in th...

Vineyards in the California wine region of Atl...

“Climate: Cool, mountain-influenced, with temperatures about 10 to 15°F cooler than the Valley floor in summer. Above the fog line, there is a low diurnal change, with summer temperatures rarely above 90°F (32.2°C). Elevation: 760 to 2600 ft (231m to 792m). Rainfall: 38 inches (96cm) annually. Soils: Volcanic in origin, with basaltic red color, shallow with limited water retention, so irrigation is often essential. Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon: Bright berry and cherry fruit, and more acidity than wines from Stags Leap District. Chardonnay: Crisp, floral, aromatic, with distinctive pear-mineral flavors and bright acidity.

Calistoga AVA

Calistoga Sunset IMG_1938
Calistoga Sunset IMG_1938 (Photo credit: Hen3k Hen3k)

California vineyard in Calistoga, Napa Valley

Climate: Warm to hot, depending upon time of year; lower humidity; summer temperatures peak to 90°F (32.2°C) and fall to low 50s°F (11°C), the result of marine air from the northwest; cool afternoon and evening breezes Elevation: 300 to 1200 ft (92 to 370m) Rainfall: 38 to 60 inches (96.5 to 150cm) annually Soils: Almost completely of volcanic origin, soils range from rocky, stony loam on the hillsides, to gravelly or cobbly loams on the alluvial fans, to heavier clay-silt soils in the valley center areas Principal varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah

Chiles Valley District AVA

Climate: Fairly warmer summer days (mid-80°F plus/28.8 to 31°C), but due to higher elevation and summer fog at night, quite chilly at night (below 50°F/10°C). With colder winters and spring, as well as strong winds, harvest comes later than on valley floor at Oakville. Elevation: 800 to 1300 ft. (242 to 394m). Rainfall: 35 inches (88cm) annually. Soils: On the valley floor, primarily alluvial soils with silty-clay composition of marine origin, with good fertility. Hillsides show more clay-loam and stony-clay composition, mostly marine in origin, with some volcanic outcropping, and less fertility.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc: Cabernets usually reveal a lush yet firm texture with good acidity, firm tannin and distinctive cherry-blackberry flavors. Merlot typically has vibrant black cherry flavors mixed with a touch of cocoa.

Coombsville AVA

Climate: Temperate climate moderated by near-proximity to the San Francisco Bay and the influences of marine air Elevation: Most vineyards are in the 100-500 foot (30-150 m) zone, though a small portion tops 1000 feet (300 m) Rainfall:  Average rainfall is 24.6 inches (62 cm) per year over the last 100 years Soils: Primarily weathered volcanic rock and alluvial deposits from the Vaca Range that surrounds the region

Principal varieties: Dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon on the hillsides with Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir in the lower, cooler sites

Diamond Mountain District AVA

The California wine region Diamond Mountain Di...
The California wine region Diamond Mountain District AVA in Napa Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Climate: Moderately warm temperatures with lower maximum temperatures and higher minimum temperatures than north Napa Valley floor, due to topography and altitude. Significantly cooler than valley floor near Calistoga, 50 to 95°F in growing season (10 to 32°C). Elevation: 400 to 2200 ft. (130 to 530m) Rainfall: 40 to 55 inches (135cm) annually. Soils: Residual uplifted soils of volcanic origin, often reddish and very fine-grained, even gritty in texture, composed of both weathered sedimentary and volcanic origin.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc: firmly structured, rich and fairly tannic when young, with strong blackcurrant, mineral, and cedary flavors. Less supple and fleshy than valley or benchland wines, with good aging potential. Chardonnay: Full-bodied, yet revealing mineral, green apple-peach aromas with fairly firm acidity; less richly textured than valley floor wines.

Howell Mountain AVA

Climate: Similar to the facing Spring Mountain AVA, however slightly warmer and dryer overall due to strong afternoon sun influence. Fairly cool nights in both ranges and higher elevations help maintain good acidity. Elevation: 600 to 2200 ft (184 to 675m). Rainfall: 40 to 50 inches (125cm) annually. Soils: Predominantly volcanic, shallow and infertile. Drainage is high, fertility low.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel: Powerful, firm, blackberry-currant flavors and often richly tannic, with excellent acidity for aging. Chardonnay, Viognier: Sinewy, firm and not as fruity as those of the valley floor, revealing more citrus and stone fruit flavors.

Los Carneros AVA

Climate: Cool, with prevailing marine winds from the San Pablo Bay and through the Petaluma Gap to the west. High temperatures during summer rarely exceed 80°F (27°C) with less diurnal range variation. Elevation: 15 to 400 ft. (4.6 to124 m) Rainfall: Lowest in Napa Valley: 18 to 24 inches (7.2 to 9.6cm) annually. Soils: Clay dominated, very shallow in general, with more loam and hillside alluvials in the northern section. Yields typically are restrained by the hard claypan subsoil, which prevents deep-rooting.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Chardonnay: minerally pear-apple and spice flavors. Merlot: sinewy and lightly herbal, with fine tannins and sleek structure. Pinot Noir: ripe cherry-cinnamon spice flavors with earthy notes.

Mount Veeder AVA

Climate: Cool to moderate, with most vineyards above the fog-line, meaning warmer nights and cooler days and less diurnal range than the valley floor. Typical mid-summer high temperatures about 85°F (30°C). Elevation: 600 to 2100 ft. (183 to 650m). Rainfall: 35 inches (87.5cm) annually. Soils: Sedimentary based, former seabed, shallow and generally well drained, as well as more acidic, with low fertility. Most have a sandy or sandy-loam texture.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Ageability is a hallmark of Mt. Veeder wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel: Low yields give red wines a firm, tannic structure with strong earth-berry aromas and rich, but powerful flavors. Chardonnay: minerally, appley, even citrus flavors with good acidity.

Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA

Climate: Moderate to cool: marine air and fog can remain until mid-morning. Late afternoon breezes frequently occur, maintaining slightly cooler temperatures than upper valley. Mid-summer temperatures may reach 92° F (33.3°C) and drop to around 50°F (10°C) at night. Elevation: sea level to 800 feet (244m) Rainfall: 36 inches (90cm) annually. Soils: The valley’s largest alluvial fan formed by Dry Creek creates the defining feature of the district. The northwest area is composed of volcanically derived soils, with stony or gravelly consistency. South and east areas are transitional from gravel to silty clay loam.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon benefit from a longer growing season with slightly cooler temperature, though crop size is typically less than in other AVAs. Elegant style is the common note with fruit flavors of cassis, tobacco and spice typical to Bordeaux-style reds. Chardonnay showcases flavors of crisp apple, mineral notes and tropical fruit with fine acidity.

Oakville AVA

Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville, California, USA
Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville, California, USA (Photo credit: jimg944)
Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville, California, USA
Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville, California, USA (Photo credit: jimg944)

Climate: Moderately warm, with temperatures commonly in the mid-90°F (34-35.5°C) range in high summer, but also still strongly affected by night and early morning fog which helps keep acidity levels good. East side of the AVA receives more of warmer afternoon sun. Elevation: 75 to 500 ft (23 to 150m). Rainfall: 35 inches (87.5cm) annually. Soils: Primarily sedimentary gravelly alluvial loams on the western side, with more volcanic but heavier soils on the eastern side. Low to moderate fertility and fairly deep, with average water retention.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot: Ripe currant and mint flavors, rich texture and full, firm structure tempered by rich fruit. Sauvignon Blanc: Full, steely, yet very fleshy.

Rutherford AVA

Climate: Moderately warm, still marginally influenced by early morning fog. Western bench area is cooler, with less late afternoon sun, tempered by afternoon marine winds. (This AVA averages a bit warmer than Oakville and Stags Leap District). Usual summer peak temperatures are mid-90°F (34-35.5°C) with good diurnal range. Elevation: 100 to 500 ft. (33 to 150m). Rainfall: 38 inches (95cm) annually. Soils: Western benchland is sedimentary, gravelly-sandy and alluvial, with good water retention and moderate fertility. The eastern side has more volcanic soils, moderately deep and more fertile.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel: Quite intense cherry and mineral, almost earthy aromas. Flavors are full, ripe, and notably currant with firm, but supple tannins for extended aging.

Spring Mountain District AVA

harvest 2005 Spring Mountain District above th...

Climate: Similar to Mt. Veeder AVA, with cool weather prevailing and smaller diurnal changes. Fairly cool nights and higher elevations help maintain good acidity. Elevation: 600 to 2200 ft (184 to 675m). Rainfall: 40 to 50 inches (125cm) annually. Soils: Primarily sedimentary; weathered sandstone/shale, loamy and friable in texture. Drainage is high, fertility low.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel: Powerful, firm, blackberry-currant flavors and often richly tannic, with excellent acidity for aging. Chardonnay, Viognier: Sinewy, firm and not as fruity as those of the valley floor, revealing more citrus and stone fruit flavors.

St. Helena AVA

English: Fall in Napa Valley
English: Fall in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Climate: Warm, due to greater protection from western hills, with less fog or wind incursions. The narrowing of the valley floor provides more heat reflection off the hillsides. Mid-summer temperature peak is often in the mid- to high-90°F range (34 to 35°C). Elevation: 150 to 600 ft. (46 to 185m). Rainfall: 38 to 40 inches (95 to 100cm) annually. Soils: South and west borders are more sedimentary, gravel-clay soils, with lower fertility and moderate water retention. Further north and to the east soils are prevalently volcanic in origin and are deeper and more fertile.

Principal varieties and characteristics: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot: deep, ripe, often jammy flavors, with firm tannins for structure, and appealing aromas of currant and black fruit. Rhone varieties (Syrah, Viognier): Fleshy, supple and slightly earthy. Zinfandel: Blackberry-like, well-structured.

bottle of stag's leap cabernet sauvignon Franç...
bottle of stag’s leap cabernet sauvignon Français : bouteille de cabernet sauvgnon stag’s leap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stags Leap District AVA

Climate: Moderately warm, with afternoon marine winds acting as an ‘air-conditioner’ to cool the warmer air radiating off the bare rocks of Stags Leap itself and the surrounding hillsides. This AVA is often up to 10°F warmer than in Yountville AVA. Mid-summer temperatures can reach 100°F (37.7°C), but more regularly are in mid-90° range (32-34°C). Elevation: 66 to 400 ft. (20 to 123m). Rainfall: 30 inches (75cm) annually. Soils: Volcanic gravel-loams on the floor of the valley, with rocky hillsides, and low to moderate fertility due to hard clay bedrock subsoils 2 to 6 feet down.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese: Distinguished by lush, velvety textures and fine perfumed cherry and red berry flavors, supported by soft tannins. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc: Round and ripe, especially Sauvignon Blanc, yet retain excellent citrus and apple flavors.

Wild Horse Valley AVA

Climate: A warmer area well to the east of Napa Valley proper, but still moderated by both altitude and prevailing winds coming off Suisun Bay to the southeast. Elevation: Wild Horse Valley 400 to 1500 ft. (123 to 460m). Rainfall: 35 inches (94cm) annually. Soils: Volcanic in origin, with basaltic red color, shallow with limited water retention, so irrigation is often essential.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese: Bright berry and cherry fruit, and more acidity than wines from Stags Leap District. Chardonnay: Crisp, floral, aromatic, with distinctive pear-mineral flavors and bright acidity.

Yountville

Climate: Moderate, with definite cool marine influence and fog contributing to cool summer mornings and the marine breeze keeping afternoons more comfortable than further up valley. Mid-summer peak temperatures may reach 90°F (32.2°C), with noticeable diurnal fluctuation to the mid-50°F range (13°C). Elevation: 20 to 200 ft (6 to 61m). Rainfall: 32 inches (80cm) annually. Soils: Principally gravelly silt loams, sedimentary in origin, and gravelly alluvial soils with rock, moderately fertile.

Principal varieties & characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot: Yountville favors Cabernet and Merlot with ripe, violety aromas and rich, but supple flavors and firm tannins.”

Napa Valley Wine Train, Napa Valley, Californi...
Napa Valley Wine Train, Napa Valley, California, USA (Photo credit: jimg944)

Join me on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Salute from www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides

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Celebration of Food and Wine at Chicago Gourmet 2012

Chicago Gourmet 2012 is an annual  Celebration of Food and Wine sponsored by Bon Appetit. This highly-anticipated interactive culinary event is a weekend epicurean affair that showcases more than 100 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned wineries, spirit makers and premium breweries. It also features dozens of live cooking demonstrations, gourmet tastings, wine seminars and book signings by internationally renowned chefs, master sommeliers and winemakers.

Chicago Gourmet 2012 Dine Around Receipt Holder

Chicago Gourmet 2012 Dine Around Receipt Holder

WHEN: Chicago Gourmet 2012 will be hosted in Millennium Park, Sept 28-30, 2012

Tickets and More Information:  http://chicagogourmet.org/

Nomi chef
312 Chicago's Chef Luca Corazzina
312 Chicago’s Chef Luca Corazzina
Quartino Restaurant in Chicago
Quartino Restaurant’s Chef in Chicago

Chicago is an international culinary mecca for foodies. There are many rising stars like Jimmy Bannos Jr. , a third generation Chicago restaurant owner and Chef. Here’s a video of the 2011 Chicago Gourmet Festival http://youtu.be/LiB0O2Y_A_g

Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig in Chicago

I love the Millennium Park venue that was dedicated by Mayor Richard Daley in July of 2004 as a gift to the people of Chicago. We take every opportunity to use this incredible facility!

Chicago Gourmet 2011
Chicago Gourmet 2011

The extraordinary event promotes Chicago’s impressive world-class food and wine community. Last year there was a Grand Cru Wine event at the Harris Theater Rooftop.

Chicago Gourmet 2011 Grand Cru Event
Chicago Gourmet 2011
Chicago Gourmet 2011

Forget about dieting during the weekend event or during the entire month of September. There will be 140 chefs participating in the three-day event with plenty of wine-tasting opportunities; as well as a “Dine Around” promotion.

Some of the restaurants in my “Rush Street” video  participate in “Chicago Gourmet“.

Gibson's Steakhouse on Rush Street
Gibson’s Steakhouse on Rush Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a short Video of some of my favorite restaurants on Rush Street

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT858R6N2gw.

Some of the participating movers and shakers include Chicago’s culinary gurus, Chicago chefs, master sommeliers and extraordinary wine makers.

Chicago Gourmet 2011

The Chicago Gourmet Event “aims to highlight the city as an international culinary destination via its unparalleled epicurean talent”.

Chicago Gourmet 2011
Chicago’s Michelin Chefs
Chicago Gourmet 2011

Dine around

The Bon Appétitand Chicago Gourmet Dine Around extends the event beyond Millennium Park into some of the city’s best restaurants. From Saturday, September 1, 2012 through Sunday, September 30, 2012, special prix-fixe menus will be available at participating Dine Around restaurants, offering guests a unique dining experience as well as a chance to earn a free ticket to the event.

Dine Around Receipt Holder for Chicago Gourmet 2012
Dine Around Receipt Holder for Chicago Gourmet 2012

Go get your special receipt folder and and start “Dining Around” today. Dine in 5 participating restaurants from the list below and save your receipts in the special folder. The folder has a list of all participating restaurants. Then redeem them for a complimentary one-day Chicago Gourmet Ticket at the “Dine Around Redemption” Registration Booth on the day of the event.

This offer is not applicable to the Hamburger Hop. We started our Dine Around Journey at Gibson’s on Rush and ordered the Salmon and Filet. We love dining outside at this popular Rush Street Restaurant.

Filet with Bernaise Sauce at Gibson's on Rush in Chicago
Filet with Bernaise Sauce at Gibson’s on Rush in Chicago
Salmon with mash potatoes and broccoli at Gibson's on Rush Street
Salmon with mash potatoes and broccoli at Gibson’s on Rush Street

We also went to Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush and ordered the incredible antipasto platter with some linguini with clam and an order of ravioli with pesto sauce. I had a margarita that was out of this world. Then we had a bottle of Frog’s Leap wine. I am never disappointed at this restaurant!

Linguini at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush

Antipasto at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush

Ravioli at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Ravioli at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
Fabulous Margarita at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Fabulous Margarita at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

Frog's Leap Cab at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Frog’s Leap Cab at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
Excellent WIne List at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Excellent WIne List at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

2012 participating Dine Around restaurants:

Chicago Gourmet Map 2011

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com. Buon Appetito!

English: From top left: Downtown Chicago, the ...
English: From top left: Downtown Chicago, the Willis Tower, the Chicago Theater, the Chicago “L”, Navy Pier, the Field Museum, and Millenium Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Enjoy a Spectacular Vino con Vista in Italy’s Wine Regions

If you follow my posts, you know that I adore Italy’s intoxicating Vino con Vistas! Italy is one of the world’s most alluring travel destinations with captivating panoramic vistas of majestic mountains and volcanoes surrounded by the glistening sea.

La collina di Bacco
La collina di Bacco (Photo credit: gigi 62)

I am an advocate of Wine Tourism and Culinary Travel. I even write Travel Guides called “Vino con Vista.” I have traveled the peninsula and identified my favorite places to enjoy “Wine with a View.”

Vineyards in Gaiole in Chianti in the Chianti ...
Vineyards in Gaiole in Chianti in the Chianti Classico region (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The micro-climates of regions from Piedmont to Sicily provide the nations’s wine producers with abundant resources and endless opportunities to produce highly regarded wines. There are over 300 varietals cultivated across the peninsula from the foothills to the southermost islands. Wine tourim is enhanced by the nation’s flourishing culinary culture that spawns superb cooking schools and world-class gourmet farm-to-fork chefs.

Tuscany, Italian wine region of Chianti
Tuscany, Italian wine region of Chianti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Vin Santo e Cantucci in Milan, Italy.
English: Vin Santo e Cantucci in Milan, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favorite wine always pairs well with art, architecture and the best age-old culinary traditions; think Vin Santo with cantucci/biscotti while watching the Palio in Siena; that’s a Vino con Vista. I take great pleasure in the fact that Trebbiano grapes are used to produce wine that has been aged in a barrel with a cross on it. That’s the inherent charm of Italy.

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclos...
Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclosed with walls, causing crowding and the building of tower houses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Thick, sugary Trebbiano juice leaving the bask...
Thick, sugary Trebbiano juice leaving the basket press from dried Trebbiano grapes being used to produce the Italian dessert wine Vin Santo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Italian wine Vin Santo with its traditiona...
The Italian wine Vin Santo with its traditional food pairing of Biscotti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A wine barrel with a cross on it designating t...
A wine barrel with a cross on it designating that it is being used to aged the Italian dessert wine Vin Santo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes,  I love wine that pairs with indigenous food. Although, I must admit that I have paired gelato with wine in San Gimignano; there’s no shame to that! Just don’t try it with Chianti Classico. I have been reprimanded by many Italian waiters for requesting grated cheese for my seafood pasta. They absolutely refuse; so I have to sneak grated cheese from my friends that are having pasta without seafood.

Late harvest grapes being harvested to produce...
Late harvest grapes being harvested to produce the Italian dessert wine Vin Santo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My travel plans frequently involve Wine and Food Festivals. Wine is produced and celebrated everywhere in Italy’s 20 regions. It’s a great place for touring and tasting.

Loading raisin grapes that have even been drie...
Loading raisin grapes that have even been dried on a straw mat or on the vine into a basket press to produce the Italian dessert wine Vin Santo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While Vin Santo wines are produced throughout ...
While Vin Santo wines are produced throughout Italy, the vast majority of production takes place in the provinces of Tuscany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Production of the Italian straw wine, Vin Sant...
Production of the Italian straw wine, Vin Santo, begining with Trebbiano being dried until they are raisin and concentrated with sugar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Agriturismo system is conducive to wine tourism because it provides accommodations for tourists at the wine estate. In addition, monasteries and castles have been converted into five-star hotels in many of Italy’s wine regions. Azienda Agricola Malenchini’s family run farm has been growing grapes and olives since 1830 www.malenchini.com.

Giuseppe Garibaldi - Portrait of an Italian Pa...
Giuseppe Garibaldi – Portrait of an Italian Patriot with Red Wine & Cabbage (Photo credit: Nino.Modugno)

I visited the Dievole Winery during one of my trips to Tuscany but next time, I will stay at the luxury Florentine Villa with two pools www.dievole.it. Go to Castello da Verrazzano and visit the historical working cellars and gaze at the wild boars www.verrazano.com. Visit Ristorante Enoteca Borgo Allegro with 400 labels of the best Italian and Tuscan wines www.borgoallegro.it

Italy's WIne Regions
Italy’s Wine Regions
Montalcino, Toscana, Italia
Montalcino, Toscana, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Brunello di Montalcino 2000 -  Il Marroneto - ...
Brunello di Montalcino 2000 – Il Marroneto – Vigna Madonna delle Grazie (Photo credit: dags1974)
Cantine Aperte is held on the last Sunday of May and offers outstanding opportunities for anyone interested in Italian wine. This is the day when many wine producers throughout Italy open their doors for a free tasting of their wines. There’s a great four-day annual Chianti Wine Festival in the town of Greve in Tuscany. http://www.greve-in-chianti.com/en/2010_wine_festival.htm
Tuscany is the home of Italy’s most famous wines made with Sangiovese grapes: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino.
Montalcino
Montalcino (Photo credit: littlestar19)
Brunello de Montalcino
Brunello de Montalcino

When you travel to Italy’s wine regions you can visit Col d’Orcia. They have been making wine since the 17oos. This producer is located on 1300 acres in Tuscany’s Siena province on the outskirts of the medieval hilltop village of Montalcino.  The vineyards occupy 370 acres on the hills between the Orcia River and Sant’Angelo in Colle. Col d’Orcia is owned by Count Francesco Marone Cinzano and primarily produces the Brunello clone of Sangiovese.

Brunello de Montalcino
Brunello de Montalcino
Italian wine region of Piedmont
Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many interesting regions in Italy for Touring and Tasting. You can visit Piedmont, Tuscany and many of Italy’s major wine regions, from Alto Aidge in the north to Puglia and Campania in the south. You can travel to the islands of Sardinia and Sicily for more Wine Tourism Adventures. Furthermore, Apulia (Puglia), in the South of Italy is known for Primitivo and is emerging as an interesting destination for Enoturism. For more information, visit ViaggiareinPuglia.it.

Italian wine
Italian wine (Photo credit: toyohara)
In the Italian wine region of Piedmont
In the Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click on this link to see the Wine Spectator Maps of Italy: http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Italymap.pdf

Let’s explore some of Italy’s wine regions:

A food and wine pairing with the Italian wine ...
A food and wine pairing with the Italian wine Amarone from Valpolicella, Veneto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The north-eastern Venato region of Italy is protected by the Alps. The cooler climates are suited to white varietals like Garganega; the warmer Adriatic coastal plaines produce Amarone, Valpolicella and Bardolino. Sparkling Prosecco is produced in this region.

Conegliano is one of Italy’s leading wine schools in this region. Every year, Verona hosts Vinitaly, the world’s leading Wine Festival.

Prosecco

An interesting range of wines which are unique to Italy are made with grapes that are dried in the warm air by laying them out on mats after harvesting. These recioto grapes make two basic styles of wine: Amarone della Valpolicella, which is vinified to be dry and very alcoholic and Recioto.

A Vineyard in the Italian wine region of Valpo...
A Vineyard in the Italian wine region of Valpolicella in the Veneto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Amarone
Amarone

Casa Vinicola Bertani is one on the region’s most influential wine producers. Bertani was founded in 1857 by Gaetano and Giovani Battista Bertani. They are vertically integrated; they own the vineyards and control the entire wine-making cycle.

In 2004, the winter was cold and wet with an average spring. Summer was characterized by warm days and cool nights allowing for optimal ripening. The wine was aged in oak casks for 7 years and bottled in January of 2011.

Amarone
1980 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico from the Venato

The 1980 Spring had average temperatures and precipitation with a hot, dry summer. Yields were lower but fruit quality was high. The wine was fermented for 46 days and aged for 10 years in large Slovonian oak barrels. The wine was bottled in February of 1991.

Nebbiolo has a long history in the Alba region...
Nebbiolo has a long history in the Alba region of Piedmont. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amarone

Italian wine
Italian wine (Photo credit: toyohara)

Ripasso and Recioto are also produced in the Venato; fermentation is stopped earlier for Recioto to capture sweetness. Try some Amarones and Reciotos from wineries like Alighieri, Masi and Allegrini.

English: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy - the village...
English: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy – the village Italiano: Barolo, Piemonte, Italia – il paese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Barolo
Barolo (Photo credit: verovera78)

The subregion of Piedmont called Langhe, is where the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco are produced. Piedmont produces complex red wines made from Nebbiolo grapes in the Barolo and Barbaresco appellations. Traditionally these wines age well and have an intense fruit flavor.

Other Piedmontese wines include: fruity Barbera and sweet Brachetto and Dolcetto. Sparkling Asti is made from the Moscato grape.

Produttori del Barbaresco - Barbaresco Docg 2006

In the Italian wine region of Piedmont
In the Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cerretto, Gaja, Aldo Conterno and Giacosa are prominent producers in this area. Visit Cerretto’s headquarters at the Monsordo Bernadina winery outside Alba and then go to the town of Alba and have lunch at Ristorante La Piola in the Piazza Duomo. Alba is a picturesque medieval village that also produces Barbera.

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Piedmontmap.pdf

Ceretto - Barbaresco
Ceretto – Barbaresco “Asij” Docg 2007 (Photo credit: Doyouwine)
Italian wine made from Nebbiolo in Piedmont
Italian wine made from Nebbiolo in Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
the heart of Sicily
the heart of Sicily (Photo credit: Chiara Marra)

I love Sicily. Start your adventure in Palermo and travel to the wineries in Avola and the other beautiful towns in Southern Sicily. Visit the D0nna Fuggata Winery in Sicily. You will also adore Palermo, Cefalu, Taormina and the Aeolian Islands!

Vino Con Vista Sicily

Sicily 2009
Sicily 2009 (Photo credit: mad_76)

Sicily has a plethora of interesting sites and produces a broad array of bold wines. Have some Nero d’Avola as you watch a movie in the Greco-Roman Theater at the annual Taormina Film Festival. Spend the weekend at the luxurious San Domenico

Palace hotel, a former 15th century monastery.

Visit the Late Baroque towns in Southeastern Sicily where yau can tour and taste in the town of Avola. Dine at La Gazza Landra on Via Blandini in Modica ALta.

Vino Con Vista AmalfiCampania is another outstanding Vino con Vista destination. The smoldering volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculanuem generated fertile volcanis soil for growing grapes, lemons and olives. Pallagrello Nero, Aglianico, Biancolella and Fiano grapes are used to produce sumptuous wines in this region. Sip some Lacryma Christi del Bianco or Flanghina wine from your lounge chair at the beach or on your splendid terrace in the Amalfi Coast. This region produces plenty of limoncello.
Terraza del Vino 7
Terraza del Vino 7 (Photo credit: BodegaContiempo)
Italian wine region of Piedmont
Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Piedmontmap.pdf

Ceretto – Barbaresco “Asij” Docg 2007 (Photo credit: Doyouwine)
Italian wine made from Nebbiolo in Piedmont
Italian wine made from Nebbiolo in Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 

I love Sicily. Start your adventure in Palermo and travel to the wineries in Avola and the other beautiful towns in Southern Sicily. Visit the D0nna Fuggata Winery in Sicily. You will also adore Cefalu, Taormina and the Aeolian Islands!

Sicily has a plethora of interesting sites and produces a broad array of bold wines.

Vino Con Vista Sicily
Vino con Vista Sicily

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Sicilymap.pdf

Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino

Italian Wine

Italian Wine

Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 I...
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Italian wine from Tuscany made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brolio

Sangiovese grapes in a vineyard of Montalcino,...
Sangiovese grapes in a vineyard of Montalcino, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations for wine tourism. You can visit the Chianti, Bolgheri, Brunello di Montalcino, Maremma and the Montepulciano appellation.

2006 Castello Banfi Belnero Toscana, I.G.T. fr...
Tuscany 2008
Tuscany 2008 (Photo credit: mzarro)

The Montepulciano grape is most widely planted on the opposite coast of Abruzzo; not the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany where Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from Sangiovese grapes. The Vernaccia grape is used for white Vernaccia de San Gimignano.

Abbey of Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, Tuscany
Abbey of Sant’Antimo, Montalcino, Tuscany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A good example of the Italian wine Brunello di...
A good example of the Italian wine Brunello di Montalcino with partial Sangiovese cluster behind class. Just need to crop out the chickens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chianti and the towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano are the wine-producing regional rock stars in Tuscany!

The gallo nero seal of the Consorzio Chianti C...
The gallo nero seal of the Consorzio Chianti Classico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tuscany Cipresses
Tuscany Cipresses (Photo credit: Maarten Van Hoof)
English: Castle (Fortezza) at Montalcino, Sien...
English: Castle (Fortezza) at Montalcino, Siena, Italy. Photo taken by Type17, 18:50hrs June 24th 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best quality wines are the Riservas.

They generally come from Sangiovese grapes in the Chianti  Classico zone, which stretches from Florence to Siena. Try wines from Antinori, Castell’in Villa, San Felice and Isole e Olena. Try to attend the annual Chianti festival in the charming town of Greve in Tuscany.

Landscape in the Italian wine region of Greve ...
Landscape in the Italian wine region of Greve in the Chianti area in Tuscany, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A bottle of the Italian wine Chianti Classico ...
A bottle of the Italian wine Chianti Classico made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chianti sub-zone
Chianti sub-zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Italian wine Brunello from Tuscany made fr...
The Italian wine Brunello from Tuscany made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sangiovese grapes on the vine in the Italian w...
Sangiovese grapes on the vine in the Italian wine region of Chianti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Tuscanymap.pdf

Chianti Classico

Montalcino
Montalcino (Photo credit: littlestar19)
English: The Municipality of Montalcino within...
English: The Municipality of Montalcino within the Province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy Italiano: Il comune di Montalcino nella Provincia di Siena, Toscana, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: View of Montalcino from the Castle (F...
English: View of Montalcino from the Castle (Fortezza). Taken Sept 8th 2006 by me. Canon EOS 20D, 10mm focal length (16mm effective length) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rome‘s Wine Tourism is increasing. The Roman Hills and Frascati offer excellent Vino con Vista opportunities.

Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio ...
Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 189v – The Communion of the Apostles the Musée Condé, Chantilly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Frascati
Frascati (Photo credit: twicepix)

Franciacorta

Prosecco

Beschreibung: Kiste mit Tignanello-Flaschen – ...
Beschreibung: Kiste mit Tignanello-Flaschen – eine Kostbarkeit. Fotograf: Benutzer:BMK 8/2004 Please send reference and voucher copy to BMK(at)clever.ms Bitte Quellenangabe und Beleg an BMK(at)clever.ms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bottles of Sassicaia
Bottles of Sassicaia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italian Wine

Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in ...
Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Map of Italy and its districts.
English: Map of Italy and its districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There an annual fall wine festival in Greve in Chianti from September 6-9, 2012. Greve is on the Via Chiantigiana; the Chianti route to Siena. The Festival is held in Piazza Matteotti.

City Lights, France-Italy Border (NASA, Intern...
City Lights, France-Italy Border (NASA, International Space Station Science, 04/28/10) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

I love Italy’s Wine Regions @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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26th Annual GrapeFest in Grapevine Texas

Tour the wineries of Grapevine, Texas at this four-day 26th annual GrapeFest in Grapevine Texas. Wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs from across the nation can experience award-winning Texas wine at the largest Wine Festival in the Southwest.

English: Statue on Main Street in front of the...
English: Statue on Main Street in front of the train station, Grapevine, Texas, USA Français : La statue devant la gare de Grapevine, Texas, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN: September 13-16, 2012

WHERE: Grapevine, Texas (in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area)

Tour the wineries of Grapevine, Texas at this four-day 26th annual GrapeFest in Grapevine Texas. Wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs from across the nation can experience award-winning Texas wine at the largest Wine Festival in the Southwest.

English: City Office on Main Street, Grapevine...
English: City Office on Main Street, Grapevine, Texas, USA Français : La mairie de Grapevine sur Main Street, Texas, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information, visit www.grapevinetexasusa.com

Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas
Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Flavor! Napa Valley Food and Wine Festival 2012

Second Annual Flavor! Napa Valley Food and Wine Festival includes 50 Chefs, over 125 Vintners and 2 days of Hands-on Immersions.

At Flavor! Napa Valley food and wine festival, Chef Michael Chiarello, the originator of the Flavor! Napa Valley will be joined by an impressive array of Napa Valley-based celebrity chefs including: Thomas Keller, Christopher Kostow, Cindy Pawlcyn, Jeffrey Jake and Masaharu Morimoto. cuisine.”

WHEN: November 14-18, 2012
WHERE: Starts at Amusee Napa: A Downtown Napa Tasting on Wednesday, November 14th.
TICKETS: Individual event tickets range from $85 To $325, with the historic, two-day Legends of Napa Valley tasting at $3500 per person.
According to festival producer Herb Karlitz, one of the festival highlights is a two-day tasting of wines “that have and continue to put Napa Valley on the map, reaching back to the post-Prohibition wines of the ‘40s through the present day.” Featured wines on day one are the ’57 Louis Martini Pinot Noir, ’66 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘76 Joseph Phelps Insignia, ’77 Beringer Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, ’78 Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, ’78 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Flavor! Napa Valley is a five-day Napa Valley food and wine festival featuring the area’s superlative chefs, restaurants and wineries. Held from November 14 – 18, the festival format includes a series of creative tastings and seasonally-inspired meals, as well as a variety of hands-on and educational experiences led by the region’s most notable chefs, vintners and sommeliers.

English: Napa_Valley_CA_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan
English: Napa_Valley_CA_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California
English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Event venues include founding sponsor Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena, as well as restaurants and wineries throughout the region. Events range from a new series of small and hands-on immersions entitled Terroir to Table™ to a historic, two-day library tasting of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wines in the last 50-years, including today’s “cult” wines, appropriately named The Legends of Napa Valley: A Definitive Tasting. Net proceeds from all events support programs and scholarships at CIA’s Greystone Campus.

English: Autumn in Napa Valley
English: Autumn in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Individual event tickets range from $85 To $325, with the historic, two-day Legends of Napa Valley tasting at $3500 per person. Many of the area’s lodging partners are offering special Flavor! Napa Valley packages that combine a stay with festival tickets, such as Silverado Resort and Spa’s Flavor! Napa Valley package, which includes accommodations in a one-bedroom Fireplace Suite, breakfast for two in The Grill, a signature culinary welcome gift and tickets to Amusee Napa: A Downtown Napa Tasting on Wednesday, November 14.

The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery
The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery (Photo credit: don j schulte @ oxherder arts)
Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa...
Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Additional Napa Valley properties are also offering special Flavor! Napa Valley packages, and complete information on lodging packages can be found at: http://visit.legendarynapavalley.com/index.cfm/napa_valley_lodging-flavor_napa_valley.htm

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : ...
English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : Vignobles de la Napa Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Heitz Wine cellars vineyards
English: Heitz Wine cellars vineyards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More information on tickets and the complete Flavor! Napa Valley event schedule can be found at www.flavornapavalley.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley and @FlavorNV on Twitter.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Columbia Gorge Wineries Celebrate Labor Day 2012 in Oregon and Washington

 

Travel to the fascinating The Columbia River Gorge region for Labor Day. The Gorge is a  canyon that stretches for over 80 miles. The gorge is the only navigable route through the Cascades and links to the Pacific Ocean. This area forms the boundary between the states of Washington and Oregon and has some of the most spectacular scenery in Oregon. In 1986, the Columbia River Gorge “became the first and only National Scenic Area in the United States.”

Singing Cowboys
Singing Cowboys
English: Oneonta Creek, Columbia Gorge, Trail #424
English: Oneonta Creek, Columbia Gorge, Trail #424 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Columbia Gorge Wine Growers Association is hosting a Labor Day Weekend Open House. The Columbia Gorge AVA is a winegrowing Region (AVA) that is located an hour east of the Portland. There will be special events at many wineries in the area. So spend Labor Day Weekend in the incredible Columbia Gorge region where you can visit quaint waterfront towns located at the foothills of Mount Hood, Oregon‘s tallest peak. There are plenty of spectacular wineries and Tasting Rooms.

Cascade Cliffs Wine
Cascade Cliffs Wine
Penetration Wine and Matching Tee Shirt
Penetration Wine and Matching Tee Shirt
Quenette Wine
Quenette Wine
Wines in the Gorge
Tasting Rooms in Hood River

More than 30 Columbia Gorge Wineries are hosting Open Houses with incredible views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to celebrate Labor Day Weekend.

They will be featuring special releases and offering discounts.

WHEN: September 1st-3rd, 2012

WHERE: Columbia Gorge Wineries in Washington and Oregon

Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Metlako Falls, Columbia River Gorge National S...
Metlako Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wineries span the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. There is “a world of wine in 40 miles” in this tranquil heavenly paradise.

You can visit wineries in Oregon and Washington in this area. Use the Hood Bridge to travel between the two states.

Hood River Bridge

Kelvin Kay, user:kkmd Category:Columbia River ...
Kelvin Kay, user:kkmd Category:Columbia River Gorge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are only separated by a bridge.

English: Mount Adams, Washington, United State...
English: Mount Adams, Washington, United States, as seen from Hood River, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Washington State
Washington State (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Oregon wineries are located from Hood River to The Dalles; the Washington Wineries span Underwood to Goldendale. Click here for more information: downloadable map

English: Looking east up the Columbia River Go...
English: Looking east up the Columbia River Gorge, from Crown Point in Oregon, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Triple Falls, Columbia Gorge
Triple Falls, Columbia Gorge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s the OPEN HOUSE Line-Up:

1. AlmaTerra Wines               Labor Day Weekend Hours: Friday 4-9:30 with live music from 7-9 pm; Sat, Sun, Mon noon – 6 pm 208 West Steuben Street (State Highway 14) Bingen WA 98605 • Phone:              (509) 637-2633 Labor Day Specials: Pouring our flight of four 2008 new-release single-vineyard Syrahs (a rare event!) along with new Artist-series Museum Red and Museum White blends. Free appetizers Sat-Mon. This weekend only (Sat-Mon): two Reidel crystal wineglasses free with new wine club sign ups ($20 value and 20% off wine purchases).

2. COR Cellars Thursday -Monday 11am-6pm 3. Domaine Pouillon 11am – 6pm They will hold a Blind Tasting Contest during the Labor Day weekend holiday. The lucky winner gets to experience a day of “crush” with their winemaker, Alexis.

4. Garnier Vineyards in Mosier Oregon is having a Labor Day Weekend Garden Party and Cellar Sale on Sunday, September 2nd from 2-6 pm. There will be live music from Andiamo and food from Boda’s Kitchen. Enjoy music on the lawn, good food, and great wines!

5. Maryhill Winery

Hazy Hood and Maryhill Wineries
Hazy Hood and Maryhill Wineries (Photo credit: surfonaut)

Labor Day Weekend Wine Tasting and New Releases with live music by: The Signatures www.signaturesmusic.com, Wayman Chapman  www.waymanchapman.com and Bluestone  www.bluestonejazz.net6. Springhouse Cellar noon to 6pm with a special  2009 Merlot release.

7. SUNSHINE MILL WINERY noon-10 Friday and Saturday; noon-6 Sunday and Monday. Play bocce ball and enjoy brats and appetizers paired with Quenett and Copa Di Vino wine. Watch a free summer movie on the Silos. Spokane based band “Coal Bird” will be playing in the amphitheater

Quenette Winery Tasting Room in Hood River
Quenette Winery Tasting Room in Hood River
JUST AFTER SUNRISE FROM A 7,000 FOOT ELEVATION...
JUST AFTER SUNRISE FROM A 7,000 FOOT ELEVATION OVER THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, BETWEEN THE DALLES AND THE HOOD RIVER – NARA – 548178 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. The Pines Tasting Room and Gallery is celebrating their Tasting Room’s 6th anniversary with “a weekend of wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, art, and a special 20% discount on 6+ bottle purchases” all weekend. They will have live music and dancing Friday from 6-9 and from Lolo Motion.

The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon
The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon

9. Waving Tree    September 1-3, 10 am-5 pm with entertainment by “The Sugar Daddies” Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm.

Visit www.ColumbiaGorgeWine.com for more information.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Best Places to See The Chicago Air and Water Show 2012

English: Photograph looking North from the 94t...
English: Photograph looking North from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Tower in Chicago, IL. Photo taken by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Make plans to attend The Chicago Air & Water Show. There are some interesting places to watch the show at North Avenue Beach. Try the Castaways Bar and Grill or Sand Bar Beer Garden.

English: Chicago skyline at sunrise Deutsch: C...
 

1. Go to Belmont Harbor, Diversey Harbor, Oak Street beach or Navy Pier.

 

English: Navy Pier seen from the top of the Jo...
English: Navy Pier seen from the top of the John Hancock Building. Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Navy Pier as seen from the convergenc...
English: Navy Pier as seen from the convergence of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Navy Pier Auditorium. Français : Le Navy Pier réalisé en 1914 sur les plans de Frost. 日本語: グランド・ボールルーム. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. You can get tickets for the Friends of Conservation Air & Water Show Yacht Party. VIP Tickets are $105 and includes express rooftop entry- BUY NOW! The Air & Water Show Yacht Party will benefit the Friends of Conservation Organization. Zonin Wine will be a hosting with plenty of tasty bites from PopChips and the Corner Bakery. Air & Water Show Yacht Party General Admission Tickets are $85.00 and includes a hosted bar and hors’ devours.

When: August 18, 2012 from 1:00pm-5:00pm

Where: Kanan Cruises Navy Pier 600 E Grand, Chicago, IL 60611

Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht
Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht

3. Or get tickets for one of the other Spectacular Chicago-area Boat Tours ASAP including:

http://www.seadogcruises.com/Chicago/home

http://www.cruisechicago.com

http://www.mysticbluecruises.com

http://www.mysticbluecruises.com/Chicago/air-water-cruises-navypier

http://www.odysseycruises.com/Chicago/chicago-air-show-cruises

http://www.odysseycruises.com

http://www.spiritofchicago.com/Chicago/air-water-show-cruises

http://www.wendellaboats.com 4. Watch the action from the 94th floor of the Hancock Building at 875 N. Michigan Ave. from the comfort of the John Hancock Observatory while enjoying a drink at the Lavazza Espression Café.

John Hancock Center Observatory
John Hancock Center Observatory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The John Hancock Observatory provides a 360° view of the city, up to four states and over 80 miles.

English: John Hancock Tower as seen from Willi...
English: John Hancock Tower as seen from Willis Tower in Chicago, IL, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite Vino con Vista Spots is on the 95th floor at the Signature Room. When the building was completed in 1968 it was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. “It is currently the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and the sixth-tallest in the United States, after the Willis Tower, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Trump Tower Chicago and the Aon Center.”

5. Check out the rooftop terrace at the J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln or the WET Deck at W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel.

The Lindbergh Beacon atop the Palmolive Buildi...
The Lindbergh Beacon atop the Palmolive Building can be clearly seen at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your best bet is to hound one of your Chicago high-rise dwelling buddies with a Lake Michigan view to invite you over. Promise to bring plenty of champagne, wine and appetizers. That always works for me.

English: Five tallest skyscrapers of Chicago -...
English: Five tallest skyscrapers of Chicago – 1.Willis Tower, 2.Trump International Hotel & Tower, 3.Aon Center, 4.John Hancock Center, 5.AT&T Corporate Center. Česky: Pět nejvyšších mrakordapů v Chicagu – 1.Willis Tower, 2.Trump International Hotel & Tower, 3.Aon Center, 4.John Hancock Center, 5.AT&T Corporate Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chicago from across Lake Michigan.
Chicago from across Lake Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN: Saturday, August 18th & Sunday, August 19th 10 am – 3 pm each

Flights come as close as 18 inches
Flights come as close as 18 inches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Chicago Air And Water Show is one of the largest free air shows in the United States. “The Chicago Air And Water Show is an annual event that began in 1959 and attracts over 2 Million aviation spectators every year. The annual event takes place over Chicago’s Lake Michigan and features various aviation acts raging from military aircraftto corporate sponsored aerobatic teams.

A North American F-100D Super Sabre from the U...
A North American F-100D Super Sabre from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatic team at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Dayton, Ohio (USA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been astounding audiences since 1946 with their gravity-defying flights and  supersonic maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornets.

ANNAPOLIS, MD - MAY 29:  U.S. Navy Blue Angels...
ANNAPOLIS, MD – MAY 29: U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over graduation ceremonies at the U.S. Naval Academy May 29, 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta is the commencement speaker for the 1099 graduates of the class of 2012. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

My favorite part of the Chicago Air Show is the jets flying in formation.

The 54th annual show will take place above the and waterfront August 18-19, 2012 from 10am-3pm each day, with North Avenue Beach as the center point.  The U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs will “jump out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth’s surface, racing to the beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph before making a perfect landing.”

The weekend’s headliners include: the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs. “Daredevil pilots performing their aerial stunts include Sean D. Tucker and Team Oracle in the Oracle Challenger, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team in their WWII North American Advanced Trainer, Lima Lima Flight Team in the BeechT-34 Mentor, The Firebirds in their Walter Extra 300 S and Chuck Aaron in the Red Bull Helicopter.”

English: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aeria...
English: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team is the Air Force’s premier demonstration team. The Thunderbirds operate the Lockheed/Martin F-16 C model. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is also a water-skiing and boat-jumping element to the annual event. You don’t have to be an aviation guru to enjoy the show. The Chicago lakefront offers plenty of fun events during this annual beach-front extravaganza.

United States Air Force ThunderBirds
United States Air Force ThunderBirds (Photo credit: AdolfGalland)

WHEN: August 18-19, 2012 in Chicago.

Chicago Air Show.com is a proud sponsor of the U.S. Armed Forces.
You can watch the show from the beach or attend a Yacht Party.
English: Chicago, Ill. (Aug. 22, 2004) - The U...
English: Chicago, Ill. (Aug. 22, 2004) – The U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, the “Blue Angels,” delta formation performs the loop break crossover maneuver over Lake Michigan during the Chicago Air and Water Show. The Blue Angels fly the F/A-18A Hornet, performing approximately 30 maneuvers during the aerial demonstration lasting over an hour. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Ryan J. Courtade (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht
Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht
Air Show...
Air Show… (Photo credit: naathas)
View of downtown Chicago, seen from the Sears ...
View of downtown Chicago, seen from the Sears Tower. The tall, black building in the center of the image is the John Hancock Center, and Lake Michigan is in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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IL Palio dell’Assunta 2012 in Siena Tuscany

Jockeys enter Piazza del Campo to run
Jockeys enter Piazza del Campo to run (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Siena’s yellowish-brown buildings are the embodiment of a gothic medieval city.  Her golden age came to a screeching halt with the plague called the Black Death of 1348.

 

Witness the glorious  historical Il Palio dell’Assunta 2012 in Siena, a bareback horse race around the Piazza del Campo. It lasts for about 90 seconds. The race features jockeys from Siena’s 17 neighbourhoods or Contrade.

 

WHEN: Palio dell’Assunta on August 16, 2012 (follows the Palio di Provenzano, which took place on July 2, 2012).

WHERE: Il Campo,  in Siena Tuscany

A photograph taken of the Piazza del Campo in ...
A photograph taken of the Piazza del Campo in Siena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enlightened travelers will love this charming city in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone about 21 miles south of Florence. Order a bottle of wine at a cafe in the shell-shaped brick Piazza del Campo is one of Italy’s most triumphant piazzas, large enough to feature a medieval semi-annual 350-year-old summer bareback horse race called the  “Palio delle Contrade” www.paliosiena.com.

Here’s a video of the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C7AyhpWXgoE

Image Palio dell'Assunta (16/08/2006) - Siena
Image Palio dell’Assunta (16/08/2006) – Siena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Image Palio dell'Assunta (16/08/2006) - Siena
Image Palio dell’Assunta (16/08/2006) – Siena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Palazzo Pubblico, Piazza Del Campo, Siena, Italy
Palazzo Pubblico, Piazza Del Campo, Siena, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The victor of the Palio celebrates with a massive town dinner (cena). Sometimes the horse wins without a jockey. The piazza’s surface is divided into nine segments by colored paving stones, symbolizing Siena’a original Council of Nine. Their members governed the city in her medieval heyday.

English: Flag bearer of the contrada della Pan...
English: Flag bearer of the contrada della Pantera during a parade at the piazza del Campo, Siena. Français : Porte-drapeau de la contrada della Pantera drant un défilé sur la plae du Campo à Sienne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The council met at the Palazzo Pubblico on the eastern part of the square. In Siena visit Italy’s most famous Enoteca on Piazza Matteotti housed within the Medici fortress, order from among 1000 wines from more than 50 producers.  Then take the Chianti Road (La Chiantigiana) through the magnificent Tuscan countryside revered and replicated in Renaissance paintings.

Italiano: Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italia.
Italiano: Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While you are visiting Siena, sip some Sant’ Antimo Terre du Siena in the Campo with some pappardelle con leper, pappa al pomodoro or Costata alla Fiorentina.

The Tuscan hillsides provide the ideal micro-climates for Sangiovese and Trebbiano grapes. Visit the Italian Library of Wine in Siena owned by the Italian government to showcase their finest wines. The outdoor terrace is a great “vino con vista” venue.

Palio di Siena - Provenzano - Partenza quarta ...
Palio di Siena – Provenzano – Partenza quarta Prova (Photo credit: Janus Kinase)

If you want to learn about the 17  “Contrade” (0riginally there were about fifty-nine) from their official Palio Website visit: www.ilpalio.org

“Here is a partial list of their names, emblems and colours grouped into “Terzi” or “Terzieri” (historically, the town was divided into three sections called: “Terziere di Città”, “Terziere di San Martino” and “Terziere di Camollia”).

Terziere di Città “AQUILA (Eagle) a double-headed eagle with imperial symbols. Yellow with black and blue bands. CHIOCCIOLA (Snail) a snail. Yellow and red with blue bands. ONDA (Wave) a swimming dolphin wearing a crown. White and blue. PANTERA (Panther) a rampant panther. Red and blue with white bands. SELVA (Forest) a rhinoceros bearing a huge tree hung with hunting implements. Green and orange-yellow with white bands. TARTUCA (Tortoise) a tortoise. Yellow and blue.”

Terziere di San Martino “CIVETTA (Owl) an owl. Black and red with white bands. LEOCORN0 (Unicorn) a unicorn. White and orange-yellow with blue bands. NICCHIO (Shell) a seashell. Blue with yellow and red bands. TORRE (Tower) an elephant with a tower on its back. Dark bordeaux red with white and blue bands. VALDIMONTONE or simply MONTONE (Ram) a rampant ram. White and yellow with red bands.”

Terziere di Camollia “BRUCO (Caterpillar) a caterpillar. Yellow and green with blue bands. DRAGO (Dragon) a flying dragon. Red and green with yellow bands. GIRAFFA (Giraffe) a giraffe. White and red. ISTRICE (Porcupine) a porcupine. White, red, black and blue bands. LUPA (She-Wolf) the Roman She-Wolf suckling the twins. Black and white with orange-yellow bands. OCA (Goose) a crowned goose with the cross of Savoia round its neck. White and green with red bands.

The “Contrade” first appeared in the middle of the 15th century to celebrate certain solemn events. They were represented by special wooden devices shaped like animals, like a giraffe, a dragon, a porcupine, a she-wolf, a caterpillar, a goose etc.”

Banners of the Contrade sold before the beginn...
Banners of the Contrade sold before the beginning of the race (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Italiano: Un momento della Prova in Piazza del...
Italiano: Un momento della Prova in Piazza del Campo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Thousands of spectators, coming from all the w...
Thousands of spectators, coming from all the world, fill the Piazza del Campo to capacity on the day of the Palio di Siena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Elvis Week 2012 in Memphis Tennessee

Elvis fans and impersonators converge on Memphis Tennessee during Elvis Week 2012 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his death in 1977. There is also a 100-booth  merchandise and memorabilia fair at the Memphis Cook Convention Centre.

The “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” lived at Graceland where you can join in a candlelight vigil. There will be panel discussions, art exhibitions, concerts and a music festival. There are 3 new exhibits:  “Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley,” which celebrates his status as a musical pioneer; “Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” which explores Lisa Marie’s childhood at Graceland and her relationship with her father; and “Elvis on Tour,” featuring the documentary of the same name about his tour in April 1972.

His Graceland mansion at 3765 Elvis Presley Blvd. is filled with memorabilia.  Check out the features at www.elvis.com/graceland

Graceland is open daily and and basic tour is $32; or $36 for access to Presley’s airplanes and auto museum.

Elvis Presley cor 03
Elvis Presley cor 03 (Photo credit: Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria)

You can also make a pilgrimage to Tupelo, Mississippi where you can Elvis Presley’s two-room childhood home.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09:   And Warhol’s ‘Double ...
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 09: And Warhol’s ‘Double Elvis (Ferus Type)’ portrait of Elvis Presley is auctioned at Sotheby’s on May 9, 2012 in New York City. The market for contemporary art has been of fire in recent months with Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ posting an auction record of $119 million at Sotheby’s on May 2. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
English: Boyhood home of Elvis Presley.
English: Boyhood home of Elvis Presley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE:  Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis, Tennessee

WHEN: Week of August 10-18, 2012

A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Pres...
A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Presley’s bust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit www.elvisweek.com for details and tickets.

English: Wackel-Elvis at Graceland Mansion on ...
English: Wackel-Elvis at Graceland Mansion on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee. Wall of Graceland Mansion and tourists in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of
Cover of Fun in Acapulco
Cover of
Cover of Viva Las Vegas [Blu-ray]

 

There will be an Elvis trivia treasure hunt. Events at Graceland also include screenings of classics such as Viva Las Vegas.

Viva Las Vegas (song)
Viva Las Vegas (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi; birthpla...
Shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi; birthplace of Elvis Presley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information visit: www.elvis.com

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: The Elvis Presley Blvd way down to Gr...
English: The Elvis Presley Blvd way down to Graceland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Graceland, Elvis Presley's home in Me...
English: Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Elvis Presley
Cover of Elvis Presley
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Chicago’s 8th Annual Windy City Wine Festival 2012

Chicago’s 8th annual Windy City Wine Festival 2012 is coming to Grant Park!
Buckingham Fountain at night. Kelvin Kay, user...
Buckingham Fountain at night. Kelvin Kay, user:kkmd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WHEN: Friday, September 7, 2012  from 4-10 PM
Saturday, September 8, 2012 from  3-9 PM
WHERE: Buckingham Fountainin Grant Park

English: Buckingham Fountain
English: Buckingham Fountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Adult Wine Tasting Ticket $28 in advance or $35 at the door. “This ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.”Designated Driver Ticket $10 in advance or at the door. This ticket includes two non-alcoholic drinks, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, souvenir wine glass upon departure. Under 21 admitted free when accompanied by paid adult.
Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain At Night

Gaze at Chicago’s incredible horizontal evening cityscape and watch the light-show at Buckingham Fountain for an incredible “Vino con Vista” experience.

Watch this YouTube video of the Windy City Wine Festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qiWMpieX8M

What could possibly be better than going to Grant Park in September at dusk and sipping wine from all over the world while listening to live music?

Chicago Skyline at night from Grant Park

Chicago’s 8th Annual Windy City Wine Festival is the place to be. The Windy City Wine Festival is held at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park in Chicago.

Chicago WIndy City Wine Festival 2011
Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

Chicago Restaurants

Taste some of the delightful wines including the Cabernet Reserva from Cass Winery and the Spanish Rioja.

Some of the other wineries include: Chicago based Cooper’s Hawk and  Lynfred Winery, Wollersheim Winery, Reggae Wines and Fess Parker.

Here’s a link to the full list of wineries for 2012:

http://www.windycitywinefestival.com/windycity_wine.html

Lynfred Winery at the Windy City Wine Festival

 

Reggae Wines at the Chicago Wine Festival 2011

Chicago Windy City Wine Festival 2011
French Wines at the Windy CIty Wine Festival in Chicago 2011

Try the Fess Parker Winery Pinot Noir. The festival features more than 270 wines from around the world with wine tasting seminars.

Foodies can flock to the food booths where local restaurants will offer their signature dishes. Last year I liked the Markethouse Restaurant’s very tasty pulled pork sandwich and cornbread. I also liked the steak sandwich at Sullivan’s Steakhouse and The Melting Pot’s fondue.

Sullivan’s Steak Sandwich on a Pretzel Roll-YUM!
Sullivan’s Steakhouse at the Windy CIty Wine Festival in Chicago 2011
Kendall College at the WIndy City WIne Festival in Chicago 2011

Here’s the food line-up from the website:

Caoba Mexican   Grill and Bar 1619 N. Damen Avenue Chicago, IL   60647 773-342-2622 www.caobachicago.com Fire it Up A premier mobile catering service, brings the restaurant to you! 630-984-5240           http://fireituptruck.com/
Markethouse   Restaurant 300 E. Ohio Street Chicago, IL   60611-3308 312-224-2200 www.markethousechicago.com Sullivan’s   Steakhouse 415 N. Dearborn Street Chicago, IL   60654 312-527-3510 www.sullivansteakhouse.com
The Melting   Pot 609 N. Dearborn Street Chicago, IL   60654 312-573-0011 www.meltingpot.com Weber Grill Restaurant 539 N. State Street Chicago, IL   60654 312-467-9696 www.webergrillrestaurant.com

Last year, Kendall College sent some of their future chefs to the event. There will be cooking demonstrations by top chefs and samples from gourmet food companies. Take time to stroll through the lovely gardens at Grant Park. Our city planners attempted to make Grant Park a “Paris on the Prarie”. This is a great “Vino con Vista” Venue!

Here’s the Entertainment Schedule:

Friday, September 7       4:00-10:00 pm

6:15-6:45 pm Eric Swanson,      Tenzing Sake Specialist

6:55-7:25 pm            Michelle Gerber, Banfi Vintners

7:45-9:45 pm LLOYD DOBLER EFFECT

Saturday, September 8 3:00-9:00 pm

4:00-5:00 pm LLOYD DOBLER EFFECT

5:15-5:50 pm “Barefoot  Sweet Wine Sangria Competition – Who Can Cool Down the Fall with the Best  Sangria?” JAMES BEGLEY, E & J GALLO
6:00-6:30 pm Eric Swanson, Tenzing Sake Specialist

6:45-8:45  pm LLOYD DOBLER EFFECT

Grant Park Garden in Chicago
Fountains in Grant Park in Chicago
Live Entertainment at Chicago’s Windy City WIne Festival 2011

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino.con.vista.com

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