After many months of waiting, finally the 2009 Wine Blogger's Conference dawned last July 24th - 26th. A GREAT time was had by all. Last year I had just returned from three weeks in Europe terminally jet lagged, and wandered through the conference wan and half awake. This year, I was determined to participate fully, which included a fabulous pre-Conference event hosted by the ever ebullient, Jeff Stai of Twisted Oaks. With Xandria out (due to bad planning) and Janesta sidelined (by her new job) I headed out to Murphys with m
y trusty Vinopanion, Dr. Xeno
. Once at Murphys, we headed straight to the Rubber Chicken National Forest and got a tour of the process, the caves and the delicious Twisted Oaks wines. Along the way, we collected vinopanions like funnel clouds gone crazy. As we walked the streets of Murphys, first hitting Hatcher, Newsome-Harlowe (where I bought a delicious Zin for WBW #60!) and Tanner before massing at the Downtown Twisted Oaks facility for dinner and a super fun activity! By
this time, Luscious Lush Thea
, The Beer Wench,
, Wannabe Wino
, Ken Payton
, The Wine Hiker
, Wine Wonkette&Houston Wino
, regrouped, stuffed ourselves on delicious grilled meat, salad and Renner Viognier
(courtesy of winemaker, Brett), We set out to play a game of speed marketing. A blending game! Fun! With an awesome team, Oscar Quevedo
, Amy Corron-Power, Ken Payton, Gabriella Opaz and Russ Beebe, we retreated into our cubby and blended like maniacs. Taste! Measure! Blend! Design! Draw! Consult the rule book! In the end, our organization and focus as well as our tasty homage to the Spaniard, garnered us a super prize! A visit to Calaveras County will always be full of good wine and fun, but with new and old wine friends? Forget about it! A great time was had by all and all this before the actual conference.
The next day, we made the dash to Sonoma where I was
happy to be staying at the Flamingo Resort. Having grown up in the Bay Area I have been visiting this place for decades. I love the hallways where whispers of the Rat Pack still remain in the field stone terrarium-like passages. But the real lure was the Live WineBlogging, which I missed last year due to work
responsibilities. Well, the Internet Gollums were not going to see me happily blogging, however with my trusty iPhone, I twittered like a drunken chipmunk, despite my resolve to spit, spit spit. Standouts for me?
o5 Cigar Volant, Bonny Doon - Nice puckery structure and nose redolent of red fruit. Fun to hear Randall Graham, " The lees check in, but they never check out..."
#WBC09 Twisted Oaks: '07 River of skulls Mourvedre w/syrah
Succulent red fruit Inviting nose despite scary AlexandeMcQueen-like label!
#WBC09Line39 Petite sirah Lake county
$10! yum! American oak = yummy brown sugar hints in nose gentle tasty fruit flavors only 13.5%alc #wbc09 snowslake
20 miles n of Napa rich ruby color 28% cab franc Fabulous complex nose smooth feel Super tannins!
#wbc09 '07 Spann Chardonnay-Viognier, Lake County:
Lovely stone fruit. Interssting mix. Took Gold Medal!
I got to hang out with Diane Letulle
and meet Bean
. Finally, Janesta slipped her work shackles free, and we got to conferencing in earnest. ....