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So You Want To Get Into The Wine Business?

A friend of ours runs a career mentoring business, and he's putting on a workshop on how one gets into the wine business — a relevant topic here.

Here's the skinny:

So You Want To Get Into The Wine Business?

This workshop will provide a 360-degree perspective to many aspects of the wine industry. In one day, you will have the chance to gain insights from and ask questions of professionals working in the wine industry – a one-stop-shopping, comprehensive mentorship experience. Plus, you will have the opportunity to meet other people interested in a career in wine and share questions and knowledge with them.

If you or someone you know aspires to become a wine maker, wine retailer, wine distributor, wine bar owner or something else in the wine industry, then this Saturday workshop is for you and/or them! Here are the details:

January 15, 2011
Workshop: 10am until approximately 5pm
Wine Maker’s Dinner: 6:30pm

Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn in McMinnville, Oregon, an hour south of Portland in the Pinot Noir growing region in the beautiful Willamette Valley

For more information [click here] to visit his site.

East Valley Winery Association's “Fifty Miles of Vines” Festival

We'll be out at the East Valley Winery Association's “Fifty Miles of Vines” Festival on Saturday, June 26th. We've been invited to judge wines at the event. Fun!

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Here's the press release with all the details:

EAST VALLEY WINERY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES “NEW RELEASE” FESTIVAL “Fifty Miles of Vines” Festival and Competition set for June 25-26

A group of east Willamette Valley wineries have announced the first annual “Fifty Miles of Vines: New Release Festival and Competition,” set for June 25 and 26 on the grounds of St. Josefʼs Winery just south of Canby, Oregon.

This event will allow Oregon wine lovers the opportunity to taste newly released wines from 11 family-owned wineries all at one location.

The two day event will kick off on Friday, June 25th with an evening gala. From 6 to 10 pm, wine lovers will taste wines and enjoy food from local restaurants. Blue Gardenia Jazztet from Portland will entertain. Tickets are $35.00, and available at East Valley member wineries or emailing info@eastvalleywine.com.

Saturdayʼs events, beginning at noon, will include wine tasting, local artists, food vendors and live music. Entry on Saturday is $5.00 (includes glass) with individual tastes costing $1.00 each.

A panel of judges will be selecting favorites from four categories in the competition, and the public will be able to help select a “Peopleʼs Choice” winner. These awards will be announced at 6pm Saturday evening.

This unique gathering is the only event in the east Willamette Valley to focus solely on local wineries, and will give people the chance to speak directly with winery owners and winemakers.

Participants include Silver Falls Winery, Vitis Ridge Winery, Piluso Vineyard, Pudding River Wine Cellars, St. Josefʼs Winery, Hanson Vineyards, Christopher Bridge Wines, Domaine Margelle, Kingʼs Raven Winery, Alexeli Vineyards and Oswego Hills Winery.

St. Josefʼs Winery will host both daysʼ events, and is located at 28836 South Barlow Road; Canby, OR 97013-9549. (503) 651-3190.
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Willamette Valley Vineyards, Elton Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2007

If you like French Burgundy, you'll love this bottle of wine. This is another bottle from Willamette Valley Vineyards, that ironically, has a style more akin to France than Oregon. Oregon is typically known for "bigger" Pinots: full, dark fruit, and rich. This, on the other hand, is lighter, with more red fruits, and is elegant and nuanced.

The nose opened with ... beach! Yeah, it smelled like the Oregon coast. That smell up on the dry sand of driftwood and other dried flotsam and jetsam. And dust (like a dusty road). A sweet smell comes and goes. Maybe a cherry vanilla smell. Maybe that's a dry creek bed smell. Sort of dust mixed with must. Hard to get my finger on it. A bit later on the aromas changed a bit. Red cherry candy emerged. The dust was still there, but the beach was gone. Denise smelled bark: dusty, dirty bark -- like a gangly old tree. She said it smell "Entish".

The taste and finish are wound up with each other; which is the say that the finish is very quick. It's earth, then sweet, then berry, and then gone. The earth is dirt, moss and wood. The sweet is vanilla, but it's there and gone in a flash. The fruit is red cherry and hints of salmon berry. Then it's gone: almost like a very dry (and not sour) cranberry at the end. There's no lingering finish.

Tasting later we got hints of white pepper and pomegranate. While the nose gained some anise and violet (yummy). Denise found hyacinth, orange and cola. And later still, the finish improved with cayenne and black liquorice.

Denise said that this would be great with a dark chocolate. I agreed. However, definitely open this one up and leave it open for awhile before drinking. It really opens up after a few hours.

Cost:       $45

Rating:    9.0

Beaux Freres, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir, 2006

Apparently 2009 was difficult for just about everybody if you read all those end-of-year editorials and remembrances. 2009 was especially hard on our family. So what did we drink New Years Eve? We decided on carpe diem, and broke open one of our Beaux Freres. This is always a double-edged sword: we really have never been disappointed beyond the fear that we opened a it too early. This one was no different. If you can resist drinking them now, by all means, hold 'em. But if you do crack one, they are -- without fail -- pure pleasure in a bottle.

This one was really big for Beaux Freres -- lots of body and dark fruit. But the thing about Beaux Freres is that they tend to be insanely floral -- something we just love. It's almost as if they raided the Portland Rose Gardens one evening and stuffed the fermentation tanks with rose pedals. It smells and tastes just like that. Incredible.

Along with the rose, the nose was wood, anise, and pepper. The nost took awhile to open up. It started fairly flat, but after an hour. The anise became much stronger, along with some eucalyptus.

And that was the other thing that was a bit different from 2005, this one was strong with pepper. Very spicy. As I said, the body was really full on this one. Silky, full and rich in your mouth. The taste was a mixture of rose pedals and black cherry. Strong black cherry meandered through hints of leather, chocolate. While you can taste the oak, which is normally presents a fairly sweet taste; the leather just stopped that sweetness in its tracks. And the finish was black cherry mixed with a non-sweet Satsuma orange.

Cost:        $49

Rating:    9.5