As you probably know from my previous trips to Sonoma and Santa Ynez Valley, I absolutely love to go wine tasting. We are spoiled in California, having so many fabulous wine regions throughout the state!
This past Sunday, Julie and I attended the Family Winemakers of California tasting event. Family Winemakers of California is a wonderful association that supports small, family-owned wineries across the state. At this event, over 150 wineries gathered at the Pasadena Convention Center to showcase their wine, and over 750 wines were poured.
What I loved about this event was having the chance to speak directly with the winemakers themselves to learn about the different growing regions, and hear the stories behind the wine. It was fascinating and so educational!
One thing that really interested me is certain wineries’ dedication to sustainable farming and going “green.” Halter Ranch Vineyard, based in Paso Robles, opened their state of the art facility in 2011. They farm organic and are SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice), which is a comprehensive ratings program committed to protecting natural and human resources. The winemakers at Halter Ranch emphasized how important it was for them to preserve the natural habitat at their estate.
The winemakers at Halter Ranch also told me about their winery and cave tours. They have 20,000 square feet of caves at their property. Paso Robles is next on my wine tasting list, and I can’t wait to check that out!
Since I hadn’t heard of many of these wineries prior to this event, we chose to taste certain wines based purely on their fabulous names! Frog’s Tooth Vineyards, Idle Hour Winery, ONX Wines, and Herb Lamb Vineyards definitely caught our eye. So did Foxen Vineyard & Winery and Justin Vineyards & Winery, as I had tried their wines before and loved them.
When we needed a break from wine, we headed straight for the tables filled with cheese and bread.
One of Julie’s favorite parts about the day was the booth that offered a wine test. You tasted three wines to determine which one had the most oak, fruit, and tannins. She got them all right! Sadly, I did not.
This event was so much fun and such a great way to learn more about wine. I can’t wait to go again next year!