It turns out that my excitement was premature. While the San Luis Obispo campus does offer courses in vineyard management and other agricultural programs, my son is strictly interested in the school of engineering (sigh). But there is a silver lining. San Luis Obispo is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots in California for premium wine production, so potential visits just got a little more interesting -- in addition to seeing my son, of course.
Wine From India The city of San Luis Obispo is located on the coast, approximately 100 miles north of Santa Barbara and, according to the Wine Institute, it is part of the Central Coast American Viticultural Area, which stretches roughly 250 miles along the coastline of California, from the San Francisco Bay Area in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. It is one of the largest AVAs, encompassing approximately 4 million acres, which includes about 100,000 acres planted to wine grapes.
Wines Of India San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties make up the southernmost region of the Central Coast AVA. There are about 110 wineries in San Luis Obispo County, where cabernet sauvignon is king. There are about 8,600 acres dedicated to the aforementioned varietal. Merlot is second, with approximately 4,200 acres.
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Andy Perdue / Wine Press Northwest More and more often, winemakers are blending red grapes to produce superior wines.
Red Wine In India Go into most wine shops, and it's likely that the largest category of wines you'll find is red blends.
Wine From India It has been this way for ages with French wines, especially Bordeaux, where the grapes allowed for reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenèré.
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Balance is a buzzword in wine circles these days, especially for pinot noir, winemaker Jeff Brinkman acknowledges, but it's very much in evidence at Rhys Vineyards, a Santa Cruz Mountains winery that specializes in pinot noir.
India Vineyard The Rhys philosophy is to find mountain sites -- most at 1,000 feet or higher -- with a slope, very little topsoil, complex underlying geology and a variety of exposures. "The whole Rhys concept is a site-driven idea," Brinkman says.
Red Wine In India He and Rhys owner Kevin Harvey think that the wines should reflect the site; to that end, the vineyards are farmed in essentially the same way and the wines are handled similarly. But the wines display differences, sometimes dramatic ones -- and they share a striking feature. The pinots and the small amounts of chardonnay and syrah that Rhys produces all exhibit incredible power and complexity at modest levels of ripeness. The typical Rhys wine checks in at about 13 percent alcohol, at a time when it's common for California pinot to top 14 or even 15 percent and exhibit overripe flavors.
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I’ve been writing about Missouri wines at this time each year for most of the 17 years I have penned this column. Late summer sees the release of the results of the Missouri Wine Competition, and if I have chosen to write what amounts to an annual Missouri wine profile, it is because something newsworthy has so often resulted from these tastings.
Vineyards India Last year it was that Stone Hill Winery had taken the lion’s share of medals. Years ago, that would have been no surprise, but with more than 100 wineries in the state, no single winery, not even a pioneer such as Stone Hill, had dominated its rivals in years.
India Vineyard But Stone Hill only temporarily reclaimed the throne, despite receiving four best of class awards this year. Instead the winery must share some of those accolades with Tony Kooyumjian, arguably the state’s best winemaker. Kooyumjian collected best of class awards for his Augusta Winery 2010 Vignoles, his Peach Eau de Vie and, earning bragging rights, won the C.V. Riley Award for Best Norton for his Montelle Winery 2009 Norton.
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