SCRATCHING AN ITCH
I wanted my first post to be about a winery, or a winemaker or something along those lines, but I thought it would be fitting to explain why I have started this blog, so that you can get an idea of where it will be heading as soon as my first entries are coming out.
I've been itching to get some of these things out, since just complaining to myself just doesn't do anyone any good. When friends living outside of wine country tell me they are coming up for a weekend of wine tasting I typically ask...
"ohh nice..where are you going to taste?"
they usually say, "Napa"
...to which I ask, "where in Napa?".
..and they say "around Healdsburg, at (insert the least delicious/heavily marketed wine here)".
Now I'm not one to rag on them for getting their geographical info off a bit (almost 60 mile drive off), but in the past, I've criticized their lack of research after they had a horrible experience at that un-named winery (which they said had "crappy wines"). But now I regret that a bit, as just about everything you read online points right at visiting those same wineries that I DO NOT RECOMMEND going to. So here I am writing.
My goal here is to educate, to bring a little insight, clarity, whatever. If you can learn something here, if you can find some wineries you LOVE, if you can find some wines that you can enjoy with friends at dinner, enjoy during an anniversary, impress a significant other with, etc, than I've done what I set out to do.
WHAT I'LL BE DOING
I'll be a serious pain in the butt to the tasting room staff, winemakers, marketers. Nothing is harder for a winery team than having a wine blogger show up, immediately upon opening the doors, before the first cup of coffee is consumed. My philosophy is that a winery is only as good as its worst day at the tasting room, or its worst vintage.
That being said, when I do visit them, I will be tasting the wines, taking lots of photos around the tasting room/winery, touring the wineries, sometimes portraits with the winemaker, and asking a TON of questions. I'll be pushing the boundaries so that every time you open up your email, and there is a note saying "new article - THE VINTAGE", you're going to want to read it.
I will be covering a variety of regions throughout the North Coast, which represents the geographical boundaries of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino & Marin Counties. Each has its own unique variables that make it special, its own sets of challenges, and I plan on covering those all in due time.
At each winery, I will be tasting through a HUGE amount of wine. I will be tasting at a lot of wineries. I do not intend to SLAM anyone, criticize, etc. I will be posting about wineries that I feel made a good effort, and produced something of excellent quality that is worth your time, something worth remembering and is worth seeking out in the future. That goes for the wines reviewed as well.
Like I said previously, I'm gonna be a bit of a pain. A lot of what I am doing is trying to figure out how the staff reacts under stress. But more importantly, I want to get into the tasting rooms when I can have a solid chunk of time to dig in deep, and learn about the winery from the people who run it, own it, founded it. A lot of what is represented in a wine comes from the style and taste of the winemaker. I don't want to forward on to you the checkpoints on the marketing brochure, I want to give you the facts, the stories, the experiences straight from the people whos dreams have become reality, from the people who work day after day to make the wines that we drink.
TASTING NOTES VS RATINGS
I will not be giving ratings to the reviewed wines. I have had plenty of 90+ point rated wines that I felt were absolute garbage. So instead, review my tasting notes. If you feel you would like a wine that displays characteristics that I have indicated, you'll be much more likely to enjoy that wine.