Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wine Road Podcast Episode 07 - Harvest Time & Farmers Markets

Wine Road EP 07-Farmers Markets / Harvest Begins - In this episode Milly Winehouse and DJ Bethy Beth talk about the start of Harvest, Farmers Markets, Wine Tasting Tips on tasting room hours and picnic grounds, the upcoming Wine and Food Affair event, and we pop some bubbles to celebrate the move to the new Wine Road World HQ.

Listen here:

Show Notes:
• Harvest time on the Wine Road- 0:32
• Wine Tasting Tips:
⁃ Tasting room hours and winery picnic grounds- 0:59
⁃ Winery picnic grounds -1:54
• Farmers Markets (Sebastopol, Occidental, Healdsburg, Cloverdale) - 2:27
• Ring for Wine: Wine of the PodCast - Korbel Natural - 4:35
• Cork pop! - 4:46
• Event: A Wine and Food Affair - 5:30
• Recipe database on Wine Road website- 6:00
• Item of the Day: Capabunga CapaBubbles Champange/Sparkling Topper- 7:10

• Wine Road Website -
• Korbel -
• A Wine and Food Affair -
• Capabunga CapaBunga -

“Podcast Theme 03“ Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Epic Blue Danube Wine Croatia Road Trip-- Video Preview

Due to an upcoming print assignment that conflicted with my blog I’ve held back on my posts about my trip to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 2016. But posts are coming soon. In the meantime here is a preview video of the food, wine, rakija, vineyards, amazing views and wonderful people during the Epic Blue Danube Wine Road Trip with the Blue Danube Wine team - Frank Dietrich, Catherine Granger and Gisele Carig.

I have a separate video devoted solely to the awesome Bibich food and wine pairing in Skradin that I’ll post next. 

Enjoy! Zivili!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Will the 10th Wine Bloggers Conference be the Last?

I had a hunch the 10th Anniversary for the Wine Bloggers Conference would be held in Sonoma, and now that that’s been confirmed, I believe it may also be the last Wine Bloggers Conference.

For me.

I’ve attended 8 out of 10 conferences--all except the 1st and Virginia (sorry Frank)-- but the 10th in Sonoma may very well be my final WBC.

I love seeing my wine friends first and foremost, and meeting new people that share a love for wine is one of the biggest draw for me. I think it's still a great value and experience especially for new attendees, but I feel like I’ve outgrown the format. Most of sessions, beyond the keynote and a few specialized break-outs, are of little value to me.

WBC needs more qualified experts to lead the educational sessions. Peer speakers are fine for certain topics, but often not qualified or experienced with presenting before groups. 

I’d like to see an alumni track that allows greater access to the winemakers and more in depth sessions with regard to terroir and local winemaking. Much like the program at WBC14 in Santa Barbara presented by SF Wine School (although that was not an official WBC event).

I’d even be willing to pay more for qualified content such as the Santa Barbara session.

Overall the WBC schedule is filled with fluff and I think the format needs an overhaul as follows:

Keep the Thursday opening reception. Cut back to the core elements on Friday and Saturday: Keynote, Speed tasting (because people do seem to love it), Winery excursions, Wine discovery tastings, and local winemaker discussions and sessions on terroir, vineyards, grapes, history, and geology of the area.

Leave Sunday open for attendees to visit wineries of the region at their own pace. Provide a “hop-on-hop-off” bus that runs a continuous loop from conference hotel to participating tasting rooms and wineries. This would allow attendees the opportunity to meet new people and actually be able to talk to them on the bus.

I loved visiting Lodi this year, but the separate hotels and conference center was a real drag. Made it very difficult to meet up and connect with others after hours.

I think Zephyr has done a great job over the years and it is apparent they try to incorporate attendee feedback. But the content needs improvement.   

I’ll be posting more about my Lodi experience and impressions soon. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wine Road Podcast Episode 6 - Outdoor Activities & Places to Stay in Northern Sonoma

Wine Road EP 06 - Beyond Wine: Activities in Wine Country - In this episode we discuss things to do and outdoor activities that are not necessarily wine specific. We debut the “time for wine” bell and Milly goes crazy for Pinot. And DJ Bethy-Beth admits she loves her name. ;-)

Listen here:

Wine Road— The Wine, When and Where of Northern Sonoma County with news on events, wineries, wines, dining, outdoor activities, and places to stay.

Show Log:
• Another Listener email! - 0:29
• Sonoma County Wine Growers Vineyard Walks - 0:55
• Rivers Edge Kayak and Canoe - 2:27
• Wine Country Bikes - 2:37
• Safari West - 3:12
• Canopy Tour Zip Line - 4:19
• Bodega Head whale watching - 4:44
• Spud Point Crab Shack 5:08
• Kendal Jackson Garden Tours 5:50
• Quivira Gardens - 6:12
• Charles M. Schulz Museum - 6:25
• Luther Burbank Gardens - 6:50
• Wine of Day // Wine of the PodCast - Woodenhead Pinot Noir - 8:24
• Event: AVA Zinfandel Blending/August 13th, 2016 - 10:40

Show Links:
• Wine Road Website -
• Sonoma County Wine Growers Vineyard Walks Self Guided Tours -
• Rivers Edge Kayak and Canoe -
• Wine Country Bikes -
• Sonoma Canopy Tour Zip Line -
• Safari West -
• Charles M. Schulz Museum-
• Luther Burbank Gardens-
• Bodega Head -
• Kendall- Jackson Gardens -
• Woodenhead Winery -
• Zinfandel Blending Seminar -

Wineries Mentioned:
• Paradise Ridge Winery -
• Balletto -
• Francis Ford Coppola -
• Woodenhead Winery -
• Quivira Winery -
• Kendall-Jackson -

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wine Road Podcast Episode 05 - Planning a Girlfriend Wine Getaway in Northern Sonoma

Wine Road Episode 05 - Help Planning Your Trip or Girlfriend Getaway - In this episode we give tips and advice on types of lodging available along the Wine Road, Spas, Wine Road Concierge service, Wine of the Day: Moshin Rose, Item of the day: Drip Teez.

Listen to Episode 5 here:

Wine Road Podcast - The Wine, When and Where of Northern Sonoma County with news on events, wineries, wines, dining options, activities, and places to stay.

Show Notes:
• Places to stay along the Wine Road - 0:36
• Girlfriend Getaway ideas/Spas -1:55
• Email from Listeners -3:30
• Wine Road Concierge Service -3:50
• Wine of the PodCast - Moshin 2015 Rose of Pinot Noir - 5:08
• Item of the Week: Drip Teez - 7:11
• Wine searchable lodging tool- 8:37

• Wine Road Website -
• Drip Teez -
• Moshin Vineyards -

Lodging Links:
• KOA Campground Cloverdale-
• Farm House Inn -
• Madrona Manor -
• Hilton Sonoma Wine Country -
• Best Western Dry Creek Inn Healdsburg -

B & B’s
• Camellia Inn -
• Raford Inn -

• Hotel Healdsburg -
• Honor Mansion -
• Boon (Guerneville) -

Friday, July 15, 2016

Wine Road Podcast Episode 04 - Planning Your Visit to Wine Country

Wine Road Podcast Episode 04 - Planning Your Visit to Wine Country
In this episode we give tips and advice on planing your visit, share some wineries with special food pairings, mention some wineries with great views, and and give the wine tasting tip of the day.

Listen to episode 4 here:

Wine Road provides the Wine, When and Where of Northern Sonoma County with news on events, wineries, wines, dining options, activities, and places to stay.

Show Notes:
• What’s happening in the vineyards in July - 0:28
• Planning your trip - 1:31
• Hiring a driver - 1:40
• Appointment only wineries - 2:45
• Booking a food pairing experience - 3:11
• Pick a Valley - 4:55
• Wineries with great views - 6:07
• What to wear. What does wine country casual mean? - 7:49
• Wine Guard - 8:55
• Wine of Day // Wine of the Cast - Acorn Sangiovese - 9:40
• The wine tasting tip of the podcast/day—Step aside make room for everyone at the tasting bar. - 10:23
• Event: 40 Years of Cheers - 11:30

• Wine Road Website -
• Wine Guard -
• Becoming Independent -
• 40 Years of Cheers July -

Wineries Mentioned:
• Amista -
• Viszlay -
• Sbragia Family Vineyards -
• Paradise Ridge Winery -
• Trattore Farms -
• Fog Crest Vineyard -
• Rodney Strong Vineyards -
• Kendall-Jackson -

Friday, July 1, 2016

Možeš Možeš -- The Epic Blue Danube Wine Roadtrip in Croatia!

Back in April I embarked on an epic two-week road trip through Dalmatia in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina with Frank Dietrich, Catherine Granger and Gisele Carig of the Blue Danube Wine team. This post kicks off my blog series that will recount all the extraordinary locations, people, vineyards, wine, food and vistas and adventures from the journey.

Gisele Carig, Frank Dietrich and Catherine Granger of Blue Danube Wine
I would argue that a road trip is the best way to really experience a place. Sure you can travel by train or bus or boat, but to really get off the proverbial beaten track to truly go deep into a place and get into all sorts of adventures and tight spots (literally!) --you need to have a car. All of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had (both good and hair-raising) were with a foreign car in a foreign land.

Tight squeeze in Vrboska on Hvar

Možeš, možeš  -- You Can Do It!
But things can go wrong in a jiffy on a road trip—getting lost is a mainstay of road trips, and getting in and out of tight spaces where cars don’t belong comes with the territory. Our very first day we were blocked in parking lot by other cars until a few helpful locals simply picked up the other car allowing us room to pass.

We learned our first and most important Croatian phrase: Možeš možeš. Možeš ti to (You can do it!) Along with a few Polako, polako’s (slowly, slowly) we were on our way to the first appointment.

Making new friends in the Konzum parking lot in Trogir
Yes, having a car is more trouble. Yes, you will get lost. Yes, finding parking may be impossible. Yes, you may find yourself where no car had gone before—but the rewards are greater too.

For efficiency sake during the trip we all took on specific roles. Frank—leader and key negotiator. Catherine—navigator and relief driver. Gisele—client liaison and schedule keeper. Me? I was more than ballast, I have skills too ya know. I’m designated as the Rakija Queen and gladly step forward to take one for the team whenever the potent schnapps is presented. Trust me in Croatia it’s a very important role.

Rakija Queen at sampling the local offerings.
So fasten your seat belts, and follow along as I file reports for the Blue Danube Wine blog about the trip from Split/Torgir to Dubrovnik, Korcula, Ston, Kastela, Hvar, Skradin, plus Bosnia and Herzegovina and the places in between.


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