March 8, 2010
Winemakers Tasting' coming to Del Mar March 14
'Vino-Tourism' by Steve Dryden
Another opportunity is arriving for serious wine lovers
in Baja California, Mexico and San Diego to explore “bottled treasures of delight” from some of California’s
best family-owned wineries. On Sunday, March 14, at the Del Mar Fairground, the "Family Winemakers Tastings in 2010" begins with a “trade only” event from 1pm to 3 pm, followed by a public wine tasting at 3 pm
to 6 pm. Tickets for non-trade consumers are $45 advance or $55 at the door. All trade members must have registered by March
5th to obtain free entrance, or pay $40 admission.
This event will feature about 800 samples of wine from
over 200 small family-owned California wineries. Wine tasting events such as this one offer serious wine lovers firsthand
exposure to small family-owned artisan and boutique wines. Some fantastic wines will be offered by stellar wineries such as:
Beckmen Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate, Frank Family, Frick, Hall, L’Aventure, Mount Eden, Pope Valley, Quady, Rutherford
Ranch, Tablas Creek, and more. This is a golden opportunity to taste the advancements in refining the quality of California
So often I hear from winemakers and wine lovers in
other regions and countries who claim they now make better wines than California, but many people forget that as their wines
emerge and evolve, so does the long-established California wine industry. For those who really want to expand their wine comprehension,
it’s mandatory to explore wines from as many regions as possible to expose your palates to the many diverse wines, styles,
varietals and terroirs. Doing this will give you a balanced perspective that is outside the box, and more in tune with what
is really happening around the world with global wine production. And, in reality the best wines in the world are the ones
you enjoy, whether they are US$2 a bottle or US$2000.
Small family-owned wineries offer friendly and
intimate contact with fans and consumers, in comparison to the larger corporate-owned wine producers. During this event you’ll
be tasting wines poured by family members and the winemakers themselves. For example, you’ll meet family members from
Mount Eden Vineyards. Their Mount Eden 2006 Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz Mountains scored 98 points in Wine Spectator; or
you might sample organic or biodynamic wine from Beckmen winery featuring a large portfolio of amazing wines, both white and
red. Their Sauvignon Blanc has caught the attention of serious wine lovers around the world.
Another family-owned winery, Chalk Hill, received 93
points from Wine Spectator for their 2007 Chardonnay, and Tablas Creek winery received 92 points for their 2007 Grenache plus
many outstanding reviews for all of their wines. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to meet and talk with Jason
Haas of Tablas Creek. His family formed a partnership with the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel and they were early
pioneers in bringing the Rhone varietals into the Paso Robles wine growing region.
For those who don’t want to mess around, just
go taste samples of wine from Frank Family of St. Helena, where you’ll discover some of California’s phenomenal
wines. But, to be honest, I doubt you’ll find a wine at this event that isn’t good to excellent. California still
leads the pack when it comes to creating a consistent production of outstanding and superior wines with an amazing diversity
of varietals and styles.
We’ll be filming at this event with our international
wine and food adventure show, The Grapevine, for Cable TV Channel 8 of Ensenada, Baja California. Hopefully we’ll see
you at the fairgrounds and racetrack in Del Mar. For details, please go to www.familywinemakers.org.
For a Baja California Wine Route map, click on MexiData.info
"Links," and go to "Mexico Maps and Time Zones"
Steve Dryden is a wine, food and travel writer living
in Valle de Guadalupe, in northwestern Baja California, where he guides individual and small group wine tours. He can be reached
at email@example.com. Visit his new blog at www.winefoodguide.com.