WineCompass Blog

  • Silver Branch Brewing Company - A World of Beer
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    As downtown Silver Spring Maryland revitalized it is also becoming a craft beverage destination with three breweries and a winery within a two-mile radius. Silver Branch Brewing Company opened in February 2019 as the latest addition and is well worth a visit. Proprietors Christian Layke and Brett A. Robison produce…
  • Old Westminster Winery, Burnt Hill Farm, & The Summer Solstice Festival
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    “We’re going to challenge current beliefs with unique and transparent wines – wines that offer balance, nuance, and character. We’re going to farm thoughtfully, using biodiverse cover crops, biodynamic principles and incorporating animals. And then, in the winery, we’re going to craft wines with a light hand, ferment with indigenous…
  • Villa Maria's First Sip Of Summer
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    This week Villa Maria Estate presented their seasonal #FirstSipNZ witter campaign and this chat featured a trio of ready for summer wines.  The winery is one of New Zealand's most famous having operated for six decades starting as a one acre - one man shop in 1961 and growing to…
  • Missouri Wine: Reviving American Heritage Grapes at Vox Vineyards
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    Albania, America, Brilliant, Carman, Cloeta, Delicatessen, Favorite, Lenoir, Lomanto, Marguerite, Muench, WetumkaThese are winegrapes that were once grown in Missouri and middle America prior to Prohibition. They are just a handful among the many grapes developed in the rigorous breeding programs of viticulture pioneers Thomas Volney Munson, Hermann Jaeger, George…
  • Lodi Wine: The Unique, Unusual, and Unconventional
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    During our Snooth - Lodi Wine trip there were dozens of wonderful wines that we sampled that could keep us writing for months. But in order to conclude this Lodi Wine series, this post will focus on several wines worth mentioning - emphasizing wines made from unconventional grapes or a unique Lodi heritage.…
  • Missouri Wine: The Basics
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    Source: Missouri Wine and Grape BoardIn the 1870s, 6 million acres of French vineyards were destroyed by a mysterious plague. Desperate, the French government invited Missouri's first entomologist Charles V. Riley to diagnose the situation. He determined that the vines were suffering by an infestation of phylloxera, most likely introduced…
  • A Tutorial on Left Coast Estate and Their Summer Wines
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    In the past when I received samples from Oregon's Left Coast Estate, I opened each bottle over the course of at least a week - sampling each wine multiple days.  Not so for this latest shipment of summer wines as I shared the four bottles with neighbors during an impromptu…
  • Lodi Wine: Prost from Mokelumne Glen Vineyards
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    During our Snooth trip to Lodi, a major theme stressed was the large diversity of grape varieties grown in the AVA.  Over 100 in fact.  But this number results primarily from the unique endeavor of one family, the Koths and Mokelumne Glen Vineyard. This vineyard is located on the east…
  • Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Jerez Xeres Sherry
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    "There can't be a more misunderstood type of wine than Sherry." The Misunderstood Genius that is Fino Sherry  - De Long BlogFino ("refined") is a dry, pale white sherry wine produced within the D.O. Jerez located in south-western Spain, near the coast and just northeast of Gibraltar. The Jerez DO…
  • The Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin: Enjoy Neat or with Tio Pepe Sherry
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    Most gin brands differentiate their products by the amount of juniper or other botanicals used in the process.  In general, the grain bill has less impact on the spirits as the botanicals drive the flavor.  This differentiation is definitely the case with the Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin ($35) as it consists of…
  • Harpers Ferry Brewing - Overlooking the Potomac and Maryland Heights
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    On September 13th, 1862 Confederate units under Brig. Gens. Joseph B. Kershaw assaulted the lightly defended Maryland Heights, the highest mountain overlooking the strategic transportation hub of Harpers Ferry. This town was strategically significant because it was built at the point where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River with…
  • Lodi Wine: Turley Wine Cellars Old Vine Cinsault & Zinfandel
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    The quality of Lodi wine grapes is not only evident in the excellent wines made by Lodi wineries, but also the wines produced by non-Lodi wineries. One example is Turley Wine Cellars, who largely make single-vineyard designate wines, with several focusing on Lodi old vine Zinfandel & Cinsault. The winery…
  • The 2019 WineAmerica Wines of America Reception
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    After a week of meetings and lobbying, WineAmerica held its annual Wines of America Reception in coordination with the Congressional Wine Caucus; an event that features a wide selection of wines from across the United States. This year the states represented crossed the map from Georgia to Vermont, Texas to…
  • Lodi Wine: Mediterranean Mineral Vermentino
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    Vermentino -- the "thinking man’s Pinot Grigio", Jim Moore, winemaker/proprietor of Uvaggio (1)Like Albarino, our Snooth group quickly noticed another under-appreciated white wine grape grown in Lodi Wine county: Vermentino. This Mediterranean grape propers in the Italian regions of Liguria, Tuscany, Piedmont, Corsica, and Sardinia as well as in the…
  • The State of the Rhone Nation
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    Last month the Rhone Rangers presented a seminar on the State of the Rhone Nation at City Winery in Washington D.C. The seminar was moderated by local wine writer Dave McIntyre and featured seven prominent American wine growers who specialize in Rhone grape varieties. The Rangers mission is to promote…
  • Lodi Wine: Albarino Ascending
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    "When I first tasting Albarino, I became very excited about this grape and knew we had to grow it", Steve Felten, Owner\President Klinker Brick WineryAs a result in 2013, Felten regrafted 10 acres of under-performing Chardonnay in Ted's Vineyard (alongside Alpine Road) with the Rias Baixas clone. In this regard,…
  • Malbec World Day with the Hess Collection, Colomé, & Amalaya
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    "Malbec World Day" or "Malbec Mondo" as English speakers prefer to say is celebrated on April 17 to commemorate the day back in 1853 when Argentina's President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially made it his mission to transform Argentina's wine industry.  He asked Michel Aime Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring…
  • Lodi Wine: Old Vine Zinfandel & Ancient Vineyards
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    Marian's Vineyard atMohr Fry RanchesLodi is the "self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World" producing over 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel, with the vast majority of it grown in the Mokelumne River AVA. But to paraphrase a favorite song, " well...how did it get there"? According to Zinfandel: A History…
  • Wines of Navarra, the Camino de Santiago, and French Grape Varieties
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    The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and concluding at the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela in the Spanish province of Galicia. The pilgrimages started very shortly after the believed discovery of…
  • Alternative Packaging from Argentina's Santa Julia
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    Who's been looking for wine distributed in alternative packaging to bring along during hiking, cycling, boating, or fishing trips? I know I have. And I recently received a strong contender from Winesellers Ltd. a trio of wines packaged in 375ml cans (SRP $5.99).  The wines are produced by Santa Julia,…
  • Lodi Wine: The Basics
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    Last week I spent four days exploring Lodi California with Snooth and witnessed the unique wine culture that reflects this region. Over the next couple of months expect regular Monday posts describing this culture.  But today I want to highlight the region's significance so here are a few basic facts…
  • Dos Spanish Rosado Wines for Spring
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    "In the 3rd Century BC the region of Rioja was inhabited by the Berones, a warrior people from Celtic origin whose populations reached from the Cantabria mountains in the North to the Demanda mountain range in the South. This warlike population, also dedicated to agriculture, livestock, pottery, and metallurgy named…
  • Brewers Association Reveals the 50 Fastest Growing U.S. Craft Breweries of 2018
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    The Brewers Association released its second annual list of the 50 fastest growing small and independent craft brewing companies of 2018. "These small and independent craft breweries from 27 states registered a median growth of 163 percent in 2018 and included 13 brewpubs, 35 microbreweries, and two regional craft breweries"."Even…
  • Kin & Cascadia Showcase the Columbia and Willamette Valleys
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    Winesellers Ltd., the family-owned global importer, recently expanded their portfolio into the Pacific Northwest by creating the Kin & Cascadia brand. The initial two offerings are a Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington's Columbia Valley and a Pinot Noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley -- both arguably the premier wine regions in their…
  • 2019 SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
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    This year, the Brewers Association is hosting their annual SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience Friday, May 17th in Washington D.C. -- as usual at the National Building Museum. This week the Beer & Food Menu pairings were released and they look quite delicious - particularly anything with…