glkw1108.jpgIf you like touring the wine country, this is a great time to go, when things are slow and the weather is great for tasting. With the economic crisis and terrible job situation even the high end wineries are feeling the impact and are opening up their cellars and it is a good time to take advantage of this to see and taste these wines that are hard to get. Plus you can get into most of the super restaurants that are very hard to get into during the summer months, especially in Napa Valley. I am thinking that Santa Barbara may just be the spot to visit myself, with great wineries close by and warmer weather, plus an exciting nightlife Santa Barbara is a fun place to visit. Downtown Santa Barbara has the Wine Cask Restaurant and Jaffurs Winery so you can even do it on a day trip or a quick weekend get away, and if you have an extra day you can check out Melville Winery about 45 minutes North of S.B.

Hey, I just got news that one of my favorite winemakers has just released a couple of new wines and I am planning to get on to them real soon. Richard Alfaro, Alfaro Family Vineyards is releasing his estate 2007 Chardonnay’s and I am really looking forward to getting my palate on them, especially the new Lindsay-Page Vineyard as the last vintage was sublime and 2007 looks to be another fine wine. Richard just created a buzz here and in the Santa Cruz area by planting a plot of the Austrian grape, Grunner Veltliner! This wonderful grape produces a white wine of quality and goes great with food, I am all ready to drink it up, but sadly these vines will need about 3 years to get started, but I’ll be waiting!

My random thoughts, Oh, I just re-tasted the 2006 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir, and it is even better than I thought it would be and still think it might be the wine of the vintage. I was hanging out with Jacques Melac of Carmel’s Rancho Cellars and noticed a tiny amount of this Pisoni in stock still… Plus he turned me on to some great values on some new wines he is stocking, a couple of these were from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (Importer) you can see them on my reviews page So if you are looking for great small estate wines that offer great value you can check Jacques out at Rancho Cellars either online or if you get to Carmel you should stop by, he has just added a deli counter offering many gourmet sandwiches and tasty bites made by his Chef wife, Janet Melac. They are also doing take out, so now you know what I’m eating for dinner when I’m in town! Last but not least, I hear from my friends at The Wine Spies that sales are going great these days as they give huge discounts daily on some fun selections, good job guys, keep it up.

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