Our day started out with a Wine 101 seminar and even for someone who has been working in the wine industry for a number of years now, I still got a lot of great information out of the seminar. Hearing the wine educator go through the basics of smelling and tasting wine was a nice refresher because it took me back to when I first started my wine journey and how those basic things gave me information on which to build as I continue to learn about wine. The other thing that I found interesting was that she suggested bringing a notebook or journal with you when you are tasting wines. That way you can go back to those notes later on to see how your palate or what you think about when tasting wines has changed.
In the afternoon we attended a seminar all about rosé. During this seminar we had a small group activity where we would talk with others around us about the flavors and aromas of the different wines we were trying. Since rosés don’t always use the same grapes, each wine had different aromas and tastes. The rosé made from Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah was much different from the rosé made from Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin. There was also a seminar that was all about wine and history, but that could be an entire blog post itself.
The most hands on event was the blending seminar that Bluestone’s winemaker, Lee, hosted. Lee explained some of the basics of what a winemaker thinks about when putting wines together, especially blends. In this seminar, we not only got to learn about key things on how to blend, but we got to put that information to good use and make a growler of our own blend! Blending wine is not as easy as it looks and takes a lot of math figuring out percentages and conversions. Thankfully, my husband is an engineer and loved all the “ nerdiness” that was involved with this seminar and helped me out when I was working on my blend. I really enjoyed this hands on learning experience, and it gave me more appreciation for what winemakers do.
All of that sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Don’t just take my word for it. Come check it out yourself! This year Saturday’s events have different presenters and seminars, but there are two events that are coming back: the Grand Tasting (which has 12 participating wineries from Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville) and Lee’s blending seminar! The participating wineries include Barren Ridge Vineyards, Brix and Columns Vineyards, Shenandoah Vineyards, Rockbridge Vineyard, Keswick Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Cardinal Point Winery, Bluestone Vineyard, Muse Vineyards, Crosskeys Vineyards, and Cave Ridge Vineyard. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are available for purchase in our Tasting Room for $40 or $35 for Press Club.
For the entire list of workshops and to purchase tickets for those, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hotel-madisons-winter-wine-weekend-tickets-87166997837?aff=BlueStoneVineyards.
While I won’t be attending Winter Wine Weekend as a guest, I will still be there. I’ll be pouring Bluestone wine at the Grand Tasting along with several other members of the Bluestone crew. Lee has already told me what wines we are pouring at the event and one of them is not even released yet, not even to Press Club members and you don’t want to miss it!
Thanks for reading this week’s edition of Out of the Barrel! I hope to see many of you at the Grand Tasting on Saturday! Cheers!