Keep in touch with us and what is going on. Read about all the little things....
Villa Vallecito Vineyards would like to welcome Bethany Jennings as the newest member of our team!
Born in southern California and raised in the beautiful wine country of Paso Robles, Bethany has an extensive culinary background that has given her the opportunity to explore the food and wine industry.
After graduating from Paso Robles High School, she landed her first baking job at The House of Bread. From there she moved on to bake for such places as the Three Dog Bakery, The Carlton Hotel and Bakery, Brian's Sourdough Breads, and the legendary Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo where she learned the secret behind the pink frosted champagne cake with its trademark pink chocolate curls.
After starting her own family, she joined the even bigger Opolo family, taking on the largest harvest party on the Central Coast. Hosting up to 650 people a night, the Harvest Festival "I Love Lucy Style", spring boarded her into the wine industry. Soon she was utilizing her culinary skills and working with the co-wine maker and caterers to plan wine pairing menus for pick up parties, wine festivals, zin festivals, and special events as well as the Food and Wine pairings on the Patio, and events at both the sister site in Westlake Village and the Opolo Bed and Breakfast.
During her time in Paso Robles she served on the Paso Robles Wine Festival Committee and helped with the Pinot and Paella Festival in Templeton, California.
When she isn't working, you can find her at home whipping up sweet and savory concoctions while sharing the excitement of cooking and baking with her two young children.
Her passion for food and wine makes Bethany a perfect fit for Villa Vallecito Vineyards. We look forward to sharing our mutual love of food, wine, and most importantly, hosting events for our wine club members, friends, and family. We can't wait to see what the future holds for us all!
As Bethany joins us, we'd like to take a moment to thank Kelsey Marcos who is leaving the vineyards to pursue a career in Equine Dentistry in Minnesota. We want to express our deep appreciation for all her hard work and all she did during her time with us. She will be missed and we hope you will all join us in wishing her luck on her grand adventure.
Bethany's first event will be our December 7th Christmas Barrel Tasting with Ghee and our wine maker Nate. We hope to see as many of you there as possible and please introduce yourself to Bethany. As she says, you can't miss her; she'll be the tallest one in the room.
If you can't make it to our Christmas Party please head on down to our tasting room located at 263 Main Street Suite C in Murphy's. Many Blessings and Happy Holidays! The VVV Staff
What an event we had Saturday evening with all of YOU! I hope you got a "tease of a preview" on our upcoming varietals! There's nothing like a warm fire, a soft place to sit and a sparkling glow to a glass of Barbera. A special THANK YOU to all of you that made it happen, drove to our venue amongst the Vineyards, and spent time with us and club members. We look forward to our Spring release and another time to gather, meet and taste together. Until then..............Salute
This year, our crew crushed more of all your favorites from our current lineup: Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Payaso, Syrah and Barbera, along with the first small yield of fruit from our new Chardonnay and Sagrantino vines, grafted this past Spring.
With spectacular views in every direction on the vineyard, grapes that are a winemaker’s dream, and wonderful responses from visitors to our tasting room, Villa Vallecito Vineyards owner Ghee Hagedorn says, "The Lord has really blessed this land, the fruit and the tasting room".
And what good would such blessings be without sharing them? We hope that you'll stop in and see us at our tasting room the next time you're in Murphys, or will consider joining us on the vineyard for our next event. We have enjoyed getting to know so many of you at Tapas on the Terraza and at our Wine Member Gala. Or, if coming in to see us isn't an option, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Pinterest, we'd love to hear from you!
And don't forget to bookmark our website: VillaVallecitoVineyards.com, where you can learn more about our history and staff, book a stay on our vineyard, read our blog and discover all of the benefits of joining "La Familia", our wine club. You can also order online, if you've got a craving for your favorite Villa Vallecito Vineyards wine and you're not able to make it in to Murphys. Barbera lovers, don't fret when you see that we're out of stock. Now that harvest is over, we will focus our efforts on a second round of bottling for our 2010 Barbera Reserve. If all goes well and "bottle shock" is minimal, you can look forward to enjoying this phenomenal wine again in February, 2013.
Since opening our tasting room doors in June, we have truly enjoyed sharing our wines with all of you. We have put so much love, care and attention into each one, from the time the first grape leaves sprouted on the vines to the moment we poured them into your glass. Thank you for joining us on this wonderful adventure, and for taking part in our passion for big, bold, beautiful California wines!
Until we meet again, from all of us at Villa Vallecito Vineyards, Salud!
Gold Country Wine Holiday: Villa Vallecito Vineyards
Villa Vallecito Vineyards is more than just a vineyard. Located in Murphys, CA, an up-and-coming wine region in the Sierra Foothills, Villa Vallecito offers an getaway where you can imagine you’re a winemaker for a moment, overlooking your vineyards, enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Driving through the ornate iron rod gate and winding our way up to the estate reminded me of the times I’ve stayed at century-old, family-owned vineyards in Italy. Owner Ghee (pronounced ‘G’) Hagedorn, a petite but fiery woman, came out to greet us.
My friend and co-traveler, Lindsay Taub and I had been on the road for five hours driving from Los Angeles and we must have looked parched as Ghee proclaimed immediately, “Let’s get you some wine already!”
Ghee poured a crisp, tart 2011 Villa Vallecito Viognier and we were off to check out the ‘Mi Compania Dulce’ casita. Atop a hill, the one bedroom vacation rental with full kitchen decorated in Mexican rugs and art gave away to 360-degree views of the New Melones River and rolling hills of vineyards.
“It’s like being on top of the world,” says Ghee about a stay at Villa Vallecito’s casita.
Although the property had a feel of an old Mexican hacienda, we discovered it was recently built as Ghee’s labor of love for her family (she comes from a migrant Mexican family of fourteen), wine and hospitality.
“Villa Vallecito is dedicated to my parents and family. Because of all their hard work, they gave us a better life. I wanted to create something beautiful in their honor.”
And picturesque it is. My friend and I had massages poolside and then went to soak in the hot tub overlooking the entire valley with a 2008 Villa Vallecito Barbera that had won a bronze award in the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Wine in hand, we watched the sunset and relaxed our road weary bones while Ghee whipped up some dinner. We hadn’t planned to stay for dinner, but neither of us wanted to leave this slice of High Sierra tranquility.
“Our guests feel the same as you. Before they arrive, I always tell them to pack in all the supplies they think they want, because they won’t want to leave once they get here,” Ghee says with pride.
The care and attention to detail is a running theme throughout Villa Vallecito. Their wines from the 13 acres of vineyards are hand picked and hand sorted. Villa Vallecito’s local winemaker Nathan Vader makes sure to create ‘big, bold, beautiful’ wines, just the way Ghee likes them.
“I like to say Nathan courts his wines. He takes such good care of them,” explains Ghee of the winemaker’s romance with the fruit of the vine.
Up to this point, you could only sample Villa Vallecito wines by staying on the property or arranging a private tasting. Now, the ever-industrious Ghee and her husband Alan, have opened a tasting room in historic downtown Murphys.
At the Villa Vallecito tasting room, there are seven varietals to try including: Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Payaso, Syrah, Barbera and Barbera Reserve. Payaso is my favorite, not only for its rich, vibrant flavor profile, but also because of its heritage. It was made and named after Ghee’s late mother Beatrice whose favorite song was Sad Clown. Payaso means clown in Spanish.
For an off-the-beaten path wine vacation, Villa Vallecito Vineyards is decadent yet earthy, just like a fine wine.
To stay at Villa Vallecito, it’s $225 nightly rate, 2 night minimum stay. Click here for a photo tour and reservations.
Photos of Owner Ghee Hagedorn and Villa Vallecito Barbera wine by Lindsay Taub, the rest are the authors Lanee Lee.
To read the article online: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/wanderlushdiary/2012/07/16/villa-vallecito-vineyards-in-murphys-ca/
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