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The 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has come to a close and the tallies have been counted. The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of wines in America, and of course you know we submitted our stellar wine for them to judge. They received a record number of entries this year from over 25 states in America!
The results are in and you can only imagine our excitement when we discovered that we had been given, drum roll please….5 Awards! We hope you will help is in giving a round of applause to Ghee and Nate for creating such masterpieces. Be sure to place your order as soon as possible for these wine's! Here are the wine's that were awarded:
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
On February 15, 2014 there will be a public tasting at the Fort Mason Center and our very own Ghee Hagedorn will be there pouring. To purchase tickets to the event, which will sell out, follow this link http://winejudging.com/event_tickets.htm. We would love to see some familiar faces, so join us in tasting wines from all over America.
We want to thank each and every one of our members. Without your continued support our dreams wouldn’t be our realities. A special thank you to our incredible wine maker Nate for making such stellar wines, Thank you!
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
This past weekend, we enjoyed a fun and warm evening with our wine club members and their guests. A lot of hard work went into putting on the event, and the result was a lot of celebration and partying.
The event began early in the day as our amazing Tapas on the Terraza chiefs fired up the wood stove and began to prep the pizzas. Meanwhile, also in the kitchen, the ladies were preparing hors d'oeuvres and making sangria. A big thank you must be mentioned to the help in the tasting room during this time. Without those ladies, none of this would be possible.
5:30 quickly rolled around and the guests began piling into the vans at the Murphys Suites. Although it was 102 degrees, everyone was looking forward to the breeze that would come from standing above beautiful Lake Melones. As the guests were chartered to the vineyard, gasps of astonishment could be heard from the passengers who had never been to our location. The view of the green vineyard below the Mexican style home was breathtaking. Once atop the hill, and at the patio, I'm not sure what there was more of, sangrias being passed out, or pictures being taken!
Guests were able to quench their thirst with Ghee's secret sangria recipe as they sat by the pool and took in the beautiful scenery. Their sangrias were complimented with spiced cucumbers (cucumbers drizzled with fresh lime juice and sprinkled with Tajin Clasico Seasoning) and spinach-artichoke dip.
After the guests were able to settle, the wine tasting began! Everyone enjoyed a nice sample of our 2012 Viognier, 2012 Sabor A Mi, 2011 Grenache, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Payaso and 2010 Syrah. Although these were all a hit, the real pleaser of the night was getting to take a vertical flight among our signature Barbera. Guests got to start with our first wine ever bottled, the 2008 Barbera, from there they moved onto the 2010, 2011, and were even served some 2012 which was just pulled from the barrel that afternoon. With this flight, tasters were able to compare the different years and complexities side by side for a very interesting taste.
As the wine was being poured, the smell of fresh pizza could be sensed in the air. Our chiefs began pulling gourmet pizzas out of the wood stove as the guests served themselves some caesar salad.
Once bellies were full, the guests began getting glasses of their favorite wines and sitting with their feet in the pool enjoying the sunset and good company. Powdered sugar covered brownies and fresh strawberries were served for dessert as the music was turned up and the dancing began. After a long, hot evening of fun and festivities, the vans loaded up the delighted guests and took them home to talk about this event for days to come.
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
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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