Aug 4, 2014

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Hello Again World!

Hello Again World!

From partnership to sole proprietorship, welcome to the all new WineJulia.com, appropriately renamed TheRealWineJulia.com! The original “Hello World!” was published in early February, 2012, and just 6 months after my first post I was awarded the Best New Wine Blog of 2012 by the prestigious Wine Blog Awards.  Not too long after, one of my articles garnered attention from Foodista.com, and they chose my website as one of their Featured Drink Blogs, and a few months later I was given recognition when chosen as one of Millisema’s Top 10 Wine Tasting Blogs of 2014.  My dedication, passion for writing, and social media expertise has earned me spectacular travel opportunities including a trip to Murcia, Spain, and an invitation to the exclusive International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), among many other good fortunes of educationally delicious wine related experiences. WineJulia.com was a collaboration project started in early 2012, and in June of 2014, an opportunity came my way that I could not refuse:  to become a Correspondent with Snooth. With my exciting new ties to Snooth, I chose to end my partnership and enthusiastically moved to a sole proprietorship for WineJulia.com.  I’ve been working hard to give the site a fresh new look that truly reflects who I am.  With help from some valuable friendships I’ve made in the wine industry, a new name was born for WineJulia.com – one that has more meaning than most people will ever know:  TheRealWineJulia.com. Thanks to several especially good friends in the wine-writing world, TheRealWineJulia.com has become a reality.  Ben Carter of the awesome wine site Benito’s Wine Reviews came up with the relevant and essential new name and designed the fabulously elegant new logo, all while keeping in mind who I am, and where I’ve been in my life.  Nannettte Eaton, also known as the Wine Harlot, had my back when I needed it the most and introduced me to a real life Wonder Woman, Amy Power of Another Wine Blog (one of the original wine bloggers).  Amy literally pulled all-nighters with me while lending a supporting hand and ear during the transition of WineJulia.com to TheRealWineJulia.com.  The people of the wine-writing industry are full of integrity, honesty and ingenuity, and we are one heck of a close-knit group.  I’m blessed to be among them all. I am a laid back kind...

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May 19, 2015

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Lodi Rules: An Impressive Earth Day Wine and Cheese Tasting...

Lodi Rules: An Impressive Earth Day Wine and Cheese Tasting

Once again, Lodi impresses me greatly during a virtual tasting with their unparalleled wines of depth and character.  Using the ever popular on-line live video platform, Brandlive, this special Earth Day tasting focused on wines certified by Lodi Rules – California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Lodi Rules “promotes practices that enhance biodiversity, soil and water health, community and employee well-being,” and only those who fall within their guidelines receive recognition with a special Lodi Rules Green Certification.  Audited annually, approximately 20 wineries currently produce wines that are stamped with the Lodi Rules seal, with 20,000 acres being Certified Green in the Lodi Appellation. Each of the four Lodi Rules certified wines that were selected for the Earth Day tasting were expertly paired with cheeses selected and provided by Lodi’s celebrated cheesemonger, (owner of Cheese Central), Cindy Della Monica.  Presented by Charles Communications Associates and The Wines of Lodi, hosts Cindy Della Monica and Stuart Spencer, winemaker at St. Amant Winery, were on camera and ready to answer all of our questions while discussing each of the wines and cheeses we sampled during the live virtual tasting. The Lodi wine region of California is known for their recognizable Zinfandel’s, including Old Vine Zins, that boast a variety of red and black berry notes highlighted by solid acidity and lush tannins.  Much to my surprise, the Earth Day tasting didn’t include any of the areas revered Zins; the focus was on four varietals that I didn’t know thrived in Lodi: Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Tannat, and the rarely seen [in America] Picpoul Blanc. A few days before the scheduled tasting, the wine and cheese arrived at my door.  After peeking in the cheese box from Cheese Central, I knew I was in for a special tasting.  The four cheeses that chesemonger Cindy picked out for the tasting included Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog Grnade (a personal favorite), Fiscalini Farms San Joaquin Gold and Central Coast Cremery Seascape. Pairing #1 Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards 2014 Picpoul Blanc ($24) with Cypress Grove Midnight Moon: Picpoul Blanc, a variety I had never before tasted, immediately lured me in with its soft tropical and floral aromas.  Smooth and refreshing on the palate, I was super pleased that the pineapple, pear and floral characteristics were balanced out by subtle, smooth and refreshing...

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May 15, 2015

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SakéOne Not Only Produces Stellar Saké, They Import Some of Japan’s Finest...

SakéOne Not Only Produces Stellar Saké, They Import Some of Japan’s Finest

Saké (pronounced sah-kay not sah-kee) originated in Japan and is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.  Commonly called rice wine, saké is actually produced using a brewing process that is some what similar to brewing beer. SakéOne, a saké brewing facility and importer located in the northwestern corner of the Willamette Valley, is one of only six brewing facilities in the U.S. and the only one in Oregon.  How SakéOne’s facilities ended up in Oregon has everything...

May 8, 2015

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In The Glass: Winter’s Hill Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir 2014...

In The Glass: Winter’s Hill Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir 2014

With summer-like weather for much of the month of April, and so far, May too, (a rare happening here in The Willamette Valley), Rosé has been pouring into my glass like the rain would normally be pouring into the valley.  It’s been a spectacular couple of months of drinking one of my favorite styles of wine – all while accomplishing a bronze-ish glow on my skin that is quite unusual for spring in Oregon. The summer-loving gal in me...

Apr 26, 2015

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In The Glass: Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio Albariño 2013...

In The Glass: Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio Albariño 2013

Of the many white wine varietals that this beautiful earth of ours has to offer, just a handful have totally, completely captivated me.  Varietals that I am wholeheartedly passionate about include Chardonnay (in particular Oregon Chardonnay and Pure Chablis), Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Albariño – all are consistent palate-pleasers that I could endlessly explore with ease and total happiness. Nearly a year ago, I received a sample bottle of the 2013 Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio Albariño, sent via Gregory...

Feb 18, 2015

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Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2012- The Ultimate Oscar Party Wine...

Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2012- The Ultimate Oscar Party Wine

A few years ago, I attended a friend’s Oscar Party – the first of its kind for me.  A “red carpet” entrance for guests came complete with my friend’s son snapping photos of the guests and taking notes on what we were wearing,  If I recall correctly, my jeans were from the one and only designers of Old Navy; along with a tee shirt and cardigan set from Macy’s.  Fancy, I know. Each of the guests were asked...

Feb 9, 2015

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A Trio of Beautiful Wines from J.K. Carriere...

A Trio of Beautiful Wines from J.K. Carriere

My first experience with J. K. Carriere wines was at the 2013 IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration), during the Saturday evening Salmon Bake – the most highly anticipated event of IPNC.  Strewn throughout the lawn under the old oak trees that grace the campus at Linfield Community College (where IPNC takes place annually), several bottles of varied wines graced each of the white clothed tables; and lucky me, my table had a bottle of J.K. Carriere’s 2008 Glass...

Jan 23, 2015

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In The Glass: Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2012...

In The Glass: Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

Dry Creek Vineyard, located in California’s Dry Creek Valley, makes some seriously delicious Zinfandels.  I’ve been sampling them over the past several vintages, and each time I pull the cork on their Old Vine Zinfandel, I’m absolutely impressed. Much like we had in Oregon, 2012 was a near perfect growing season for Dry Creek Valley.  The winter rains struck the region before the vines awoke.  There were no concerns with frost from spring through to bud break, and...

Jan 15, 2015

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In The Glass: Angela Estate Abbott Claim Pinot Noir 2012...

In The Glass: Angela Estate Abbott Claim Pinot Noir 2012

The first time I was introduced to the Angela Estate wines was during a 2012 winter wine event in the small wine-centric town of Carlton, Oregon – a town I like to refer to as “the front porch to wine country.“  Ducking into one of the many tasting rooms that line the quaint downtown main street, I discovered Angela Estate wines via the Folin Cellars tasting room.  Angela Estate did not yet have a tasting room – the...

Jan 15, 2015

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Sip This: GoDucks Ginger Lemon Lime Drop...

Sip This: GoDucks Ginger Lemon Lime Drop

Monday night’s National Playoff Championship Game between my home town Oregon Ducks and Ohio State’s Buckeyes was a tough game to watch.  Our guys worked hard this season; they played really well and had a monumental and memorable year.  Our quarterback, Marcus Mariota, literally broke records and brought home numerous trophy’s; including, the Heisman (2nd highest percentage of possible votes in Heisman history), Maxwell Trophy, Davey O’Brien Trophy, Johhny Unitas Golden Arm Award and more.  There were absolutely no...

Jan 12, 2015

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In The Glass: Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2009...

In The Glass: Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2009

The last time I visited the idyllic grounds and beautifully streamlined tasting room of Oregon pioneering winery Sokol Blosser, I was set amid tent after tent of famed local chefs working side by side with local farmers to present the bounties of Yamhill County for the popular event that benefits Susan Sokol Blosser’s Yamhill Enrichment Society, named – you guessed it – Bounty of Yamhill County.  It was an incredible event that I wrote about in detail here....

Jan 11, 2015

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In The Glass: Durant Vineyards Chardonnay Raven 2012...

In The Glass: Durant Vineyards Chardonnay Raven 2012

Durant Vineyards is located in Oregon’s famed Dundee Hills and is a part of the incredible Red Ridge Farms – a destination that I recently highlighted in a Best Of Oregon article that can be found here.   They have the Northwest’s only Olioteca where cool climate olives are pressed and made into amazingly flavor-packed, delicious EVOOs that have easily become a staple in my household since discovering them.  In addition to the olive grove and olioteca, there’s an on-site nursery,...