What’s Brewing? – Notes on a Wine Card

This week’s tasting is sort of a six degrees of separation as Greg Brewer – the rockstar of Sta Rita Hills – has a hand or has had a hand in the success of all the wines I will be featuring!

Greg Brewer is the uber winemaker behind Brewer-Clifton and Diatom wines. He also was winemaker at Hilliard-Bruce and longtime winemaker at Melville.  Very impressive resume!

Did you know that Greg used to teach French Literature at the University of California Santa Barbara?  He does have a way with wine and words… in any language!

Here are the wines I will be tasting with you…

HIlliard-Bruce Chardonnay, Sta Rita Hills 2014 $29.99  94 Points Vinous

Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay, Sta Rita Hills 2015 $36.99  92 Points Vinous

Hilliard-Bruce Pinot Noir, “Earth” Sta Rita Hills 2014 $29.99  90 Points Vinous

Melville Estate Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills 2014 $35.99  91 Points Vinous, 93 Points Decanter

Did you know that the Sta Rita Hills AVA is a world class region for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay?  This is due to a number of factors, an important one of which is the east-west alignment of the hills in the area that form a funnel for the cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean into the area’s vineyards. Normally, mountain ranges along the Pacific coast have a north-south orientation. Sta Rita Hills AVA is unique in this regard.

One of my favorite restaurants in the Sta Rita Hills AVA is Industrial Eats located in Buellton. Any place that has sea urchin, foie gras, and oysters on the menu is okay by me! Check out the menu here…Industrial Eats Menu  I highly recommend you stop by the next time you are in the area.

Of course, the other restaurant that I adore in Buellton is The Hitching Post.  It was made famous in the movie Sideways and is still going strong. I fancy the Casmalia location, but for those who are visiting the Solvang area, the Buellton location is more convenient. I love the steaks, grilled artichokes and grilled quail.  Check the menus out here for the Buellton location HItching Post Buellton and here for the Casmalia location HItching Post Casmalia

While in the Buellton area, make sure you visit the eleventh and nineteenth California missions. La Purisima Concepcion (mission #11 founded in December 1787) is located in Lompoc and is now a California State Historic Park. Santa Ines (mission #19 founded in September 1804) is located in Solvang and is an active Catholic Church.

I usually have a mission when I’m up in that area – to drink wine!

Growing up I loved the Danny Kay movie Hans Christian Andersen.  Solvang has the only museum in America dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen, author of The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Speaking of The Emperor’s New Clothes, was it coinkydinky that Prez Trump visited Los Angeles yesterday on a “Stormy” day?

The big hit from last week’s wine tasting was the Latium Campo Leon Amarone della Valpolicella 2012.  One of my favorite Italian wines in the shop right now and drinking superbly. Every bit worth the $54.99 price.

March Madness is here and already one of my brackets is fudged up! It turns out the UCLA Bruins aren’t going to make it to the Elite 8 as I had them penciled in to do. I have the Villanova Wildcats beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game. I gotta stick with the Augustinian run ‘Nova as I attended an Augustinian High School in Chicago, Mendel Catholic Prep. It will be the Augustinians vs the Jesuits in a holy battle the day after Easter!

The Wisteria Festival is coming up in Sierra Madre this weekend. Did you know that you can spell it either Wisteria or Wistaria?  Both are correct.

Speaking of wisteria, our Artist in Residence, Will Loya, will be teaching us how to paint wisteria just as Monet would have painted it. We will be having our Sip & Stroke – A Wine & Art event on Saturday, March 24th from 6pm to 9pm. You’ll learn how to paint a masterpiece while enjoying French food and French wine! Cost is $85 per person and there are only 2 tickets remaining. Purchase your ticket here – Sip & Stroke Monet

I’ll be at The Tasting Room from 12pm to 4pm during the Festival on Sunday, March 18th pouring 14 different wines for your tasting pleasure. $1 for 1oz. Try all 14!

And the last word is from Seth Meyers of Late Night.  Seth commented on former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson getting fired and allegedly finding out about it via a Trump twitter feed. “Even when you get fired from Dominoes, the manager takes you into that crappy little office and tells you to your face,” he joked. “Tweets are for finding out which band is in town, or which airline was mean to Chrissy Teigen.”




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