Monday, April 04, 2011

Ventimiglia Vineyard

Ventimiglia Vineyard - two Vs make a W which is the forefront Wine which starts a happy day. Possibly a secret meaning behind their name? Doubtful, but I can be a theorist anyway.

I must admit, today is a Monday. Mondays have a bad rap; the weekend is over, the chaos starts again, and typically if you're drinking your friends think you're an alcoholic. But on Mondays where it's 75 degrees for the first time since the previous year, and at 9pm I can leave my window open and have a glass of oaked chardonnay hmmm, well that's just delightful.

So back to Ventimiglia. Let me sip my chardonnay first. It's going to be a good week.

As we pulled up, I was convinced the passport vs. GPS war had struck again. Half of the time we GPS an address listed in the passport and end up phoning the winery because they we're lost. Not the case this time; the arrival is just subtle.

Grapes lined the back of the tasting room, which was small but lit brightly with natural light. The other patrons appeared to be common visitors to the winery; and the owner's wife's Ma, who was in her 90s, was flitting around and keeping Jonaid entertained. Homemade cookies sat on the countertops.

$5 for a taste.

Buon Giorno - Cayuga with remnants of pear and apple.
Wantage White - Sweeter
Chambourcin - Aged in Hungarian Barrel (my notes say it has 4% Merlot - is that right?)
Cabernet Franc - Delicious
Carignane - Grapey with a strong finish. For the owner's grandfather (who is mostly to blame for all of this wine nonsense)
Merlot - Sold out!
Fratelli Ventimiglia - a Bordeaux blend
Rocky Ridge - A blend, quite good.

Like some other wineries, our pourer was hovering over my notes, so I felt awkward writing what I felt. I did ask him about the "spit" method - that is, you swirl a wine around your mouth and then spit it out without swallowing. It's not rude; it's actually to be able to taste and feel the wine without getting obnoxiously drunk. "Professionals do it," Gene, the owner, explained. I know it's common at large tastings, I just have never seen it done. He offered me the chance to try it, but I declined. Three wineries in one day wasn't going to "do me in". This isn't the minor leagues.

Gene is also on the board of the GSWGA, representing the northern wineries. And he is part of another Italian family who confirmed the pronunciation is Sang-ee-oh-vay-say and explained Ventimiglia is stated a soft g. The winery is a bit funny, they had an event where they celebrate and invite anyone with the same last name. Cheers!!

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