Posts tagged with "pinot noir"

Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer

California’s northern Central Coast, extending from the San Francisco Bay to Monterey County, is the focus this month as part of Wine Institute’s Wine Country Back Roads series. California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, including some of the world’s most famous destinations. But hidden among even the high-profile appellations are the wine roads less traveled. These welcoming regions feature stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. There’s still plenty of time this summer to discover off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions, and the Central Coast is a great place to do it.

The entire Central Coast wine region and Santa Cruz Mountains stretches roughly 250 miles along the California coastline, extending from San Francisco County to Santa Barbara County. Grapes there are among the oldest in the state, planted by Franciscan monks in the late 18th century as they made their way north on El Camino Real (known today as Highway 101). Now hosting thousands of acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries, California’s Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains are home to 14 percent of the state’s winegrapes.

TASTE: Not far from San Francisco, with its famously steep hills and Victorian architecture, you’ll find several hospitable wineries near the East Bay cities of Moraga, Oakland, Berkeley as well as Treasure Island to help you kick off your Central Coast adventure.

Nearby Livermore Valley, 35 miles east of San Francisco, is the one of the state’s oldest wine regions and the genetic source of 80 percent of California’s Chardonnay vines. Along with its iconic Chardonnay, Livermore is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. Discover the region’s rolling hills and scenic canyons along the Burgundy Wine Trail, or enjoy mountain vistas on the Red Trail.

The Santa Clara Valley, also known today as Silicon Valley, includes more than 30 wineries, many clustered near Gilroy and San Martin. The Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Santa Clara Valley, was among the first American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) to be defined by its steep mountain topography. The area played a pivotal role in California’s winemaking history with viticultural roots going back more than a century. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominate on the warmer eastern inland side of the AVA, while Pinot Noir thrives on the coastal side and ridge tops. The region boasts more than 60 wineries. For a scenic overview, try the Silicon Valley Wine Trail in the hillsides above Silicon Valley, or the coastal Corralitos Wine Trail, at the sunny, southern portion of the AVA.

San Benito County, set in an idyllic valley about 75 miles southeast of Santa Cruz, has been growing winegrapes since the mid-1800s, planted by French and German immigrants. The region grows a wide variety of grapes but is best known for Pinot Noir and Syrah. Find wineries near the towns of Hollister and San Juan Bautista.

Heading back to the coast, Monterey County is known or having one of California’s longest growing seasons, thanks to cool marine air that blows in from Monterey Bay. Franciscan friars introduced winegrapes to the area more than 200 years ago, and over 40 varieties are planted there today—including more Chardonnay than in any other county in America. Monterey is also well known for its cool-climate Pinot Noir. With eight distinctive AVAs within its borders and 82 wineries, Monterey offers an array of tasting opportunities. The River Road Wine Trail, set among the canyons and slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, highlights Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with northern Rhône varieties such as Syrah. Beautiful Carmel Valley is renowned for producing rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

TOUR: The Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport event on July 20 includes special tastings at more than 40 participating wineries. (As a bonus, passport experiences can be redeemed for a full year after the event.) The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is nearby with its multiple attractions. Livermore Valley hosts Taste Our Terroir July 25-28, a four-day food and wine affair offering wine tasting adventures, garden tours, food pairing events, seminars, falcon demonstrations and more. Music in the vineyards is a Santa Clara specialty, with performances scheduled at individual wineries throughout the summer. While visiting San Benito County, take a hike among towering rock spires and observe falcons and golden eagles in flight at Pinnacles National Monument, formed by ancient volcanos. On Monterey’s Cannery Row, sample local wines at A Taste of Monterey and visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or John Steinbeck Museum.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see San Francisco Travel, Livermore Valley Wine Country, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, Discover San Benito County and Monterey Wine Country.
For all of the wine regions included in this series, use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens and picnic areas, and view winery events around the state.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

Robert Davi × Georgós Wine

Georgós Greek Wine, an innovative wine company that uses the best of American techniques to handcraft small batch wine in Sonoma Valley from imported Greek fruit, is proud to announce a partnership with Robert Davi, the award-winning actor, screenwriter, director, producer and jazz vocalist.

Davi has appeared in more than 130 films including, THE GOONIES; JAMES BOND: LICENSE TO KILL; DIE HARD, the upcoming film REAGAN, as well as the groundbreaking TV series Paper Empire.

Currently touring in his show “Davi Sings Sinatra,” where he performs notable tunes from the legendary crooner, Davi has also just released the documentary, “DAVI’S WAY” that explores the challenges and thrills of singing Sinatra’s uniquely American masterpieces.

In addition to his ‘tough-guy’ roles, Davi is well known as a singer. He has performed at The Venetian, The Orleans and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, headlined the Friars Club’s 90th Anniversary Tribute to Tony Bennett with Robert De Niro and Scarlett Johansson, and recently performed at the United Nations to celebrate its 70th Anniversary. Davi acted and performed in the Frank Sinatra 100th Birthday Special on PBS—most fitting since Sinatra’s work has been foundational in Davi’s own life and career.

Davi and Georgós Greek Wine formed a partnership after Davi purchased a bottle of wine at Whole Foods Market in San Francisco. The bottle happened to be Georgós’ “Santorini” wine. After Davi tasted the crisp white varietal, he fell in love instantly and called it, “one of the smoothest damn wines I’ve ever had.” He then dove into the reds and was inspired to connect with Georgós.

Robert Davi will work with the Georgós team as its brand ambassador to broaden its reach by spreading the wine’s unique story and to help create more great tasting wines. “In my family, wine was as necessary a drink as water. I helped my grandfather make his homemade wine at our family home on Long Island, and have been searching for an opportunity to once again become intimate with the process,” Davi said recently, “I’ve always been a lover of all things Greek – poetry, food, culture, and after tasting all the Georgós blends, it was ordained that I join with them! Robert Rex is a genius at blending wines—rather like a great composer creating a symphony, he blends the notes and tones in these wines creating an experience you will want to go back to time and again. These are truly ‘Greek wines redefined.’ The wines, sustainable and low in sulfites, are not only healthier but will most likely never give you a headache!”

The partnership between Davi and Georgós Greek Wine comes fresh off the heels of another collaboration between the winemaking team and personalities of note. Earlier this year, in partnership with ultra-marathon living legend and one of Time’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World,” Dean Karnazes, they created Marathon Wine.

Georgós Greek Wine founder Georgos Zanganas is especially thrilled to work with Davi, as he sees it as a partnership between two parties who are constantly redefining. “One of my favorite movies of all time is JAMES BOND: LICENSE TO KILL. Robert played a tough guy, and established a great reputation in that archetype,” Zanganas says, “now he has the opportunity to show another side of his personality by singing Frank Sinatra classics at some of the greatest venues across the globe. We have taken the best of the American winemaking techniques and applied them to our imported Greek fruit to change traditional Greek Wine into a super-premium experience – like visiting the Greek Isles in a glass. This partnership will help us spread Georgós and #GREEKWINEREDEFINED to the world.”

Georgós was born after founder Georgos Zanganas moved to San Francisco to work as an engineer. Zanganas is very sensitive to sulfites in wine, and he struggled to find a wine that did not give him a headache or stop the red flush of his face. He even found it difficult to come by good quality Greek wine in the area. Surprising, as the US market was saturated with all things Greek – such as yogurt or olive oil – but curiously not wine. He decided to make a wine perfect for him: clean tasting with low sulfites and no additives. Zanganas discovered Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma Valley (known for their “Clean Wine”), on a trip to Sonoma, where he met winemaker Robert Rex, who was recently named 2018 Winemaker of the year by the American Fine Wine Competition. Together they embarked to make a “clean wine” with imported Greek fruit. Zanganas and Rex spent one year, tasting over 400 samples until they found the perfect recipe to create Georgós Super-Premium Greek wine, which is fruit forward with soft tannins. The rest, as they say, is history.

Zanganas added on the company’s journey, “I never thought that I would be in the wine business, but I wanted everyone to be able to drink a great quality wine without experiencing a headache. I also found the opportunity to make Greek wine in the heart of the US winemaking region an irresistible challenge. It’s like importing and making California olive oil in Kalamata, Greece – to succeed you have to believe in it with passion.”
Currently, Georgós has seven, small batch super-premium Greek wines to market, available direct from the winery online, at Whole Foods in Northern California, and at fine restaurants and hotels in San Francisco and Los Angeles:

Santorini, “Sophia’s Smile”: a 2017 Assyrtiko similar to a dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Mykonos, “Wine of Hercules”: a 2013 vintage Agiorgitiko in the Pinot Noir style.
Corfu, “Siren’s Lure”: a 2015 Bordeaux style red blend.
Ios, “Aphrodite’s Kiss”: a 2017 Dry Rosé of Agiorgitiko grapes.
Ithaka, “Penelope’s Spell”: a 2015 blend of premium Greek Cabernet Sauvignon.
Marathon, “Athena’s Vineyard”: a 2017 Assyrtiko blend similar to a dry Sauvignon Blanc.
Marathon, “Nike’s Vineyard”: a 2017 Rosé with the structure of a Pinot Noir.
Georgós Greek Super-Premium Wines are the direct result of a team pursuing excellence in flavor and the highest degrees of quality possible. They look forward to creating future partnerships and bringing their delicious and healthy wines to enthusiastic devotees across the country.

Visit Georgós Greek Wine Socials:

Instagram: GeorgosWine | Facebook: GeorgosWine

Young Thug & Luc Belaire Luxe Rosé

As announced on VOGUE

Premium French wine brand Luc Belaire launches its fourth cuve by welcoming superstar rapper Young Thug into its ambassador network and releasing new video content

Luc Belaire is proud to present BELAIRE LUXE ROSÉ the fourth cuve in its smash-hit portfolio, launching with rap artist Young Thug as the official brand ambassador. This captivating new creation joins the brand’s signature Belaire Rosé exquisite Belaire Gold, and wildly popular Belaire Luxe, and reinforces Belaire’s meteoric rise in the wine world, earning the brand its claim as the world’s fastest-growing French sparkling wine.

Belaire’s impressive trajectory has been galvanized by its affinity with globally recognized music stars like Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Steve Aoki, Post Malone, Dave East, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and G Herbo, among others. They are part of an ambassador network of more than 200 influential personalities that support Belaire around the world. Each ambassador – whether a top recording artist, DJ, producer or social media influencer – works with Belaire as a collaborator, with the iconic bubbly brand supporting the ambassador. Today, Belaire is excited to welcome trend-setting rapper Young Thug to its family as the official brand ambassador for BELAIRE LUXE ROSÉ. To celebrate the partnership, Young Thug stars in a commercial for LUXE ROSÉ with guest appearances from Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.

CLICK HERE to watch Young Thug launch Luxe Rosé with a little help from DJ Khaled and Rick Ross.

Brett Berish, CEO of Sovereign Brands, owners of Luc Belaire, states, “Belaire Luxe Rose is an exciting new addition to our family of wines, and we are looking forward to introducing it to our fans. I’m beyond excited to welcome Young Thug to our Belaire family, with the perfect timing around our release of our new cuve. We’re big fans, and we feel that his distinctive style in music and fashion is sure to ignite interest in Luxe Rosé.

BELAIRE LUXE ROSÉ is a stunning wine that perfectly complements the existing Belaire range, combining the fresh fruit aromas of the best-selling Belaire Rosé with the richness of Belaire Luxe and the crystal-clear bottle and embossed foil labels of Belaire Gold. Made at the brand’s award-winning winery in Provence, Belaire Luxe Rose is crafted from a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grapes with a dosage of oak-aged Syrah for an exquisite deep pink color. Fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas, berry flavors and a slight touch of wood on the palate give this delectable wine the perfect finish. Belaire Luxe Rose epitomizes the qualities that have made Belaire’s wines so popular: classic taste, superb drinkability, and striking, stylish packaging.

Of his new role, Young Thug states, “I’m a trendsetter, I redefine the rules and I challenge the status quo. That’s what matters to me. Belaire is a brand which speaks to that outlook and that aesthetic. I tasted the Luxe Rose and I was blown away – it really has it all, the taste and the style. The opportunity to be part of the Belaire family came up and I jumped at it! I’m looking forward to redefining the landscape together.”

Young Thug is represented by United Talent Agency, who brokered the deal on his behalf. This continues to be Young Thug’s breakout year, which includes his Young Stoner Life compilation project Slime Language, recently released to critical acclaim, as well as his four nominations at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, where his mega crossover hit Havana with Camila Cabello is recognized for Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Song, and Best Choreography.

Luxe Rosé is an extraordinary wine from grape to glass, and like its new champion Young Thug, is tailor-made to please crowds, anytime of year. The cuv will be rolling out to select retailers, restaurants and nightclubs around the world in August.

For more information and to stay updated on upcoming events, fans are encouraged to visit LucBelaire.com and join the conversation by following @OfficialBelaire and tagging #Belaire on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About Luc Belaire

Luc Belaire is a premium brand produced in France – the hallmark of quality in the world of fine wines. Our 5th and 6th generation father-and-son winemakers oversee production of each bottle of Belaire at their maison in Montagny-les-Beaune, established in 1898. The line includes Belaire Gold, made in Burgundy from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir along with a cane sugar dosage, alongside Belaire’s top-selling cuv Belaire Ros a unique sparkling Ros wine from the south of France crafted from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes the three favorite Ros grapes of the region and Belaire Luxe, an elegant blanc de blancs made exclusively from Chardonnay with a special dosage made from prized Chablis grapes in Burgundy. The newest addition to the range is Belaire Luxe Rose made at Belaire’s estate in Provence from a classic blend of ros varietals and a unique addition of oak-aged Syrah. Finally, Belaire’s Fantme (French for phantom) range houses each of its cuves in a luminescent bottle which lights up at the touch of the button.

About Sovereign Brands

Sovereign Brands is a family-owned, international wine & spirits company headquartered in New York. The company is owned and operated by the Berish family and partners with first-class producers from the world’s most iconic wine and spirit regions to develop superior brands. Sovereign has a portfolio of successful brands including Luc Belaire, a smash-hit line of French sparkling wines, which has earned global acclaim for its exquisite taste and striking packages, and is available in more than 100 countries around the world. The company’s portfolio also includes Bumbu, a craft rum brand from Barbados that ranks among the world’s most critically acclaimed rums, Cloud Chaser, a classic French Ctes de Provence Ros and Skeleton Vineyards, a range of accessible wines from Argentina and Austria.

About Young Thug

Young Thug is known for his unique style and visuals. Among many highlights, Thug is touring nationally with J. Cole on his K.O.D. Tour. Recently, Thug released his critically-acclaimed compilation project Slime Language with his Young Stoner Life Records roster. The four-time MTV VMA nominee has performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and iHeart Media Awards. Aside from his global smash hit “Havana” with Camila Cabello, he recently starred in an Internet-breaking Adidas campaign with Kendall Jenner.

Hello Kitty Wines

Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, announces the expansion of their popular Hello Kitty Wines portfolio.The highly sought-after wine collection now includes two new varietals, and the complete line-up is widely distributed across more grocery stores and retailers in the U.S. market. The wines are also available online at hellokittywines.com and can be shipped to 45 states across the country.

Debuting this Summer are new varietals of Hello Kitty Prosecco and Hello Kitty Pinot Grigio, joining the exclusive range of Sanrio’s wines, now totaling seven different varieties. The complete wine portfolio includes an award-winning Pinot Noir (recipient of the prestigious Vinitaly 5 Star Wines award in 2017 and rated 90 points by James Suckling), a “Sweet Pink” blend, Sparkling Rosé, Pinot Nero Vinified in White, as well as a special edition Sparkling Rosé with limited edition packaging. The timely Summer release of the new Prosecco and Pinot Grigio gives adult fans a reason to enjoy light and refreshing wines with Hello Kitty all season long.

The distribution of Hello Kitty Wines currently includes grocery chains and specialty wine retailers across the country. Supermarkets include Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons locations in California, Safeway in California and Hawaii, as well as Japanese specialty markets Mitsuwa Marketplace, Marukai and Nijiya Market. All Whole Foods locations in Oregon will begin to carry Hello Kitty Wines as of early October 2018.

Among the specialty retail locations selling Hello Kitty Wine are BevMo, Total Wine & More in California and Nevada, Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods in Texas, plus hundreds of independent wine stores around the country.

Fans can stay up-to-date on where they can find Hello Kitty Wine in their local area by visiting hellokittywines.com.

About Sanrio®
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, who is gearing up for her 45th Anniversary in 2019. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat® My Melody®, Badtz-Maru® and Keroppi®, Sanrio was founded on the ‘small gift, big smile®’ philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Hello Kitty-branded items are available in over 130 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 35 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.

FitVine Wine

FitVine Wine Expands Distribution with Whole Foods Markets in Texas and Louisiana

Lower in sugar, calories, sulfites and free of flavor additives, FitVine is now available in an additional 38 Whole Foods locations.

FitVine Wine, makers of clean tasting wines that are low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sulfites, as well as free of flavor additives, has expanded their in-store distribution with Whole Foods Markets in Texas and Louisiana. This expansion will make FitVine wines available in 33 Whole Foods locations in Texas and 7 locations in Louisiana.

FitVine Wine was born when friends made a pact to craft amazing wines that would compliment their active lifestyles rather than compromising their health and fitness goals. FitVine is currently available in 47 states, soon to be 49, and over 5,300 retail locations, with new stores being added monthly. This expansion highlights the strengthening of the FitVine brand and growing consumer demands for clean tasting wines with robust flavor profiles and 13-14% alcohol content.

“Online sales have traditionally dominated a large portion of our business, but over the past two years we have accelerated our growth into brick and mortar locations,” said­­­­­­ Mark Warren, Co-Founder of FitVine Wine. “We are extremely thankful for our loyal online customer base, but by expanding our in-store availability with retailers who celebrate clean and wholesome ingredients, like Whole Foods, we are positioned better to reach new customers and simplify shopping for those who already love FitVine Wine.”

FitVine varietals include: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. The extended proprietary fermentation process sets FitVine apart. The results are wines that have no additives and less sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sulfites compared to competitors. The unique fermentation process also allows FitVine to craft rich and flavorful wines with the mouthfeel and alcohol content (13-14%) consumers expect from a high quality fine wines. FitVine wines are also gluten free and vegan.

Want to learn more about FitVine Wines, find a retailer near you or pop open your first bottle? Visit https://www.fitvinewine.com/ for more information.

About FitVine Wine:

FitVine Wine was born when friends made a pact to craft amazing wines that also fit their active lifestyles. FitVine wines are lower in sugar, calories, carbs and sulfites compared to other wines and have no flavor additives. To create clean and rich tasting wines with the flavor, mouthfeel and alcohol content you expect from a fine wine, FitVine uses a proprietary malolactic fermentation process. The wine ferments to dry and lowers sugar levels. On average, all wines have less than 0.06 grams of sugar, 2.4g-3.9 grams of carbohydrates and 110-120 calories (per 5 oz glass). The ‘fun’ in the bottle remains intact with all wines ranging from 13.4 – 13.9% alcohol. FitVine crushes grapes, so you can crush life!

EAU CLAIRE

 

Eau Claire, Wis., has been owning its role in bringing an indie sensibility to the Midwest for several years now, with music, art, culinary and recreation offerings drawing favorable comparisons to a young Austin or mini Portland. For 2018, this university city situated at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in the northwest part of the state brings it, with new businesses and events that will appeal to travelers with a similar independent spirit and penchant for the original, artful and playful. For more travel ideas and sample itineraries, log on to the official tourism website, www.VisitEauClaire.com.

Brand New for 2018

Artisan Forge Studios Expansion: Home to nearly 40 artisans, this artists’ guild, led by metalworks master Greg Johnson, recently added 16,000 square foot to its already 20,000 square foot garage-like space, with the addition filling up quickly with artists and businesses including a potter’s studio, a bike remixer who creates art out of old bikes, and a pop-up coffee shop to fuel all that creativity. One of the existing tenants, Eco Urban Timber, is introducing its first urban wood furniture line in 2018, reclaiming beautiful quirky urban wood and giving it new life as furniture. Outdoors, there will be a full courtyard experience for large-scale art installations and community gatherings. Artisan Forge Studios hosts events all year long, including Uptown Art Jams, artisan markets, outdoor muralist creations, and album release parties.

Confluence Arts Center to Open: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in collaboration with the entire community, will be opening its Confluence Arts Center in late 2018. This center will include a 1,200‐seat theatre and a flexible 400-seat theatre; visual arts studio and galleries; and labs for sound, lighting, set design, recording arts, and costume design. It will also be the new home for Visit Eau Claire’s interactive visitor center, located on the first floor.   

Mash-up of Coffee and Gears at Shift Cyclery: This full-service bicycle repair shop in downtown Eau Claire happily coexists with Soul Brewed Coffee Roasters. Get your necessary intake of caffeine at the craft coffee bar while your bike is tuned up.

Run to Blue Ox Running: Serious runners will appreciate that this specialty retailer in downtown Eau Claire is operated by two UW-Eau Claire alum who met when running cross country and track at the university.

Try Aerial Yoga at Sky Yoga: Yet another downtown business, this one is a yoga studio offering a variety of drop-in classes including aerial yoga, barre, strength and toning, and more. They even have classes for young yogis.

Candlewood Suites Caters to Extended Stay: Scheduled to open in fall 2018 on the city’s far south side, the Candlewood Suites Hotel will have 81 suites well suited for business travelers on extended stay. Guests will have access to 24-hour laundry facilities and a gym.

Pop-Up Shop Style

Tangled Up in Hue: Known for hosting pop-up artist showings, meet the maker events, and classes, this art collective supporting more than 100 artists will have a full event calendar for 2018.

Red’s Mercantile: This women’s lifestyle shop is planning a variety of group workshops for the coming year, like a clay bowl workshop during which participants create their own bowl for keeping jewelry and keepsakes safe, and a “learn how to make bath salts” workshop with attendees leaving with some Zen -inducing salts to take home.

The Local Store: The goods at this shop are either made locally or evoke a sense of place in the Chippewa Valley. Look for an expanded schedule of in-house events including night markets, meet the maker nights, author book readings, and film screenings.

For Those Who Live for Live Music

Chippewa Valley Blues Society: This group is responsible for the wildly popular Tuesday Night Blues concerts, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018. This is the only free concert series in Eau Claire, and the show goes on rain or shine at the bandshell in Owen Park. Crowds of upwards of 2,000 music lovers are not unusual.  

Chippewa Valley Music Festivals: This group puts on Rock Fest, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Along with the live music, festival goers flock to the more than 7,000 campsites for their overnight digs. Set for July 12-14 in nearby Cadott.

The Master Singers: This is also the silver anniversary for this choral ensemble which presents seven performances each season. Over its 25-year history, more than 240 area musicians have performed with this group.

Revival Records: Each year this vinyl shop commissions an artist to create an original poster for sale exclusively on National Record Store Day, which celebrates the culture of indie record stores. In 2018, it’s April 21. Ask the store staff and they’ll even play your favorite album while you shop. The owners plan to add more live music events to the in-store schedule for the coming year as well.

For Foodies

Forage at Banbury Place: Aspiring home chefs and those who aspire to a career in culinary can both find a place at the table at Forage cooking classes. They also have a “Little Hands” class for kids. Check their calendar for meal events too, like pop-up Saturday brunches and food and wine pairing dinners.

430 Water Street: The owners of Mona Lisa’s, representing the finest of fine dining in the area, jumped at the chance to occupy the space next door upon learning it would become available in 2018. Look for a combo food/drinks/shopping experience, with a spring wine fling in April to kick things off.

The Nucleus: This bistro-style eatery is so popular that people line up outside waiting for the door to open for breakfast. In addition to their a.m. and lunch offerings Wednesday through Sunday, The Nucleus is now open for dinner and wine Thursday through Saturday.

The Lakely at The Oxbow Hotel: Look for full new line-up of food and music pairings in the Lakely Limited Series. The culinary team here is also planning Wandering Spirits craft cocktail demos and cooking classes with Chef Nathan Berg. 

Cowboy Jack’s: Just opened in June 2017 in neighboring Altoona, this restaurant gained a fast following thanks to its menu of handcrafted burgers and BBQ entrees paired with live music that leans country. In 2018 they’ll be enclosing part of their outdoor patio so patrons can enjoy views to the Eau Claire River in the winter months too.

Wagner’s Lanes: It may sound like a broken record, but this place is popular for its food and music pairings too, with concerts regularly selling out. For 2018 they’re building a new bar and restaurant area. Patrons can burn off the calories playing the lawn game Kubb, bowling, or playing indoor sand volleyball under a bubble.

A Decade for The Livery: Come 2018, the culinary team at The Livery restaurant will be celebrating a decade of serving up modern comfort food. This eatery in downtown Eau Claire’s North Barstow District is housed in a historic building that once served as a livery in the 1880s, later evolving from the horse transportation trade to life as an auto garage at one point as well.

 

 

Beer, Wine and Spirits

Brewing Projekt: This craft brewery opened its taproom in April 2015 and within two years outgrew its space at 2000 N. Oxford Ave, so it scoped out larger digs and found just what it was looking for across the street in the much larger 1807 N. Oxford building. The brewery has just settled in to its new space which now includes riverfront seating. In the spring, they’ll set up Kubb lawn games and feature food trucks too. The owners source ingredients locally whenever they can, including maple syrup and honey.

River Bend Vineyard & Winery: Husband and wife owners will be releasing their first ever Pinot Noir in fall 2018. Visitors to this winery in nearby Chippewa Falls can also enjoy live music events and partake of wood-fired pizza. They also have a “grain-to-glass” distillery operation, with 100% Wisconsin-grown vodka, a white whiskey ideal for summer sipping, and a gin derived from grapes.

Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery: What makes this winery unique is its urban location. The owner sources ingredients from around the country, supporting American growers and suppliers. Look for a new array of “Experimentals,” wines and spirits made in extremely small batches, to be available exclusively in their Tasting Lounge, including a Wisconsin Spirit made from products the state is famous for including cranberries, cherries, dairy, maple syrup, and grain. Most recent releases included an apple malt whiskey and a sassafras chardonnay.

Arts, Culture and Film

Hmong New Year’s Celebration:  Immerse yourself in authentic Hmong culture during the 30th annual Hmong New Year’s Celebration Nov. 10-11, 2018. There will music and dance performances, a traditional “pov pob” ball toss competition, crafts, and food.

Downtown Sculpture Tour: This sidewalk sculpture tour in downtown Eau Claire is brand new beginning every May, with some three dozen sculptures revealed at that time. Visitors and residents may cast their vote for their favorite sculpture, with the winning sculpture purchased by the city for permanent display.

Micon Cinema: The Micon’s Downtown Budget Cinema is getting reserved seating following a recent remodeling. This downtown landmark, built in 1946, hosted the first-ever Eau Claire World Film Fest in fall 2017, as well as the first Midwest Weird Fest, an independent film fest that honors the horror genre.

City of Bridges

Downtown Eau Claire: The downtown district group gets credit for the river lights at Phoenix Park that will now recognize major holidays with different light shows for each holiday. In addition, the organization is spearheading re-decking, widening and general beautification of Grand Avenue Footbridge in 2018. Staying with the bridge theme, the new Haymarket Plaza at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers and adjoining pedestrian bridge will open in 2018.

Carson Park Drive Bridge Spruce-up: The bridge leading in to Carson Park from the historic Randall Park neighborhood and crossing Half Moon Lake has been widened and enhanced for the hiker and biker. The newly-christened bridge has multi-use trails along both sides plus bike lanes, and it now connects with the Chippewa River State Trail. This new causeway also includes ADA accessible fishing piers. Once inside the grounds, families with young children will love the all-new playground equipment in Carson Park.

Chippewa River Water Trail: A new trail map of the Chippewa River, with emphasis on downtown kayak, canoe and tubing put-ins and safe navigation along a four-mile urban route, is available online and at the city’s visitor center. The map also points out historical reminders of the area’s lumber era found along the way.   

Sports Report

Eau Claire Marathon: During the weekend of May 5-6,2018, runners will take to streets and bridges for the 10thannual Eau Claire Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifying race. There’s also a half and relay, along with a 5K run/walk. All races start and finish in Carson Park.

National Beep Baseball Association World Series: The world series of baseball for the blind and visually impaired comes to Wisconsin for the first time. This competition for ages 15-45 takes place at the Eau Claire Soccer Park, July 31-Aug. 4.

2018 USA Curling College Championship: The season-ender college curling championship will be held in Eau Claire in 2018, with the Eau Claire County Expo Center, home of the Eau Claire Curling Club, the host facility. The competition takes place March 9-11.

Eau Claire Express Baseball: This collegiate summer baseball team, part of the Northwoods League, is looking to spruce up its facility at Carson Park with artificial turf, expanded restroom and concession areas, improved handicap accessibility, and permanent stadium seating. They’re hoping to break ground in 2018 once fundraising wraps up.

First Full Year

Metropolis Resort started “Airobics” classes in its new trampoline park in 2017 and the craze has taken off. They also installed an outdoor motorized zipline that takes riders in reverse for 700 feet before bringing them back down to the starting point.

Ramone’s old-fashioned ice cream parlor opened in summer 2017, with lovers of the frozen treat gobbling up gallons of specialty flavors with names like Superman, Fat Elvis, and a caffeinated Iced Latte-Da. This family-run business is also big on giving back to the community, with a “tip jar” program that has employees choosing the charity they’d like to donate to.

River Prairie Park and Development is located in neighboring Altoona on a bend of the Eau Claire River, and has quickly become a destination for kayakers and canoers eager to take off on a river adventure from the landing there. There’s also an amphitheater where local musicians perform and a pet-friendly trail system. Three event spaces for rent, with the largest able to accommodate 250, feature an indoor/outdoor bar and double-sided fireplace. This mixed-use development also includes shops, a hotel, and restaurants.  

The Chippewa Off Road Bike Association – CORBA, for short – test drove, so to speak, a CORBA Kids program in 2017, and it was such a success they’re growing it for 2018. This introduction to mountain biking is both free and fun, with an expanded series of events and rides planned for “kids and their keepers.” The volunteers who run CORBA describes themselves as “advocates to be outside and to make the outside a better place.” 

For up-to-date information on these businesses plus a calendar of events, log on to www.VisitEauClaire.com.

 

About Visit Eau Claire

Visit Eau Claire is the area’s official tourism marketing organization with a role to better the city for all who live, work, study and play here and a mission to bring visitors to the area. With encouragement and support from Visit Eau Claire and benefiting greatly from the independent spirit of those who call the community home, this northern Wisconsin university city is making a name for itself as a creative hub with a hip and homegrown music and arts scene and a robust entrepreneurial culture. This city of bridges sits at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, a breathtaking backdrop that inspires originality and encourages a love of outdoors at every turn. Midwest indie? Yes, really.

 

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Visit Eau Claire • 4319 Jeffers Road • Eau Claire, WI 54703


888.523.3866 • 715.831.2345 • info@visiteauclaire.com• www.VisitEauClaire.com

CARR WINERY SANTA BARBARA 

“Work hard, play hard and source really good fruit… it all starts from the fruit!” – Jessica Carr

By Vaughn Lowery

Since 1999, Owner/Winemaker/Sommelier Ryan Carr and wife Jessica Carr have been developing an impeccable assortment of Pinot wines – crisp, juicy and delicious. Established in downtown Santa Barbara, their main tasting room is inside of a quonset hut. If the corrugated structure doesn’t enthrall you to enter, Jessica’s warm smile and innate ability to promote her product will have you become a member of their 800+ wine club. The decor is modern yet industrial with a saloon-ish style bar with wine on tap. Adjacent is an outdoor comfy patio where you and a group of friends can soak up a session while basking in the sunshine. 

Moreover, this eclectic outfit is host to a plethora of music events where indie rock to reggae bands showcase their talent on Friday nights from 6-8pm. Throughout the space are stacked barrels, workers fermenting grapes with monthly rotating provocative art pieces scattered throughout the walls on consignment. Everyone knows grapes love art and when the fruit is happy so is the wine.

Ryan wasn’t available for our private tasting but his presence was prevalent. During harvest, he’s out in the fields picking and sorting fruits. He and Jessica met at the University of Arizona about 20 years ago – he majored in graphic design and she in communications. It was inevitable that Ryan designed the ultra chique labels and she wrote many of their outward facing materials. 

Nothing can stand in the way of their success with such an immense passion for winemaking and a strong business acumen. And, the positive reviews alongside of 90+ scores keep rolling in. Named one of Six California Wineries You Should Know About.

“Carr produces polished, authoritative Pinot Noirs from various Sta. Rita Hills vineyards.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast

They started with only 15 people almost two decades ago; now with 2 locations and a wine management company (early September they handled the grand opening for sister brand CrossHatch Wines) – they’re invincible. Presently, they have no children, but obviously the grapes are their babies. Angel is their Rottweiler/Shepherd 2yro dog and was rescued from an overcrowded litter. Evidently, the Carrs have huge hearts and it’s known throughout the city.  Everyone we encountered both inside and outside the winery respects their philanthropic endeavors. In fact, they’re always giving back to local charities. 

It’s so refreshing to come across such an amazing winery ambiance only 82 miles from central Los Angeles. We drove up in the Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Coupe Special Edition to add to this whimsical wine experience. 

*Carr Vineyards & Winery is a small, handcrafted winery producing 4500 cases in downtown Santa Barbara. All of the wines made by Carr are sourced from Santa Barbara County vineyards and are made in a traditional winemaking style to capture the essence of the grape varietal and region. The vast microclimates of Santa Barbara County allow the winery to produce several wines including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Carr Winery has two locations for guests to enjoy wine tasting, wines by the glass and wine on tap: The Barrel Room in downtown Santa Barbara and The Warehouse in Santa Ynez.

http://carrwinery.com