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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lake County Wine Adventure 2014

2014 10th Annual Wine Adventure

2014 10th Annual Wine Adventure

Lake County Winery Association

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM - Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM (PDT)

Kelseyville, CA

Ticket Information

Wine Adventure PassportJul 26, 2014$45.00$0.00
Wine Adventure Sunday Only Passport
Enjoy a one-day Lake County Wine Adventure on Sunday, July 27th. Visit one or all of the participating wineries for wine, food and fun!
Jul 26, 2014$35.00$0.00
Wine Adventure Designated DriverJul 26, 2014$0.00$0.00

Who's Going

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Event Details

 AD-VEN-TURE (n) daring and exciting activity
Experience Lake County and discover your favorite wines at the 10th Annual Lake County Wine Adventure
25+ wineries open their doors with wine, food, local art, music and more for this two day Passport Adventure.
Raffle for instant wine cellar to benefit Relay for Life.
July 26th & 27th, 11 AM – 5 PM   $45 per person for both days
New one-day passport for Sunday, July 27th $35 per person

Starting Winery Locations
 South County:
    • Twin Pine "Off the Vine", Middletown
    • Langtry Estate & Vineyard, Middletown
    • Six Sigma Ranch. Lower Lake
  • West County:
    • Steele Wines, Kelseyville
    • Chacewater Wine & Olive Mill, Kelseyville
  • North County:
    • Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake
  • East County:
    • Brassfield Estate Winery, Clearlake Oaks
    • Cache Creek Vineyards, Highway 20 and New Long Valley Road

Special Concierge Service
Pick up your passport, wristband, and glass at Twin Pine Hotel & Casino on Friday the 26thfrom 3-7PM.
All members of your party must be present for this service!
For more information and updates, visit
Must be 21 years or older to participate.
Have questions about 2014 10th Annual Wine Adventure? Contact Lake County Winery Association

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Refosco release!

Visit the Refosco page on our website

After missing several vintages we are finally releasing our third bottling of Refosco. With only 60 cases, please refrain from pushing or shoving. A bit of history first:

Refosco is grown primarily in Friuli, it is also found in Slovenia, Istria, and Greece. Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is regarded as being the superior strain, but Refosco Nostrano, d'Istria and del Terrano are recognized, as well as the possibly related Cagnina in Romagna. The big story though is that DNA testing has refuted the claim that it is related to Mondeuse Noir in the Savoie region of France (however, it has been linked to the infamously mediocre Marzemino - and it has that feel). The most promising zone is Colli Orientali in Friuli, and now, Rosa d'Oro Vineyards. It also has the strongest, most aggressive tendrils I have ever fought, and even the young vines are prodigious producers, probably amping up the ample acidity this grape is famous for in cool climates. 1 bunch per cane will likely become the rule here.

At the turn of the century, Refosco was well known to California. Famed To-Kalon vineyard was half planted to Refosco (though this may have actually been Mondeuse Noir). It was a major part of Beaulieu Vineyards "Black Burgundy" wine after Prohibition. In 1971 there were 396 acres recorded in California, and in 1985 it disappeared from the radar. The true heritage of Californian Refosco is certainly in question. There are a few growers, one in Paso Robles, Matthiason of course in Napa, and our few rows on Kelsey Bench are the only dedicated bits I know of.

For me it has a Syrah sensibility often leaning into the plum/violet side of the spectrum. Grown in our warm climate it has low-ish acid which works well with the chunky, somewhat gritty Petite Sirah-like tannin that lends a sense of dark depth to balance the higher floral tones. This one is a blend of Yolo County and our estate fruit, but what we have in barrel for 2013 will be 100% estate and I think we are in for a real treat with what the Lake County elevation and climate will do with this cultivar. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake recipe

This recipe is based half on Pierre Hermé and half on David Everitt-Matthias recipes for a similar cake. It spent some time on and off menus when I was in kitchens and is to date probably our most requested recipe. I like taking the Sicilian approach and pairing with Prickly Pear sorbet or something bright and tart to counteract the rich, alkaline nature of the cake. This ratio of butter to EVOO yields a fairly round richness, but you can raise the the EVOO percentage and use a peppery Tuscan or Nuovo oil to yield a much more phenolic and spicy cake.

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake
(Wishing I had taken a picture
of the cake...)

3 oz. coarse grain rice flour
8 oz. unsalted shelled pistachios – skins removed as much as possible. I like to use about      half-and-half untoasted bright green for color and half toasted for flavor
3 oz. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
good pinch salt

6 oz. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. barely melted butter

4 whole eggs
9 oz. sugar

zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, plus juice of one half lemon

9” springform pan, placed on baking sheet

Bake at 300F for approximately 70 minutes. Cake will remain soft and a toothpick may not come out completely clean, but it will firmly set. 200F is a good temperature target. Use the jiggle test primarily. Do not remove from pan until completely cool, at least 2 hours.

Combine rice flour, pistachios, flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor and process until finely textured but still about chunky.

Mix barely melted unbroken butter with olive oil.

Whip eggs in kitchen mixer with a balloon whisk, gradually reaching high speed while slowly adding sugar. Whip on high for three minutes to ribbon stage. Turn speed to medium and very slowly add oil/butter mixture as if making aioli – be sure to maintain the emulsion, but it may collapse depending on the butter, but that is ok. Add juice, zest, and then gently fold in pistachio mixture from food processor. Pour into well buttered springform pan and bake as indicated above.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last few bottles of Cabernet Franc available!

We are down to the last few bottles of our 2011 Cab Franc...
Expert Reviews
A rare, 100% California Cabernet Franc, this wine pays tribute to its varietal in every way. Green-olive herbaceousness integrates with savory, bright red fruit and a soft texture. Given this structure, the wine should do well alongside a peppercorn steak.


Rosa d'Oro 2011 Nova Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Yolo County)

Rosa d'Oro 2011 Nova Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Yolo County)
Buy Now 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A guide to our Italian-varietal wines

We have created a nifty little guide to our wines if you are unfamiliar with the big and often confusing world of Italian grapes. Such confusion often includes: why is the Montepulciano grape not grown in the town of Montepulciano, why is Dolcetto a dry and tannic wine, and why is Negroamaro (to be released next year) not bitter?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Join us at the Rosa d'Oro Wine Dinner April 5th

There are a few spots left at the upcoming Rosa d'Oro Wine Dinner at the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, Lake County. The evening begins with a sampling of our wines with appetizers across the street at the Lake County Wine Studio. Dinner will then take place at The Tallman Hotel.

The Saturday night event is limited to 30 guests. Reservations at $75 plus tax can be made by calling the Hotel at 707-275-2244 ext. 0. And consider staying overnight at the hotel! There's a special offer of $99 for the second night if you book a two night stay (note: special hotel/dinner package is available by telephone only - 707-275-2244). 

9550 Main Street • Upper Lake, CA 95485

Click here for a THREE MINUTE VIDEO of the dinner in May with Ceago Vinegarden.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Now available: Greco di Yolo, not Tufo

We have finally released a very small amount of our Greco, which might be the only Greco di Tufo (Tufo is of course not correct here being a region in Italy, but it helps identify what we are talking about) in the United States. As some of you might remember, we released some under our "House White" label a while ago because the TTB has rejected the permutations "Greco," "Greco Bianco," and "Greco di Tufo" as recognized grape names. I have chronicled that whole ridiculous encounter under the tab above left titled "The Greco Incident" and nothing has since come of our efforts to have this awesome grape recognized in the U.S. I really see a tremendous future for this heat-loving, drought- tolerant grape, so the varietal name hangup is doubly disappointing.

Anyhow, our tiny amount is dwindling rapidly. The grapes were grown at Nova Vine's budwood block in Yolo County. Being multi-vintage it has some nice lees characteristics along with that saline, waxy thing that Greco does so well, floral and earthy citrus at the same time. Though it is officially a House White wine, the proprietary name via the old Dadaist riff is "Greco non esiste qui" which is much less snarky than all the earlier thoughts. Only about 50 cases made and you can find it on the Rosa d'Oro website. Stay tuned for more exciting whites soon!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Aglianico, Greco and Fiano - Antonio Mastroberardino's legacy lives on

Antonio Mastroberardino, the man most associated with the preservation and elevation of Aglianico and Greco, has passed away at 86. The Mastroberardino family spearheaded the preservation and refinement of Campanian varietals across all price points, culminating with legendary '68 Taurasi from which is precisely how Aglianico came to be known as the Barolo of the South. Without him, we would not be growing Aglianico today.

Particularly interesting to me is the family's Villa dei Misteri project. This bottling attempts to recreate a wine that would have been drunk in ancient Pompeii. Working with archeologists and DNA testing ancient seeds the planted 8 nearly forgotten cultivars (5 white, 3 red) at the 3,000/acre planting and trellising that was common 2,000 years ago. The winemaking is relatively contemporary with a few ancient nods, and the current blend is Piedirosso and Sciascinoso. I have not had it and it is very limited, but I greatly admire the spirit of inquiry and intellectual adventure.