Archive for the ‘Exploring Wine Regions’ Category

Wine Blogging Wednesday #70: 2009 Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Garnacha

Gabriella and Ryan’s post inspiring wine bloggers to get creative and seek out a unique Spanish wine or one from an unheard of region for the comeback edition of New York Cork Report Executive Editor Lenn Thompson’s Wine Blogging Wednesday, fueled my determination to get my hands on a bottle or two that would expand my basic understanding of wine from Spain.  I didn’t find what I was looking for at a large retailer in Ithaca, so headed to my favorite wine store, Red Feet Wine Market and Spirit Provision.

My friend, Amy Cheatle who leads event and tasting room marketing for Damiani Wine Cellars, also works at Red Feet and directed me to the shop’s manager, Empar. She quickly scanned the Catavino post on my Droid X and walked me through a few select options.  Several of the wines Empar recommended sounded interesting, but the keywords that  got my attention and had me leaving with 2009 Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Garnacha : cool-climate red, small production, Vinos de Madrid DO (one I haven’t explored).  Bodega Bernabeleva produces just 3,300 total cases currently, will be 100% certified biodynamic as of this 2009 vintage and is a rare find outside of Madrid.


Vintage-stamped cork

Label features the modern-day Bernabeleva estate symbol

Tasting Notes:

I decanted the wine for several hours and found cherry syrup and brown sugar on the nose. After it opened up a bit more in the glass, I got a gentle whiff of pungent flowers–hyacinth came to mind.  Color is black cherry with a slight blue hue on the edges.

Medium-bodied and slightly chewy with powdery minerality, the finish is silky and elegant. What surprised me about this wine is how much it changed as it opened up upon swirling and intermittent tastes.  My husband, Rich also tasted with me and he picked up plum flavors.

Find this wine:

2009 Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Garnacha available via The Rare Wine Co.

TasteLive Participants: How Are You Engaging and Posting to #TTL ?

Social Media Quick Tip: Add Social Media Info to Signage

july 2009, wbc, personal 055

I bet a bunch of you are already all over this one.  I spotted this signage from Faust Winery in Napa Valley during the Grand Tasting of Napa Wines at Quintessa during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference.

This is a simple, low-cost branding strategy to promote your social media efforts.  Once you get your customers there, you know what happens eventually: they’ll start talking to you and hopefully providing valuable information on their likes and dislikes, preferences and experiences with your wine brand.

Although this sign was on a table at a tasting, you can also create signage that is representative of your brand’s look and feel and post them in your tasting room, create postcards, add your social media info to your business cards, print out pages and include in the bottom of customer shopping bags, include in your shipment boxes.

If you’re a winery who is already promoting your pages this way, I would love to have you upload your photos to the fan photos section of my Facebook fan page.  That way we can see each other’s signage and use the photos for info on how to fan each other’s pages.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a smiling staff member to promote the info either.

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2009 Wine Bloggers Conference: Fewer Words, More People Pictures

Live Blogging Fast & Furious

Live Blogging Fast & Furious

There’s been so much buzz about the Wine Bloggers Conference in Napa and Sonoma, CA this year.  With close to 300 attendees (and 75 waitlisted) the WBC has been a dominant topic of conversation for months now among many in the wine community.  There have been several posts already as I’m late to the game.  But I had to show you the Wine Bloggers Conference in pictures.  Recognize anyone?

Jeff Stai aka El Jefe-one of the best social brand builders in our industry

Jeff Stai aka @eljefetwisted-One of the Best Social Brand Builders in Our Industry

Here we are at the Russian River Valley Winegrowers After Party

Here we are at the Russian River Valley Winegrowers After Party

Jeff Lefevere Diving In Before Live Blogging

Jeff Lefevere Pouring for Dinner

Murphy-Goode's Hardy Wallace Bringin' On the Fun

Murphy-Goode's Hardy Wallace Bringin' On the Fun

Bottleshock's Marc Lhormer-Double Fisted

Bottleshock's Marc Lhormer-Double Fisted

For truly exceptional blogger photos, see Bricks of Wine’s Eric Hwang’s photostream.

Family, Love, Wine Blog: What a Year It’s Been


Diane Letulle, Remy Charest, Robbin Gheesling and I at Wine Bloggers Conference

As a girl with a dream to bring together my passions for learning about the wine industry, its people and places and social media, I’m celebrating the one-year anniversary of my first blog post. One year ago, I didn’t know a soul in the wine business. I started devouring wine blogs and publications and most-importantly, joined the Open Wine Consortium on the recommendation of blogger and wine PR guru Tom Wark. It has been a year of wine events, tastings, classes, projects, obstacles and friendship. I have learned much, thanks to many of you who have stuck by me, rallied for me and advised me. I have grown to admire many of the thought leaders in this industry and the business world. See “Thought Leaders I Follow and Admire” in the sidebar.

And if this last year is any indication of how much fun, how challenging and rewarding this business is, I foresee pursuing it until I can no longer take a breath or communicate with you in some way (I wonder what the medium of choice will be by then!)

Thank you for returning to this blog, for telling me your stories and helping me to find my passion in life outside of my family and friends. I am happy and grateful to be a part of the wine community.

A slideshow of the highlights of my first year blogging and doing business. Cheers 🙂

First Online Wine Blogger Tasting: The Wines of Chile


I had the opportunity to participate in the recent online wine blogger tasting for the Wines of Chile.  The tasting included a live webcast moderated by Michael Green, Wine & Spirits consultant at Gourmet magazine.  Eight winemakers were  available via live webcast from Santiago, Chile…cool.  Michael led the tasting and asked each winemaker questions as we swiftly tasted through the eight wines.

There was also much activity on Twitter as the bloggers tweeted their impressions live.  The hashtag #winesofchile was used and the Twitter conversation was one of the highlights for me. Check out the tweets related to the tasting.  I did click to the Tweet Chat room to read and engage with the live tweets and minimized the winemakers and Michael in my browser, but listened to their conversation as I tweeted.

Key Takeaways:

  • Although not a replacement for in-person or group tastings, the Wines of Chile online tasting was a fun way to learn about Chilean wines, regions and the winemakers in a virtual group setting.
  • I enjoyed that the winemakers were available live.
  • The pace was rapid, I would have preferred a bit more time to taste and tweet about the wines.
  • Like some others, I was impressed with the 2008 Cono Sur Pinot Noir from Colchagua Valley.  I had no impression of Chilean Pinot Noirs going into the tasting, but liked the elegance of this one and Chilean Pinots will now go onto my radar.
  • Prior to the tasting, bloggers were actively Tweeting and updating Facebook statuses with a countdown to how long until the tasting began.  (“one more hour until Wines of Chile tasting!”)
  • Some bloggers posted pictures of their tasting items to Twitpic.
  • This tasting lends to positioning of the Wines of Chile brand as forward thinking because they demonstrated that they embrace technology, social media tools and wine bloggers.

One idea for a next step:

  • Create a Facebook Public Profile (fan page) for Wines of Chile with video of the tasting, videos of winemakers, tab with technical info including bottle shots and invite participating bloggers to become a fan and invite others.  Keep these excited bloggers engaged with the Wines of Chile brand.
    • Encourage blogger questions and have winemakers respond directly there
    • Create a page of links to blog posts about the tasting
    • Promote Wines of Chile events and tastings via Facebook events, targeting via location

There was a nice mention of the tasting in a round up story on  The article is titled, “The New Way to Learn About Wine:  Twitter.”   I’m not sure if live tweeting was a part of the strategy developed by the team at RF Binder, the agency representing the Wines of Chile, but it happened organically and was a very relevant part of the tasting.   Another fun thing was that my husband, Rich tasted along with me.  His palate is different than mine but overall he liked the wines with his favorite being the ’06 Los Vascos Reserve blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec.  Mine were the ’08 Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc and ’06 Veramonte Primus, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Carmenere.  One of the first things he said to me the next morning was that the tasting was a lot of fun.  We’re packing up what’s left of our bottles for a trip to visit our good friends to taste through the wines again with them.