Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2014 - The Wino4Life Winery List

A couple of weeks ago in my post titled Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2014 in May - It's Planning Time! I described my process for planning for this great event. With over 200 wineries available and only three hours, the way to get the most out of your not inexpensive ticket is to go in with a plan in mind. 

With a week and a half until it's "Vegas Baby" time (May 3), I present to you my list of wineries that I plan to visit at the Grand Tour.

If you are going to attend, I suggest you take the time to make a list more in line with your wine preferences, making sure to try some new wineries, some new types of wine to expand your horizons - while mixing in some old favorites along the way. 

We typically do not make it to ever winery that I have on my list - we always leave the flexibility for some game time (drink time?) decisions based on recommendations from other Grand Tour guests or from another winery - or just a booth that seems particularly hopping with excitement.  Also, at some point in the night the palate becomes overloaded, and it's time to find one of those Craps machines to make a donation to those starving Vegas Casino owners!

So without further delay, here is Wino4Life's 2014 Grand Tour Winery List!

New Wineries to the Grand Tour
  • Adobe Road (Napa, California) - maker of small lots of hand crafted wine.
  • Black Kite (Sonoma, California) - artisan Pinot Noir (can't pass that up...right?).
  • Bodegas Cepa 21 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) I have had their wines once or twice, and really liked them.
  • CVNE (Rioja, Spain) - yes folks, you can find us in the Spanish aisle most of the night!  This is a winery we might tour on our next trip to Spain, so we want to drop by and say "hi"... and "can I have some wine, please!"
  • Inglenook (Napa, California) - This winery is the one Francis Ford Coppola purchased. I want to stop by in case they are pouring Rubicon...or anything else interesting!
  • Paul Jaboulet Aine (Rhone, France) - this winery makes Parallel 45, one of my favorite value Cotes du Rhone wines. Interested to try some of their "better" stuff.
  • Dr. Loosen (Germany) - I've had lots of their wine, but interested in seeing what they will be pouring at the Grand Tour.
  • Merry Edwards (Sonoma, California) - I'm curious if Merry Edwards will be there, and based on the map looks like they will be pouring some white wine.
  • Pinitia (Toro, Spain) - Toro is another region that makes great wine from Tempranillo, although they call the grape Tinto de Toro.
  • Round Pond (Napa, California) - Highly rated Cabs...always on the lookout for a great wine to have with a great steak.
  • Torbreck (Barossa, Australia) - a Shiraz producer that I have not heard of before...and am anxious to try!
  • Val de Flores (Argentina) - High rated Malbec, one of my favorite varietals.
Old Favorites
  • Alto Moncayo (Borja, Spain) - One of my all time favorite wineries, we visit them every year.
  • Dominio de Atauta (Ribera del Duero, Spain) - A wine we tried for the first time last year and really enjoyed.
  • Chateau Margaux (Bordeaux, France) - need to at least visit Spain's neighbor to try some good Bordeaux!
  • Muga (Rioja, Spain) - We have befriended the wonderful folks from this winery, and have toured the winery in Spain several times. A big winery with worldwide distribution - but still a "family" feel to the operation.
  • Charles Smith (Washington State) - One of the great characters in the wine business, I am always up to try his stuff.  They typically bring something really... really... good!
Trying Something New
  • Bersano (Piedmont, Italy) - I'm not sure what they'll be pouring, but they make wine with all different Piedmont varietals so I'm hoping for something unique.
  • Braida di Giacomo Bologna (Piedmont, Italy) - Another winery working with interesting Piedmont varietals.  I'm hoping they pour a Grignolino or something else I've never tried before.
  • Merus (Napa, California) - on my list last year, but we did not make it to their booth. Highly rated Cabs I hope to try this year.
  • Famille Perrin (Southern Rhone, France) - trying to visit at least a few French wine spots, and Rhone wines are some of my favs.
  • Quinta do Crasto (Douro, Portugal) - I have been trying to experiment more with dry wines from Portugal, and have found some great wines and great value.
  • Sigalas (Greece) - Both new to the Grand Tour and something new to try for me - I have tried some Greek reds in the past, but am not familiar with Greek white wines.
So you can see it's going to be a busy night - but it should be a great night.  I highly recommend this event as a great way to dive deeper into becoming an epic wino! You will try some great wine, but also have a chance to learn a lot... and put the "know" in "wino"!

See you there! (In the Spanish aisle!).

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