Friday, September 17, 2010

I got behind!

Sorry! I have gotten behind on my blog updates, primarily due to the CHEESECAKE festival (Saturday, September 18, 1-6 pm), plus we are having website problems that have eaten up a lot of time trying to fix. I want to get started on the TWO wine tours we have been on in the past few weeks. Let's do one at a time:

First, the 2010 Summer Bus Tour went very well! Everyone showed up on time to get on the bus (7 am is early on a Saturday) and we did not lose anyone along the way. But how did it go?

Our first stop was Oliver Winery and the folks there opened up a bit early to accommodate us and we had a great time! Half went on tour of their impressive production facilities; the other half did a tasting. The results were quite surprising, in my view. Too often the “Big O” gets forgotten in the search for great wine, we think of Oliver as the “sweet wine” winery. But in truth they knocked us out with the variety and consistency of their wines, not to mention very nice tastes. A lot of wine was bought and not much was sweet, don’t miss Oliver’s next time you are in the neighborhood.

A few minutes away we visited Butler Winery’s winery & vineyard and found another great selection of wines. I think Jim has a real style to his wines and his vineyard was gorgeous.

The next stop was lunch, but the next winery was Carousel, right on the highway as we headed south towards New Albany. I found some reds there I really liked and a Pinot Gris my wife found very tasty.

Our last stop was in New Albany’s River City Winery, where we found more (repetitive?) great wines and a very nice dinner as well. If you visit the winery, come for food too!

Our stay at the Hampton Inn went well and all were ready for a Sunday morning tasting at Turtle Run Winery. Jim, the owner, looked a bit ill to me and he admitted he had went to bed at 2 am and got up about 5 am to be ready for us. Why? Because harvest was running well ahead of schedule due to our hot weather! Jim is one of the most entertaining and informative winemakers I know and the group of 44 wine “tourers” all agreed. For the first time, we were running behind schedule because everyone wanted some Turtle Run Wine. We wound our way through the scenic countryside to BEST Vineyards where we enjoyed the view from the deck while tasting excellent wine from this newer winery. The Chardonnell was wonderful…

We headed north and hit Chateau DePique where everyone was impressed with the wedding chapel as well as their wines. We hit Buck Creek, a winery the group had specifically asked if we could visit again and the gang there kept us moving towards dinner at a local buffet.

We made it home a bit after 9 pm and everyone scattered for home. The wife and I both agreed the trip went very well and we look forward to next spring’s winery bus tour. I think we need to return to Madison, its been two years and there are some new wineries down that way that need checking out…

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