Suwanee Wine Festival

As the end of 2015 approaches, I like to look back over the year and determine what were the true highlights and what were some of my "firsts". 

Last month I attended my first Suwanee Wine Festival.  The festival was held in beautiful Suwanee, Georgia at the Suwanee Town Center Park.  A portion of the Suwanee Wine Fest proceeds benefit Annandale Village, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

The festival may have been my first, but it will absolutely not be my last.  I had an awesome time covering this event.  It was a little overcast and rainy but even with the threat of inclement weather there was certainly a festival going on.

As I walked around and spoke with each vendor, I discovered a great deal of diversity in each and every one.  There was such a sense of community.

 2015 Suwanee Wine Festival

2015 Suwanee Wine Festival

Okay, what about the details, what about the wines........................

I recommend to anyone try the VIP experience.  Why?

  • Great cuisine
  • Premium wines such as Pierre-Jouet Sparkling Wine, Orin Swift Veladora Sauvignon Blanc, McKenzie Muller Cabernet Franc, Pico & Vine Cabernet Sauvignon - just to name a few.
  • Special seating in the VIP tent

Trust me VIP is well worth it! :-)

If you just want to go to the festival under General Admission, it is absolutely okay.  The General Admission experience is still awesome.  There were so many great wines to sample and vendor booths to visit that in my opinion the entire festival was a VIP experience. 

Some of my highlights include visiting Medieval Times,  Sharp Mountain Vineyards, The Fresh Market, Sweet Acre Farms Winery and Explore Gwinnett.

The food was also a delight.  There were awesome food vendors such as Suwanee Pizza Tavern, Piece of Cake, Bistro to Go, and Bust'N Butts BBQ.

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There were major sponsors such as The Fresh Market, Atlanta Classic Cars, Suwanee Magazine, Tannery Row Ale House, Veugeler Design Group, and Ippolito's. 

You guys know the main goal of the "My Wine Life" Blog is to bring you the best in wine lifestyle offerings.  The Suwanee Wine Festival was truly one of my favorite festivals all year.  I had a great time.  I would love to have you join me in 2016.  Whose with me?

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Cheers!

#mywinelife #corksandcuvee


North Georgia Winery Tour (The Sequel)

 My Wine Life Winery Tour by Corks and Cuvee

My Wine Life Winery Tour by Corks and Cuvee

Many of you know a few weeks back I shared my experiences as I traveled to visit some North Georgia wineries.

I had such an amazing time that I wanted to return and that is exactly what I did and instead of going alone I facilitated a trip with a group of wine enthusiasts.

We started our Saturday to the mountains with Raspberry/Lemonade mimosas and lovely charcuterie boxes with olive oil crusted break, salami, Marcona almonds, and cheese – YUMMY!  Let me just say we enjoyed our trip up to the mountains.

We were transported by my now preferred wine tour bus company Pop the Cork.  Uncle Chuck and LaTanya were so AWESOME.  We loved the service so much I am planning another trip already (more information to come)  :-)

Our first winery stop was CeNita Vineyards and Winery.

 CeNita Vineyards and Winery

CeNita Vineyards and Winery

The vineyards were beautiful and serene.  We visited their brand new tasting room.  We enjoyed six different wines – CeNita Cabernet Franc, CeNita Red, CeNita Suavis, CeNita Chambourcin, CeNita Vidal Blanc, and Cenita Rouge.  My personal favorites were the CeNita Cabernet Franc and the CeNita Suavis.

Our second winery and lunch spot was Sylvan Valley Lodge and Winery.  Okay, this is how lunch should be served every day.  We were greeted by Louisa who by the way was so friendly and welcoming we felt right at home immediately. 

We were served lunch in a private dining area that came along with a wine pairing tasting.  To top it off we were dazzled by the live jazz artist Jazzsmith. 

I literally had the best pimento cheese sandwich ever in life!

We loved the wines and we were also introduced to wine slushies which was new to me – very refreshing.

I cannot wait for my next visit to this lovely place. 

 Sylvan Valley Lodge and Winery

Sylvan Valley Lodge and Winery

Our third winery was Serenity Cellars.  Tucked away in the North Georgia Mountains, this winery is absolutely a little piece of Italy.  Serenity Cellars is named perfectly it is lovely and very serene.  We were serenaded by the lovely Sarah Tucker.  I have not heard many voices as clear and beautiful as hers.  Sarah’s voice is angelic.

Out of the wines we tasted I found two jewels.  Serenity Cellars Majestic a newly released wine.  It is bold, complex blend of Syrah, Merlot, Noiret, Chambourcin, Petit Syrah, Tempranillo, Zifandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Traminette.  Lovely dark fruit and spice.  The Bella.  The notes blackberry, blueberry, and chocolate - yes chocolate. 

Out last and final stop on the tour was Yonah Mountain Vineyards.  This winery is AMAZING the views are incredible, and the wines delicious. 

 Yonah Mountain Vineyards

Yonah Mountain Vineyards

We participated in a wine tasting and took in all of the views outside on the deck.  My favorite wine the 2013 Dutton Chardonnay. 

The entire day was AMAZING!

Thanks to Pop The Cork and all of the wineries for helping us live our wine lives.

#mywinelife #cheers #corksandcuvee

TRIbella™ Wine Aerator Review

 TRIbella™ wine aerator

TRIbella™ wine aerator

Just had to share, I have found a great new wine product!  The TRIbella™ wine aerator is a contemporary, sleek wine aerator that is in my opinion a piece of art.  I quickly thought "what a great gift option" for a wine enthusiast. 

I received the TRIbella™ wine aerator to sample and was pleasantly surprised by the packaging.  This aerator comes in its very own sleek black carrying case.  The aerator itself has a modern design.  I am adding this aerator to my top ten wine gifts of 2015.

Now, I don't care how nice a product is or how great the design, if it does not do what it says it will do in my opinion the product is not creditworthy.  I will say, this was NOT the case with the TRIbella™ wine aerator.  This aerator provides a "perfect pour".  I was so impressed as I opened one of my favorite bottles of wine and followed the directions provided.  I was mesmerized by the very even flow of my beautiful wine through the three aeration streams. 

Understanding how important aeration is for red wine, I knew what this aerator was supposed to do.  The aerator did just that!  My wine was encouraged to open up and breathe by the aerator.  I think the design is key to proper aeration this product provides.

 "Perfect Pour"

"Perfect Pour"

I  am always excited to find a new great wine product to share especially when it has such a beautiful design.  More importantly this aerator is a catalyst for making a good wine better.  Again, if you entertain, are a wine lover, looking for an AWESOME wine gift or all three the TRIbella™ wine aerator is definitely worth it.  I  really love this product!

This product gets two thumbs up from Corks and Cuvee and My Wine Life.  www.tribellawine.com

Cheers!  #corksandcuvee #mywinelife

 

Georgia On My Mind............................

Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to visit a few North Georgia wineries.  Now, for some that may not be a big deal, but I was born and raised in Georgia.  Yes, I am a true Georgia peach.

I am used to Georgia being synonymous with peaches and peanuts.  One thing I and I suspect others are not used to Georgia being synonymous with is WINE.  After this weekend not only do I associate Georgia with wine, I cannot wait for my next glass of these beautiful terroir driven wines.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge how I was transported to these lovely wineries.  VIP Southern Wine Tours (www.gawinetours.com).  Let me say this was no ordinary hum-drum wine tour.  I had so much fun!  Captain Fireball guided my tour group through an afternoon of beautiful scenery, history, and great wine.  I absolutely loved it and I will be taking a group of wine lovers back with me. 

The first stop on the tour:

  1. Stonewall Creek Vineyards: 

    Situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stonewall Creek Vineyards has 5 acres dedicated to Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Petit Manseng. 

Upon arriving we were greeted by Michael Fisher aka Captain Malbec.  Captain Malbec was a virtual encyclopedia of Georgia viticulture.  I was captivated by the narrative he shared about Georgia wine history and its terroir.

I was able to taste several wines all of which were amazing.  There were two wines that rose to the top as my favorites the 2014 Boriana and the 2013 Norton.

The 2014 Boriana was delightful.  The wine is 100% Petit Manseng (Pe-teet Man-Seng).  This full bodied white wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel.  I immediately noticed lovely citrus notes and the wine had great acidity.  I would pair this lovely porch sipping wine with poultry or seafood.

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The 2013 Norton, admittedly was a grape varietal I had not tasted before.  The grape varietal is indigenous to the Southeast and Central US.  The wine had an enriched deep ruby pigment, fruit forward, great acidity and very good balance.  This uniquely vinified wine was a true gem.  The wine had good structure which and would be great with lamb or beef.

The next stop…………

2.  The Cottage Vineyard and Winery

This lovely winery is nestled beautifully in the North Georgia mountains.  The scenery around The Cottage Vineyard and Winery is absolutely breathtaking.  We were fortunate to have lunch in this spectacular corner of the world.

Our tour was greeted by a two man band and the most amazing backdrop

The wines tasted:

  • 2013 Chardonnay - Aged in French and Hungarian oak.  This wine is full of tropical fruit, vanilla, butter, nuts.  This full bodied Chardonnay would pair very well with a seafood dish. 

  • 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon- Also aged in French and Hungarian oak, this full bodied red is bigand bold full of black fruits, vanilla, and tobacco.  It is delicious.

  • 2012 Syrah - The Syrah was medium bodied with red and black fruits, baking spices, and nuts.  I would love a little barbeque with this one.

    The owners of this lovely vineyard and winery were so welcoming.

Next stop…………

3.  Yonah Mountain Vineyards

From The Cottage Vineyard and Winery we wen to Yonah Mountain Vineyards.  The landscape on the grounds wer magnificent.  Perfectly manicured lawns and beautiful flowers. 

I could not think of a better place  to sip wine on a hot summer day.  We tasted several lovely wines but the one that really made an impression on me was the red blend they call Genesis 6. 

This red is big and bold with lots of red and black fruits.  There is just enough to add the round mouthfeel.  The baking spices were detectable along with tobacco.  A lovely blend indeed.

4.   Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards

A lovely vineyard dedicated to making great wines that are complex yet not complicated.  I actually had the opportunity to explore the actual vineyard – it all starts in the vineyard. 

I was captivated as I peered down the row and rows of vitis vinifera.  I peeled back the leaves of the first vine I approached to reveal a bunch of grapes waiting to be harvested.  I thought about this bunch and the many bunches waiting to be picked and was delighted at the thought one day these grapes would make a great bottle of wine. 

Our final stop…………..

Bernies Restaurant & Nacoochee Valley Guest House

Bernie’s is a quaint country inn coddled in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.  We had a very special meal here.  We were greeted by a pristine set table in the courtyard.  I ordered the chicken and mushroom crepes- they were delicious. 

I paired my crepes with the Viognier which was a match made in heaven.

I was given a tour of the inn which by the way, has its original kitchen.  Room after room was filled with character.  I am definitely looking forward to returning.  Thank you for an amazing time.

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Let me end this post by thanking VIP Southern Wine Tours for an amazing time and the opportunity to experience the most beautiful scenery and amazing wines birthed by the North Georgia Mountains.

Cheers.

Fox Run Vineyards Represents at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference

  Fox Run Vineyards

Fox Run Vineyards

I entered the first session of my first Wine Bloggers Conference sat down at a table and was greeted with a “hello” and “how are you” little did I know I was being greeted by Scott Osborn Owner of Fox Run Vineyards. Scott was so personable and shared a little bit of the history behind Fox Run Vineyards.

Fox Run Vineyards used to be a dairy farm. The first grapes were planted in 1984 and the dairy barn was converted to a winemaking facility in 1990.

The vineyard became exclusively family owned in 2012. The vineyard produces approximately 15,000 cases annually. Plantings include Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.

Fox Run has 50 acres of grapes and 19 acres are devoted to Riesling. Fox Run is a three time Gold medal winner at the Riesling du Monde competition in Strausbourg, France.

I love the fact that Fox Run Vineyards has a charitable heartbeat that shows through via contributions for children, cancer research, and supporting the local community.

After hearing a little of the history of this vineyard, I was ready to taste the wines coming out of this vineyard.

I got the chance to taste my first Fox Run wine at the Live Blogging session where local wine makers have 5 minutes to pour and share information about their wine. My first Fox Run wine was a 2011 Reserve Riesling presented by Scott Osborn himself. 

I always jot down tasting notes on most wines I taste, but especially ones I really enjoy. I wanted to make sure I wrote down all of the details about this beautiful Riesling. Right away I noticed the lovely aromatics full of smoked citrus and stone fruits. On my palate, it was luscious full of melon and tropical fruits. 

After tasting the 2011 Reserve Riesling and loving it, I wanted more Fox Run wine. I got my wish!  The next wine I tasted from the Fox Run portfolio was the 2012 Lemberger. I have tasted many Lembergers and was curious how this cool climate Lemberger would show. I was pleasantly surprised. Again, I took out my little tasting notebook and started formulating my tasting notes.

The Lemberger was full bodied full of black and red berries. Black stone fruits and cracked black pepper.  I was quite impressed and wanted more. 

After tasting these two wines, I look forward to tasting the other wines in the Fox Run portfolio. 

One thing I know for sure Fox Run Vineyards is committed to making incredibly delicious cool climate wines to be enjoyed with family and friends. I have fallen for these lovely wines and having met Scott Osborn and Marisa Indelicato, I know these wines are made with heart. 

Thank you Fox Run Vineyards 
Cheers!