Cliff Creek Cellars
Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellar
Valley View Winery
With a Friday evening "Sunset Rare and Reserve Wine Tasting," wineries were asked to pour 2-3 library or exclusive offerings to an intimate crowd of wine aficionados at the Dana Point Yacht Club. Wines included Abacela's 2005 Paramour Gran Reserva and Troon Vineyard's 2008 Zinfandel Reserve.
The following afternoon 2,000-3,000 guests flocked to the grassy, palm-lined "Beachside Wine Festival" for unlimited tasting of Californian fine wines with Southern Oregon being the highlighted guest region. RoxyAnn Winery showcased their 92-point Viognier and signature Pinot Gris and Claret while Cliff Creek Cellars displayed a variety of big reds.
"The event was made by Oregon being there. People came back again and again saying we had the best wines as a collective group," describes Chris Martin, Vintner of Troon Vineyard.
Earl Jones of Abacela, relayed the same sentiments.
Mark Wisnovsky of Valley View Winery was pleasantly surprised with how open attendees were to trying new regions and varietals, even if they couldn't pronounce the Viognier (vee-own-yay) and Tempranillo (tem-prah-nee-yoh) he poured. Plus, he said not one person was surprised that in Oregon we produce Cabernet Sauvignon, too. He said consumers didn't know a lot about Oregon wine, but they knew it had a good reputation.
Mark further explains, "We wouldn't have poured at this festival alone. It is too difficult to stand out. It took a group effort, not just a single producer."
Many of these wineries have secured California distribution and are working to gain recognition of their wines in this huge market.
|Mark Wisnovsky, Valley View Winery & Chris Martin, Troon Vineyard|
|Michael Donovan, RoxyAnn Winery|
|Line up of guests at the Abacela tent|