September is “California Wine Month” – here’s how you can celebrate!

September is “California Wine Month” this is the time to celebrate the annual harvest and raise a glass to their vibrant wine community.

California’s wine industry has played a vital role in the state’s culture and economy for over 250 years. California makes up 81% of wine production in the United States and 95% of exports. Within the state’s 147 distinct winegrowing regions are 621,000 acres of vineyards, 4,800 bonded wineries and nearly 6,000 winegrowers.

Here are three exciting ways to celebrate California Wine Month

  1. Participate in Events and Experiences at California Wineries

Over 24 million people from around the globe visit the California winegrowing regions each year.  Visit wineries across the state 40+ harvest-themed events, activities and experiences — and more will continue to be added throughout September. These include behind-the-scenes vineyard and crush pad tours, grape-stomping competitions, wine and food festivals, hands-on harvest experiences, charity wine auctions and more.

“California’s diverse and expansive wine country is one of its top tourism draws,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “From high-end pairings and legendary wineries to sustainable vineyards and neighborly barn tastings, there’s an experience — and a wine — for everyone to enjoy.”

  1. Pair Iconic California Recipes with California Wine

It’s no coincidence that California wine pairs perfectly with the state’s farm-fresh produce and trend-setting cuisine. To help consumers experience this delicious culinary connection at home, Discover California Wines has partnered with California Grown and Visit California to create the free “Iconic California Dishes to Celebrate California Wine Month” e-book. The book features recipes for dishes that evoke the state’s sunny and relaxed vibe — all paired with California wine and creative, wine-based cocktails. Bring harvest home with recipes including Avocado Salad with Hidden Valley Ranch-Style Dressing, Wine Country Chicken Salad and the California 75, a classic wine-based lemon cocktail with a literal and figurative twist.

“We say what grows together goes together,” said Cher Watte Angulo, executive director of California Grown. “Since California provides over 50% of the nation’s produce and over 80% of the wine, it makes sense that people celebrate with both a sip and a bite of the Golden State.”

  1. Discover and Enjoy California Wine

Whether visiting wineries in person or online, there’s no better time than California Wine Month to pick up a few bottles of wine to share with friends and family. It’s also easy to find a great selection of California wine at your local grocery store or wine shop.

For the latest details on offerings, visit the Discover California Wines website.

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Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Part 1 The Owner’s Villa

I recently had the distinct pleasure of having a personal tour of Laurence Graff’s private villa also known as “Owner’s Villa” at Delaire Graff Estate. The Owners Villa is also available to rent out (by application) if available for $25,000 USD/night.

The estate is anchored on the vineyard slopes of Botmanskop, high above the Helshoogte Pass (which links Stellenbosch to Franschhoek), The estate offers a stunning 360-degree view in which Table Mountain can be seen to the west, and Franschhoek to the east. There are absolutely stunning views wherever you look!

The Owner’s Villa

The Owner’s Villa certainly sets a new standard in luxury accommodation. Exclusivity is what it’s all about, starting with a private entrance and being totally secluded from the rest of the lodges.

The villa is spread across two floors, with two bedrooms on each floor, is 7,100-square-foot and features two living rooms, a dining room, a welcoming appointed kitchen, walk-in temperature-controlled wine cellar, a 45-foot swimming pool, a jacuzzi terrace, family room, a fully equipped gym, and about every luxe amenity imaginable. All meals, are bespoke, prepared by the Villa’s chef to match the high Delaire Graff standard and for nannies and security there are two ensuite rooms. The luxurious Villa offers discerning guests demanding opulence and space in a relaxed country setting.

Two helipads are also on the estate, allowing guests to travel directly from the Cape Town International Airport. Rumor has it that a business executive recently rented the villa out for a month and parked his new Ferrari out front.

The villa also acts as a gallery for Laurence Graff’s personal art collection and is truly something to behold! He is frequently named one of the world’s top art collectors. As one of the world’s most respected diamond magnates and philanthropists he says, “Curating the art for the Owner’s Villa has been a very personal project. Among the remarkable displays of international talent are works by new and established African artists, demonstrating the immense wealth of creativity discovered across Africa and showcased and celebrated throughout Delaire Graff Estate.” Graff’s art collection is contemporary South African art by iconic and emerging South African artists. Works by William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, Dylan Lewis, Deborah Bell, Sidney Kumalo, Durant Sihlali, Cecil Skotnes and Stephane Graff define many of the interior and exterior spaces.

Today’s ultra-high-net-worth travelers are looking for exceptional experiences and seeking the best of everything. This is the place to experience all of this and some. The bar has certainly been raised!

…continues Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Part 2 Wine Tasting

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#CapeWinelands #DrinkSouthAfrican #SpectacularSouthAfrica #SouthAfricanWine #wine #winelovers #DrinkSouthAfrican #SouthAfricanWine
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#fineart #artcollection #relaischateaux #delairegraff #luxuryliving

Stellenbosch an Art Lovers Haven

Stellenbosch just 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, South Africa, has become a retreat for art lovers. Its not only home to South Africa’s oldest music school “Stellenbosch Conservatoire.” It also features an impressive collection of galleries and studios. When I wondering the 300-year-old streets of Stellenbosch this week, I came upon these stunning and fun outdoor sculptures – there is such a wealth of diversity and imagination that bring these historic oak-lined streets to life!

So next time you are in Stellenbosch discover Stellenbosch outdoors art – a wealth of diversity and imagination that colour the historic oak-lined streets.

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#CapeWinelands #DrinkSouthAfrican #SpectacularSouthAfrica #SouthAfricanWine #wine #winelovers #DrinkSouthAfrican #SouthAfricanWine
#winelover #travelling #winetravel #winetourism #womeninwine #wineexperience #winetravels #winetasting#wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #art #streetart

The Oude Werf Hotel, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This week I’m staying at The Oude Werf Hotel, which is in the heart of the Winelands, in Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is surrounded by the picturesque vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountains of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, dating back to 1679.  The town has oak-lined streets and Cape Dutch architecture, giving me a true sense of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history.

I learned that the Oude Werf Hotel is also steeped in history. It’s the oldest hotel in South Africa and stands on the landmark site of the country’s first church. The original hotel was built in 1687 and was later destroyed by fire in 1710. The “churchyard” then gave rise to the Cape Dutch-style Wium’s Inn, which was rebuilt and renamed the Oude Werf Hotel.

It’s a beautiful boutique hotel, right in the heart of Stellenbosch and I found it to be a wonderfully eclectic mix of contemporary boutique and old-world charm with friendly and helpful staff.

Perfect Location

This boutique hotel is located downtown Stellenbosch, in the center of the Cape Winelands – the premier wine region of South Africa.  There are so many beautiful wine farms to visit and it’s only 45 km from Cape Town, and 20 km from the Atlantic Ocean. I found it perfect for wine tourism and cultural exploration.

Website:  https://www.oudewerf.co.za

#southafrica #southafricantravel #winelover #travelling #winetravel #winetourism #womeninwine #wineexperience #winelovers #winetravels #winetasting #Stellenbosch #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #WOSA #oudewerfhotel #oudewerf #oudewerfhotel #wine @oudewerfhotel #michelangeloawards

Garda Wine Stories: Exploring the Territory and Wines of Lake Garda – Filippo Magnani

From the 8th to 11th of June, the Garda DOC Consortium organized ‘Garda Wine Stories’, an event dedicated to the extraordinary peculiarities of the wine territory of Lake Garda. It was a full-scheduled press tour which included: seminars, masterclasses, in-depth analysis, guided cellar tours, and a stunning sailboat ride with tasting, aboard a cutter (equipped with the ancient trapezoidal sails). It was not only an opportunity for the Italian and international press to discuss in-depth the complex and vast territory, but also for wine lovers. On Friday, June 10th we attended a tasting with 20 producers, representing the best winemaking areas. The impeccable event was organized by the Consortium.

Discovering Garda DOC
The denomination Garda DOC was founded in 1996. It represents a large geographical area that groups in the same macro area other important Italian DOCs for a total of around 31,100 hectares under vine, of which 27,889 hectares are in the province of Verona, the outlying hectares are spread between the towns of Mantua and Brescia. Today, it has around 4,000 associated producers and a production of 21 million bottles, with a good prospect of further growth. The objective of the Consortium is to enhance the value of the varietal wines produced in these historical appellations and to give further opportunities of identification for those who grow in the outlying zones. The Consortium is playing an important role in pursuing a circular strategy that conveys all the resources that Lake Garda has, and the dialogue between the wine system, wine tourism and hospitality, sport activities, and gastronomy.

Garda – A Wine Territory around the Lake
Lake Garda is the largest body of water in Italy, extending for about 370 km2, it is encompassed by 3 Italian regions: Lombardy, Veneto, and Trentino Alto Adige. Its banks extend for 50 km from north to south and for about 17 km from east to west. In the imaginary triangle composed of the provinces of Trento (north), Brescia (south-west) and Verona (south-east), an extraordinary natural and cultural heritage is preserved. The landscape, from any point you look, is a jubilation of biodiversity, corners of extraordinary scenic beauty. Mountains, hills, and beaches are covered by the typical Mediterranean vegetation with olive trees, caper bushes, lemon and citron trees, agave plants and vines; all framed by historical and cultural sites, castles, harbours, charming villages, traces of human activities that have always influenced the appearance of Lake Garda shores.

The climate is mild in all its extension despite the northerly longitude. There are many factors that contribute to the incredible climatic conditions that make Lake Garda one of the most heterogeneous and interesting wine areas. The northern cone-shaped narrow area is surrounded by the Alps providing a shield from the cold currents from the North. The lake also plays an important mitigating action, lifting colder fogs in the mornings allowing the ventilation among the vines, and by absorbing heat and releasing it in relation to the external temperature. Winters are never harsh, and summers are hot. The daily temperature range is quite high due to the presence of a breeze blowing south in the morning and north in the afternoon, thermal excursion is an extremely important factor for the perfect ripening of the grapes.

From the gentle morainic hills of the southern basin to the extreme peaks of the Alps, the soil around Lake Garda is a puzzle of different compositions but perhaps the most distinctive and fascinating element has to do with the light. This place is glowing. The phenomenon of light refraction made possible by the size and depth of the lake is an element of great uniqueness in the territory. Here the vine finds a perfect place to grow, in a bright and lush nature, helped by the meticulous hands of brilliant winemakers. The wide area that covers Garda Doc includes countless grape varieties and many interpretations of them.

Each of the wine districts that stretch around Lake Garda bring traditions in production methods, history and, of course, the most representative vines from the different areas: Garganega, Trebbiano (Trebbiano di Soave and/or Trebbiano di Lugana), Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Corvina, Marzemino, and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Altogether, they constitute the backbone of Garda DOC wine production. Great importance is given to the sparkling wines using the varieties from the different wine areas: Garganega for white wines, Corvina for rosé, crémant method Chardonnay, but also Pinot Grigio, Reno, and Muller Thurgau.

The boundaries of DOC Garda embrace a wide area. Considering the extraordinary attitude of Italian wine territories to change connotations in a few meters, it’s hard to imagine how many environments coexist around the lake. The Consortium has been stimulating scientific research in order to improve the understanding of the pedoclimatic and oenological aspects of the Lake Garda territory, with the ultimate goal of proposing models with a sustainable footprint to enhance wine productions and to defend our extraordinary natural heritage.

Lake Garda: A Paradise for Wine Enthusiasts
Lake Garda is one of the most romantic locations and it represents the charm of the Dolce Vita Italiana. It is a real paradise for those who love wine, food, stunning natural scenery, sports, art and culture… in short, there is everything for everyone!  It is no coincidence, that the territory around the lake is one of the favorite destinations of lovers of our country (Italy). The road network and the water transport that connect the various areas of the lake allow wine enthusiasts and foodies to concentrate their exploration of the wines of the DOC Garda even on a short holiday.  A journey in a journey, a shining example of how wine tourism became the “art of hospitality”.  The Consorizio Garda DOC is proposed as a promoter of the territory of Lake Garda as a wine escape, collecting and communicating the infinite experiences that can be carried out and proposing them through multiple channels. Visit where official site www.gardadocvino.it  where you learn about amazing stays on these shores, in the section “experience”.

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