A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So the picture above might tell you that I am a bit of an oenophile (a wine aficionado or in simple terms a wine luvah!) and more importantly, it reveals how I felt last Friday when The California Wine Club took me and four of my favorite bloggers on a VIP wine tasting tour of the Santa Barbara Wine Country. The purpose of this trip was to give us an insiders glimpse of the region, show us the beautiful wines produced in this local area and to spread the word about The CA Wine Club’s wonderful Father’s Day Promotions.
Needless to say it was a beyond spectacular day and CA Wine Club pulled out all the stops and treated us like VIP’s! The day began with a limousine pick-up to ensure that we experienced the day in style and safety
Then we were whisked away to the headquarters of The California Wine Club in Camarillo
We were warmly greeted by our illustrious host and all around great guy Jon Boring (aka @boringwineguy), Director of Social Media Marketing for CWC
Jon gave us a brief tour of CWC headquarters and a peak behind the scenes of where all their wine is stored and shipped
And he also reminded me about what sets the CWC apart from other monthly clubs–They only feature handcrafted award-winning wines from real working, artisan wineries (I LOVE THAT!!) And here’s a quick glimpse of the 4 fabulous wine of the month clubs that they offer:
- Premier Club – Their most popular club! Each shipment includes 2 bottles of award-winning wine and an up-close and personal look at the family behind the wines plus tasting notes, recipes & more
- Signature Series – For collectors and connoisseurs! Each shipment includes 2-4 bottles of exquisite, highly rated wine and detailed tasting notes with winemaker comments
- International Selections – From small “mom & pop” wineries around the world. Each shipment includes 2 bottles of outstanding wine hand-selected from the world’s finest boutique wineries with a newsletter highlighting the families behind the wines, the country of origin, recipes, travel tips, fun historical facts & more
- Aged Cabernet Series – Napa’s most prestigious Cabernets aged 8 – 12 years. Each shipment includes 2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon aged 8 to 12 years, detailed tasting notes and 3-Day Air delivery
After the tour Jon gave us each a thoughtful goodie bag that included a bottle of our favorite type of wine (I got a GSM Rhone Style blend) and other wine related goodies. Then we were off in our comfy limo to visit three wineries that are exactly the same type of small mom and pop wineries that CWC features in their clubs.
Our first stop of the day was Gainey Vineyard, where we were greeted by Dan Gainey, a third generation Gainey and the head of the family-owned vineyards
He was such a nice guy and it was such a treat to have an up close and personal tour, history and tasting with such an industry icon. I loved being out in the vines with my blogging sistas
And what was even more of a treat was sitting in the Gainey VIP tasting room, eating gourmet cheeses and tasting the most divine Limited Selection Gainey Wines poured by Dan himself (I swooned over the Gainey 2009 Limited Selection Pinot Noir)
And our last stop inside the winery before heading outside for our yummy picnic was in the Gainey Bottle Room. OMG! This room was spectacular
Our next stop on our wine tour was at Fess Parker’s Winery & Vineyard (Fess is the actor who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 50’s & 60’s.) We tasted a nice variety of wines here but I became rather smitten with Fess’s faux coonskin hat
And coonskin bottle topper, so cute, right?!
Our last winery of the day was Star Lane & Dierberg Estate Winery – WOW! The setting of this winery is utterly spectacular, especially as the late afternoon approaches and you bask in the off shore breeze
We tasted their gorgeous wines (I fell in love with the 2007 Star Lane Estate Blend (can you say berries & cream with a bit of spice? Yum!) sitting outside while nibbling on yummy morsels of cheese and taking these fabulous shots (the lighting was just perfect!) of our bloggin’ posse
Beth aka @hipmamab rockin’ her Fedora
The gorgeous @kadiprescott
My favorite red head Candice aka @FashOrganized
@kimtracyprince known to me as Princey
Our last and final stop of the night was the uber modern Avant Tapas and Wine for dinner, imbibing more wine, a winery tour and barrel tastings. Avant has a very impressive wine vending/dispensing machine where you insert a card and select tastes or full pours from over 30+ wines
After we sampled from this impressive vending machine, we were greeted by proprietor Jose Padilla and taken on an insiders tour of Avant’s wine making operation. Avant rents their tanks and barrels to smaller growers and private labels wine for them as well as making their own branded wines. The girls got a kick out of being in this steel barreled jungle
And I especially enjoyed being treated to coveted and exclusive Avant Wine barrel tastings, I personally loved that! I even tested my wine acumen by blindly tasting barrel samples and guessing the varietals, and the girls were rather impressed with my wine knowledge and savvy. Now it was time for a hearty meal to absorb all the alcohol from the day and we indulged in a plethora of full flavored tapas like ‘yuppie crack’ and tasty flatbreads.
It was a marvelous day filled with beautiful wines, great friends, insights, imbibing and indelible memories. A heart felt thank you goes out to CWC for showing us such a fantastic time and treating us like royalty! Checkout this FAB video that my home girl Candice expertly edited to recap our wonderful Uncorked Day:
Now on to Father’s Day Gift Giving, a NOT TO BE MISSED twitter party and my FAB Giveaway:
- Wine For Father’s Day: Wine makes a great gift! Especially wine from the artisanal wineries of SoCal. Now through Father’s Day visit The California Wine Club site and send a 3-month wine of the month gift subscription and get the 4th month for FREE OR Try out CWC for yourself and get 4 bottles for the price of 2 bottles in your first shipment with no obligation to stay. Use the promo code TRIP12
- Come to the #uncorked Twitter Party: Join me, Beth, Kadi, Candice and Kim at our Twitter party this coming Monday, June 11th from 6 PM to 7 PM PST/9 PM to 10 PM EST to talk about wine and Father’s Day gift giving. You must RSVP in advance HERE to be eligible to win fabulous prizes like wine and a 3 month membership to CWC
- Make sure to follow your #uncorked hostesses:
And now for the moment you all have been waiting for a FABULOUS Father’s Day Giveaway!! I am giving away ONE 3 Month Wine Subscription from California Wine Club (2 bottles of wine each month) valued at over $150 and ONE Bottle of Cloud’s Rest 2007 Pinot Noir valued at $100. Two lucky winners will be chosen one week from today at midnight on 6/16–Just in time to surprise that special man for Father’s Day!
Here are the Contest Details:
–How to Enter: All that you need to do to enter this FREE giveaway is use the Rafflecopter Widget Below, enter your name and email or sign in through Facebook, then click “DO IT” to do each task that you choose to and once you have completed the task click the “ENTER” button to confirm your DONE entry. Make sure to enter your name and email for each selection, so your entries will be counted.
–Options for Entering: There are (4) one-time only entries and all of them are mandatory and (3) choices for daily entries
–Prizes: ONE 3 Month Wine of the Month Subscription from CWC (2 bottles of wine each month) valued at over $150 and ONE Bottle of Cloud’s Rest 2007 Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast valued at $100
–Contest Dates: 6/8/12 to 6/16/12 at 12:01 am EST
Disclosure: California Wine Club took me on this fabulous VIP wine tasting trip filled with beautiful wine and food. I am being compensated for this campaign with wine and payment, but I am truly an oenophile and love sharing my wine discoveries and musings with you!