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OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

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OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#1

Post by DaveK » Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:23 am

FAVORITE WINERIES

With the explosive growth of wineries, it seems we are never too far away from what are good wine growing areas, or American Viticultural Areas, ( AVA.). An AVA is an interesting designation and worth a quick look at what it means. Initially, you should know that it is a governmental classification conferred by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (or whatever they call themselves these days.) An AVA signifies that a particular area is unique and different from the others, regardless of size. Some AVAs carry more “status” than others, or so they think. In our opinion, it is the personal taste of the wine consumer that really confers status, but that is a discussion for the net.

A few definitions from different organizations will help to bring more light to this discussion. The California Wine Club offers this ( https://www.cawineclub.com/blog/the-cal ... bout-avas/):
American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are delimited, geographical grape-growing areas that have officially been given appellation status by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Their purpose is to show off the diversity and quality of the wine region, with each AVA having a distinct “persona” that divides it from the other AVAs. The distinct “persona” is mainly categorized by climate, geology, and elevation. Size doesn’t matter: At less than a quarter of a square mile, Cole Ranch in Mendocino County is the smallest AVA in California. There is no winery here, just 60 acres of vineyards.
There is a little more history to AVAs that will help to make sense of these designations, also from the California Wine Club:
How it Started
The first AVA in the U.S.A. was established in 1980. Surprisingly, it wasn’t in California. The honor went to Augusta, Missouri on June 20, 1980. Not surprisingly, Napa Valley is the original California AVA, established later that same year. California wine country currently has 139 AVAs.

How many American viticultural areas are there?

As of April 2021, there are 252 recognized American viticultural areas across 33 states. California has the most AVAs, followed by Oregon, Washington, and New York. The newest AVA is Royal Slope in Washington.

The Rules

For a California wine label to display an appellation name, 85% of the fruit in the wine must come from that appellation. If it is a blend made from grapes from a variety of Californian appellations, the winery may simply use “California” on the label.

How does an area petition to be an AVA?

Any interested group can petition, but typically it is only done to formalize the designation of an area that is already commonly thought of as distinct for wine growing purposes.

So, regardless of the AVA, what are your favorite wineries.
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#2

Post by NotAMog » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:42 am

Tehachapi Mountains, My Local AVA designated Area

In late 2020 my local area of Tehachapi became the 252nd AVA designated region, "Tehachapi Mountains" -

http://winewitandwisdomswe.com/2020/11/ ... tains-ava/

Alas, I haven't played tourist to visit any of the local wineries but I have had a couple of the local wines. I think we're up to 4 or 5 local wineries at this point. Triassic Winery has a nicely appointed tasting room overlooking their vineyard that is available for special events.

For the Tour - Korbel Winery, Guerneville, CA

https://www.korbel.com/the-winery/

The Korbel winery is worth a stop if you're driving between the 101 and The Sonoma Coast State Park. They are primarily known for their California champaign and brandy. If you've never seen how champaign is produced it's an interesting tour. The winery also makes a great place to stop for a picnic lunch

Unfortunately, like many things, it appears from their website that the tours are shut down due to COVID but hopefully they will return once we're past the pandemic.

For Events - Menghini Winery, Julian California

The winery isn't much to look at but their wines are good and I once got a very good bottle of boytritis dessert wine from there. I list it for events since it's the home of the Julian Starfest with on-site camping and close proximity to the town of Julian. Unfortunately, it's been cancelled the last couple of years but is scheduled to return in 2022

https://menghiniwinery.com- https://www.julianstarfest.com

For a Spectacular Dinner - Thorton Winery, Temecula, CA

https://www.thorntonwine.com

It's been some time since I've been there but it was always a treat to stop in for lunch or dinner on their patio adjacent to winery which overlooks an area of Temecula vineyards. One sign of their excellent food is the herb garden just outside a door to their kitchen where the cooks come out and gather fresh ingredients as they make up their recipes.
Last edited by NotAMog on Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#3

Post by Pinzandel » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:26 pm

I'm lucky to be living within AVA territory here in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Last year was nuts for several of the local wineries; Covid hitting sales then
the CZU fire. Several vintners had to drop their yield to the ground as fertilizer
due to smoke contamination. But...my local haunts...

Mindego Ridge. Small production on 10 acres of predominately Pinot Noir that are OUTSTANDING.

Fogarty Winery. Largest producer in the hills, awesome Pinot's, Char's, Cab's and varietals.

Woodside Vineyards. Bob has been in the business since the 60's and got his pick in the ground
before most. Love the Zin's and Cab's, heck whatever he produces is excellent.

Big Basin Vineyards. Awesome Syrah's. Oops, can't forget about Ridge Vineyards.

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 -Product Spotlight - Trigger Controller

#4

Post by rlamishaw » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:13 am

One of the best parts, for many of us, in owning an off-road vehicle is the ability to add accessories to make the vehicle exactly what we want. Roof racks, tire carriers, bumpers, winches all sorts of cool farkles. Perhaps some of the most popular DYI projects are lights and other electric accessories. The challenge for many of us is the proper and safe wiring and control of these aftermarket components.

Modern vehicles use highly computerized controlled systems that do not like civilians messing about with the wiring and controls. The Jeeps TIPM, the computer controller, can get very cranky when you add or modify circuits or even just add loads to existing circuits. Many modern computer controllers have extensive diagnostics that are designed to check the load of each powered component and can show faults if you add current draw to that circuit. Not to mention that the dealer might claim you voided the warranty by modifying the factory electrical system.

One option is to run separate wires to your accessory lights and more wires to each switch, fuse and relay. With all these additional wires it’s real easy for things to get pretty messy, hard to maintain, subject to failure and extremely difficult to fault trace if a component stops working.
There is, however, a very simple and elegant solution to these problems. A system I have happily been using for 3 years, the TRIGGER CONTROLLER
2001-Trigger-FourChannel-Hero_02.jpg
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This handy device provides a cleaver switch controller that can be mounted anywhere, but generally in the engine compartment, and handles all the power, switching, wiring and fuses to control 4 or 6 devices (depending on which model controller you buy). Multiple controllers can be linked to provide more circuits and expandability if needed, and since no factory wiring is touched your manufactures warranty is safe.

Four button remote control switch
4 button pannel.jpg
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The wireless rocker switches can be easily mounted in the cab and use RF (radio frequency) to turn circuits on and off. In other words there are no wires needed from the cab to control the accessories connected to the TRIGGER controller. Additionally, fuses, relays and power leads are built into the controller so you don’t have any additional electrical issues or wiring to deal with. You have one simple connection from the TRIGGER controller to your battery terminals and four or six power leads from the controller (all with water proof plugs) that connect to provided 8’ lines (also with water proof connectors) that run to the accessories you want to control. It’s really very simple.

Six Channel Controller
Trigger 6 channel controller
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Another great feature of the TRIGGER is that it has a Blue Tooth iPhone and Android app that allows full control of all accessories attached to the controller, including dimming and flash functions, all from your phone (no cell service or internet connection needed). I find this feature very handy when lying in my tent if I want to light up the area at night. Or if I want to dim the flood lights to provide some camp illumination but not overpower and blind everyone. The app is very handy, easy to use and works great.

iPhone App to control accessories
Trigger App.jpg
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It’s all very neat, clean and an easy DYI project. The 4 channel kit (including controller, rocker switches, mount for rocker switches, wires and mounting plate) is about $300 and the six channel system is about $400.

There are some other competitive units like the sPOD (which is highly regarded and a very nice piece of kit) but is a lot more expensive, their basic 6 circuit kit is about $600. Also the sPOD does require that you run a wire from the switches to the controller but offers some options, for additional cost, (i.e. a touch screen controller) that might be of interest. You can check them out at https://www.4x4spod.com.

But for the money, ease of use and practical value the TRIGGER system is my clear choice (https://triggercontroller.com/).

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#5

Post by DaveK » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:16 pm

FAVORITE WINERIES

The short answer to the question of "what are my favorite wineries," is everyone that serves great tasting wine. One of the great pleasures of wine tasting is the opportunity to explore wineries that we have never visited before, and that, of course, is how we have come to favor the few that we visit regularly. To a large extent, our preferences are governed by how close the different wine growing areas are to home. In SoCal, acceptable driving distances include the San Diego area, Santa Barbara (Los Olivos), and Paso Robles. When vacation time arrives, longer drives are in order, and that includes Napa and Sonoma.

So, here are some of our favorites.

1. AVA - North Mountain Wine Trail (Warner Springs)

While the Temecula area receives the most attention of the San Diego area Wineries, there are a number of AVAs that make up this general area. One of these is the relatively small North Mountain Wine Trail AVA. They make up for their small size (5 wineries) with some spectacular wines, in a uniquely scenic area. Aside from some great wines, the NMWT offers something that you won't find in the "more well known and popular" areas, and that is a pleasant absence of crowds.

While the NMWT is generally located in the Warner Springs area, it is also within a short driving distance to the town of Julian, where there are some great B&Bs and equally great restaurants. If you have a weekend to devote to this area, the combination of some fine wineries, and the lodging and food of Julian, can make for a very rewarding adventure.

So, back to the North Mountain Wine Trail. Wine grapes respond differently to different climates and different soils, and the wines of this area reflect it's uniqueness. Unlike many coastal vineyards, or warm valley vineyards, the NMWT is located at around 3500 feet elevation where snow in the winter is not uncommon, and where the soil is quite rocky (alluvial fan?) While each of the wineries offer a unique wine experience, my favorite is Hawk Watch, for the extraordinarily scenic tasting areas and their wonderful Zinfandel wines.

All of the wineries in this area have two events a year where they offer musical entertainment and food. These are events are not to miss. A good introduction to this area can be found in an article which appeared in the Press Enterprise Newspaper a few years ago, click here: https://www.pe.com/2016/03/27/warner-sp ... cula8217s/

This is the view from Hawk Watch which makes this winery a favorite (from their website https://hawkwatchwinery.com/)

Hawk Watch Winery.jpg
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2. Paso Robles AVA

There are so many truly wonderful wineries in Paso that it would be unfair and untrue to pick just one that is our favorite, but for the net, I'll just mention one, and for the compelling reason ----- the quality of their Zinfandel wines. For many years the Turley Winery has been our most visited winery and the one that has been the biggest drain on the wallet. Although they offer wines other than Zinfandel, it is the Zin and Petite Syrah which are their primary focus.

In addition to their terrific selection of Zins, they have some unique member benefits, seated wine tastings and periodic celebrations with food and entertainment. Over the years, we have enjoyed several of their Zin offerings, but, with consistency, we have always returned to the Zinfandels from the Ueberroth vineyard. This vineyard gives new meaning to, "old vines," as it's history reveals (from the "zinfandel.org" website):
Any discussion of important Zinfandel vineyards in Paso begins with the Ueberroth Vineyard, which was planted by the Tonesi Brothers in 1885. The dry-farmed site, located close to the Pacific Ocean, is extreme with steep slopes, some reaching up to 45°. The soil primarily consists of rocky limestone, ill-suited for just about any crop except grapevines, particularly Zinfandel.

According to local lore, neither of the Tonesi Brothers produced an heir, with the result that the vineyard changed hands at least a couple of times after they died. Eventually, at some point in the 1960s, Peter Ueberroth (Commissioner of Baseball), then in his 20s, and a relatively recent graduate of San Jose State, purchased the vineyard and changed its name.

Although the vineyard is still owned by the Ueberroth family, today, Turley Vineyards sources 100% of its fruit. Brennan Stover, Turley’s vineyard manager in Paso Robles, fell in love with the vineyard from the moment he first saw it, almost twenty years ago: “I love the Ueberroth because of its extremeness—both the vineyard and the wine. The acidity tends to be higher than other Zins, which leads to depth and complexity.”

Check out the Ueberroth Vineyards at the Turley website:https://www.turleywinecellars.com/vines ... -zinfandel

Some really old Zin vines at Turley:

Really Old Vines at Turley.jpg
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3. Temecula AVA

Temecula has become one of our most visited wine areas, largely due to it's close proximity to home, as well as the ever increasing quality of their wines. In a sense, the Temecula area is the new kid on the block, certainly when compared to some of the more well established and well known regions, such as Napa. It was unavoidable that the unique climate and geography of this area would combine to make it an up-and-coming star in California's wine community. Being located somewhat equal distance from the metro areas of LA and San Diego, it has become a popular destination for those who appreciate really good wines. At last count, there are some 80 wineries there, with more opening all the time.

While I will not claim to have visited them all (yet), I can state that The Wiens Family Cellars has become one of our very favorites, regardless of location (https://www.wienscellars.com/.) While the quality of their wines is outstanding, it is this, in combination with their club membership benefits, that has made them a favorite. The one club benefit that stands out, above all the others, is their seated, paired tastings (wine paired with meats, cheeses, and bread.) Included in this level of membership, are 6 such tastings a year, where we are entitled to bring 2 guests. It has been these tastings that have brought members of our family to appreciate wine, all from the experience of our Wiens membership.

Recently, we decided to visit Wiens, during the middle of the week, and we were amazed to find that we were the only ones at the seated paired tasting. With a view of the vineyard, some great wines and food. it could not have been better!!!

Wiens paired seated tasting.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#6

Post by KAP » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:33 pm

Please check us in.
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#7

Post by KAP » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:50 pm

Unique Temecula offerings:

The Temecula area offers a great local wine experience with so many additional attractions, hotels and amenities to bring visitors out for the entire weekend.

I am somewhat Olefactory challenged due to Allergies, but I know what I like in a wine(Red). That being said, I wanted to put forth some Wineries that provide some unique or added experiences that may help in your choice.

Finally, I requested the input of my daughters to gain a younger perspective. It is always nice to be able to enjoy the winery with family and friends.


https://www.pontewinery.com/
https://www.pontewinery.com/menus

- Excellent food!
- Great wine
- Hotel (have not stayed at)
- Daughters choice


https://www.bottaiawinery.com/
- Italian inspired winery
- tasty food
- separate members only, adult and family areas
- pool with private cabanas
- kiddie pool if you just can’t leave them at home
but still want a great wine experience.

https://www.doffowines.com/
https://motodoffo.com/lagazzetta/

- Motorcycle theme with museum
- catered food
- MotoGP race viewing during season

https://www.southcoastwinery.com/

- Full Resort and Spa
- Hotel has rooms, suites and Villas overlooking the
vineyards
- massive 63 acre facility
- Excellent Restaurant breakfast through Dinner
- “Rhythm on the Vine”, Jazz and Country music series.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects”.
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#8

Post by JackM-KK6WXQ » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:45 pm

There are a few wineries... okay perhaps more than a few, but I’m going to mention three that I enjoy.

The first is here in Temecula.

Wiens has a sign out in front that says.. “BIG REDS” :roll:

The winery and tasting room are located in Temecula and while the winery is right on Rancho California Road the address is

35055 Via Del Ponte
Temecula, Ca 92592
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The next two are located in Paso Robles, CA.

Level 3 is the latest creation of Norm and Susan Benson.
They are the founders and former owners of Dark Star also in Paso.

Level 3 has a tasting room in Tin City located right off US 101.

2915 Limestone Way,
Paso Robles, CA 93446
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Finally, another favorite is Law Estates (Also in Paso Robles)
The winery and tasting room is by appointment and located at...

3885 Peachy Canyon Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446
United States
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#9

Post by NotAMog » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:32 pm

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 16, 2021 - Favorite Wineries

#10

Post by KK6DYO » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:28 pm

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