Sunday, November 28, 2010

Family Winery Trip

Vineyard & CaveI gathered the Clan over the weekend and we headed up to the Wollersheim Winery, which is my favorite local vineyard. The countryside is beautiful, and the vineyard it's self a national historic treasure. In the picture to the left you see the mouth of the cave which the founding family lived in while they were building the spectacular limestone home and winery building. The winery was first built in the 1840's by the Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy. However, this lovely vineyard was just the first stop on the Count's journey into the annals of wine history, as he eventually traveled further west and became known as the Father of the California wine industry.

Before, anyone gets worked up, yes, I take my children to the winery. I've done it for as long as they can remember, and it's no big deal to them. They get to taste the food products that have been made with the wines (this year's favorite included a white wine mustard, a spreadable red wine cheese, and a vinegarette salad dressing) as well a have a glass of of the sparkling juice made by the winery. We believe that knowledge is power and that includes battling the problem of underage drinking that plagues America today. The kids get to see and tour the vineyard, soak up the regional history, as well as learning about the production process of the wines from vine to bottle. For our family it's an educational experience that has widespread benefits, we believe as the kids learn about wine the "taboo" is somewhat taken away and by example they can see how to taste and deal with wine responsibly as they become adults.

Wine TableOnto the good stuff! This year we tasted wines from both the Wollersheim Winery, as well as their sister winery, Cedar Creek. Both of the wineries had fabulous offerings to enjoy throughout the holiday season. Two of our best "new finds" this year came from the Cedar Creek label. The first was favorite of everyone tasting for the day (Myself, Hubs, and BFF) Cedarburg Spice was a flavorful, Foch grape wine that has been marinated with fresh dried mulling spices. I don't always like red wine, but this had no oakiness, and didn't dry the palette. The spice added during vinting produced a perfect balance for your holiday festivities. We sampled this wine both warm and at room temperature, and though it was lovely heated, we all agreed that it is served best at room temp.

Our second new find is also brand new to the Cedar Creek line up, and it's called White Christmas. A fruity, bright, 100% Gew├╝rztraminer wine I was delighted with this tasting. My BFF found it to be a little on the sweet side for her, but I've always been a Gew├╝rztraminer fan, and I think I'll be buying up several bottles for the cooler so that I can enjoy this one throughout the year. I'm always searching for wines that I can drink without food. IMG_0055 Something that I can have a nice glass of in the evening or sip with just a small nosh. White Christmas is perfect for that. These two Cedar Creek wines were added to our regular holiday purchases from Wollershiem and I hope that they have a very successful run. If you're looking for something to highlight your holiday meal, or a gift to give that wine lover on your list, I hope that you consider seeking out these fabulous bottles of wine.

A fabulous time was had by everyone on our jaunt out to the winery for the year. Euripides said that "One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives" and I couldn't agree more. To me, my family includes my Best Friend, her son, and soon to be husband. There are few better days that I spend, than when the family that I have built is all together. Whether we're just hanging around, touring someplace, or sharing in a meal, I never get enough time with all of us together. I got the chance this weekend to get the rare family picture. As usual, not everyone is in it, but this is the closest we've gotten so far!
The Family

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