He’s talking about the San Francisco Vintners Market events held at the Fort Mason center in San Francisco. Billed as “a farmer’s market approach to wine shopping”, this is one of the rare events where consumers can both taste wines and buy them on the spot at tasting room prices, and without having to make the drive to the tasting room.
“With market conditions enormously difficult for many smaller wineries, we realized the need for vintners to get even closer to their customers and offer their wines to larger auidiences than can be found in small tasting rooms in wine country”, the organizers said. “So the idea was born to bring the tasting room to San Francisco and help smaller brands find even more wine lovers in the city.”General admission tickets are priced high enough to keep out the I-wanna-just-get-a-buzz-on crowd, and a surcharge on the ticket allows consumers to access a “reserve section” where wines priced at $50/bottle or higher are poured. Oh yes, you do get to keep the commemorative wine glass.
Most important, this format works for small wineries. I talked to, and tasted, at the tables of three Sierra Foothill wine enterprises: Clos Saron (Yuba County), Murphy Vineyards (sources grapes from Placer County), and Frog’s Tooth (Calaveras County).
Frog's Tooth Winery
He also shared some of his 2009 Barbera Sierra Foothills. He only produced 230 cases of this yummy Barbera, which is a nice ruby-red color, with flavors of berry. A very food-friendly wine and nice for upcoming BBQ events you might be thinking about for the summer. 15.3% alcohol, $24/bottle. www.frogstooth.com
Frog’s Tooth winery will be pouring at the Barbera Festival at Cooper’s Vineyards on June 9, by the way…. A festival NOT TO MISS!
|VIP blogger "LusciousLushes"|
tastes Gideon Bienstock's wines
Gideon also poured his “A Deeper Shade of Blue”, a blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Roussane. Not on his website yet, it has taste of pepper, black brambly fruits, and is a bit tannic. 75 cases produced. 12.8% alcohol, $32/bottle. www.clossaron.com
I also tasted Murphy Vineyard’s Sierra Red 2005. This is a 50/50 Syrah/Cabernet Franc blend. 300 cases made… and a great barbeque wine! 14% alcohol. $16/bottle. www.murphysvineyards.com
Didn’t get to the Vintners Market? Try the winery websites and let your fingers do the walking until the next Vintners Marketplace.
p.s. Couldn't resist this photo opp from the Spirits tasting section...this guy is SERIOUS about staying close to his beverage of choice...