The conference kicked off with lunch and then we moved onto speed tasting. It was a bit like speed dating, as we sat at our tables while winery owners and representatives went table to table pouring wines, and giving out info along the way. We were supposed to be using social media sites to send out live video and messaging while we tasted, but the hotel had Wi-Fi problems, which unfortunately carried on all weekend long. Anyway, we tasted a few real gems, the first of which was the biggest value wine of the weekend: 2007 Line 39 Petite Sirah Lake County for $10 is a steal, with its smokiness and fruit depth. The best wine of the afternoon was 2004 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($100). It had spice, chocolate, and a deep earthy, dark berry flavor which lasted incredibly long.
The next day we were on to Napa Valley, where they had a full day of wine country planned for us, which will be covered soon enough. You will have to wait until tomorrow to check out my visit to the Culinary Institute of America, St. Supery, Terra Valentine, Quintessa, and Spring Mountain Vineyard. Until then, grab yourself a glass and enjoy!