Monday, March 26, 2012

Wine Blending at Conn Creek in Napa

Have you ever gone on a trip and done something so fun you can't stop thinking about it? That's what this wine blending experience was for me! I got to play wine maker for a day. Pure heaven!!!!

It was an amazing experience that I got to share with all my new Wine Sisterhood friends.

I wasn't exactly sure what "blending your own wine meant." Would we be climbing on barrels drawing samples with a syringe? Would we be holding our glass up to big tanks grabbing a sip? My mind was full of ideas on how this might work.

We were quickly taken from our bus to the AVA room at Conn Creek which was beautifully set with barrels lining the walls, wine glasses on the table, brochures and pens carefully layed out, and a nice little taste of wine waiting for us. 

Aaaaaah, this is what they meant. I pictured something much more rustic.

Silly me.

We started out by tasting the Cabernet from Conn Creek. Everyone loved it.

All of us immediately thought, "ooooh, I want to make wine just like this." The challenge of duplicating what their master wine maker created was on all of our minds. After tasting a few barrels we all quickly realized it was going to be much harder to duplicate that Cabernet than at first it seemed.

That didn't stop us from trying! We got right in there and started tasting. It was a little overwhelming at first. But after getting a few sips everyone got into it and started bouncing from barrel to barrel. We all diligently wrote notes about each and every one so we could go back when it came time to blend.

My strategy was to mix a little bit of all my favorites.  I was finally ready to fill my beaker. I had calculated what percentage of each would make the perfect blend.

I filled the beaker, then poured it in my glass. I sniffed it, swirled it, then tasted it. It was awful! It was really earthy. And you know how I feel about earthy wine.  I must have mixed up my notes, because I never would have picked an earthy wine as a favorite.

I quickly started over, this time going back to my favorites for a quick taste to make sure I still favored them. I then added more of the "spice" wines which are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot to give it the flavor I wanted. I finally liked the result and was ready to fill a big beaker.

The next step is to grab one of these wine bottles and a funnel. COOL!!


Once it's full you bring it to this handy contraption which pops the cork right in. Then it's time to name your wine and make the label.

I named my wine Clickety Clack Cabernet. I kind of forgot to put Cabernet on the label. Oh well.

It will be ready to open Memorial Day weekend. I can't wait to taste it!!!!!

If you're planning a visit to St. Helena make sure you book a visit to Conn Creek AVA tasting room. I've done a lot of wine tasting since moving to the Bay Area. But this was one of the most unique tasting experiences I've ever had. I'll never forget it, and would love to do it again with Don and my family.

It's no surprise they received the honor of winning the International "Best of Wine Tourism" award. The place is awesome. 

Conn Creek Tasting Room
Sun-Fri 11:00am-4:00pm
Sat 11:00am-5:00pm

8711 Silverado Trail, St. Helena CA 9457
1.800.793.7960 // 707.963.9100 ext. 1

I'd like to give a big shout out to the Wine Sisterhood and Conn Creek for this amazing experience.

Thank you!

1 comment:

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