Monthly Archives: April 2012

A day to putt, sip and smile!

Monterey Wine Country Annual Golf Tournament Announced for May 14, 2012

A day of spectacular golf, wine and scenery awaits participants in the annual Monterey Wine Country Golf Tournament at the Corral de Tierra Country Club on Monday, May 14th, 2012, hosted by the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association (MCVGA).

As a qualifying site for the past U.S. Open, Corral de Tierra Country Club offers perfect terrain for a relaxed yet challenging day on the links. “Even in an area known worldwide as a destination for spectacular golf, the Corral de Tierra Country Club stands out as one of Monterey’s most incredible courses” said Rhonda Motil, Executive Director of the MCVGA. “And it makes sense that the course is nestled near the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, where fruit for so many of our favorite wines is grown!”

Corral de Tierra Country Club Golf Course

The annual Monterey Wine Country Golf Tournament will include championship-level golf, gifts for participants, gourmet food during a pre-event BBQ and a post event awards reception, and of course, delicious Monterey County wine. The event concludes with a one-of-a-kind awards party, kicked off by an entertaining Longest Drive contest, that is not to be missed. The allinclusive event is $199 for all golfers and just $85 for non-golfing friends or family who wish to enjoy the awards reception, taste some of the Monterey County’s famous wines and enjoy a culinary feast.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:00am followed by the Shotgun Start at 12:30pm. The reception will begin at 5:00pm, immediately following the tournament.

Make your reservation today to play in this annual event by calling (831) 375-9400. For information about the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, visit  For information about the Corral de Tierra’s Country Club and golf course, please visit


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MMmmmmmm, Rhône.

Make no mistake: Parker Sanpei & Associates loves Rhône-varietal wines.  Food-friendly, complex, beautifully blendable…what’s not to love?

Okay, let’s back up.  First, a little lesson on wine styles.

At its most basic, the wine world is broken into two categories: the Old World (Europe) and the New World (North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand).

In the Old World, wines are traditionally known for the region from whence they originate.  For instance, when someone orders a glass of Chablis, the term “Chablis” refers to a town in France’s Burgundy region that is famous for its wines made from Chardonnay grapes.  Here’s the thing: the Old World is very set in its ways.  If you order a glass of Chablis, it will only ever be made from Chardonnay because that’s all that town is allowed to grow and sell under France’s governing body (the AOC).

On the complete other end of the spectrum, in the New World, wines are known by the varieties of grapes used to make them.  Here in California, we most often choose wines based on what they’re made from – Syrah or Pinot Noir or Riesling, etc. – rather than their region.  Sure, some areas are famous for growing certain varieties (Oregon Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina Malbec, South Africa Chenin Blanc, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Australia Shiraz), but consumer analysis shows that most of us pick our wines primarily based on the fruit that goes into making them.

Here’s where it gets interesting.  Despite all our confidence and freedom here in the New World, the Old World still has a hold on our collective imagination.  In other words, we still really like the way a good traditional European wine tastes.  So we often try to copy it with our own home-grown grapes.  That’s where Rhône-varietal wines come in.

In France’s Rhône region, there are a whopping 22 types of grapes that can be used to make wine, and most of the famously delicious stuff is a blend of several varieties at once.  Fortunately for us on California’s Central Coast, the conditions are much the same as in that storied corner of the world, so we’re able to grow some pretty good Rhône varieties ourselves: delicious Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre,Viognier  and blends thereof, to name a few.  And the world is taking notice!  Witness Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines of 2011, in which every single Central Coast wine was a Rhône:

#11. Denner – 2008 Dirt Worshipper (Syrah blend)

#27. Rusack – 2008 Santa Barbara County Syrah

#34. Sans Liege – 2008 The Offering, Santa Barbara County (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier blend)

#37. Tablas Creek – 2009 Côtes de Tablas, Paso Robles (Grenache, Syrah, Counoise and Mourvèdre)

So, with this in mind, it’s really no surprise that the Central Coast hosts the world’s largest celebration of Rhône-varietal wines.  In 2012, the annual Hospice du Rhône marks its 20th year with renowned winemakers from around the world pouring during informative sessions, grand tastings, and gourmet meals.  The party takes place April 26-28 at the Paso Robles Event Center.  From the HdR website:

For the past 20 years, three-days in the late spring have been reserved for an exclusive weekend surrounding all things Rhône. A palate provoking weekend embracing the enchantment, history and tastes of the twenty-two Rhône varieties. Throughout the weekend, tip your glass with worldly Rhône wine producers, journey through the largest international collection of Rhône variety wines and savor exceptional cuisine all while taking in the inspiring and spirited Rhône community.

If you’re serious about “all things Rhône” like us, you’ll be there.  Get your tickets now, and we’ll see you with glass in hand!

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Make Earth Day delicious!

What are you doing this Earth Day?  Some celebrate by participating in a coastal or roadside cleanup, recycling after spring cleaning, or taking a hike.  But us?  We at Parker Sanpei & Associates celebrate by indulging, thanks to the Central Coast Vineyard Team and the Earth Day Food & Wine Festival.

The 6th annual Earth Day Food & Wine Festival spans the weekend of April 20-22 at locations across the Central Coast. The feature event is held on Saturday afternoon at SIP-Certified Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery with over 200 purveyors of award-winning, sustainably produced food and wine. Growers, vintners, and chefs come together to serve delicious, one-of-a-kind dishes made with locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, olive oils, and more. Guests are invited to enjoy live music, a silent autction, unlimited samples of local cuisine and meet the farmers who grow great food and wine while nurturing a healthy environment.

While every minute of the Earth Day Food & Wine Festival will be scrumptious, these are the moments we’re looking forward to most (from the Earth Day Food & Wine Festival website):

Farm to Fork Dinner and Tour – Nestled in the hills of Paso Robles, among the oaks and vines that make the Adelaida region famous is where you can savor this year’s exclusive Farm to Fork dinner, wine pairing, and tour. Join Tablas Creek’s award-winning Winemaker Neil Collins and Founder Robert Haas as they welcome you to their haven with wine and introduce you to their sustainable and poly-cultural farming and winemaking practices. Famed Executive Chef and Owner of Artisan of Paso Robles, Chris Kobayashi is joined by his top farmers and food purveyors to serve you a tantalizing multi-course dinner you are sure to never forget. Tour the property and learn about Tablas’ sustainable growing practices and the steps they are taking now to ensure longevity for many more vintages to come. Make your way to the long family-style table to meet the local farmers who have specially grown the produce for your dinner, with each course individually paired with Tablas Creek wines. Seating is limited to preserve the intimate nature of this dinner. (Friday, April 20, 6-9pm)

Wild Flower Tour and Picnic Lunch – Join Ancient Peaks Winery for a guided Wildflower & Lunch Tour on the Santa Margarita Ranch. The Ranch’s location and climate make it ideal for wildflower viewing, as it is within miles to the famed lookouts along highway 58 and the Carrisa Plains in California Valley. This three hour tour takes you from the tasting room meeting spot in Santa Margarita throughout the SIP certified vineyard and ranch, where history, geography, geology and wildlife will be incorporated. We will stop at a premier spot to enjoy a picnic lunch. Your tour ends with wine tasting in the AP tasting room. Each tour is limited to 10 people. Reservations are required along with a 24 hour cancellation fee. (Saturday, April 21, 10:30am-3:30pm)

Farmer’s Brunch Sampler – Join us at Nature’s Touch Nursery & Harvest for a Farmer’s Sampler! Nature’s Touch all local sources and offers only certified organic and naturally grown food. Discover Nature’s Food, an eatery inside of Nature’s Touch with fresh fruit, creme brulee french toast, mini-quiches, coffee and tea. Grown by Nature’s Touch, Made by Nature’s Food. There will also be farming and gardening discussion and how to’s, sampling of other local products that are grown and produced locally, and 15c Wine Bar will also be here at Nature’s Touch to help with Paring of wines with this local brunch. For us, farm-to-table is an everyday choice! (Sunday, April 22, 10am-1pm)

For the full schedule of events over Earth Day Food & Wine Fest weekend, click here.

Of course, we wouldn’t miss the main event at one of our favorite sustainably-minded wineries, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery.  With eight generations of California farming behind them, they’ve been “green” since long before “green” was anything but a color.  You’ll find us sipping their 2009 Train Wreck blend under the giant oak tree on the great lawn.  Hope to see you there!

Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery

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Ten days in paradise

Music Director Scott Yoo

For 42 years, Festival Mozaic has been bringing the best in classical and crossover music to unexpected venues on California’s Central Coast, but 2012 will be by far the best season yet.  Before we give you the details, you might as well black out the dates July 12-22 on your calendar now, because you’re not going to want to miss a single thing.

Soprano Karin Mushegain

VOCO with Inga Swearingen

You’ll find some familiar faces on stage, including Festival favorites pianist John Novacek, violinist Dale Bartrop and violinist Steven Copes, as well as new artists like soprano Karin Mushegain and Fringe artists VOCO with special guest Inga Swearingen.  Venues range from grand Central Coast spaces like Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Mission San Miguel, Hearst Castle and Chapel Hill to Paso Robles’ intimate Studios on the Park and the See Canyon Fruit Ranch.

Of course, surrounding the Festival’s every event will be plenty of beaches, sunshine, wine country, hiking, biking, kayaking, and delicious Central Coast cuisine!  Not a bad way to spend ten days, is it?

Subscription ticket packages go on sale April 2, 2012, and individual tickets go on sale May 1. Tickets may be ordered online at or by calling (805) 781-3009 / (877) 881-8899.

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