Out of our two days of winery visits in the Wachau region of Austria, our favorite was at Nikolaihof. 31-year-old Nikolaus Saahs, now the winemaker, showed us around his family’s winery and cellar, the oldest winery in Austria, with origins dating back to the year 985. Nikolaihof was also the first winery in Austria – if not the world – to use biodynamic practices.
After a rough morning wine tasting around the Boucherie Mountain Bench area of the Okanagan Valley, west of the city of Kelowna, we had to stop for a bite to eat to rejuvenate – and preferably somewhere with a view. The restaurant at scenic Quails' Gate Winery fit the bill perfectly.
Restaurants: Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley, BC: Local food with a view
The Okanagan, a scenic five-hour drive east of Vancouver, boasts some of the loveliest vineyards anywhere in the world. Many of them are on the banks of the Okanagan River and offer sweeping views of the water and the vines, many of which slope down to the river's edge.
I chose an out of the way place...a little wine bar name Pinkerton on the corner of 'where the hell am i' and 'this doesn't look like brooklyn' street in Williamsburg. The intent was to meet up with a friend of a friend who just so happen to be in the wine importing / distributing biz just to get an idea of what it might take to bring in the delicious wines from Canada to share with our friends here in NYC.
On my first-job-out-of-school paycheck I splurged on a bottle of wine. A 1995 Rabbit Ridge Winery Zinfandel cost about $25 (we found it later down the street for $12 retail), and since we didn't really know much about wine at the time we went by its charming name.
I think this bottle is from one of our first visits to Shinn in Mattituck on the North Fork of Long Island. We were lucky enough to arrive on a slow day and Barbara walked with just Liz and me out into the vineyard to chat about the types of grapes planted and planned and the biodynamic grape farming processes they employ (She does this as a paid tour now and so worth it)
Shortly after Liz and I started dating in San Francisco we found our shared love for wine and the experiences that could be had in the vineyards to the north. We would spend two or three weekends a month sh... drink more...