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Six Stops on the Applegate Valley Fall UnCorked Wine Trail

Fourteen Applegate Valley wineries opened their barrel rooms to the public for their annual Fall UnCorked Event yesterday. It was a beautiful day, with snow-covered mountain views, to explore the region and stock up on wines for the holidays. Here is a recap of my stops:

Stop #1: Chris Martin of Troon Vineyard shared barrel samples of the 2009 Cabernet Franc in the cellar. The 2009 showed great potential on the palate. 

Troon Vineyard was featuring their 2008 Limited Reserve I (66% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon) paired with Stuffed Baby Portobello Mushrooms. Great pairing.

Stop #2: Greg hosts an intimate conversation and barrel tasting of the Wooldridge Creek Winery 2009 Pinot Noir scheduled to be bottled this February. Afterwards he ushered us into the Tasting Room where the 2007 Warrick Red Reserve and Oso de Oro Sherry were poured. The sherry was a highlight of my day with caramelized flavors of nuts and apricots. I am regretting not picking up a few more bottles, but that just means I need to plan another visit soon! 

Stop #3: Schmidt Family Vineyards held a vertical tasting of their 2009 and 2010 Tempranillo. The 2009 was a rich and spicy wine. In contrast, the 2010 hadn’t gone through malolactic fermentation yet, so it was tart and green. Showing these two wines was a great educational lesson to tasters to see the journey of a wine. 

Schmidt Family Vineyards was dishing up a tasty Italian sausage creation paired with their 2007 Zinfandel. The spiciness of the sausage went great with the bold, jammy Zin.

Stop #4Soloro Vineyards, specializing in Rhone varietals, sampled seven different wines and served up chili and cheesecake (no wonder why their Tasting Room was packed). Their 2009 Grenache barrel sample tasted of ruby red grapefruit.

Stop #5: David Palmer of Fiasco Winery sampled Zinfandel from barrel. Fiasco Winery was also pouring their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a decadent chocolate torte.

Stop #6Cowhorn Winery paired organic beef with French cheese with their 2007 Syrah. They were also pouring their 2009 Grenache Rose with an organic yam spread, proving rosé isn’t just for the summer, it is a great food wine year-round. 

If you weren’t able to attend yesterday’s UnCorked Barrel Tasting Event, the Spring edition will be held in late May. However, don’t wait until then to make a trip out to the Applegate Valley, many of these wineries will be hosting open houses this Thanksgiving Weekend. Wine tasting is such a fun activity to enjoy with your friends and family.

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