Wine Aroma vs. Wine Bouquet, Do You Know The Difference?

Wine Aroma vs. Wine Bouquet Ventura County CA

Wine aromas and bouquets are more complex than you think!

A wine’s aroma, a wine’s bouquet, they both refer to the way a wine smells. They’re just synonyms, right? Not necessarily. There is a difference between a wine’s aroma and a wine’s bouquet. While they both have to do with the way a wine smells, they come from different stages of a wine’s development process. There are three stages of a wine’s aroma. The first two apply to the aroma, the last refers to the wine’s bouquet. Be sure to check out these main differences between an aroma and a bouquet.


The first, or primary, aroma is called a varietal aroma that comes from the type of grapes used to make the wine, while the secondary aroma is called the vinous aroma. The secondary aromas are developed during the fermentation process. You’re more likely to find these in a younger wine.


A bouquet is the tertiary aroma. It is the smell developed after the fermentation process. The bouquet develops as the wine ages within the bottle. The chemical compounds in the wine called aldehydes and esters are developed and matured while in the bottle through the process of oxidation. This bouquet takes time to develop and as time progresses the bouquet becomes more complex. A wine’s full bouquet comes from layer upon layer of aroma. Not only does age play a role in the bouquet, but the aromas from the first and second stages. You’re more likely to find a bouquet in an older, or vintage wine.

To learn more about the differences between the complexities of wine aromas and bouquets, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

A Quick Look At The Wine Grape Growing Process

Wine Grape Growing Process Ventura County CA

Take an inside look at how wine grapes are grown!

The business of making wine is not an easy process. You must harvest the fruit, crush the fruit, put the grapes through a fermentation process and then age the wine. But, before any of that can happen, you must grow the grapes. Growing the crop isn’t as easy as you may think. It’s a complex process that requires lots of time and energy. Check out how wine grapes are grown with this grape growing guide.


Pruning is an important part of the grape growing process. Every winter pruning is needed to control the growth of the grapes. Experts come in and use very precise methods to maintain the crops.

Buds & Flowers.

As the seasons change, the grapes begin to bud and then flower. Very tiny flowers sprout along the vines and are responsible for bearing fruit. Each flower is capable of producing a single grape. This is the most stressful part of the grape growing process as the grapes have not yet formed and colder weather threatens the survival of the crop. Careful measures are taken to prevent the crop from dying.

Fruit Bearing.

Fruit eventually forms! But, you’re not out of the woods just yet. Until the grapes are ready to be harvested, frost is still a concern.

Crop Management & Thinning.

As the grapes reach their optimal growing threshold, there is some work to do before harvesting occurs. Maintaining the canopy requires leaf removal, shoot thinning and positioning, and crop thinning. Along with the good comes the bad. There is often fruit that is not yet ripe and isn’t of use to the wine making process. Those bunches are cut loose to keep the vines even.

Reap the rewards of the harvest and enjoy a delicious bottle of wine. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Wine History: Check Out These Fun Facts!

Wine History Fun Facts Ventura County CA

These fun facts about the history of wine are sure to impress at your next cocktail party!

Wine has been a staple throughout history. From ancient Rome to the royal courts of Europe, wine has been present. But how did our modern consumption of wine first begin? Julius Caesar likely didn’t pair his dinners with a cabernet sauvignon and merlot.  Check out these fun facts about wine throughout history.

  • Wine has been consumed for as long as history has been written. The earliest known documentation was on a cuneiform tablet dating back to 2031 B.C.E. The tablet was a receipt for the sale of wine jugs. However, it is believed that wine drinking began as early as 4000 B.C.E.
  • Wine has its origins in the Middle East, as that’s where grapes had originated.
  • Wine was the beverage of choice back in the day, not necessarily because of taste. Beverages such as water or milk were often unsafe to drink. The alcohol in wine, however, eliminated such pathogens making it the safest drink.
  • Wine drinking has played a part in folklore around the world, from Persia to Ancient Rome.
  • The first development of different types of wine from different regions began during the Renaissance in the 14th
  • Our modern take on wine as far as grape growing, wine production and wine storage came about during the Enlightenment period in the 18th century.     
  • The invention of fine wine is relatively recent. Historically there was very little fine wine. In the early 20th century there was fine wine called “vin fin”, but most wines were “vin ordinaire”, or just regular, ordinary wine.

Appreciate the wines you know and love. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Wines Perfect For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Wines Ventura County CA

Choose the right wine for your Valentine’s Day festivities!

As you set out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, be sure to pick the perfect bottle of wine. Whether you’re looking for something more traditional or something a little more adventurous, be sure to check out these wine recommendations to make your Valentine’s Day a night to remember.

Romantic and Rich.

Try an Amarone. This Italian red wine is a luxurious bottle of wine. Made from grapes from the Corvina and Rondinella regions, the grapes are dried out before the wine making process. It’s deep, rich flavors make this dry wine perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration.

Classic and Traditional.

Try a Bordeaux. This French wine made from a blend of grapes. These blends include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. All in all you can’t go wrong with a Bordeaux. It’s a classic red that is sure to make for a great Valentine’s Day.


Try green reds. Wines that have a smaller carbon footprint are becoming more popular.  Look for organic wines to satisfy both you romantic and moral sentiments.

Adventurous and Flavorful.

Mix up your wine game with a Spanish wine. Spanish wines made from Albariño, Tempranillo and Verdejo grapes have a robust flavor. These red wines are far from ordinary and are sure to be a great addition to your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Sweet and Simple.

If you’re looking for fun, light wine to celebrate with, then a Lambrusco is the way to go. It gives you the deep red color, with a light bubbly flavor. Just make sure to serve it chilled.

To find the wine best deserving of your Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

The Wine Making Process

How Is Wine Made Westlake Village CAEver wonder how your favorite drink is made?

For those wine lovers who have yet to learn how grapes are turned into the luscious liquid, we have got you covered! Read below for your local wines which are made down the road!

  • Grapes are ripened in late August or September depending on the seasonal climate conditions. This is when the winemaker will taste the grapes to determine if the seeds have reached a high enough sugar concentration. If they have, the grapes will be harvested.
  • Vineyard workers then harvest the grapes in the shortest amount of time possible. The harvested grapes are dropped into bins that are transported to the winery where they are then crushed.
  • For red wines, the grapes are crushed and the skin and seeds remain. For white wines, the grapes are crushed but the skins and seeds are removed.
  • The juice, skins, and seeds (not for white wine) are poured into stainless steel fermenting tanks.
  • Cultured yeast is added to this grape juice to begin the fermentation process.
  • When red wines ferment, the grape skins are forced to the top of the tank or container forming a cap. This cap must be punched down at regular intervals to ensure quality.
  • After fermentation, the wine is poured into barrels for aging.
  • After months of aging in the barrels, the wine is siphoned into a bottle until it has been sufficiently aged and then will be shipped off to the wine lover!

Why not experience the different variety of wines at your local wineries? Visit the Ventura County Winery Association to taste the best wines that have been harvested and aged to perfection! With wine tours available year-round, you can enjoy several wineries for the ultimate wine tasting experience! Contact us in Westlake Village for more information!

Winery Highlight: Sunland Vintage Winery

winery highlight

Enjoy this fantastic, local winery with only the best, fine wines!

Sunland Vintage Winery, located on Thousand Oaks Blvd, features a charming, rustic tasting room. As a local winery of the Ventura County Winery Association, they feature a multitude of wines that are some of the finest wines around. Sunland Vintage Winery proudly present two Sunland Vintage Brands: Giovinazzo Wines, as a taste of Italy in your own back garden, and SVI to suit refined wine palates. The unique varietals that they produce includes Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, and Dolcetto, along with special proprietary blends: Tre Ragazzi, Delicate Princes, and The Goddess. At this tasting room there is a blend to suit everyone!

Wine Club

Sunland Vintage wine club, what they call the “Turf Club,” features a membership which includes Owner’s Privileges that have been created, such as four complimentary wine tastings a year, twelve bottles of wine annually, along with a 20% discount which is effective immediately!

Weekday Fun

On Thursday’s they celebrate Tantalizing Thursdays in where they will have a food truck event on the first and third Thursday of every month, along with $5 glasses of wine! Be sure not to miss their surprise Friday events which promise great wine, good friends, and entertainment! Following up the weekdays is Wacky Wine Weekends! You never know what wild and wacky stories Mike will share on Saturdays and Sundays in the Tasting Room. Don’t miss the fun!

Private Events

The tasting room can be private for an event upon request. Sunland Vintage Winery can host everything from anniversaries, birthdays, corporate meetings, to fundraisers, to a get-together just because! If you would like your special event at the tasting room, be sure to ask for Debby!

We hope that you enjoy wine tasting at Sunland Vintage Winery, a winery of Ventura County Winery Association. Be sure to check out our other wineries in the Ventura County area, or contact us to book a Wine Tour that will allow you to enjoy multiple winery locations and experience the breath-taking scenery of the area!

4 Ultimate Wine & Chocolate Pairings

Wine and chocolate

Chocolate is the confectionary made to compliment wine, so what works well together?

Chocolate and wine share many characteristics. They range from bold, rich flavors to light and fruity; they share a similar, lengthy, production process, and are fermented with the very same type of yeast. It is only natural that they are paired so well together!

Let’s take a look at the very best combinations:

Milk Chocolate: A truly great milk chocolate will satisfy any food lover! The added cream in milk chocolate gives a little fat content which works best with a smooth, silky character.

  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Sherry
  • Aged vintage port

Dark Chocolate: Containing a minimum of 35% cocoa solids, this chocolate calls for a wine that offers as much fullness as the dark cocoa. Pairing it with wines with robust aromas, rich flavor, and bold fruit is a match made in heaven!

  • Zinfandels
  • Port (tawny or vintage)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot

White Chocolate: This tends to be smoother and buttery to taste. It pairs perfectly with sweet, fruity, and bubbly styles!

  • Sherry
  • Moscato
  • Orange Muscat
  • Fruity Zinfandel
  • Rosé Port
  • Ice Wine

Chocolate Caramel: Perfect combination of sweet, salty, fat, and bitter. When matched with a complimentary wine, it can enhance the harmony of the ingredients.

  • PX Sherry
  • Tawny Port
  • Maderia
  • Sweet, sparkling wines

Chocolate with Nuts: A mixture of textures and tastes, this can be enhanced with strong, bold flavors and aromas.

  • Madeira
  • Tawny Port
  • PX Sherry

To pair chocolate with the according wine for the best experience, visit the Ventura County Winery Association where different wineries, located across Ventura County, produce stellar wines in a casual, urban setting. The tasting bars are available to the public, where they can sample whites, rosés, reds, and dessert wines. Visit our wineries for a full wine tasting experience, or contact us directly today!


Authentic Italian Food: Olio Pizzeria in Westlake Village

Olio Pizzeria

Olio Pizzeria located in Westlake Village offers true Italian food

‘Where taste and pleasure meet’

Olio Pizzeria is inspired by the countless boutique, neighborhood pizzerias and wine bars located in Italy. Often located on every street, these unique bistros create the Italian feel of fresh ingredients, good food, and a welcoming environment. Drawing inspiration from artistic Italian food with a hint of contemporary, and all of Italy’s regions, Olio Pizzeria brings authentic Italy to Westlake Village. Serving true Italian pizza, select salami and fine cheeses, artisanal Italian beers, wine, and signature cocktails.

Located next to Olio e Limone Ristorante, the fine dining sister restaurant on Russell Ranch Road, Westlake Village, the charming Olio Pizzeria focuses on exceptional food for every guest. Do not miss the squid ink calamari appetizers, or umbra pizza, along with a selection of fine coastal wines, Olio will submerse you in Italian dining that will not disappoint!

Olio Pizzeria ticks all the boxes!

Be sure to check out Olio Pizzeria, along with our Alma Sol micro-boutique winery which can be found on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Here at the Ventura County Winery Association, we focus on producing stellar wines in a casual, urban setting. Contact us directly or explore our wineries!

Don’t Miss The Ventura County Fair!

Ventura County FairFrom August 5th -16th, the “Country Fair with Ocean Air” will take place in the fairgrounds, and is set to be an event not to be missed!

For twelve days, the fair will be host to a variety of performances, exhibitors, shows, food stalls, and rides. There is so much to do at the festival that passes for all twelve days are being sold – quickly!

The Ventura County Fair is hosting free concerts with paid fair admission. The live entertainment ranges from country, Hispanic, R&B, and rock bands so there is music for everyone to enjoy! A few of the confirmed acts so far are Montgomery Gentry, Huey Lewis and the News, Dia de la Familia Concert, LeAnn Rimes, Kevin Costner and Modern West, and Salt-N-Pepa.

Amongst all of the other festivities at the fair, visitors will also be able to visit the farm animals in the Livestock Centre. This adds a country feel to the fairgrounds as the guests can view the animals in the safe, clean, and welcoming environment whilst asking the volunteers and exhibitors any questions about the livestock, agriculture, and center.

The exhibitors are aimed to impress the daily visitors! The categories include amateur art, floriculture, gems and minerals, hobbies and collections, home arts, horse shows, photography, professional art, small livestock, as well as Uncle Leo’s barn and Youth Expo. Be sure to check out all of the booths!

On the morning of August 8th in Downtown Ventura, the high school marching bands, classic cars, horses, clowns, dancers, and school groups will take over Downtown Ventura in the true highlight of the fair, the Annual Ventura County Fair Parade. Before this, the 5K & 1-Mile Run & Walk participants will race down Main Street – with most participants in costume!

We, the Ventura County Winery Association, hope that all attendees of the Ventura County Fair enjoy themselves, and don’t forget to stop by one of our local wineries near the fairgrounds! Visit us for spectacular wines, wine tours and more information!

Welcoming Aldabella Custom Crush Winery & Storage!


Ventura County Winery Association would like to welcome our new winery, Aldabella Custom Crush Winery and Storage! Aldabella is a premier winery located in Westlake Village. Head over to 31111 Via Colinas for an unforgettable wine making experience. They are open from 5 to 10 PM on Fridays, 1 to 11 PM on Saturdays, and 1 to 5 PM on Sundays.

The head winemaker, Norman Stafford, first realized his passion for wine while working at the Ventura County Fire Department. After his retirement he had time to pursue his dream, and increased his knowledge of wine at the University of California, Davis. Norman has developed hundreds of labels in his time as a winemaker, many of which are award winning!

The tasting room exudes relaxing vibes, and offers a prime location to sit and enjoy your company. It is a great place to host both small parties, and large get-togethers. The décor of the Aldabella tasting room is Mediterranean with a modern edge- an incredibly classy establishment!

Have you ever created wine yourself? If not, enjoy a wine making class! The head wine maker will assist you as you create a wine of your choice. If you already know how to make your own wine, the winemakers will allow you as much freedom as desired! Aldabella will even act as a distributor for your wine if you would like to take home bottles in bulk! Additionally, feel free to store your wine in one of their temperature controlled facilities.

We are excited to have Aldabella Custom Crush Winery and Storage join our team! For additional information regarding excellent wineries in Ventura County, please contact the Ventura County Winery Association. Use our resources to support local wine businesses!


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