Check Out These Eco-Friendly Wineries For Sustainable Wines

Eco-Friendly Wineries For Sustainable Wines

Eco-friendly wineries for your Earth Day festivities!

In honor of Earth Day, we have a listing of the top eco-friendly wineries in the country. Check out these wineries and see what makes them our top picks for the most eco-friendly wineries.

Alma Rosa

This California winery makes certified organic wines. Originally built using environmentally-friendly building standards, this winery has continued to implement green business practices. They are big advocates of water conservation and they use a standard bottle mold that helps to keep waste to a minimum.

Frog’s Leap Winery  

This winery is unique in that it uses dry farming, meaning they use moisture in the soil during the dry season, to produce their wines. Their water conservation efforts paired with their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) winery and solar energy use makes them one of the greenest wineries around.

Grgich Hills

This estate houses a sustainable winery. With their use of solar energy, natural corks, and organic farming, this winery is eco-friendly.

Cakebread Cellars

This winery makes use of old bottles to produce new wines. Not only are their vineyards certified organic, but these winemakers bottle their wine in bottles made of recycled glass. There’s no need to use brand new glass! Recycled glass will do the trick all while reducing the amount of waste sitting in landfills.

Kendall Jackson

As one of the largest wine makers in the country, this winery uses the latest and greatest in environmental sustainability. They’re a trifecta of green practices. They use solar energy, practice water conservation, and recycle as much as they can through their vineyard inputs.

Drinking local wines helps to reduce your carbon footprint. 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!

Dessert Wine Gelees Recipe!

Wine Gelees with Citrus Fruit

Enjoy dessert and wine together with this recipe! What’s not to love?

This recipe is perfect for a fancy get-together or a dinner party! These sangria-inspired gelees are infused with sweet wines and subtle citrus flavors. They will impress any sophisticated palates!

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup orange Muscat dessert wine
  • 1 1/4 cups Sauternes or similar sweet wine
  • 1 each grapefruit, blood orange, navel orange, tangerine, and Meyer lemon

Directions:

Combine 5 tablespoons cold water and gelatin in a bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and wines in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. Add gelatin mixture, and whisk until melted. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine sieve into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Let cool completely.

Cut peel and pith from citrus. Cut each segment from membranes, then cut horizontally into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices (you will need 1 cup). Arrange in a single layer over gelatin mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

To unmold, run a knife around edge of dish. Using an offset spatula, gently coax gelatin from sides. Invert and turn out onto a cutting board. Trim edges, and cut into 1 1/4-inch squares. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 1 day.

From all of us at Ventura County Winery Association, we hope that you enjoyed making and tasting these delicious dessert wine bites! Contact us today to schedule a wine tour to enjoy multiple of our local wineries and view the the most beautiful scenery in the area! We host a fantastic variety of wines for every palate to enjoy!

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!

Wet Wednesdays: Gourmet Food Truck Event

gourmet food truck eventEnjoy the gourmet food truck event at the water’s edge!

If you’re looking for things to do and experiences to try, visit Wet Wednesday’s! Every third Wednesday of the month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., there will be gourmet food trucks at the Marine Emporium Landing in Channel Island Harbor, Oxnard, California. This will be ongoing until October 21st, 2015, so be sure not to miss it! The next event will be held on September 16th, 2015.

Not only is admission free, but there will be live entertainment, all Military will receive a 10% discount, and the event will feature Southern California’s favorite food trucks! Many of the selected trucks were featured on The Food Network’s show of “Great Food Truck Race!

The following trucks have been confirmed for September 16’s event: The Grilled Cheese Trick, Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Rice Balls of Fire, Baby’s Bad Ass Burgers, The Underground Food Truck, Good to Go Juice Truck, Sugar Babies, and Georgia’s Smokehouse. With the variety of trucks, there something to suit everyone!

This is a great way to enjoy a Wednesday evening with friends and family. Children are welcome, so be sure to bring the whole family down to the water’s edge to enjoy some good food! With the permanently bright weather in Southern California, the event will be enjoyable for all, even throughout October.

Be sure to visit one of the Ventura County Winery Association local wineries so that you can enjoy fine wines among good friends. Contact us for more details, or book a Wine Tour so that you can enjoy multiple wineries while enjoying the breath-taking scenery of the Ventura County area.

7 DIY Items You Can Make with Used Corks

DIY Wine Cork Projects

Up Cycle Your Used Wine Corks into Vintage Home Accessories and Gifts

Whether you love wine and have an unusually large collection of wine corks, or if you just want to try some artistic DIY projects, here we find the top 7 ways to turn corks into useful, unique crafts.

  • Place Card Holder- If you’re looking for a way to add a touch of elegance and rustic charm to your tabletop at an event, simply take the cork lengthways and slit it about ¾ of the way down with a utility knife. This will leave enough room to pop the name card in!
  • Coaster- Hot glue gun around 19 corks together to create a circle. Once the glue dries and the corks become set in a circle, choose your favorite ribbon or some burlap to wrap around the edge. These coasters are perfect at protecting your tables alongside being creatively unique!
  • Bathmat- Go one step further than the coaster, create a bath mat in the same way. Hot glue gun around 175 wine corks in a rectangular shape. You can use a shelf liner for the bottom of the bathmat so that it will not slip.
  • Keychain- A simple keychain with the look of vintage charm. This can be created by collecting keychain rings and winding a screw eye on each ring. With the screw eye attached to the keychain, screw the other end into the cork so that it is secure. These make great gifts and favors!
  • Stamp- This is a fantastic idea if you are particularly artistic! Start by drawing your desired stamp on the flat top of the cork. Then, take a utility knife and cut around your drawing, leaving half of the cork intact. Now you will have your drawing popping out of half of the cork. Simply dip your design in ink and test out on paper! Now you have a homemade stamp!

All of us at the Ventura County Winery Association, hope you enjoy making these charming accessories from corks!

Be sure to check out fresh corks by visiting our wineries. We have plenty of locations situated within Ventura County, California. View the map for our locations, and discover more about our wineries!

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!

Helpful Wine Tasting for Beginners Tips & Guidelines

Helpful Wine Tasting for Beginners Tips & GuidelinesConquering Your First Wine Tasting

It is common knowledge that a love for wine is an acquired taste, but wine tasting surely pushes you towards appreciating the complexities of the world’s favorite beverage. If you have never gone wine tasting before and are feeling nervous, allow these helpful guiding points for wine tasting for beginners to assist:

  • The key to wine tasting is having a good wine sniff. This will allow you to isolate flavors and notice their interactions. With experience and time, you will learn the proper language to describe how wine flavors unfold and interact.
  • When wine tasting, it is important that you are focused. You cannot sip a glass and then describe it after a couple conversations. Rather, take a moment to halt all communication, isolate yourself from distractions, and appreciate the wine’s scent, appearance, flavors, and finish.
  • During your first wine tasting, it is recommended that you take notes. You will soon realize that your palette prefers certain flavors over others, which will guide you in deciding which wines you prefer.
  • As you taste, you will likely start with the lightest colored and lightest bodied wines and make your way up the ladder. Many wine tasting beginners find that they prefer sweeter wines at the start as they gradually make their way towards bolder, heavier wines.
  • When wine tasting at a local winery, you will have the luxury of a wine enthusiast “tour” guide to help you through this process. They will explain to you the proper glassware, temperature storage for each unique wine, and how to properly preserve different types of wine. It is highly recommended that you listen closely to these guidelines as they are experienced and will be able to give you as little or as much knowledge as you are seeking.

Contact the Ventura County Winery Association to schedule a wine tour to go wine tasting at one of our local wineries in Ventura County. We would be more than honored to help you choose the right winery to experience your first wine tasting!

Understanding The Malolactic Fermentation Process

Wineries and Malolactic Fermentation ProcessWineries and The Malolactic Fermentation Process

There is no beverage or dish that quite resembles the complexity and unique features of a handcrafted wine. However, the majority of us simply sip and indulge without taking the time to appreciate the processes that go into its creation. Many Ventura County wineries and others alike utilize the malolactic fermentation process to add complexity to the grapes.

This process typically takes place right after the primary fermentation process is complete, meaning when the grape sugar is transformed into alcohol by yeast. By utilizing various species of the lactic acid bacteria family, the mixture can be converted into wine. This is a natural way of removing the acid and in return, softening the wine’s palate. This is typically the preferred fermentation method of growing grapes in cool regions since they tend to have higher acid contents. This process allows vineyards and wineries to provide a more palatable and balanced wine.

When it comes to wineries and the malolactic fermentation process, reducing acid is not the only goal. The malolactic fermentation process also contributes to the modification of a wine’s aroma, mouth feel, and flavor. Since this process is known to significantly enhance the flavor and body of a wine, this process often produces a wine with a softer palate and a more full-bodied taste.

The type of wine where this process is most prominently seen and experienced is chardonnay. Therefore, next time you are enjoying an ice-cold chardonnay with your friends, take a moment to appreciate the roundness and softness of the wine. You can thank the malolactic fermentation process for this delicious wine!

Contact the Ventura County Winery Association to schedule a wine tour to go wine tasting at one of our multiple featured local wineries in Ventura County.

Which Wine Will Go Best With Your Christmas Dinner?

Pairing Wines with Christmas DinnerAs the holidays grow nearer and nearer, it is time to start thinking about what you will serve at your Christmas get-together! Each family has their own traditions, but we are willing to bet that all will incorporate some form of a delicious meal. If you have already finalized your Christmas Day menu, you can start searching for a wine that will best compliment the food. Here are a few things you may not have known about food and wine pairing that should make your search easier:

  • If your Christmas meal will include a fresh-cooked ham, sweeter wines are the way to go! Consider serving a German or Alsatian Riesling to really wow your guests. If you are more partial to reds, you cannot go wrong with a Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais!
  • Is turkey your meat of choice? If so, Sauvignon Blanc pairs excellently with the savory sauces and sides that accompany a turkey dinner. Pinot Noirs, Zinfandels, Shirazs, and Beaujolais are a few red options that taste great with turkey.
  • For those serving duck, you will want to choose a red wine from France, Burgundy, Bordeaux, or Rhone Valley! Pick a Gewurztraminer, Riesling, or Sauternes if your duck will be served with a fruity sauce!
  • A prime rib dinner calls for a bold Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi Zinfandel, or Barolo from Italy!
  • Does your menu include some sort of ethnic dish; the spice will pair nicely with a Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or Viognier!

The Ventura County Winery Association would like to wish you and your family a happy Christmas holiday! We hope you have a blast pairing the wine from one of our amazing featured wineries with your holiday meal! Please contact us if you would like to schedule a tour or tasting at one of the best wineries in Ventura County.

Unique Ideas for Wine Tasting Parties

Unique Ideas for Wine Tasting PartiesWine tasting parties have long-since been a crowd favorite amongst attendees! Most tasting rooms offer a lovely and relaxed environment, perfect for enjoying time with your friends or family. If you have anything that needs celebrating in the near future, why not plan a wine party at one of our amazing featured wineries!

No party is complete without a theme. Here are a few ideas to get your party-planning juices flowing!

  • Select wines that all come from the same region. A few examples are Tuscany, Napa, Burgundy, Chianti, Columbia Valley, Nemea, or Santorini.
  • Pick a single variety of wine, and pick up bottles from local wineries. This is a great way to compare, and find your favorite.
  • Have your guests make a bet on which of the 2 different regions will be the crowd favorite. For example, purchase a few bottles of California wine, and pair it with French wine. Next, blind all of the wines, and have each guest record their favorite. For added fun, see if they are able to guess which bottle hailed from California, and which hailed from France. Purchase a small prize for the guest that is able to guess the most correctly.
  • Pick up a few blocks of cheeses that will pair nicely with your wines for a wine and cheese party!
  • Choose only wine bottles that have outrageous labels. Next, have your guests taste each wine, and see if they are able to guess which crazy label it came from!
  • Pick up a few different kinds of chocolate, and have a chocolate and wine pairing tasting party!

Now that you have a few party ideas in mind, you will need to find the perfect location! To schedule a group tasting at one of our awesome featured wineries, please contact the Ventura County Winery Association.

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