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Catavino in Santa Rosa, California at American Wine Bloggers Conference 2009

winebloggers-logo_square-jmvEditor’s note: Due to poor wireless connections, although this post was intended for yesterday morning, we weren’t able to get it up until today.


We’re currently writing you at 6am in the morning from El Jefe’s HQ, from Twisted Oak Winery, with two of baby kittens romping around our bedroom with a mission to destroy anything in their paths. And despite their clearly malicious intent, with those gigantic clear blue eyes, short soft downy fur and incapacity to walk in  straight line without tripping or running head first into a wall, we have to admit, Iggy and Stiggy are insanely adorable, and a wonderful way to wake up after 3 insane days of fun.


For those of you not in the know, we’ve traveled thousands upon thousands of miles from Barcelona to San Francisco, CA with a stop over on Wednesday night in New York City to co-host a Portuguese Tasting with Viniportugal at the restaurant Aldea. It’s been an insane schedule and one not to let up over the next week, as we jump into El Jefe’s truck, with a caravan of bloggers behind to head 3 hours northwest of Calavares County to attend the 2nd annual American Wine Bloggers Conference. 


But I digress back to New York. At 6pm on Wednesday, July 22nd, we met with approximately 25 bloggers, which included: Alice Feiring, Lenn Thompson and Mark Tafoya – 3 bloggers we have had a long and wonderful virtual relationship with, but have never met in flesh and blood. This was by far one of the highlights of the night. The second highlight was not only the positive comments we heard from our fellow brethren regarding the quality of the Portuguese wines served, but also that of the food. From duck confit to fresh clams, each of the appetizers paired beautifully with their adjacent wine, causing much oohs and ahhs from the crowd. The only downside being that the restaurant was ridiculously hot, and dark mood lighting made videotaping rather challenging. But with a fantastic restaurant staff and an open and inquisitive chef whose goal was simply to adapt traditional Portuguese cuisine with modern palates, whatever negatives were voiced fell behind the roar of positive feedback. Fingers crossed, we just might have a handful of these new friends, and old virtual acquaintances join us at the EWBC this fall. 


However, this wasn’t the only location where we may have drummed up some participants for the EWBC. Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending El Jefe’s pre-conference gathering at his tasting room in Murphy, CA. Alongside, a long list of bloggers, such as: Russ Beebe, Ken Payton, Joe & Amy Corron-Power,Thea Dwelle, David Honig, Megan Kenney, etc., our day was full, entertaining and exhausting. Having flown from New York to Las Vegas, then onto San Francisco, followed by a 2.5 hour drive with the Quevedo crew, an evening of debauchery was most welcomed, but also rather challenging. But with tri-tips on the grill, and a gorgeous fresh green salad with spinach, blueberries, candied walnuts and mango, who can complain? Add a blending workshop, which consisted of a competition to determine who could create the best blend using Garnacha, Tempranillo and Graciano from the 2008 vintage in 20 minutes, and you’ve got a perfect evening! 




On a cold rainy morning in Santa Rosa, we’re now eating a true American breakfast, eggs benedict, getting prepared to hightail it to the Culinary Institute of America where we’ll start the first major sessions of the American Wine Bloggers Conference. We’ll get you a more thorough update on the conference as soon as possible.




Gabriella and Ryan Opaz





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