“For the Love of Wine – My Odyssey through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture” by Alice Feiring

If you are interested in learning more about Georgian wine and culture, you must check out Alice Feiring’s newly released book “For the Love of Wine – My Odyssey through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture”. We have copies available here for $25, including shipping. More about the book from University of Nebraska Press: In 2011 when Alice Feiring first arrived in Georgia, she felt as if she’d emerged from the magic wardrobe into a world filled with mythical characters making exotic and delicious wine with the low-tech methods of centuries past. She was smitten, and she wasn’t alone. This country on the Black Sea has an unusual effect on people; the most passionate rip off their clothes and drink wines out of horns while the cold-hearted well up with tears and make emotional toasts. Visiting winemakers fall under Georgia’s spell and bring home qvevris (clay fermentation vessels) while rethinking their own techniques. But, as in any good fairy tale, Feiring sensed that danger rode shotgun with the magic. With acclaim and growing international interest come threats in the guise of new wine consultants aimed at making wines more commercial. So Feiring fought back in the only way she knew … Continue reading “For the Love of Wine – My Odyssey through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture” by Alice Feiring

The Start of a Croatian Wine Love Affair

Travel/wine writer and founder of Writing Between the Vines, Marcy Gordon loves Croatia, especially the wines. Check out what sparked her interest and read about her first visit to Croatia. Thank you for sharing with us, Marcy! The first time the wines of Croatia came across my radar was through a random Tweet I saw by Cliff Rames (founder, Wines of Croatia). Until that point I’d never tried any wine from the region and knew little about Croatian varietals. I was directed to Blue Danube Wines as the place to start. Through the Blue Danube Portfolio I was given a wonderful overview of what Croatia had to offer. I found a rustic elegance in the wines with flavor profiles both bright and deep, and a briny kiss of salinity that was intriguing and enjoyable. One producer that stood out for me was Bibich. My love affair with Bibich wine began with that tasting and shortly afterwards I had the opportunity to visit Alen Bibić at his winery in Skradin, outside of Šibenik on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It was there that my simple infatuation with Croatia bloomed into lust — an appreciative lust for the wine and food and the … Continue reading The Start of a Croatian Wine Love Affair

Introduction to Georgia: Discussing Producers and Grape Varieties

Part two of our interview with Stetson focusing on introducing our new Georgian producers and some of the indigenous varietals to become familiar with. Read part one of our interview here. Let’s talk about the producers. How would you introduce them? S: I’ll start with Kindzmarauli Marani and Shumi who share a similar story. Both are larger, modern wineries, producing “European-style” wines. This means that instead of qvevri they use stainless steel and/or oak barrels. They are located on either side of the Alazani River, in Kakheti — Georgia’s largest wine region — within two major appellations. Kindzmarauli Marani is on the left bank in the Kindzmarauli appellation, known for semi-sweet reds. Shumi is on the right bank within Tsinandali, an important white wine appellation. Even though both are considered large wineries, there is so much care that goes into the wines. Instead of purchasing fruit, both source from their own estates. Both are also dedicated to Georgia’s viticultural future. You can find experimental vineyards at both estates with hundreds of varietals, both indigenous and international. The goal is to see which grapes are most successful in their conditions. It’s encouraging to see this interest in supporting Georgia’s rich viticultural … Continue reading Introduction to Georgia: Discussing Producers and Grape Varieties

Introduction to Georgia: A Brief Discussion of an 8,000 Year History

The journey down the Danube river continues! As you know, our company is named Blue Danube Wine because the wines we source come from the countries through which the Danube river flows. If you continue to follow the river, it empties into the Black Sea, at the Republic of Georgia. It only makes sense that we expand our selection of Georgian wines. Stetson Robbins, our New York Sales manager, has been to Georgia twice and personally selected the new wines we are excited to introduce. Read our interview with him to learn more about the country, the wines, and why you need to try them! Be sure to read part two for more information on the producers and grape varieties. Tell us a bit about Georgia as a country? S: What a special place! I was struck during my visits by the geological, biological, and cultural differences throughout the relatively small country. Georgia is truly at the crossroads of civilization. The triangle-shaped country is one of Europe’s most diverse landscapes. Situated between a desert, Caucasian peaks, and the Black and Caspian seas, many different climatic influences can be seen. This also contributes to a density of biological diversity. As you … Continue reading Introduction to Georgia: A Brief Discussion of an 8,000 Year History

Taste Croatian Wine, Admire Croatian Inspired Artwork

This last September three member artists from Viewpoints Gallery, Los Altos, CA, spent a week painting in Hvar, Croatia on a retreat organized by our friend, Marion Podolski. Marion and her husband, Zdravko, have a home on the island and spend part of the year living there. This exhibit is a collection of the paintings begun at various sites around the island and celebrates a week of friendship, food, wine and the natural beauty of Hvar. We hope you can join us at the opening reception Friday, November 6th 2015 5-8pm. The exhibit, consisting of watercolor paintings, will be hung on one front wall of the gallery. Of course the best way to enjoy Croatian inspired artwork is with a glass of Croatian wine! Look for our table for a taste of fine Croatian wine. Viewpoints Gallery – 315 State Street, Los Altos, CA 94022  Phone: (650) 941-5789 To learn more about the artist retreat and the Podolski’s adventures on Hvar, read their blog: Go Hvar.   Photo Credit: Dave Zittin

Curious & Thirsty: Wines of Croatia

Our friend, and sommelier Cliff Rames of Wines of Croatia, put together a fantastic article about the key wines of Croatia for Travel Curious Often. From the balmy banks of the Danube to the crystalline shores of Istria and Dalmatia, from the historic hills of the Croatian Uplands to the ancient walls of Stari Grad Field, and from the tables of Manhattan to the tasting rooms of Napa Valley, Croatia offers a diverse selection of wine styles and native grape varieties to suit every palate. Croatia may be a small country but it is rich in tradition and deeply rooted in the production and consumption of wine – an alluring pastime that is increasingly available for the adventurous wine lover to discover. Read the whole article here. Wines and grape varietals mentioned in the article: 1. Dubrovački Podrumi Crljenak Kaštelanski 2012 2. Carić Vina Plovac Ploški 2008 3. Piquentum Blanc 2013 (Istrian Malvasia) 4. Piquentum Rouge 2012 (Teran) 5. Dingač Vinarija Pelješac 2012 6. Dingač Vinarija Dingač 2009 7. Suha Punta Tirada Babić 2009 8. Šipun Žlahtina 2013 Browse all our Croatian wines here.

The Life and Wines of Samuel Tinon

Enjoy a day tasting with Samuel Tinon in Tokaj! Writing and all photos by Colm FitzGerald of The Paprika Project. I’m sitting across the table from Samuel Tinon at his home in Olaszliszka, a tiny village in Hungary’s mystical Tokaj Wine Region. He is of medium height and build. His hair is graying and he wears rectangular glasses. Behind him, his Vizsla is curled up on a velvet armchair. To my left, a white rabbit sits on another, matching chair. Rain is coming down in waves of heavy showers and Samuel is very pleased; rain in Tokaj has been scant this summer. Together with my wife Anita, we’re sampling his wine at a long wooden dining table. Samuel is spontaneous, animated, talkative and passionate; the things I love most about the French. He speaks in concepts and rarely has simple answers to my questions. While he talks about Tokaj’s fascinating history I swirl his dry Szamorodni around in my glass and take in the dream-like scene around me: the dog and the rabbit, the sound of rain, Samuel’s French accented English and his cozy home. I then take a sip of the golden wine. It is amazingly complex and unlike … Continue reading The Life and Wines of Samuel Tinon

Guest House Khvanchkara: The place to stay in Racha, Georgia

Our time in Khvanchkara was only long enough for us to fall in love. It is a magnetic location inhabited by people who would live nowhere else. Aleko’s Guesthouse is a window onto this special place. The wines and accommodations reflect the local way of life. It as as easily accessible as could be for such a remote wine region which only a few years ago could only be accessed by Jeep. Aleko is a proud young champion of Khvanckhara. His wines and hospitality had us shouting as we drove away: “We will return!” -Stetson Robbins on his visit to Guesthouse Khvanchkara Aleko Sardanashvili is the owner of this traditional guest house located in the Racha-Lechkhumi region of Georgia. Racha is about a three hour drive from the capital of Tbilisi, in the northwestern part of the country. Aleko is from this part of Georgia originally, but spent several years living in Tbilisi before moving to Malta for eight years. During his time abroad, he gained experience in the tourism and hospitality industries. After spending so much time away from home, Aleko decided to return and apply the skills he gained in his own village. First, he starting making wine, … Continue reading Guest House Khvanchkara: The place to stay in Racha, Georgia

The BIBICh Shops: four locations in Croatia

Traveling to Croatia and looking to experience BIBICh wines outside the winery? BIBICh now has four shops to serve you! All of the shops carry the wines, spirits, and local delicacies produced by the winery. In Zadar: Address: Kralgskog Dalmatina 7, Zadar Hours of operation: Mon – Sun: 9:00am – 9:30pm In Murter: Address: Luke B.B., Murter Hours of operation: Mon – Sat: 9:00am – 12:00pm & 5:00pm – 9:30pm Sun: 5:00pm – 9:00pm In Šibenik: Address: Fausta Vrancica 7,Šibenik Hours of operation: Mon – Sat: 9:30am – 9:00pm Sun: 5:00pm – 9:00pm In Skradin: Address: Fra Luje Maruna 21, Skradin Hours of operation: Mon – Sat: 9:00am – 9:30pm Sun: 12:00pm – 6:00pm Winery Contact Information Website: http://bibich.net/ Address:Plastovo Skradin 22222 Croatia Phone:[385] 23 329260 Email: info@bibich-wine.com

Seven UNESCO world heritage wine regions to visit

The famous Hungarian appellation of Tokaj tops Decanter’s list of UNESCO heritage wine regions to visit. Home to the famous Tokaji-Aszú dessert wine (characterised by French King Louis XIV as ‘the wine of kings, the king of wines’), it is also noteworthy for its labyrinthine cellars where these historic sweet wines are stored. Read the rest of the article here. Browse Hungarian wine.