Winter Wineland is undeniably one of the biggest events to hit Sonoma Wine Country in any given year, and this year it’s going to be even bigger. Why? Because it’s the 20th Anniversary!
The theme for this very significant 2012 celebration is Wine ~ Art ~ Education, and each participating winery will be either hosting an artist, or offering a special educational component to their tasting experience.
Wine ~ Art ~ Education
January 14 – 15, 2012
11am – 4pm each day
Hmmm … Art, or Education?
Tough call for Ridge, but in the end, we’ve selected Education as our governing theme, and the team at Lytton Springs has come up with something really and truly extraordinary.
As you probably already know, single-vineyard winemaking is at the absolute core of our endeavor at Ridge Vineyards, and our belief in the importance of terroir, and the honest, authentic representation thereof, drives just about everything we do in both the vineyard and the winery. The importance of our foundational belief in accurately, transparently, faithfully carrying the vineyard to the bottle with as little interference as is possible cannot be overestimated, and without this faith, this discipline, this credo, questions of sustainability, organics, etc, are essentially rendered hollow. Sustaining a property you don’t believe in is but an exercise in process, nothing more, nothing less. For Ridge, we don’t farm sustainably and/organically for any reason other than that it’s the absolute best and most effective way to both honor the land, and make the best wine possible. To make wines of place is to embrace natural methods and traditions; to embrace natural methods and traditions is to make wines of place.
The word itself can be controversial; terroir.
But taken literally, it’s essentially just a reference to the earth, and as such, we thought perhaps the most illuminating answer to the question of education at Winter Wineland would be to devise a presentation revolving around the earth itself; the soil: that pure miasma of nutrient, mineral, and history from which a vine springs forth to eventually present its offspring at the altar of vinification.
But lest ye fear a heavy-handed dogma-laden session in the classroom, fear not!
The endlessly imaginative team at Lytton Springs has instead devised a rather disarmingly playful way to enjoy both your wines AND your education. After tasting four single-vineyard wines produced from four of our most legendary and highly regarded vineyard sites, guests will have the opportunity to experience a soil exhibit featuring actual soil samples from each of the relevant four vineyards, with accompanying text describing the conditions, characteristics, and qualities of each property.
Once digested (wine AND knowledge!), guests will be given the opportunity to try and match the soils to the wines via the submission of a contest entry. Once the event is over, entries will be reviewed, and a winner will be drawn from the correct submissions. Hopefully needless to say, the prize will be … ahem … groovy.
See you at Winter Wineland!