Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series about our wonderful time at Villa Maria‘s Cellar Door in Marlborough, New Zealand. Our host, winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, is talented, creative, knowledgeable and friendly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the most-awarded winery in New Zealand.

And the wines are magnificent. Kat poured nine for us, ranging in price from $16-$43. Read on for more details. And then, head out to your nearest retailer that sells Villa Maria wine to pick up a few bottles. Of note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria, therefore many wines are readily available in the U.S.

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Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 1

On a recent trip to New Zealand, we had the fortune to spend time at the country’s most-awarded winery, Villa Maria. Thanks to our host, talented and knowledgeable winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, we tasted many amazing wines at the Cellar Door in Marlborough. Of note, we have enjoyed Villa Maria’s popular wines many times in the past. This made our experience in New Zealand even more exciting and memorable.

Villa Maria crafts excellent wine at affordable prices. Wines from 28 grape varieties are exported to more than 60 countries. Many are widely available in the United States, and we strongly recommend you try them.

On a local note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria.
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Wonderful Woodward Canyon

Rick and Darcey Small founded Woodward Canyon Winery in 1981, the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley. (Leonetti Cellar opened just four years earlier.) Rick’s family farmed for multiple generations on land that is now the estate vineyard.

In 2003, winemaker Kevin Mott joined the team. And today, Woodward Canyon is one of the most-acclaimed wineries in Walla Walla.

Woodward Canyon is known for its gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignons, in addition to Bordeaux-style blends, Merlot and Chardonnay. Of note, the winemaking focus is on quality over quantity.

We visit the Woodward Canyon tasting room every time we’re in Walla Walla. Recently, we stopped in when we attended the Wine Bloggers Conference.

These are our favorite “special occasion” wines during that trip: Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon, Charbonneau Red and Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Murrieta’s Well Wins Again

We have been fans of Murrieta’s Well blends, The Spur (red), and The Whip (white), since 2011, and their latest vintages continue to impress.

We enjoyed samples of these two blends, plus a few other wines in the portfolio of this popular Livermore Valley winery, at a recent Snooth virtual tasting with Murrietta’s Well talented winemaker Robbie Meyer.

But before getting to our tasting notes, Murrieta’s Well has credentials worth mentioning – it is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. The winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. And now, the wines …

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