Exploring the many tannins of California wines in Delhi

Crafting of the art to unlocking regional tourism: An odyssey
2023-12-15
/
/ New Delhi
Visit California
Exploring the many tannins of California wines in Delhi

Four flavourful Californian wines in chardonnay, zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon were presented as a part of the event, along with delectable delicacies

From rustic hints of Livermore hillside in Wente Vineyard Morning Fog Chardonnay and Beyer Ranch Zinfandel, to the exotic tannins of Napa Valley in Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot and Morgan Bay Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine tasting event, organised by Destination Marketing Organisation Sartha Global brought these and many other exotic flavours of California wines to connoisseurs and travel trade in Delhi on Wednesday.
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With wine tourism becoming an important niche of outbound tourism from India, Sartha Global, a leading destination marketing organisation,  in collaboration with Sonal Holland, said to be India’s first Master of Wine curated the story of Californian wines in a savoury wine tasting session with the Indian travel trade in New Delhi on Thursday. 

Four flavourful Californian wines in chardonnay, zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon were presented as a part of the event, each representing different vineyards of the Golden State and the many attractions that the largest State of the US holds for tourists.

Sun-drenched coastlines juxtaposing towering mountains, California arrests visitors’ attention beyond the wineries, helmed by its rich tapestry of cultures, flavours and pleasant landscapes as tourism gains momentum. By 1919, California had become America’s leading winegrowing state propelled by over 1,000 wineries in operation. The historic 1976 wine tasting or the ‘Judgement of Paris,’ further prospered California’s wine-making flair and rolling vineyards up on the map of international sommeliers as well as wine enthusiasts. 

From rustic hints of Livermore hillside to the fiery notes fresh from Napa Valley, exotic Californian tannins tickled the taste buds while Holland briefed the travel trade members on the diversity of wine tourism in the Golden State and its varied attractions.

Living it up in Livermore Valley 

Livermore Valley 

Nearly 80 pc of California’s Chardonnay vines trace their genetic roots to a Livermore Valley clone

Situated about 32 km east of the San Francisco Bay and established in 1883, the morning fog is said to make Livermore Valley wineries an excellent growing region for Chardonnay as well as allow for more varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The valley is connoted for its historical significance and hosts 55 wineries, each catering to a distinctive tasting room to add to a uniquely wine-tasting experience. Livermore Valley wineries were said to be the first to bottle varietal labelled Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah. 

Nearly 80 pc of California’s Chardonnay vines trace their genetic roots to a Livermore Valley clone. Another feather to its cap was added in 1889 when Livermore Valley bagged America’s first international gold medal for wine at the Paris Exposition, putting California on the world wine map. 

Wente Vineyard Morning Fog Chardonnay 2021 and Beyer Ranch Zinfandel 2021 were arranged for tasting as a part of the event. Plump and savoury, citrus and green apple dominated the Chardonnay notes complemented by hints of toasty oaks and vanilla. 

Part of the ‘Morning Fog’ is aged in French barriques which lends to this aromaticity and lightness that comes from the valley’s moderating climate with foggy mornings, warm midday and cool evenings. Another giant from the flavourful notes of the valley, the Zinfandel put berries at the forefront with lovely aromas of ripened blackberries coupled with tannins of cinnamon spice.

Tourism experience in Livermore extends beyond the wineries with high-end shopping outlets, artistic heritage and nearby Del Valle Regional Park’s outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, fishing and more.

Spoilt for choice in Santa Barbara

 Santa Barbara

Urban wine trails pulse with energy in the city’s buzzing downtown

Beyond its broad, sandy beaches, wines from this region in central California are known for an artful balance of sophistication while maintaining down-to-earth minerality. Fruit purity, rich velvety texture and freshness are said to be customary of Santa Barbara-produce. Urban wine trails pulse with energy in the city’s buzzing downtown that presents numerous tasting rooms and wineries. 

A 45-minute drive over the hills leads to Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys, unfolding vistas of rolling vineyards that epitomise a quintessential wine country experience. Santa Ynez is one of the country’s most diverse grape growing regions. From the cool coastal climate perfect for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the sunny warmth of Happy Canyon, ideal for Bordeaux varieties like Cab Franc and Merlot, Santa Barbara offers a dynamic range of wine experiences.

Besides, art, culture, outdoor pursuits and culinary scene is also a major tourist draw for Santa Barbara. Whether lounging on the beach or kayaking, exploring salt caves or perusing art galleries and eclectic boutiques, visitors are spoilt for choice to couple it with the city’s many winery’s experiences.

Trailing through Napa Valley’s iconic wineries 

Napa Valley

Not just its top-calibre wines, the Napa Valley also stands out as a premier golf destination against a backdrop of lush landscapes

In the Judgement of Paris 1976, it was two Napa Valley vintages, 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, that bagged the top honour beating the French in both red and white categories.  

Nestled in Northern California, Napa Valley’s wine country in the northeast of San Francisco is replete with hundreds of wineries and miles of the valley to explore its legacy. Defined by mountain ranges and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the valley’s dry Mediterranean climate, which only covers 2 pc of the earth’s surface, is the mystery behind Napa’s fine wine grapes. 

The DMO organised Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2020 and Morgan Bay Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 as a part of the wine tasting event. Packing a punch of vibrant aromas of red currant, berries, cocoa, baking spices with rich and silky tannins, Holland suggests pairing the Merlot with rosemary grilled lamb or brisket sliders. On the contrary, the ruby-red sauvignon’s predominant berry tannins had vanilla, coconut and cedar undertones to finish on a crisp note.

Not just its top-calibre wines, the Napa Valley also stands out as a premier golf destination against a backdrop of lush landscapes.  Travellers can choose from a range of experiences including hot air-balloon rides, outdoor pursuits, leisurely bike rentals to explore the rolling hills and picturesque coastlines, and much more.

Many flavours of Temecula Valley 

Temecula

Beyond wine tasting and winery tours, Temecula curates an eclectic mix of outdoor experiences

Boutique and large-productions, rustic to modern, wineries in the Temecula Valley are said to be the state’s ‘best kept secret.’ A graben rift valley in western Riverside County, California, Temecula Valley has gained more prominence over the years with the establishment of grand hotels and gourmet restaurants to elevate its wine tasting experience. With over 33,000 acres, nearly 50 wineries populate the region’s rolling hills and sprawling valleys producing a variety of wines, including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. 

Beyond wine tasting and winery tours, Temecula curates an eclectic mix of outdoor experiences with live musicals, golfing, hot-air balloon rides against cloudless blue skies, sunbathing, spa treatments, museums and more.

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