First Day of Hospice du Rhone, Apr. 30

First up, a big shout out to Anne’s dad, whose birthday it is today.

Secondly, there are no pictures in this post because Anne left the USB camera cord at home and we’re crashing at the motel right now, after our day at Hospice du Rhone, the fantabulous festival celebrating the wines of France’s Rhone Valley and wines from all over the world made from the same 22 varieties of grapes.  It’s an annual event in Paso Robles, California, which we are blessed to attend via a press pass.

But what a wonderful day.  We missed the seminars, alas, but arrived in good time for the Rose Lunch, featuring the wines of the Tavel region of France (which are pretty much by definition roses).

Another shout out to Lisa, of Concord, CA, and Paula and her friends, who let us sit at their table and were very pleasant company.

Then on to the Rhone Rendezvous tasting.  Like, 15 kajillion wineries serving their best Rhone varietal wines, including some real Rhone wines.  Yum.

But we also heard about the Four S’s, found out what grapes you can grow in Arizona, discovered that wines from New Zealand have a distinctive aroma and flavor, and learned about the ultimate vineyard pest – baboons.  Apparently, the ones in the Tulbagh region of South Africa really like the Syrah grape.

And we tasted a lot, a lot of wine.  Did we say a lot?  Oh, yeah.

We hope to post more specific details as we post the various tasting notes and winery profiles in the months to come.  But we’ll try to tweet some more tomorrow (we set Twitter up to post directly to this blog – which is why the three earlier posts were so short) during the festival’s second day.  And then try to recover on Sunday.

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