Hanging with John Duval in Adelaide

Hanging with John Duval in Adelaide

I’ve known Australian winemaker John Duval (formerly the maker of Penfolds Grange, now producing Barossa Valley wines under his own name at www.johnduvalwines.com) for a long time.  I think our first meeting was actually in Denver in 2007, but my best memory is of having curry with John in Adelaide, Australia, in 2008, and of looking out onto the street and seeing a rock band riding around in the back of a truck while playing lusty tunes.  “Welcome down under, mate,” was John’s comment at the time.

The infamous music truck

The infamous music truck

That lunch was also where I learned that another famous Penfolds wine, RWT, was originally his idea, but that his heart and soul have since completely moved over to his own ventures.  Since that awesome Aussie day, John has visited the U.S. several times, and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to catch up and schmooze over some of his best juice.  Most of the notes at the end of this column are from a lunch at Table 6 Restaurant in Denver (www.table6denver.com) last fall.

And don't forget the albino roos!

And don’t forget the albino roos!

John Duval, who has lived through 40 vintages in Barossa, draws his grapes from that famous Shiraz terroir and also the Eden Valley.  He has access to some of the oldest syrah, grenache, and cabernet sauvignon vineyards in the world, and his wines should definitely be on your radar.

 

UPCOMING WINE DINNER AT IL POSTO RESTAURANT: EXPLORE CAMPANIA

Il PostoIl Posto’s Owner/Chef Andrea Frizzi and Wine On The Road’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg will be hosting a special Campania dinner on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, starting at 6:30 P.M. at Il Posto, 2011 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206. $65 per person (including wine) plus tax and tip. To make your reservation for this special dining opportunity please call the restaurant at 303-394-0100 or go to www.ilpostodenver.com.

 

CAMPANIA UNFILTERED WITH ANDREA FRIZZI AND IL POSTO RESTAURANT: SEPTEMBER 14-21, 2014

Il Posto's Chef/Owner Andrea Frizzi

Il Posto’s Chef/Owner Andrea Frizzi

Il Posto’s chef/owner Andrea Frizzi and WOTR’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg have created the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.  Check it out at www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php.

Highlights of the Campania Unfiltered tour include:

• Seven days in Campania during the heart of harvest focused on acclaimed wine estates, wineries selected by Andrea and Ben for their distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known winemakers, as well as one-of-a-kind, winery-focused tours, tastings, meals and lodgings

• Superior accommodations at the Radici Resort in the heart of wine country

• A cooking class with Andrea focused on regional specialties and techniques

• Privately guided tours of bustling Naples (the “Great Pizzas” excursion) and hallowed Pompeii

• Unique non-wine experiences such as helping to make world-renowned Mozzarella di Bufala in its hometown of Caserta, attending cultural events, and joining up with locals for evening activities

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, golf, and spa treatments

Price is $5,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between eight-and-twelve paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php.

 

BEN WILL BE IN PIEDMONT, ITALY, THIS SPRING!

The beauty of Piedmont is hard to describe

The beauty of Piedmont is hard to describe

Ben will be attending the BITEG 2014 International Wine and Food Tourism Exchange conference in Piedmont, Italy, from May 15 – 19, sponsored by the regional government and tourism boards.  Connect with him and Wine On The Road on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to follow his journey through this hallowed wine area, most famous for kingly nebbiolo.

 

WINE, BEES, AND CHEESE IN PIEDMONT, ITALY, WITH FARM-TO-TABLE EXPERT JILL PARADIS AND WINE EXPERT BEN WEINBERG

WOTR's 2013 Piedmont Unfiltered tour group at Ceretto's "La Cubo" in Castiglione, Falletto

WOTR’s 2013 Piedmont Unfiltered tour group at Ceretto’s “La Cubo” in Castiglione, Falletto

This seven-day “Wine, Bees, and Cheese” tour of Piedmont, Italy, is an intensive travel experience punctuated by frequent tastes of the region’s best food, wine, and culture. Traveling with farm-to-table expert Jill Paradis and wine writer Ben Weinberg, you’ll receive warm welcomes from each iconic producer and enough face-to-face time to discuss the history of each product as well as plans for the future. All represent generations of commitment to quality and respect for their lands and communities.

Highlights include:

• Seven days in Piedmont focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries chosen by Jill and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Luxurious accommodations in five-star hotels located on or near wine and other agricultural estates

• A cooking class focused on local ingredients and recipes

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours and tastings

• One-of-a-kind meals with acclaimed winemakers, whether at their favorite osterias, in their homes with mama and her exquisite pappardelle, or while picnicking on their gorgeous terraces

• Special access to the top regional specialties such as tajarin (tagliarini pasta) with the best of the season’s truffles, nocciole (hazelnut) and chocolate desserts (this is the land of gianduja and Nutella), risotto al Barolo, cave-aged Castelmagno cheese, and Barolo Chinato, a post-prandial digestivo

• Observation of and participation in the production of local foodstuffs including honey, cheese, and truffles

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco, and Torino

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, and spa treatments

Price is $6,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between eight-and-twelve paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities. Maximum group size is twelve adults of legal drinking age.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/winebeesandcheeseinpiedmont.php.

 

OREGON WINE TASTING IN THE DAVIDSONS LIQUORS CELLAR ROOM: FRIDAY, MAY 30, 3:00 – 6:00 P.M.

Davidsons Liquors

Davidsons Liquors

Don’t miss this extraordinary Oregon wine tasting opportunity being presented at no charge in the Cellar Room at Davidsons Liquors, 5555 Boatworks Dr. Highlands Ranch, CO 80126, with Davidsons’ Fine Wine Specialist Aaron Mayher and Wine On The Road’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg.  For more information please go to www.davidsonsliquors.com, or call the store at 303-224-0444.

 

OREGON WINE COUNTRY WITH DAVIDSONS LIQUORS: MAY 15-19, 2015

Stacks of wine barrels

Stacks of wine barrels

Davidson’s Fine Wine Specialist Aaron Maher, who leads this tour with his special knowledge of Oregon wines, and Davidsons Liquors have partnered with international wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road to offer this extraordinary opportunity. This is the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights of the Portland and Willamette Valley tour with Davidsons Liquors include:

• Five days and four nights in Portland and the Willamette Valley focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Aaron and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, spa treatments, golf, and other cultural events

Price is $2,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between 16-and-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwithdavidsons.php.

 

UPCOMING COVERAGE: CELEBRATE WALLA WALLA WINE

Beautiful eastern Washington

Eastern Washington near Mattawa

Ben will be covering the upcoming Celebrate Walla Walla Wine Festival from June 17-21, 2014, in beautiful eastern Washington.  Follow along live with Ben on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, and be sure to check out his Wine On The Road column after the event.

 

SEATTLE AND EASTERN WASHINGTON WINE COUNTRY: MAY 22-26, 2015

The view from Col Solare (Red Mountain, WA)

The view from Col Solare (Red Mountain, WA)

International wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road offer this extraordinary opportunity as the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights include:

• Five days and four nights in Seattle and Eastern Washington focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Ben and based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Walla Walla and Yakima

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, and spa treatments

Price is $2,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between 16-and-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/washingtonunfiltered.php.

 

PORTLAND AND THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY WITH THE VINEYARD WINE SHOP

The Vineyard Wine Shop

The Vineyard Wine Shop

The Vineyard’s Wine Consultant Jordan Garcia, who leads the tour with his special knowledge of Oregon wines, and The Vineyard Wine Shop have partnered with international wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road to offer this extraordinary opportunity. This is the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights include:

• Five days and four nights in Portland and the Willamette Valley focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Jordan and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, spa treatments, golf, and other cultural events

Price per person is $2,995, based on double occupancy for between 16-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities. Maximum group size is 24 adults of legal drinking age.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwiththevineyard.php.

 

WINE ON THE ROAD’S LUXURIOUS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES WINE TOURS

Wine On The Road

Wine On The Road

With Wine On The Road (www.wineontheroad.com), my wine-focused touring company, you can enjoy the ultimate wine country excursion with special access to top winemakers and their incomparable wines.  Wine On The Road offers intimate wine country tours that combine award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.  We lodge at excellent and luxurious wine country estates (in the past we’ve occupied ancient yet completely restored castles as well as five-star resorts, all with modern amenities).  We eat at amazing local restaurants and visit wineries that embody the best, most authentic expressions of local wine grapes.

Planned excursions in late 2014 include a combined visit to Champagne and Burgundy (www.wineontheroad.com/champ-burgunfiltered.php), and another to Italy’s Campania (www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php).  Early 2015 tours include Piedmont, Italy (www.wineontheroad.com/winebeesandcheeseinpiedmont.php), Oregon’s wine country (in conjunction with Davidson’s Liquors, www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwithdavidsons.php), Seattle and Eastern Washington (www.wineontheroad.com/washingtonunfiltered.php), and then Oregon again (in conjunction with The Vineyard Wine Shop, www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwiththevineyard.php).  You can learn more about these trips, book private groups in wine country world-wide and request more information on any of these extraordinary travel experiences by visiting www.wineontheroad.com, emailing me at benweinberg@wineontheroad.com, or calling me at 303-522-6738.

 

Recommended:

White

 

John Duval Plexus White Wine 2012 (Barossa Valley, Australia) $25

Pale yellow/green apple, ash/lemon, pine, apricot blossom/hilong

 

Red

John Duval Plexus 2012 (Barossa Valley, Australia) $34

Red-black/pith, blackberry, red cherry/black pepper, bacon fat/himod

 

John Duval Entity 2012 (Barossa Valley, Australia) $40

Black-red/black licorice, cola/red meat, allspice/hilong

 

John Duval Eligo 2009 (Barossa Valley, Australia) $90

Black-red/cinnamon, black cherry, cocoa/mocha, red raspberry, black tea/hilong