So You Think You Can Rhône?
Where can you find over 1,000 Rhône wines at one International Food and Wine Event? France, you say? No siree, Bob. To find some of the best examples of the 22 Rhône varieties all in one place you’ll need to head to Paso Robles, California next Spring for the 19th annual Hospice du Rhône. Tickets go on sale today for the exclusive three-day weekend event surrounding all things Rhône set for April 28-30, 2011.
Established in 1991, Hospice du Rhône attracts over 1,200 Rhône enthusiasts for the annual celebration. A mixture of Rhône producers and importers, wine industry representatives, restaurateurs, Sommeliers and enthusiasts with a passion for worldly Rhône varieties, everyone is there to taste wines produced in France, South Africa, Australia, Spain, Chile and the United States. Last year producers from Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington represented the U.S.
Be glad you don’t have to do the dishes! The event uses over 10,000 pieces of Riedel stemware for every two of the four seminars. Imagine washing and buffing all that glass on Friday night to get ready for the next day’s seminars. The newest addition for the 2011 Seminar Series will introduce guests to France’s Languedoc Roussillon appellation. Panelists will include Hervé Bizue from Clos des Fées, Pierre Gaillard from Domaine Madeloc. We understand others will be confirmed very soon.
The cost of the individual seminar passes will be $155, and are expected to sell out quickly on a first-come, first served basis. Seminar descriptions can be found on the HdR Seminar Series page.
In addition to seminars, the Hospice du Rhône celebration will include a Thursday evening Rhône ‘n Bowl, a Friday Rosé Lunch, Friday Rhône Rendezvous Tasting and a new event: the Friday Evening Soirée. The HdR folks invite guests to
Transport yourself to a lively and colorful world at the Hospice du Rhône Soirée. This collection of flavors in food, wine and entertainment will exude the international essence that HdR embodies year-in and year-out. Walk the “streets” to taste wines poured from magnums, savor the satisfying eats and be dazzled by your surroundings. All magnums will be hand-selected by the attending Sommeliers and Producers.
Saturday events include the Lunch and Live Tasting, The Grand Tasting and the Farewell Barbecue. Lucky for me, this event comes every year on my BIRTHDAY. So we plan to treat ourselves to a trip to Pasa Robles this year to attend this fabulous event. Help us celebrate by joining the festivities. Visit the Hospice du Rhône website to get your passes now!
Want to learn more about Rhône and Rhône-style blends? Our newest find is Westwood’s redFOUR: a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Tannat from Sonoma Valley. Westwood wine is made by our friend John M. Kelly, who helped us out with our article on clones. He’s a former Texas Aggie and wow (with a nod to our Longhorn friends) still he makes some very tasty wine!
In addition, we’ve done a number of reviews and stories: