Friday, November 4, 2011

A Votre Sante

Wine tasting is great…but the real fun is a behind the scenes tour.  I’m sure you’ve wondered if they are really stomping those grapes? 
We were lucky enough to receive a private tour of Mauritson Vineyards by an Elkhart native, Mary Spillane.  She owns the popular restaurants in Elkhart and South Bend, The Vine.  Not only is she knowledgeable about the wines but she is hilarious.  She gave us the scoop on the winery while continuing to pour us tastings of her favorites. 

With our wine glasses in tow…we moved on to the back of the house!  Our dad would have absolutely loved this.  Mary rattled off things like the fermentation is typically open-top, punchdowns are made by hand…the native yeasts employed…uh…sounds good, Mary…but tastes even better. 
They are checking for any grapes that might have fungus on them and pulling them out.  Clay, in bright yellow, is the owner. 
This is where they asked us to remove our shoes, jump in and start stomping...jus kiddin'
Mary letting us sample the fermeting wine. 
Katie and I engrossed in Mary's conversation.
As we were getting the tour, I couldn’t help but get a little teary.  My dad spent countless hours in our basement making his own label of wines, Chateau Ramey.  I know he would have loved being with us today.
A big thank you to Mary for taking the time to introduce us to Mauritson wines…definitely a new favorite. 
Mary and Katie. 
Mary recommended we go to Kokomo winery being that a couple of Purdue grads started it.  We had so much fun and grabbed some wine, hats and tee-shirts to support our Indiana roots.    
Kokomo Winery -
I had to take the girls through has the cutest town. We quickly went by a bubbles tasting and then headed back to St. Helena to cruise through Erin Martin’s shop.  Uh-MAZING.  I have decided to dedicate an entire blog post to her shop…I couldn’t stop snapping pictures. 
A snap shot of Erin Martin's shop...more to come later.
Finally, dinner at Market on Main St. where we brought in a couple of bottles we bought on our tour. 
As my dad would say, “A Votre Sante!”  It means, to your health in French. 
Another wonderful day. 

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