After the long brutal winter so much of the country experienced, it’s hard to believe Memorial Day and the long days of summer are finally upon us. On Friday, my parents will arrive and will stay with us through the long weekend. We have many activities planned that will get us outdoors and away from the house, (I can’t stand sitting around when people are visiting). Of course we’ll spend time in our new wine lounge as well, it will be the first time someone other than my husband or myself will see the transformation from boring basement to swanky hang out.
Obviously, we’ll be enjoying lots of wine and with the warmer temps we’ll enjoy those crisp white wines that summer and warm weather beckon. Recently I received a sample from one of my favorite wineries, Toad Hollow Vineyards 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay Francine’s Selection Mendocino County. Not only is it a wonderful wine, this vintage is a celebration of Toad Hollow’s 20th anniversary.
Tropical aromas with ripe peach and a hint of floral. On the palate grapefruit citrus and white stone fruit with a rich mouth-feel and crisp acidity. Grapes were sourced from growers with long term relationships with Toad Hollow in Mendocino County.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Mendocino County
TA: 0.50 g/100ml
Aged: Stainless Steel
In 1993 two friends Todd Williams and Rodney Strong partnered and began producing strictly unoaked Chardonnay. Additional wines have been added over the last 20 years but Toad Hollow Vineyards remains the largest producer of unoaked Chardonnay and first to bring the method to the US. While they may have added other varietals to their portfolio, Francine’s Selection remains their flagship wine and accounts for the majority of their wine production and sales. Once you’ve tasted the finely crafted wine, you’ll know why.
For 20 years no harm has come to any trees in the making of Francine’s Selection. Get it, it’s unoaked, no oak barrels, just stainless steel, yeah of course you get it. In honor of this commitment, the winery is collaborating with the Arbor Day Foundation in a “Free the Trees” program and will donate one tree to the foundation for every case sold during a three-month period. The states that will benefit from the program are California, Florida, Georgia (yea that’s my state), Michigan and Texas. Don’t you love when you can drink wine and help a great cause? I know I do.
morning on our road but also to get out and enjoy more of nature. While in The Great Smokey Mountain National Park earlier this month my husband and I enjoyed use of the various hiking trails. We hiked to waterfalls, gazed at the beautiful creeks, watched water rushing over rocks and shoals in the river and even picnicked next to the river one day. For once I didn’t gain 5 pounds while on vacation, only one pound! I’m sure if we hadn’t been enjoying so much wine, local micro-brews and moonshine, I could have lost 5 pounds.
But it did occur to us we live in an area surrounded by state and some national parks. This week I purchased a family membership to the Georgia State Parks. We plan on putting it to use this weekend by taking in the falls at Tallulah Gorge and on Monday a picnic and hiking at a park just 20 minutes from the house.
Something I learned while looking into membership, many state parks work with veterinary offices and offer free passes when you bring your dog. Check with your vet, exercise is important to our four legged friends too.
So get out there and enjoy our state and national parks. Then after a day of hiking, swimming and just plain playing reward yourself with some great tasting wine.