Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Tatse of Seneca Lake Wine and Food at Villa #Bellangelo #SLWT #WBC15

There are over 30 wineries on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and at Villa Bellangelo we were given a wonderful overview from our hosts,  and a small group of local food and wine artisans.

The bus pulled into the driveway, and 50+ bloggers were greeted by Christopher Missick, owner of Villa Bellangelo and author of A Sense of Place (Book Review CTC).  As I stepped off the bus, stretched my legs, and set up my camera, I watched a goat being led, and a news crew setting up - this showed promise of an interesting afternoon....

As we entered the tasting room, we were greeted with a delicious, crisp Bellangelo 2013 Dry Rosé ($13) it was a great pairing for the local artisanal charcuterie laid out for us. In addition to the meats, nuts, fruits, honey and cheeses, Bellangelo had a tasting line up of their olive oil/balsamic "dippers" - it was a serious "flavor festival".

After picking my way through the display of food, glorious food (slideshow below), I spied, over in a corner, a bar set up with seemingly identical bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.  I had heard rumors on the bus that there was to be a 10 year vertical tasting.

I took my glass, plopped my plate on the bar, and settled in for interactive wino story time. (some schools have sing-a longs, #WBC15 had "drink-a longs" - as we learned about wine, weather and terrior - oh if kindergarten had been like this, I may have done better in school)

"Make what you love to drink"
This Cabernet Sauvignon vertical from Kings Garden Vineyards  Blew. My. Mind.  ("Make what you love to drink!" was sage advice from Owner and Wine-Maker, Mike Oleksyn). Located just across Seneca Lake from Bellangelo in Lodi, NY, King's Garden is  in Seneca Lake’s “banana belt”, the warmest growing region on the lake. Is that why the Cabernet thrives? The 10 year vertical was a highlight, and I found myself just hovering, nibbling and sipping - eavesdropping on the conversations that were being held by much between educated #winelovers than myself.  I learned so much; It was amazing to taste the same varietals, from the same vines, dramatically affected by different seasons. What an enjoyable education.  I'll be going back to King's Garden for a case or two... it was THAT good.

Side Hill Acres, Candor, NY
By the end of the afternoon, we shuffled back onto the bus - stuffed, and  a little buzzed talking about the goat and the vertical as and our driver brought us to the delightfully surprising gritty/neoclassic Geneva, where we were to spend the night at the Geneva Hampton Inn.

After a quick check in and afternoon nap, there was more adventure awaiting us at a sunset celebration of #flxwinewomen, a walk through the vineyard with a vineyard scion/burlesque diva, and a sunset pairing menu on the balcony of Ventosa Winery. (I'll save that story for another post!)

About that goat….  She was unimpressed with my miking abilities, but I really, really, liked the cheese from her farm.

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