Feb 12, 2017

Luxury accomadation Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles

Visiting Paso Robles is always a treat. More great restaurants in the area than one could eat at in a month. More great wines to taste than one could get through in a year and the icing on the proverbial cake is the number of great places to stay. One of those great places to stay is the Allegretto Vineyard Resort

Our first experience here was when we were attending the Paso Robles Cab Collective Event, The Judgement of Paso in 2016. Staying at the resort was fantastic and although we did not get a lot of time to explore or enjoy all that was to be offered, we knew we wanted to return and take it all in.
The timing of that happened when we were invited to the cool and exciting Garagiste Festival. With the need for a place to stay and my wife not as into all the wine stuff, it was decided to mix wine tasting and a resort style mini vacation together. Everyone would be happy. Hopefully...

We checked in early on Friday afternoon and quickly settled in. It was a beautiful afternoon and so we decided to walk around and get a look at the entire site. With a pool area in the back and boche ball courts on the side, a way cool little Chapel as well as scattered seating areas all amongst a thoughtfully and beautifully done series of gardens and vineyard. Inside the courtyard are numerous seating options and a tasteful fountain in the center. There are some fire pits as well for when it is cool enough for the beauty of a flame.

Wandering inside there are a number of rooms for events and special dinners or meetings, as well as the larger conference or seminar type rooms where we had the Cab Collective Judgement Tasting.

With a number of lounge areas with comfortable furnishings and massive fire places that are just wonderful to sit and enjoy with your favorite wine or a cup of coffee.

The restaurant can serve both inside and out and the large bar has a good selection of drinks. I had a tasting flight of the house wines and it turned out to be not only delicious but twice as large as a normal tasting pour!

That evening we had dinner there at the restaurant and really enjoyed some delicious food and a bottle of Daou Cabernet. The atmosphere was energetic and the guy playing guitar and singing songs was just perfect. A very lovely experience. Later that evening we had arranged to meet up with our friend Dawn from ATOD Magazine (look for some collaboration in the future) in the bar but ended up just staying at our table and talking the night away.

Next morning we lazed around before heading off to the Garagiste Festival (one not to miss). After we came back to the hotel we enjoyed lounging in one of the comfortable lounge rooms and walking around the grounds. Later that night it was off to Buona Tavola for some amazing Northern style Italian food and paired with some great Italian wine.

Next morning while I enjoyed some quiet reading writing and coffee my wife enjoyed some pampering at the Spa. The Spa at Allegretto is a quaint boutique spa with six beautifully appointed treatment rooms, a gentle infrared-detox sauna and a lounge patio. They have a number of offerings but my wife had the INTERMEZZO S 50 minute stone Massage. They also offer 80 and 100 minute versions as well. Of this massage they say ; Melt your tension away with warm scented spices and elemental basalt stones that radiate their warmth into the surrounding body tissues and muscles, increasing blood circulation, as well as decreasing stress, tension and tissue stiffness. Deep comfort for the body and mind. 
Here are her words on the experience...

My SPA experience by Catherine.

What better way is there to complete a relaxing, romantic weekend than with a quick trip to the spa? After checking in to our room at the Allegretto, we spent some time touring the facilities and discovering all this beautiful resort has to offer. While sitting outside, sipping wine and planning our weekend away, we discovered some free time on Sunday morning and I quickly ran into the spa to see if they had any openings to squeeze me in.

As luck would have it, they did! After a quick review of the spa menu, I scheduled a 50 minute Intermezzo Stone Massage for Sunday morning (a little earlier than I would have liked but beggar’s can’t be choosers). Plus, this would allow us to go to brunch before we had to leave for home.
Sunday morning arrived (early as expected) and I hopped out of bed and pulled on some yoga pants and a t-shirt. After a quick kiss for my sweetie, I dashed down to the spa to check in. I was greeted by my masseuse and led to a beautiful relaxation room to complete some paperwork to identify my smell preferences (no floral),
problem areas (ticklish feet) and areas to focus on (neck and shoulders)… all the standard stuff.

Once the paperwork was taken care of, I was taken to a changing room and given a plush robe and slippers to change into before being led to my
treatment room.

The spa has six treatment rooms, all beautiful and designed to relax and provide comfort to patrons. I was impressed and so very thankful for the peacefulness.
Once the door of the treatment room closes, outside noises do not intrude. Not once during my treatment did I hear footsteps in the hallway or voices. I was truly able to leave the outside world behind and appreciate my time. I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated and can’t wait to visit this beautiful spa again!

Mission accomplished! A wonderful couple days in a beautiful resort accommodation that kept everyone happy. Looking forward to many more future visits.

Happy Travel Adventures,

Feb 5, 2017

#WW Il Moro D.O.C Sicilia Nero d’Avola

We do enjoy (most of the time) when wine shows up in the mailbox for us. Sometimes its accompanied by the literature we ask for on our 'Submitting Samples' page instructions and sometimes its not. This was a wine that showed up a little while ago without any associated information.

We searched it out and have included the website info and description as well as our own observations (in blue).

Giuseppe Jacono founded the cantina at the end of the 19th century. The Jacono family has been active in vine growing and winemaking ever since Vittoria was Sicily’s epicenter for exporting wine to France. Since then, this familial vocation has been safeguarded and handed down over generations, with the shared desire to establish a name for the family’s wines on an international level.

Valle dell’Acate has continued this tradition, specializing in the cultivation of the most prized and productive autochthonous vines, creating superior wines, including the crown jewel of Sicilian winemaking: the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG.

Gaetana Jacono
 Valle dell’Acate is one of the most well-known and active vineyards in southeastern Sicily. The company is run by Gaetana Jacono, part of the family’s sixth generation of winemakers. The vineyards extend over 100 hectares, most of which have been replanted from 2001 to the present day with local and international vines.

Valle dell’Acate (literally “Acate Valley”) is located in the historic Bidini domain, amid the winding hills of Valle del Dirillo.

BLACK SOIL: this red wine is Valle dell’Acate’s crown jewel, and has earned Italy’s vaunted DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status. Black land These vineyards are located roughly 120 meters above sea level, where the earth is extremely dark, almost black in color. Soil has a medium density tending towards compact, with a fair proportion of small, dark stones. These vines are roughly 20 years old, and produce a Nero d’Avola wine called Il Moro, which is well- structured and marked by strong hints of small red fruits like blackberries, raspberries and black cherries, as well as dark chocolate tannins that are at once powerful and enjoyable.

Our observations are similar but...

Il Moro D.O.C Sicilia Nero d’Avola

Produced in: C. da Bidini – Acate (RG) – eastern Sicily
Appellation: IGT Sicilia Rosso, from 2012 Il Moro D.O.C. Sicilia Nero d’Avola
Grape Variety: 100% Nero d’Avola
Methods of growth: Espaliers and cord, 5.000 plants/hectare
Production per hectare: 5800 kg
Harvest period: The second half of September
Aging process: Wood and steel vats and bottle-aged for at least 9-12 months
Alcohol level: 13.5%
Color: Intense ruby red
Dark deep color of ruby red and an interesting brick at the edge.            
Aroma: Cherry and raspberry fruity and a spicy background, nicely balanced.
So yes we quaff some cherry, but also some darker fruit like plum. This is a nice aromatic wine.
Flavor: Full, warm and elegant, very persistent, with typical austere, but polite, tannins.
A medium body wine that has a nice feel on the palate with good balance and fine but grippy tannins that give a medium long finish. 
Best paired with: Meat dishes, Nebrodi suckling pig, game meats and roasts, grilled meats and filets. Highly recommended with aged D.O.P. ragusano cheese.
Went beautifully with home made lasagna.
Serve at: 16°-18º C
                 60º - 64º F (not room temperature)

Overall really enjoyed this wine and rated it a 7 on our scale. Since we did not get any actual info the price point is a bit of a guess but we believe it gets ****. 

Happy Wine Adventures,