Pre and post-conference excursions are part of the whole experience at the Wine Bloggers Conference. They promote fun and learning in a smaller setting and allow for some serious hang time with winemakers, vineyard managers, and principals in wine regions surrounding the conference location. On Sunday, July 13, the WBC14 “Wine Down” post-conference excursion to Bridlewood Estate Winery’s 105-acre estate in the Santa Ynez AVA is slated to enrich and enlighten bloggers with an Apple Basket Lunch and an interactive seminar focusing on local agriculture, sustainability, and what it means to be a farmer in the modern world.
Perched on a high bench of ancient seabed, Bridlewood Estate Winery blends modernity with the region’s mission roots. The Spanish style architecture houses the winery (the artist’s workshop as Bridlewood calls it) where winemaking revolves around the art of blending – each lot is fermented separately at Bridlewood in order to express the individual terroir of the vineyards sourced from the Central Coast. Bridlewood’s winemaking philosophy of blending small batches of different vineyard lots together to bring out their best flavor characteristics transfers to the Wine Down event on Sunday – the Apple Basket Lunch and following seminar brings together artisan producers that Bridlewood has “sourced” from the Central Coast for a palate driven, intimate look at modern farming. A local pig farmer, organic farmer, and sea urchin diver will all be on hand to present the fruits of their labor during the lunch and at the interactive seminar afterwards.
The Apple Basket Lunch and Seminar incorporates these farm to table menu items and Bridlewood wines:
- Jamon Serrano and Cave-Aged Gruyere with Sweet Butter on Baguette
- Little Gems with Farm Egg and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Grilled Market Vegetables with Tomato Pesto
- Heirloom Tomatoes with Melon and Basil
- Triple Chocolate Brownie
- Monterey County Chardonnay
- Monterey County Pinot Noir
- Blend 175
The seminar after lunch includes pairing bites of:
- Coastal Sea Urchin with Avocado and Flake Salt
- Valley Piggery Copa with Fig
- Heirloom Tomato with Saffron Aioli
- Estate Syrah
- Santa Barbara Chardonnay in Concrete Egg
Richard Martin from the Food Republic e-magazine on the culture of food will moderate the seminar in the Bridlewood cellar. The interactive Q&A session will feature the local producers behind the lunch and the winemakers behind Bridlewood. Richard will be facilitating the discussion of what it actually means to be a farmer over a lifetime and how sustainability, in its totality, is a driver behind Bridlewood’s winemaking philosophy. The seminar will be set on a stage in the Bridlewood cellar and a screen will be up for all to view the social media interaction happening during the session. Bridlewood is active on its Facebook Page and tweets at: @BridlewoodWine. Richard Martin is on Twitter at: @reeshardmartin and the Food Republic Facebook Page. The Bridlewood team put together a welcome video for blogger guests – check out their warm welcome:
Bridlewood will whisk bloggers the 15 minutes from the conference hotel to the winery in buses and directly to the Apple Basket Lunch on the banks of the Bridlewood Lake, which overlooks the estate vineyard. Wine Down guests are transported back to the hotel by 3:30 and in time to participate in the second WBC post-conference excursion to Santa Barbara.