Big Bear, the Southern California mountain destination known for its lake and ski resorts, now offers a new adult attraction: Stone Summit Vineyard. At 6,750 feet above sea level, the winery claims to have the highest altitude commercial vineyard and winery in the northern hemisphere. Planted in May 2012, the vines won’t be mature enough to produce wine for a few years, so Stone Summit has begun sourcing grapes from the Napa Valley and Central Coast regions. The winery’s first release, a Moscato, can be sampled at its new tasting room, The Wine Room at Wolf Creek Resort, 41421 Big Bear Blvd. Stone Summit plans to follow the Moscato with releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Merlot.
The foodfest known as SF Chefs has outdone itself yet again, lifting San Francisco ever higher into the culinary stratosphere with a wildly creative span of events ranging from an all-female-chefs deluxe dinner to a Portuguese wine intensive to a Nutter Butters cook-off between top local chefs.
Tasting Notes: Founded in 1961 by George Fistonich, Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s largest family-owned wineries and a leader in sustainability. In 2009, Sir George was honored with a knighthood, the first ever granted to a Kiwi winemaker. One of Villa Maria’s top-of-the-line Single Vineyard bottlings, the 2011 Taylors Pass Chardonnay shows complex flavors and a crisp mouthfeel. On the nose, its aromas are of citrus and tropical fruits. Flavors of gooseberry and guava in the mouth are complemented by mineral notes, a vibrant acidity and a clean finish.
Tasting Notes: Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi has been making this classic Chianti at its Nipozzano estate since 1864. Displaying dark cherry and floral aromas on the nose, it reveals earthy red berry flavors with hints of clove and pepper in the mouth. Its food-friendly acidity and supple tannins provide balance.
Atlantic City’s fifth annual Food and Wine Festival attracted more than 20,000 visitors to New Jersey’s historic metropolis by the sea. A multitude of events took place July 25-28 at various hotel casinos including Caesars Atlantic City, giving food and wine lovers a chance to sample Atlantic City fare as well as meet celebrity chefs. Attendees included Food Network stars Robert Irvine (“Restaurant: Impossible”), Pat and Gina Neely (“Down Home With the Neelys”) and Rocco DiSpirito (star of the syndicated show “Now Eat This! With Rocco Dispirito”). A portion of the proceeds were dedicated to helping New Jersey’s seashore recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.