Monday, November 14, 2016

A Perfect Day

Sometime, about three or so years ago, I joking commented to my parents that when Claire turned 21 we should take a family trip to Napa. My parents have always been wine aficionados and it's an expensive habit that they turned onto their children. 

Well, that joke became a reality and last fall the family made the trek to NoCal and up to Napa. The timing was perfect. We spent a day in sailing on Scott's yacht (pictures to come) and then on the day before Claire turned 21 we drove up to Napa and at midnight on celebrated with the token bar visit. The next day we helped her celebrate more at our favorite winery: Hendry

If you ever get the chance, GO! The tour we had was in-depth and beyond amazing. Our guide had a science background and was able to tell us a lot about the wine making process both in general and about Hendry. 

Our guide, was amazing. I love Hendry wines but the tour took that to a whole new level. 

We were walked through the different grapes and encouraged to taste the grapes off the vines themselves. 

Our guide encouraged trying to taste the different flavors that were in a single grape. 

During the tour, we heard of an earthquake that was so high on the scale that barrels of wine fell down and exploded on the ground. The winemakers walked in the next day to find themselves ankle deep in spoiled wine. Can you imagine? All of that wonderful wine going to waste on the floor; such a shame. 

Each marking on the barrel means something: the year, the number of the time the barrel had been used and the type of grape or wine inside. 

That's a log of corks.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Christmas in Paris

Through a series of fortunate events, on our way to our trip to Ireland and Scotland, Mary and I had a 24 hour layover in Paris. It also happened to be on Christmas day. I'm not going to complain. I love Paris, it's beautiful. And, how many people can say they've gone to Christmas mass in Notre Dame? 


Friday, June 24, 2016

If it's Not Scottish it's Crap

Knowing we were going to be spending the New Year in Edinburgh, we took advantage of being in Scotland and did a short stop over in Glasgow. The plan was to stop in a city to go to a Scotch whiskey distillery before heading to the big party in Edinburgh. Our father had introduced us to Highland whiskey and we'd become partial to it, so we had originally wanted to go to Islay or somewhere else up North like Inverness. Traveling there, within our schedule, didn't work out so we decided to stop in Glasgow instead and visit a local distillery called Glengoyne.

Royal Warrant worthy. 

Like many whiskey distilleries, Glengoyne uses copper stills in their whiskey making process. While there are different techniques used at Glengoyne, the biggest difference in scotch whiskey is that it is distilled only twice. Irish whiskey is distilled three times. 

The next room we went to was insanely cool. Glengoyne uses a mixture of oak barrels from both Europe and America. In these next few pictures you can see the differences that come out of the different types of wood. Each bottle on the shelf, as it progresses, is the color of the whiskey each additional year it is in the barrel. 

Deep in thought trying to make the best whiskey blend.

This waterfall was the distillery's original source of water for whiskey making. as the brand grew, the stream could not keep up and alternative sources of water were used. 

Before we left, we told our father that we'd bring him back a bottle of scotch for his Christmas present. We had a tough time choosing! 

Glengoyne was a 30 minute cab ride from the Glasgow city center and situated in a valley. The tour we did was amazing; the Malt Master tour. It was a detailed tour of the distillery plus time to create our own 15 Year-Old scotch. Quite the memory. The distillery itself has been in continuous operation since it first opened in 1833. A fun fact? It is known for being the place where modern day scotch whiskey techniques were began.

- Elise