Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The value of wine?

And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honor - well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the stuff they sell.

Edward Fitzgerald's translation of Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Monday, April 5, 2010

A dark and romantic vegan wine country wedding

Do you ever get the feeling that there is too much of a standard recipe for weddings? And that deviation from the norm will not go down well?

When Alyssa & Brian got married, their wedding day had quite a different look. The bride wore a black dress and tattoos. The wedding party dressed in black and grey. Yet they still created an event that was very much a wedding rather than a halloween party. The catering included a vegan Mexican buffet and vegan cupcakes.

The wedding took place at Alexander Valley Hall, set among the vineyards of Alexander Valley, in northeastern Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco.

You can see pictures and read more about this gothy winery wedding, quite appropriately, at The Offbeat Bride.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Deer Ridge Vineyard wedding video

Last summer, Charlotte & Tyler were married at Deer Ridge Vineyard in Livermore, California. Here is a video presented by Axiom Videography, a beautiful record of the wedding day.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Winery & wedding buzz, March 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

The other winery in Delaware

When Jess was searching for a vineyard in Delaware to host her wedding, the only one she could find online was beyond her budget. But then she heard on the grapevine of another winery. One that doesn't seem to have a web presence.

Pizzadili Winery is run by Tony and Pete Pizzadili, who grew up in Italy in the early 50's. Their father made wine for a living, so when the family came to the states in 1956 they continued making wine in their backyard. In 1992 they purchased 100 acres of farmland and started planting grapes. When their production reached the legal 200-gallon limit, they decided to turn their hobby into a business, and started work on buildings and permits in 2004. Pizzadili Winery opened in October 2007. (read more at Delaware winery content to be small)

They hosted their first wedding in 2006. They are sole providers of catering and wine for the events. Christy and Joel got married at Pizzadili's in 2008 and said:

We could not have asked for a more perfect day! Our wedding was great! Getting married at Pizzadili's Winery in Felton, DE was really fun, low key, romantic, beautiful, PERFECT!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Red wine, red wedding dress?

According to Red Hot Brides, red wedding dresses are currently all the rage, and why not? It might fit nicely with a red wine wedding theme.

A white dress has come to be a symbol of purity, innocence, and virginity, but prior to Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, it was common to wear one's best dress, whatever the color. Since then, a brightly colored dress has come to be considered poor taste and taboo. On the other hand, some cultures consider red to represent good luck. So why not give it a go and stand out from the crowd?

You don't have to go with bright poppy red. For a vineyard theme, a wine red or grape red might be an excellent choice. Or perhaps a white dress with red accents? Here is a selection of red bridal gowns brought to you by

Monday, March 22, 2010

Custom label wines

Since you will probably be buying wine by the case for your various wedding celebrations, you might like to consider having custom labels made for the occasion.

Wilson Creek Winery offers to make custom labels for their Champagnes, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon  and Merlot wines. You can start with one of their many templates, or use your own one of a kind label.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The small print of renting a winery

How much is it going to cost to rent a winery?

Santa Barbara Wine Country Wedding and Events understands these issues, and has come up with a list of extra indirect costs that the winery's contract may impose upon you. For example, their set-up and strike down times may mean that vendors have to hire extra staff or pay overtime. You will probably need liability insurance, and may be asked to hire a staff manager to handle emergencies, child care professionals, and an event coordinator.

The list is quite long, so check it out at Avoiding "Hidden" Costs/Surprises in your Winery Wedding Budget.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Invitation Indecision

"Miss Jellyfish" is planning a vineyard wedding at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery this coming September, and has started looking for invitations. In her blog post "Invitation Indecision" she looks at eleven options that she has discovered so far and shares what she likes and dislikes about each one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How to taste wine

Frank Mangio of TasteOfWineTV shares the key rules for beginning wine lovers, in a quick, four step wine tasting guide - color, swirling, smelling and tasting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wine and the recession

The Press Democrat, of Santa Rosa, California, reports on how the recession has hit local wineries.

Since the start of the recession in 2007, it has become chic to drink cheaper wines. There has been a flood of cheap imports to the US, and local wineries are offering deep discounts. One wine that previously retailed for $15 can now be found at $5.99. Wineries are finding it hard to get bank loans, and vineyards are receiving less for their grapes. Some wineries are on the market, and their value has fallen by 20% - 50%. The only good news seems to be that US wine consumption is still increasing.

Read the full article, Setbacks in Wine Country.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Clos LaChance Winery wedding

When Jessica and Cory got married at Clos LaChance Winery in San Martin, two photographers covered their wedding. Take a look at the inspirational photography of Sam Hassas and Keith Simonian.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cooking with wine

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
W. C. Fields

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grape vine furniture

Here's a unique idea that wine lovers may want to add to their gift registry.

Wine Country Craftsman specializes in creating tables and custom furniture out of 60-100 year old retired grape vines from California. These unique and one of a kind tables are a perfect addition to the home, gallery, Bed and Breakfast, winery or wine tasting room.

"Each piece is pruned by hand to reveal, preserve and promote the essence of its form" according to Michael Weiss, CEO and founder of Wine Country Craftsman.  "With careful shaping and finishing, each piece becomes a work of art suitable for warming the heart of a true wine lover".

The result speaks for itself. Each vine has its own character, some seeming to rest in serene meditation, some to dance in playful glee. The warmth of the wood invites your fingers to trace contours, follow branches, and contemplate the flow of life which took a century to express itself in the shape you see before you.

Passionate about their craft, Wine Country Craftsman invites you to enjoy the simplicity of nature in these beautiful pieces guaranteed to bring continued joy for many years to come.  The Company's philosophy of "honoring and preserving nature's gifts" is evident in every furniture design they create.

Say "I Do with Mirassou" - win a $10,000 package!

The wedding day is one of the most important in a person's life, and today's couples strive to create a one-of-a-kind experience that is both personal and memorable for their guests, all while trying to stay within their budget. For one lucky couple, Mirassou Winery plans to help. The Mirassou family has been growing grapes and crafting superior wines in California since 1854, earning them the distinction of being America's oldest winemaking family. Today, the Mirassou wine style is refreshing and fruit-forward.

Mirassou recently announced their 6th annual "I Do with Mirassou" contest, which will help one engaged couple with both the cost of their wedding and a special, personalized California-cuisine-inspired wedding menu designed in conjunction with two food and wine experts: Celebrity Chef Aida Mollenkamp and sixth generation of America's oldest winemaking family, David Mirassou.

This year's contest kicks-off on March 2, 2010 and runs through June 27, 2010. Couples can enter to win $10,000, plus a trip to San Francisco and northern California wine country for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with wine expert David Mirassou and Celebrity Chef Aida Mollenkamp, host of the popular Food Network show "Ask Aida," to plan their custom California-inspired wedding menu, complete with food and wine pairings.

Up to five lucky finalists will be chosen and featured at for an online vote from July 16 - August 8, 2010, and all finalists will receive a Mirassou gift package. Finalists are encouraged to run their own campaigns to earn votes, since the winner will be the finalist with the most votes. The winning couple will be announced in August and will meet with Aida and David this fall to learn about the hottest wedding food and wine trends, as well as plan their own personalized wedding menu.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rustic Vineyard Weddings

By Bridget Mora

Wine country is one of the most romantic places you can choose for a wedding. The natural beauty of a vineyard makes a stunning backdrop for a ceremony and reception. There are fantastic vineyards in places like California, Italy, France, and even upstate New York. The best part of course is enjoying the top wines that the vineyard has to offer.

When hosting your wedding in a location with its' own unique beauty, play up the elements that make the place special. So at a vineyard, choose natural decorations, displayed in non-fussy ways. Incorporate details like grapevines, trailing greenery, and fruit into your table décor and perhaps over an arbor for the ceremony. Rough hewn, simple containers made from wood, galvanized metals, or hollowed out vegetables would make wonderful vessels. Use elements that emphasize the bounty of the land.

The bride and groom should think about the setting when choosing their attire. Instead of a heavy satin gown and a tuxedo, consider sophisticated but less glitzy styles. The groom at a vineyard wedding would look great in either a suit (a tan linen one would be smashing for a summer wedding), or a blazer and trousers. The bride should look for a gown with simple lines, like an A-line or a sheath. A gown with texture, such as all-over lace, would look incredible in the naturally beautiful setting of wine country.

For the finishing touches, the bride should also look for accessories and a hairstyle that are not too fussy or stiff. Soft waves in her hair, held back by a handmade pearl comb would be sophisticated and simple. Handcrafted bridal jewelry is the perfect accent for a rustic reception. Think about keshi or baroque pearls, intertwined with strands of sterling silver. Soft movement always looks right in an outdoor locale, so look for handcrafted bridal jewelry like drop earrings and cluster necklaces.

After the bride, the wine itself is the star of the show at a vineyard wedding. Feature the vineyard's finest vintages, with information about each on the menu cards. A flight of wines, with an appropriate selection served with each course, would be a delightful way to highlight the best of the vineyard's offerings . Pair the wine with seasonal local cuisine, and you will really have a reception that is enjoyable and memorable for you and your guests. (Just be sure to provide transportation home for everyone!)

Briget has many years helping clients select jewelry and accessories. Let us know if you would like her to write on a particular topic.
Choose SilverlandJewelry for crystal wedding jewelry for the bride and select Swarovski crystal earrings for your bridesmaid gifts.

Article Source:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winery and wedding buzz, February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wine Country Weddings On the California Central Coast

By Laura Eggers

A wine country wedding conjures up images of colorful vineyards, earthy scents and romantically lit wine cellars. You need little in the way of decoration, as the setting is so naturally scenic. While most vineyards look similar, depending on the season and age of the vines, the winery buildings themselves can vary widely. Decide if you prefer the style of a country farmhouse, a French chateau or a simple stone building.
Another consideration is the winery's proximity to an airport and/or accommodations for out of area guests. Many wineries offer outdoor receptions overlooking the vineyard, perhaps with hors d'hoevres passed in an elegant tasting room. Some have wine cellars and barrel rooms that can be set up with candles in medieval style for the wedding dinner. A combination or variation of these can be incorporated, making the most use of the winery's natural attributes.

Another great thing about having a wine country wedding is that you really don't need much in the way of extra decorating costs. Plus, the gorgeous setting will enhance your wedding photos.
Popular wine tasting areas on the California Central Coast include Paso Robles, the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo and the Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande areas. Not every winery offers wedding services, but the following places do. Call and inquire about their offerings, and then take a tour with your fiancé of the ones you are interested in. Be sure to taste their wines as well!

In the Paso Robles area, Jan Kris Winery is located in Templeton. They have a rose garden and gazebo as well as a banquet room with views of the vineyard. They can accommodate up to 200 people and will allow you to bring in an outside caterer. Call 805-434-039 or see

Meridian Winery in Paso Robles can accommodate up to 150 guests in their Barrel Chai Room. Their outdoor herb garden can hold up to 200, while larger weddings can be held out on the lawn overlooking the vineyard. Call 805-226-7135 for more information.

Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles has a wedding coordinator included. Their setting is on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards. Call 805-239-1616 or see

Other wineries in the Paso Robles area, which offer wedding facilities, include EOS Estate Winery, 805-239-2563, Justin Vineyards, 805-781-7303, and Zenaida Cellars, 805-227-0382.
In the San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley areas, Edna Valley Vineyard has indoor and outdoor facilities and includes a wedding coordinator. They have a patio, garden, lawn, a banquet room and cask room and can accommodate up to 250 people. You can bring any caterer you wish. Call 805-544-5855 or see

Further south in the Arroyo Grande area, Laetitia Winery offers wedding services. Call them at 805-481-1772.

Laura Eggers Underhill is the author and publisher of the online travel guides

Article Source:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Using vintage wine bottle labels in your decor and stationery

A good source of inspiration for graphics to use in your vineyard wedding are old wine bottle labels. You can find lots of examples with Google's image search, and has many labels organized by subject, such as these examples of Feminine Beauty Art Nouveau.

Obviously one must take care not to infringe any copyrights when using materials like this, but if you use really old labels where the copyright has expired you should be ok.

A label like the one shown here, could be photo-shopped to remove the text,  new background air brushed in its place, then your own text added using similar fonts, color and texture. It would make a great invitation and set the scene for a truly special day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Four wines to consider for your wedding

Joe Hendricks shares with you some white wines that every bride would love to have at her wedding. You can find more of Joe's wine reviews at his blog,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Leap Photography and Woodriver Cellars

Woodriver Cellars are located in the Snake River Valley appellation in Idaho. Winemaker Neil Glancey, produces award winning wines, using sustainable vineyard practices, tending the grapes himself and fermenting the wine in French oak barrels.

For weddings, the Wisteria trellis and rose garden offers many photo opportunities, and  a 6,000 square foot marquee tent is available for receptions, while the barrel room is ideal for smaller events and can accommodate upto sixty people.

One of their preferred vendors is Leap Photography of Boise, Idaho, and Brenda Leap has put together this slide show of weddings that she has covered at Woodriver Cellars.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Green decor

Your winery wedding ceremony may be against a backdrop of vines, so green might be a color to consider for your decor theme.

The Wedding Clique - Going Green from Henry Chen Photography on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thomas Fogarty Winery preferred vendor showcase

Thomas Fogarty Winery, located in California between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is hosting a Mix & Mingle on Sunday February 21st from 1-5pm. This will be an afternoon of mixing and mingling with some of the winery's preferred wedding professionals. They are showcasing photography, table designs, flowers, stationary, wedding gowns, catering, cake tasting, harp music, DJ's and dancing lessons.

Read more at Janae Shields Photography.

Planning your wedding with Google Docs

Google gets everywhere these days, and now they are making planning your wedding a whole lot easier with Google Docs templates designed specially for the task. These documents are online, so you can share them with others, access them from anywhere, even from your smartphone.

Google has teamed up with Style Me Pretty, who have added tips, ideas and inspirations to each of the spreadsheets.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Photographer's Look at the Temecula Wedding Location Wilson Creek Winery

By Vanessa Honda and Stephen Honda

Although it is the photographer who has the greatest influence in the creation of an excellent photographic wedding collection, the location also has a dramatic impact. A wedding at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula is a beautiful location for shooting a wedding and if shot correctly will contribute to a memorable wedding album.

The Vineyards are of course the attribute that sets this wedding location apart from other wedding location. When shooting in this location a photographer should use the natural, earthy, fresh backgrounds that this location permits. When shooting the actual ceremony, a photographer can get a variety of stunning shots by standing at the back of the ceremony location. Those in attendance sit in rows of chairs at the same level as where the ceremony takes place. The photographer, from behind those in attendance can climb to a higher point.  From this point of view, a photographer can get a shot of the entire ceremony with miles of rolling vine covered hills in the background. Of course a photographer needs to get close-up shots as well. Both objectives can be accomplished if one photographer shoots from the back with both a wide angle and a telephoto lens and another assistant is placed under the white gazebo where there the ceremony takes place.

One great place to take pictures of the bride is at the top of a couple flights of stairs of the lobby. There is a 19th century style black railing that goes around the hallway of the top floor of the lobby. A black and white or sepia shot of the bride against this railing creates an attractive retro look that will work well in a number of styles of albums.

Another location which is fun to shoot in is within the vineyards themselves. A picture the bride and groom framed with branches and grapes in the foreground with the couple centered between the branches in the background so that it looks as though the camera is peeking in on them as they gaze into each others eyes is another favorite shot available at this location.

Temecula has a number of beautiful locations for shooting a wedding. The Wilson Creek Winery if shot correctly will contribute much to any wedding album.

Vanessa is a Temecula Wedding Photographer who shoots in a number of Orange County, Riverside and San Diego Wedding Locations.

Article Source: A Photographer's Look at the Temecula Wedding Location Wilson Creek Winery

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wedding stationery

From the moment you get engaged, to thanking guests for their gifts, there are many times that you will need to send out notes to all your guests. These might include engagement announcements and parties, save the date magnets, wedding invitations, guest information cards, bridal showers and thank you notes.

There are many places where you can get these printed using off-the-shelf designs, but if you are at all creative and can use photo editing software, why not make your own personal designs and get those printed? This gives you the ability to maintain the vineyard theme in all your communications.

You can buy stock photographs quite cheaply at websites like can search for photos on related subjects, and add your text before sending the file to printers such as  Here is an example I knocked up in just a few minutes.

Wine making at South River Vineyard

Just to get you in the mood for wine, here is a nice little video of wine making at South River Vineyard in Geneva, Ohio. The winery is housed in a century-old Chapel that was first built in 1892, and moved to its present location in 2000. The first couple exchanged vows at the restored altar in May 2002.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ponte Winery, California

Imagine an outdoor wedding with a backdrop of vines and a reception surrounded by wines barrels. Take a look at this video shot by Inland Empire Video and Photo at Ponte Winery in Temecula, California.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Niagara vineyard wedding

This is a slide show of an outdoor wedding ceremony in the Cave Springs vineyard in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Even the bride's dogs were invited.

Photography by Dave and Charlotte.