I'm a very lucky guy. Mostly lucky to have a brother with close ties to the Longoria family. No, I'm not talking about Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, I'm talking about Rick and Diana Longoria. In case you're unaware, Rick is the founder of Longoria Wines, and one of the pioneers of Pinot Noir in the Santa Ynez Valley.
While I was out in California, I had what I would consider the honor of spending 2 days with the Longorias. While in Solvang, they pointed us to wineries, fed us, and gave us a very personal tour of Longoria Winery. We tasted through bottles of finished wines at the tasting room, and even got a few samples from barrel at the tasting room. Insider tip, Rick is releasing a rose this season that is going to be absolutely wonderful.
The biggest treat of all was tasting alongside Rick. Anyone who has been making great wine as long as he has must have a phenomenal palate. It was very interesting to form my opinions of the wine, then have him rattle off a series of descriptors that hit the wine to a T. At one point I remarked that the wine we were tasting seemed very tanic. Rick politely disagreed, saying simply "I didn't get that". I replied that "my gums are dry". Rick thought and said, you're tasting the accumulation of the tannin, not the tannin from this wine. Aha!
All in all, it was a wonderful time. I don't know that I could thank the Longorias enough for their wonderful hospitality.