Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sensory Analysis Classes at McGrail Vineyards

McGrail Vineyards and Winery Offers First Educational Series: Sensory Analysis taught by CWP Dale Carrillo

LIVERMORE, CA – November 23, 2009 – McGrail Vineyards and Winery, family owned producer of premium wines from the Livermore Valley, has announced the first series of educational courses offering Sensory Analysis. Recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in the Professional Wine Studies, Dale Carrillo, will lead fun, thought provoking, hands-on 1 hour classes.

The Sensory Analysis class being offered December 19th, January 23rd, and February 20th, from 1-2PM, will be in the barrel room of McGrail Vineyards and Winery and focus on the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal. The classes will be open to 30 students and the cost is $30 per person. Each student will leave with a great experience, premium wine tasting, barrel tasting, a handout of wine evaluation terminology and a wine aroma wheel.

According to Carrillo, students will learn the meaningful, precise, descriptive wine terms to describe the phenomena you see, smell, touch, and taste in wine. Students will walk away with a toolbox of evaluation skills to help make tasting even more enjoyable.

If you have a passion for wine and you are interested in diving deeper, this is the perfect introductory class. You will gain a better understanding of what is in your glass and you will walk away with skills to enjoy every sip you take.

McGrail Vineyards and Winery will be selling tickets for the class at the tasting room (5600 Greenville Road, Livermore, CA 94550) or you can order online at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wine Club Appreciation Party at McGrail Vineyards

Busy, busy, yet always fun! Tonight McGrail Vineyards and Winery hosted the 2nd Annual Wine Club Appreciation Party and the evening was a beautiful success. The stars aligned as they were fortunate to have a tent setup out back (which was necessary for the large turnout) for a Retirement Party later in the weekend. Barrels were setup sporadically through the tent with delicious food from Chef's Touch, cupcakes, and wine from McGrail. The room glowed with candles and the excitement of the night was radiating through the room. Sue Lukito livened up the party with great music all evening. To make a great ending to a perfect party, Mark Clarin, (McGrail's new expert winemaker) grabbed his guitar and sang along with Sue for a couple of songs! What a pleasure!

The special release of the night was the James Vincent. This is McGrail's "ultra premium" Cabernet that is very limited as only 100 cases are produced. Cherry, casis, smooth, and powerful are just a few words I heard describing the first taste of this wine. Club members were walking away with cases and very excited to share this special treat.

Nights like tonight remind me why Livermore Valley Wine Country is so very special. The wine is delicious, the music made me move, and the company was pure pleasure. Everyone shared a smile and laughter was heard throughout the winery.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The McGrail's meet more McGrail's!

Wine brings together family, fun, and great stories!

The owners of McGrail Vineyards and Winery in Livermore, CA had the great experience of meeting Jill and Sean McGrail last Wednesday at the winery. Jill and Sean live in Ohio and found the winery through a searching the web. Last year, the McGrail's tried the wine and this year they decided to come for a visit. Sharing the not-so-common last name, McGrail, was only the beginning of similarities. The east coast McGrail's decided to renew their vows on the front lawn of the McGrail winery with their long lost relatives as the guests. Warm, friendly, and full of life were just a few words used to describe the McGrail's from Ohio.

Although, the family tree is not complete and we are unsure of actual relationship, the stories and location seem too close to not have some distant relationship.

Whether the two McGrail's are from the same clan or not, they both like wine, like to have a good time, and love the Irish roots.

Family or not, going to the mom and pop wineries give you a chance to feel like part of the family!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Harvest is Coming

With mid-September approaching quickly, we are tasting the vineyards everyday to decide when to pick. For 2009, we are going to harvest Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, and our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay is just a couple of weeks away and then we will be in the vineyard by 5am to pick only the best fruit. The Petite Sirah and Cabernet both look like they will be picked mid-October, but as we get closer those dates could change. Both the Petite Sirah from Casa de Vinas and the Cabernet Sauvignon from McGrail Vineyards have never looked better. The vineyards are maintained immaculately. Although we won't have these two wines bottled until 2012, I believe they are going to be our best yet! Make sure you come out and try McGrail Vineyards and Winery.